2 This booklet is part of a series of booklets about financial issues and cancer. The other titles in the series are: Financial planning Housing costs Managing your money day to day Pensions Sorting out your affairs. To order any of these, visit be.macmillan.org.uk or call
3 About this booklet 1 About this booklet Insurance protects your finances when something unexpected happens. If you re affected by cancer, there are lots of reasons why thinking about insurance could be important for you. A cancer diagnosis can trigger a payout from health insurance policies (see page 23). It may be possible to take out money from a life insurance policy early (see pages 38 39). But cancer can also make it difficult to get insurance that meets your needs (see pages 12 13). Who is this booklet for? This booklet can help you if: you want to buy insurance and you re not sure how a cancer diagnosis will affect it you want to claim on a health or life insurance policy you have you have travel or car insurance and you re not sure if you need to tell your insurer you have cancer.
4 2 Insurance How to use this booklet This booklet explains the main types of insurance that can be affected by cancer, how each type of insurance works, how to buy it and how to make a claim. We cover: health insurance life insurance travel insurance car insurance. Don t feel that you need to read everything. Use the contents on page 5 to find the information that is most relevant to you. We ve used the symbols below to help certain information stand out. Differences across the UK This symbol shows where there are important differences between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Jargon buster We have explained some of the financial terms you might hear. Warning This symbol shows where there is very important information. Next steps A summary of what you could do next.
5 About this booklet 3 We ve tried to make the information in this booklet as straightforward as possible. But please call us on if you have any questions. We know that financial information can often be complicated and confusing. Hopefully the jargon busters throughout the booklet will help you make sense of any technical terms, and you ll understand more as you read through the booklet. Throughout the booklet, you ll find quotes from people affected by cancer who ve shared their experiences of buying and claiming insurance. There are also quotes from Macmillan s financial guides. They are specialist guides who you can call or . See the next page for more information. We hope that with the right information, you ll be able to get the help you need with your money worries. This information doesn t replace financial or other professional advice. For guidance about your own circumstances, please contact our financial guides on
6 4 Insurance How Macmillan can help Call the Macmillan Support Line on Our financial guides are available Monday Thursday, 9am 5pm, and 9am 4.30pm on Fridays. They can give you financial guidance about personal finance options, such as insurance, pensions, housing costs and tax. You can also speak to other helpline staff: Our welfare rights advisers can tell you about benefits and other financial support. We have energy advisers who can help you reduce your heating and electricity costs, and tell you about reduced-cost energy schemes. We can also give you information about Macmillan Grants (see page 64 for more details) and debt advice through our charity partner StepChange Debt Charity. For general support and advice from our cancer support specialists, the Macmillan Support Line is open Monday Friday, 9am 8pm. If you re hard of hearing, you can use textphone , or Text Relay. For non-english speakers, interpreters are available. For help with personal finance issues, you can also and use our interactive online financial guidance tool at finance.macmillan.org.uk
7 Contents 5 Contents Buying insurance 7 Health insurance 17 Life insurance 31 Travel insurance 41 Car insurance 53 Further information 59
8 As a family we knew this was what he wanted and we all agreed to rally around to help Joyce cope with his care Adrienne
9 Buying insurance What is insurance? 8 How insurance works 9 How cancer can affect buying insurance 12 Unfair discrimination 15
10 8 Insurance What is insurance? Insurance helps you protect yourself against risks and financial loss. For example: Health insurance may pay you money if you become ill and are not able to work. Life insurance may provide your family or spouse with money if you die. Travel insurance may pay for medical treatment if you have an accident while on holiday. Car insurance may pay for repairs if you have an accident. There are many different types of each kind of insurance. These protect you against different things. It is very important to understand what you are covered for and how much money you will receive if you need to claim.
11 Buying insurance 9 How insurance works The amount of money you pay for insurance is called the premium. Insurers set their premiums so they will have a big enough pool of money to pay out all the claims they get from customers, cover their costs and earn a profit. Insurers look at the information you give them. They use this to estimate how likely you are to claim. They also check how often other people in similar situations have claimed before. They then decide what premium to charge you. If the risk of you claiming on insurance looks higher than average, the insurer may do one of the following: They may charge you a higher premium than the standard rate. The insurance provider needs to make sure this increase is proportionate to the increased risk of you making a claim. They may apply an excess. This is the first part of the claim that is not covered by your insurance provider. You may need to pay a certain amount of money towards a claim or it may be deducted from the money you receive. If you choose a policy with a higher excess, the premium may be cheaper. They may apply exclusions. This is what isn t covered by the insurance provider. If you choose a policy with exclusions based on your medical history, make sure you understand which claims will and won t be paid. They may refuse to insure you at all.
