Holiday Insurance

I am going to Southern Ireland for a week on the 9th August, which has been okayed by my onc even although I will have to get my next chemo a week late (I don’t think on the scale of things this will make any difference do you?)

Anyway I have been quoted the standard insurance of £5.50 for 8 days excluding breast cancer - I kin of though it’s not like I’m going to the other side of the world and will be about 4 hours away from Northern Ireland that I thought would be covered under the NHS>

Anyway does anybody have any insurance companies that cover you and are not over the top - I think mines might not be as straigth forward as I am still receiving chemo!

If not them I’m going anyway, I’ll deal with any illness if it actually happens to me. However throughout my chemo my blood cells have always been great and returned to normal before my next treatment - they haven’t dropped at all so I shouldn’t be at anymore risk than anybody else. I am not experiencing any symptoms from the organs that are affected (liver, Lungs) and never have.

What your thoughts fokls


Hi Diane

I’ve gone with a company called miaonline who you can google to get their information.

Have only used them to go to France but they’ve been excellent over the last couple of years, plus I’ve been on chemo for the past 20 months and it doesn’t seem to affect my premiums. They quoted me just over £44

Hope this helps.

Thanks, I’ll give them a go


Hi Diane

Do you have a “EHIC” card?

Just got this year’s insurance sorted with Mia and I’ve noticed that they have now opened it up to other countries including Australia and New Zealand, Turkey, Northern Cyprus, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia and on-board cruise ships but not USA yet.

I notice you’re going to Southern Ireland which I presume will be covered under the Continent of Europe rather than UK, Isle of Man etc as it’s not part of the UK. If it is ‘Europe’ 8 days cover would cost you £39.50. You’ll have to make sure that you’ve cleared it with your oncologist that they think you’re fit to travel (I always ask mine just to make a note in my file just in case).

Hi Diane - The republic of Ireland went into the EC long before the UK, so you are covered by the new EHIC card. Don’t waste your money on travel insurance as I doubt you will ever get sick enough in 8 days from bc. Even if you feel sick you can get home quickly. You are not going to expire from bc in 8 days…

Have a great holiday -

It’s not about ‘not ever getting sick enough in 8 days from b.c’. It depends on where your mets are and you can’t always predict that ‘you’ll be okay’. Its certainly true (I feel) in the majority of cases for primaries but not for some of us with mets. I never used to have my primary b.c. covered because, as Liz says, what will you become ill with. I’m not in the same situation now.

Mine are in my spine and if I fell badly there is absolutely no way that I could get home by myself as I’ve already had a fracture and would need expert care.

We all have to weigh up the risks and whether your mets are causing you problems.

Hi Diane

Insure Pink is an insurance company run by a lady who has had breast cancer herself. They do all sorts of insurance. I have just insured my house with them as very reasonable.

I have just been to Spain without insurance cover for bc but I knew I was taking a calculated risk. I reckoned that if I got ill bc connected (and it could happen to anyone…whether with primary bc or secondary bc…eg. falling, fracturing a bone caused by diagnosed or undiagnosed bone mets) then my EHIC card would cover me BUT I knew that if I was unlucky I might have to be hopsitalised home on a stretcher and that would cost…but took the risk (and had an incident free holiday)

I would probably do the same again in Europe though I do keep meaning to phone Miaonline (have regional recurrence and having chemo break and I think they are probably the only company who would give me reasonable quote right now) but would never travel outside EU without cover for bc.

I agree with pinkdove that its about weighing up risks. Remember its not just the medical treatment but costs of transporation home if you’re unable to take your booked flight (and anyone travelling with you would also not be covered for missing their flight).

I don’t think Insure Pink cover for people with mets.


Hi - Pinkdove and Jane…

I take all your very valid comments seriously on board. Guess I was speaking from my own perspective, which is perhaps wrong on here. I have had many problems with travel medical insurance because of Crohn’s and my experience has led me to believe, in my own case only, that I will not pay exorbitant costs for two concurrent diseases - bc is perhaps the least problem for me. I had a real problem in Florida a few years ago, staying with friends, before dx with bc, when I had a severe rectal haemorrhage, filled the toilet pan twice with red blood before I dared tell my hostess on New Year’s Eve when my husband and I and our friends had paid for an expensive pre-booked dinner. My friend rushed me to the nearest hospital, laying in the back of her cadillac on old towels. I spent two hours in the lavatory there oozing blood , my friend went up to the triage nurse, asked for her name and said: “If my friend dies here tonight I will hold you personally responsible.” And believe me, she would have sued. I was out of it, and all I remember is going into the examination room and the doctor sayng “We are losing her”. I spent some 5 days in the high dependancy unit, IV steroids and blood transfusions. My bp was 88 over 56. It cost 15,000 and took me some 9 months to get Gold Barclaycard and their underwriters to pay up. We had to stay with our friends for 2 months afterwards until I was fit enough to travel home. So, I do know how lucky I was to have such good friends, and whereof I speak.

