Finding travel insurance when your child has cancer
Organising travel insurance for a child or young person who’s been diagnosed with cancer can be challenging. But it is possible to find reasonably priced insurance with a bit of effort.
Our easy guide to finding travel insurance
Below are 10 things to consider before you start searching. Or, jump straight to our list of travel insurers for children and young people with cancer, as recommended by parents.
1. Start early
Before you even book a flight, speak to your consultant to make sure your child is fit to travel. Some insurers will want a letter from your doctor confirming this.
It’s good to start with travel insurance, see what your options are, and build a trip around that. Whatever you do, don’t leave sorting out travel insurance to last minute. You’ll need to shop around more than if you were arranging insurance under normal circumstances.
Travel insurers use a screening process to work out the risk of needing to pay out against any conditions you say your child has. You must declare your child’s cancer. If you don’t the insurer may not pay out if you need to make a claim.
2. Know where to look
It’s worth checking if you have travel insurance attached to your bank account, especially if you’re paying a monthly fee. If the policy covers family members too, you will need to let them know about your child’s diagnosis and they will tell you what (if anything) you need to do.
Travel insurers which describe themselves as ‘medical travel insurance specialists’ are most likely to take your individual circumstances into consideration. The screening process asks more questions to tailor your cover. Specialist insurers can sometimes cover more complex medical conditions and are more likely to provide cover if your child is waiting to start treatment, waiting for tests or investigations or has a terminal prognosis.
Many travel insurers cover people with pre-existing medical conditions like cancer. Most use the same system used by the big price comparison websites. These are usually automated, so you’ll be asked the same questions as usual, but the price, cover benefits and excesses will vary.
Banks and the high street
Many banks, and high street stores like Boots and the Post Office offer insurance that covers children and young people with cancer.
3. Don’t spend lots of time on comparison sites
Comparison sites can be a useful place to start your search, but limit yourself to one or two. They all do the same thing, more or less, so if you try one and don’t get a good result, don’t waste your time trying others.
To save you trawling through results, we’ve put together a handy list of travel insurers, based on feedback from parents. It gives details of companies known to provide cover for children and young people who’ve had a cancer diagnosis.
4. Have all the details about your child’s cancer to hand
The screening process will ask questions about your child’s treatment and medication, so having this information to hand can help speed up the process.
If your child is under 17 you’re likely to need an adult on the policy as well.
5. Be prepared for high quotes if you’re travelling to certain destinations
The cost of the policy and level of cover is usually based on how long it’s been since your child’s last treatment, what medication they’re taking, where you’re going and the length of the trip. Countries where insurance is likely to cost more include: Spain, Turkey, Cyprus, Greece, USA, Canada and the Caribbean. The rest of Europe is generally considered lower risk.
6. Don’t assume an insurer will offer cover if they did for someone else
Insurance companies each have their own rules and screening processes. For example, how long they take a cancer diagnosis into consideration after a child or young person has been given the all-clear can range from six months to 10 years.
This is why it can sometimes be that a friend gets a good deal from a particular company while your quote is sky high.
7. Opt for a single trip policy
Most cancers will be excluded on an annual multi-trip policy. A single trip policy, booked not too far in advance, is most likely to get good results.
8. Always check the policy wording
It’s very important to check the wording of the policy to make sure it covers everything you need. Cheaper insurers, in particular, may not cover cancellation if your child becomes ill ahead of travel or have exclusions for private hospital care.
This can have serious consequences if your child gets poorly in a country with bad public health facilities. These insurers may not pay for air ambulances or getting your child back home, which could leave you and your family stuck abroad for weeks.
9. Don’t rely on an EHIC card
An EHIC card provides free or reduced cost emergency medical treatment in public hospitals within the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.
Don’t rely on an EHIC card in place of travel insurance though. Public hospitals in some countries may fall below UK standards in things like nursing care and cleanliness. Good quality travel insurance would allow you to move to a private hospital if the public hospitals aren’t a good standard. An EHIC card also won’t cover the costs to get your child back home, even in an emergency.
10. Final checklist of questions to ask
- Does the insurer offer cover for cancellations? Does this include cases where a terminal prognosis has been declared?
- Does the policy cover any expensive medical equipment you need to take with you?
- Does the policy include cover for private healthcare? Will it get you home if you need to get back before the end of your trip?
- Does the policy cover lost or damaged medication?
- Does the insurer have an emergency helpline you can contact if necessary?
Travel insurers that cover children and young people with cancer
Here are some companies known to provide travel insurance cover for children and young people who’ve had a cancer diagnosis. We’ve included them based on positive feedback from parents and carers, but it’s important that you read the wording of any policy to see what is and isn’t covered and any limitations that apply.
Able2Travel (Voyager Insurance Services)
Able2Travel provides travel cover for a range of different cancers, as long as the prognosis isn’t terminal.
All Clear Insurance
All Clear insures young people who have any stage of cancer or who are in remission.
British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA)
BIBA offers a large database of qualified and regulated insurance brokers. Its online Find-A-Broker tool allows you to search by condition and treatment
Boots Travel Insurance
Boots Travel Insurance covers pre-existing medical conditions such as cancer.
Fish offers holiday insurance for young people with disabilities and medical conditions, including cancer and in cases where someone is in remission.
Freedom Travel Insurance
Freedom considers all types of cancer.
Free Spirit considers all types of cancer, including where there’s a terminal diagnosis.
Good to Go Insurance
Good to Go provides travel insurance for all types of medical conditions in children, including cancer.
Holiday Extras offers travel insurance for children and young people with cancer.
Insure and Go
Insure and Go provides insurance for treatment and conditions related to cancer (within the last five years).
Insure Cancer (Medi Travel Cover Ltd)
Insure Cancer provides travel insurance to children and young people with advanced cancer and offers cover for those having chemotherapy or radiotherapy or who are part of cancer drug trials.
Insurancewith looks at each customer individually and will consider terminal conditions.
JD Travel Insurance
JD travel offers insurance for people with pre-existing medical conditions of all kinds.
Post Office Travel Insurance
The Post Office offers travel insurance for people with pre-existing medical conditions, including cancer.
World First offers cover for cancers at different stages and grades.
CLIC Sargent has put this list together based on positive feedback from parents, but this is not an endorsement by us nor do we accept any responsibility for the services provided by these companies.
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