12 10 Insurance Here are some possible examples of where a higher premium is charged or exclusion is applied: Your car insurance may increase if you have an accident. You may have to pay more for travel insurance if you want to go skiing. If you already have a chronic illness, health insurance providers may exclude this condition from the cover. See pages for details on how cancer can affect buying insurance. To assess the risk of you claiming, insurers will ask you questions. With health or life insurance, they may want to see your medical reports or ask you to have a medical examination. The insurer, not you, pays for medical reports and examinations. If you don t answer the questions fully and truthfully, the insurer may refuse to pay out if you make a claim later on. You don t have to agree to medical reports or examinations. But if the insurer doesn t have enough information to assess your application, they may refuse to cover you.
13 Buying insurance 11 The insurance market is competitive and premiums vary from one insurer to another. So it s important to shop around, especially if you have a medical condition. Insurers call this having a pre-existing medical condition. An insurance broker can help you compare deals from different companies. To find an insurance broker, contact the British Insurance Brokers Association (see page 65). JARGON BUSTER Premium What you pay for insurance. Excess The first part of a claim that isn t covered by your insurance provider. For example, if you have a successful claim for 750 and an excess of 500, the insurer will pay you 250. Exclusion Something that s specifically not covered by the insurance, so there s no payout if it happens. Pre-existing medical condition A health condition you have at the time you take out an insurance policy or have had in recent years.
14 12 Insurance How cancer can affect buying insurance If you ve had cancer or you re living with cancer, you can sometimes face higher premiums, special conditions or refusal when buying life insurance and some types of health insurance. This includes policies that have a health insurance element, such as travel insurance. Does cancer affect all forms of insurance? You shouldn t have problems getting insurance unrelated to health, for example, home insurance. If you do, contact our financial guides on for information about making a complaint. Family members Your close relatives (children, brothers and sisters) may also find it hard to get life and health insurance on standard terms. This is because, in a small number of cases, people whose close relatives have had cancer may be at a higher than average risk of getting the same cancer. It may also affect your close relatives travel insurance if you are receiving or waiting for hospital treatment or have a terminal condition. See page 43 for more information on how cancer can affect travel insurance.
15 Buying insurance 13 Being prepared for questions When talking to insurers, you may be asked some difficult or upsetting questions about your health, for example about the likely outcome of your cancer (prognosis). Unfortunately, not all insurers are sensitive to the needs of people affected by cancer. Depending on how you feel about talking about your cancer, you may want to contact only a couple of companies at a time. Alternatively, you could contact an insurance broker who will do the research for you.
17 Buying insurance 15 Unfair discrimination Cancer is classed as a disability under the Equality Act 2010 (England, Scotland and Wales) and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (Northern Ireland). These acts make it illegal to treat people less favourably because of a disability, but there is an exception for insurance. An insurer can treat a person with a disability differently if the disability increases the risk of claiming, but only if: the assessment of your risk of claiming is based on relevant information the information is from a source that s reasonable to rely on, such as statistical data or medical reports the way the insurer treats the person is reasonable, given the information available. If challenged, the insurer will have to provide evidence to show that it has met these conditions. NEXT STEPS For information and help about unfair discrimination because of cancer, you can contact the Equality Advisory Support Service (England, Scotland and Wales) or the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland see pages for contact details.
18 You might be worried about making a claim on an insurance policy or financial jargon around insurance policies. If you have any questions about your insurance policies, why not give us a call? Craig, Macmillan financial guide
19 Health insurance 17 Health insurance Types of health insurance 18 Buying health insurance 20 How cancer can affect buying health insurance 22 Claiming on health insurance 23
20 18 Insurance Types of health insurance There are different types of health insurance, including: Mortgage payment protection insurance (MPPI) This pays your monthly mortgage payments (and sometimes a bit extra) if you re unable to work. Depending on the policy, this type of insurance may cover you because of illness, an accident, unemployment or all three. It usually only pays out for a maximum of 1 2 years. You usually need to keep on paying the premiums for your cover while you are ill. See page 24 for information on making a claim. Critical illness cover This pays out a single lump sum if you re diagnosed with a life-threatening health condition such as a heart attack, a stroke, some types of cancer or kidney failure. It also pays out if you become totally and permanently disabled. See page 25 for information on making a critical illness claim. Income protection insurance This pays out a monthly income if you can t work because of illness or disability. Most policies pay out until you either recover or reach retirement age. Some pay out for a maximum term, for example, five years. See page 26 for information on making an income protection claim.