Some 3 yrs later, when I was dx with bc I had already booked and paid for a flight to Tampa to stay with the same friends, as the husband was dx with stage IV lung and kidney cancer - had one of each removed and delighted to say he is still alive …both Last and British Airways refused to refund my flight costs. Another 9 month debacle, but ill as I was, I would not let them get away scot free. I had paid for my flight in good faith in Oct 2002, got expensive insurance cover for Crohn’s and didn’t know I had bc until Jan 2003. . They both refused to refund my £650 flight cost. Well, I got very cross, found out the name of the Chief Executive of British Airways and told him I would go to the media in 7 days if I did not get a refund. His personal assistant gave me the run around…but to cut a long 9 month hassle short, I got a cheque from BA with total refund. Unbelievably, on my next credit card statement I also got the refund from Last com. True justice, when I was so very ill with chemo and Crohn’s. To paraphrase the L’Oreal ad: “I deserved it”. My lovely, gentle giant of a husband, a scientist so not attuned to my particular wavelength, is completely perplexed by me, a little 5’2" gal who weighs all of 7 stones at the moment (big problems with Arimidex), but said to some friends recently: “You do not mess with Liz…not even British Airways could cope .”

I don’t thankfully have mets, but do have osteo-arthritis and had two bone fractures in both feet last year, so am aware of contributory factors that can affect my overall health. I now figure, I am going to travel to see my friends in the US, my Crohn’s is under control through weekly chemo, and am NED with bc. I refuse to become a victim of either disease, and thankfully, have enough assets to repatriate me to the UK whatever happens. I am not going to give hard earned cash to these iniquitious, greedy insurance companies any more and am thankful we saved enough to support us in our retirement.

Sorry to go on at length, but I am really very cynical about travel insurance and I am going to Florida in Jan 2009, with a recently widowed friend, and Spain in August 2008 for my husband’s 80th, without private medial insurance and will deal with whatever happens. I know I am fortunate that we can cope financially with whatever happens, and do empathise with those than cannot. But, I am 63 yrs old and there are no pockets in shrouds.

Gosh it is so late, am very tired, but am passionate about this ridiculous travel insurance situation for people with serious incurable diseases.

Hugs to all,.

I have ben reading all the posts and like the rst of you fed up with rediculous quoyes for travel insurance. Earlier this year AIS insured me to go to Dubai for £37 with a £300 surcharge if I claimed for anything realting to BC. I felt that was very reasonable. How many people have to claim for incidents relating to BC while on holiday? not as many as accisents, heart attacks and strokes I am sure. 2 weeks ago I asked for insurance to go to France and was quoted £800, when I asked about the change they informed me they had changed underwriters and hence the change. I contacted the Financial Ombudsman and the Association of British Insurers (who advosedme to contact Cancerbackup) it appears no one regulates what the underwriters charge, they only interveen if you have been mis-sold a policy. So they have carte blanche to charge what they want. I contacted Watchdo to see if they would investigate but so far have not had a reply. I would appear we are not interesting enough. Perhaps if we all contacted Watchdog they might listen. I don’t have a problem paying for insurance but I do object to being ripped off

Hi Liz

Like you I’m privileged enough to be able to pay a FEW thousand if things went pear shaped while on holiday without inusrance, but I coldn’t afford to pay MANY thousands as for example it would cost if things went really pear shaped in US.

And most people haven’t got a few thousand to spare anyway.

The whole capitalist insurance business is based on risk…and anyone with a life threatening illness as a pre existing condition is seen as risky as indeed in acturial terms we are. One annyoying thing is that over the 5 yeasr of my cancer I have seen promising insurance cos pop up, get publicity on sites like this…and invariably then changing underwriters or something and no longer offering good deals.

Theonly way we will get consistently reasonable premiums is if people without pre existing conditions will accept having to pay increased premiums.


Jane’s right - InsurePink will not cover those of us with mets unless we only have one site affected and haven’t been in treatment (chemo or rads) for the past 3 months.

Mills - try Miaonline, I’ve just got South of France for two weeks at £44.50 (and I’m still on chemo and not long finished another round of rads).

Liz - I agree with you that the insurance premiums are ridiculous and I feel that sometimes we’re being discriminated against but we don’t have a loud enough voice. Maybe this is something that either BCC or Macmillan could take forward?