If you’re travelling abroad, it’s important to buy travel insurance before your trip. Travel insurance covers the cost of things that go wrong while you’re away, such as losing your suitcase or cancelling your holiday. If you’re travelling in Europe, it can also cover the cost of any medical treatment that isn’t covered by the EHIC. So it’s important to get travel insurance even if you’re staying in Europe. Some insurance companies will only cover you if you have an EHIC.
The following questions and answers may help you find the right insurance.
Will having prostate cancer make it harder to get travel insurance?
Yes, it might do. This is because insurers think you’re more likely to need medical treatment while you’re away or cancel your trip at the last minute. And some companies might not insure you if you’ve been diagnosed with cancer. However lots of companies will and most men can find insurance after shopping around. You may be asked to provide a letter from your doctor saying you’re fit to travel. Your doctor may charge you for this. Some companies may offer insurance that doesn’t cover your cancer, which means you’ll have to cover the cost of anything related to your cancer. This kind of cover could cost you a lot of money if your cancer causes you any problems while you’re away. For example, if your cancer has spread to your bones and you fall over and break a bone, this could be because your cancer has made your bones weaker. So your insurer may refuse to cover you for this.
Top travel tip - Shop around to get the best deal before buying. You don’t have to accept the insurance offered by the company who provide the holiday.
Where can I get travel insurance?
You can get travel insurance from the following places.
- General travel insurance providers
General travel insurance providers are often the cheapest but sometimes only insure you for certain things or if you meet certain criteria. For example, your insurance may not cover medical treatment or emergencies related to your cancer. Or they might have time limits on how soon they will insure you after treatment. Check the policy details to make sure you’re completely covered for your trip.
- Specialist travel insurance providers
Some specialist providers offer travel insurance for people with medical problems, including cancer. Their prices vary a lot and some policies can be very expensive. Check if the policy includes treatment related to your cancer before you buy it.
Insurance brokers can give advice and arrange insurance for you. Brokers shop around for the best deal. They can make getting insurance easier and sometimes offer you a better price than individual companies. But they do charge a fee. You can find lists of qualified insurance brokers on the British Insurance Brokers’ Association website.
Top travel tip - Check if you already have travel insurance under a different policy. Some banks include cover with your bank account. It may not cover you for everything or there may be an age restriction, so check the policy details to find out if you need extra cover.
Can I arrange my travel insurance online?
Yes. You can look for insurance companies or brokers and buy travel insurance online. Some insurers are only available online, so looking online might offer you a greater selection to choose from. This can help you shop around for the best deal. You will usually need to complete an online medical screening or, in some cases, speak to someone on the phone before your insurance is approved. This is because they’ll want to be clear about your medical history and current health.
You can also arrange travel insurance by visiting a travel insurance provider, for example your bank, or by telephone.
What policy is right for me?
There are many different policies so it’s important to pick the right one for you. Lots of things might affect the cover you need, including:
- where you’re going
- how long you’re staying
- what you’ll be doing
- how often you travel.
For example, a single trip policy is best if you’re only planning one trip that year. If you’re travelling outside of Europe, you’ll need worldwide cover which can be more expensive than European cover. This is because medical treatment usually costs more in non-EU countries.
Different insurers have different rules about what countries are covered under European cover, so always check if your destination is included. Some policies don’t include cover for cruises or certain activities, so you may need to buy extra cover for those.
What questions will the insurance company ask me?
They will ask about your age, marital status and occupation. They may also ask for information about your trip, medical history and prostate cancer, such as:
- when you were diagnosed
- the stage and grade of your cancer
- what treatment you’re having or have had
- any follow-up care you’re receiving
- any side effects you’re having
- any recent planned or unplanned hospital stays
- other medical conditions, such as high blood pressure or cholesterol
- any other medical treatments you’re having.
Some insurers use medical advisors to work out the cost of your insurance. They may want a doctor’s letter or ask you to fill in a questionnaire about your health. You can ask your doctor for a letter but there may be a charge.
Top travel tip - Be honest and open about your medical history or you may not be fully covered. Tell the insurance company about any changes (even minor ones) to your health between the time you accepted the policy and going on your trip. This includes annual insurance policies. If you don’t tell your insurer, your policy may not be valid.
Will my travel insurance be expensive?
The price of insurance varies a lot. The amount you pay (the premium) and the amount you pay when you make a claim (the excess) are likely to be higher if you’ve been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Your stage of cancer and treatment will affect how much it costs and it could be expensive if you have advanced or recurrent cancer. The type of holiday might also affect the price. For example, cover for cruise holidays is more expensive because it can be harder to get medical treatment. In general, prices go down the longer your cancer has been under control. So if you have recently been diagnosed, have just had or are currently having treatment, you may pay more. Policies that don’t cover treatment related to your cancer may be cheaper. Some men consider doing this if they feel their cancer is unlikely to cause any problems while they’re away. But this is a risk and could cost a lot of money if you do need treatment for any problems related to your cancer.
Top travel tip - Some companies will ask that all members of your party are covered under the same policy. This can be a good idea because it means all your companions are covered if they need to come home early with you.
What should I ask the insurance company?
Make sure you fully understand your policy and what it covers. Ask your insurance company if you’re unsure about anything. Think about asking these questions.
- What does the policy include and exclude?
- Does it cover treatment related to my cancer?
- Does it cover me if I have to come home early because of my cancer?
- How much is the excess?
- Do other people travelling with me need to be covered under the same policy?
- Does my doctor need to provide a letter?
What if I can’t find suitable travel insurance?
If you’re struggling to find insurance, give yourself more time to shop around and find quotes. Most men are able to find suitable cover, but you may need to try several different companies. Look for insurers who specialise in providing cover for people with cancer. They know every case is different and will look at you as an individual. It can be difficult to answer the same questions lots of times so you may want a friend or relative there to help. If you still can’t find insurance, you could try changing your travel plans. For example, you may find cheaper cover for a different country where medical treatment may cost less.
Tips for finding travel insurance
- Look up the cost of insurance before booking your trip and check if your quotes include cover for your cancer. Some destinations are more expensive than others.
- Arrange your insurance as soon as possible after you book your holiday, so that you’re covered if you need to cancel your trip.
- Get quotes from both general and specialist companies.
- Use online comparison websites to compare quotes from different insurers. The cheapest may not cover all your needs, so always check the details of the policy.
- Check the small print. Make sure you know exactly what you are and aren’t covered for.
- If you attend a local cancer support group, ask around to see if anyone can recommend an insurance company.
- Have all the information and dates you might need to hand to help you answer questions from insurance providers.