Finding travel insurance

Research is the best way to find travel insurance providers that may cover you. Here are some tips to help you:

  • Visit Macmillan’s online community – travel insurance is widely discussed on our forum. By reading the conversations there, you’ll find the providers people are recommending.
  • Find insurance through a broker – they search for suitable insurance for you. You can find a qualified and regulated broker through the British Insurance Brokers’ Association.
  • Search for companies online – search engines or comparison sites are often a good starting point. But they may not list all of the companies available. Try to compare as many quotes as possible.
  • Check for travel insurance through your bank account, credit card company or supermarket.

Many insurance companies now allow you to apply for travel insurance, and give your medical details, through an online form. Others will need to speak with you on the phone.

Remember, price is not the only factor to consider – check the insurance is suitable for your needs.

Researching travel insurance providers

By researching and asking around, you may be able to find travel insurance providers that can cover you.

Some providers specialise in providing travel insurance for people with pre-existing medical conditions. Others are general travel insurance companies. Specialist companies are more likely to be able to provide you with full cover that includes problems related to your cancer. But in some situations, for example, if you had cancer many years ago, a number of standard travel insurance providers may be able to help. This section explains where you can find contact details for travel insurance providers.

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Visit Macmillan’s online community

Perhaps the first place to check is Macmillan’s online community. This is a free online forum for people affected by cancer. Travel insurance is one of the most widely discussed topics on the community. By reading the conversations happening there, you can find out which providers people are recommending.

You do not have to join to read what people are saying. We have set up a conversation on the online community where we encourage you to share your experiences of getting travel insurance and recommend companies.

Find insurance through a broker

Insurance brokers do not offer insurance directly. Instead, they try to find a suitable travel insurance provider for you. You can find a qualified and regulated insurance broker through the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA). You can also call 0370 950 1790.

Search for companies online

If you have time, researching online could help you to find cheaper travel insurance. Try to compare as many quotes as possible. Remember that price is not the only factor to consider, as you’ll also need to check the insurance is suitable for your needs.

Helpful web pages

Below are some useful pages that can help you start your search:

  • Which? – features a comparison table comparing cover for people with different medical conditions.
  • Money Saving Expert – includes general tips about buying travel insurance as well as some information for people with pre-existing conditions.
  • Money Advice Service – gives general tips about what to look for in insurance policies and some information for people with medical conditions.
  • The Association of British Insurers – you can find answers to commonly asked questions about getting travel insurance on its website.

Comparison websites

You can search online for travel insurance comparison websites. Comparison websites allow you to compare deals from different providers. This can be a quick way to search for relevant quotes.

Some of these websites allow you to enter details of your medical condition before you search, which means you will only see quotes that are relevant to you.

Remember that not all providers sell their insurance through comparison websites, so this will not show you all the providers that could help.

Comparison websites are a good starting point but they focus on price. It’s important to check the quality of the cover and whether it fits your situation – always read the details of the policy before buying it, to make sure it suits your needs.

Online searches

Another way to look for travel insurance providers online is simply to type relevant terms into a search engine. For example: ‘prostate cancer travel insurance’. This usually brings up a mixture of information pages and providers offering travel insurance, some of which may be worth considering.

When searching in this way, you should check that any organisations you aren’t familiar with are trustworthy. Legitimate companies will be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and will have an FCA number displayed on their website. On the FCA website you can type this number into the Financial Services Register to check the firm is allowed to do business.

'I expected to have difficulty getting travel insurance. But I was pleasantly surprised that I could get cover and that it didn't bankrupt me'


Other ways of checking deals

While they do not always have suitable offers for people with pre-existing conditions, you can ask for insurance quotes from:

  • supermarkets (they may have information leaflets about their
  • insurance in stores)
  • your credit card company
  • your bank.

Some people automatically have some degree of travel insurance cover through their bank accounts. This generally applies to people with ‘premium’ bank accounts where they pay a small fee each month. When the account is set up, medical questions aren’t usually asked and it is the account holder’s responsibility to declare pre-existing conditions. 

This cover will not automatically include problems related to your cancer, so check with your bank to find out exactly what it includes and whether the cover can be expanded.

The bank may allow you to pay a top-up fee so that you are fully covered. This may be cheaper than buying travel insurance separately.

Ways of applying for travel insurance

Many insurance companies now allow you to apply for travel insurance, and give your medical details, through an online form. Others will need to speak with you on the phone.

If you phone companies, there may be call charges and you may be on hold for a long time. Calling from a mobile phone may be more expensive.

If you are concerned about the cost of calls from your landline, may help you find cheaper alternative phone numbers. These numbers let you reach the same companies for less. Expensive phone numbers often start with numbers that don’t match a local area, for example, 0870 or 0845.

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