21 Health insurance 19 Payment protection insurance (PPI) This pays out a sum of money to help cover your monthly repayments on loans, credit/store cards or catalogue shopping payments. See page 27 for information on making a claim. Private medical insurance This pays back the cost of private treatment for acute medical conditions that start after your policy begins. An acute condition is one that s likely to respond quickly to treatment or one that you re likely to fully recover from. See page 28 for information on making a claim on private medical insurance. Waiver of premium benefit This is an option or a separate policy that you may have with a life insurance policy or a pension plan. The waiver pays your insurance premiums if you can t work because of illness or disability. Depending on the policy, this may continue until you return to work, the end of the insurance policy term, a set age or a set date. With all these types of insurance, the likelihood of making a claim tends to increase if you already have a pre-existing medical condition such as cancer. This could make it harder or more expensive to get cover if you don t already have it.
22 20 Insurance Buying health insurance Insurers can arrange your insurance in two different ways: Moratorium underwriting This is a method some insurers use to help you get cover in the future for a health condition you re recovering from. MPPI (see page 18), other loan protection insurance, short-term income protection and some private medical insurance typically use moratorium underwriting. The policy excludes any claims related to health conditions you have or have had recently at the time you take out the policy. The exclusion lasts for the first year or two of the policy (the moratorium period ). If a claim is made after that time, the health condition is covered provided there are no further symptoms, medical advice or treatment during the moratorium period. Full medical underwriting This is a process an insurer uses to assess the likelihood of you making a claim against insurance you take out. Income protection insurance, critical illness cover and some private medical insurance usually use full medical underwriting. The insurer may ask for information about your health, your lifestyle and the health of close relatives. They may do this through questions and medical reports. Based on the assessment, the insurer decides whether to offer you cover, what premium to charge you and any other special terms or restrictions to include.
23 Health insurance 21 Health conditions that develop after you ve taken out a policy don t usually affect your premium or cover, providing you don t change policy. But they may affect the terms you re offered if you wanted to switch to a different policy. Some employers arrange health insurance for their employees on a group basis. This may be private medical insurance or income protection insurance. Cover is often provided up to a set amount for employees who have joined the scheme, regardless of any health conditions they may already have. Contact your personnel or human resources (HR) department at work to find out whether your employer offers any group health insurance schemes that you can join.
24 22 Insurance How cancer can affect buying health insurance If you ve had cancer or are living with cancer, you usually can t get any health insurance cover for claims related to the cancer. In some cases, you may be refused health insurance because of your cancer. Insurers can also ask questions about the health of family members. This is because people whose close relatives (for example, parents, brothers and sisters) have had cancer may, in a small number of cases, be at a higher risk of getting the same cancer. It s possible to have genetic tests to check whether you re at a high risk of getting some types of cancer. There are two types of test: Diagnostic tests These are carried out when you already have symptoms Predictive tests These aim to assess the likelihood of you developing a condition. You ll usually have to tell the insurer about any diagnostic tests that you re having. Insurers can t usually ask for or use the results of predictive tests. If you have a family history of cancer but have had a favourable genetic test result, you may want to tell the insurer about it. If you don t have any other health issues, you could get cover on standard terms.
25 Health insurance 23 Claiming on health insurance If you ve been diagnosed with cancer or you re off work because of it, you may be able to claim against any health insurance policies you already have. You should claim as soon as possible because there will usually be a time limit (for example, six months). After this time, you won t be able to claim. Before paying out on a claim, the insurer will make careful checks to make sure the claim is valid. This is likely to include getting medical reports from your GP and cancer specialist. You may be asked to have a medical examination with another doctor. Paying out on a claim will usually take several weeks. Income and lump-sum insurance payouts may also affect your entitlement to state benefits. Check the policy documents for details of how to make a claim. If you used an insurance broker or financial adviser when you took out the policy, they should be able to help you claim.
26 24 Insurance Mortgage payment protection insurance claims If you re diagnosed with cancer and have a mortgage, you may have mortgage payment protection insurance (MPPI). This should cover your mortgage payments if you re signed off sick from work. You should make the claim as soon as possible, as the payout usually starts after a waiting period of around 30 days. With some policies, payments are backdated to the start of the period you re off work. The payout should cover the whole mortgage payment and may provide a small amount of cash to help with bills as well. MPPI provides useful temporary help but usually pays out for a maximum of 12 months. It s important to keep up the mortgage payments after that time to avoid any risk of losing your home. Some policies need you to keep paying the premiums while you are making a claim. You should check your policy documents. If you re struggling with money problems, you may find our booklet Managing your money day to day helpful. People who have a low income and get certain benefits may also be eligible for support with paying mortgage interest. Visit gov.uk/support-for-mortgage-interest or nidirect.gov. uk/getting-help-to-make-your-mortgage-interest-payments if you live in Northern Ireland.
27 Health insurance 25 Critical illness cover claims Critical illness cover pays out a tax-free lump sum. It may have been taken out as a stand-alone policy or combined with life insurance. The payout can be used for any purpose for example, to pay off your mortgage, to pay bills during a period off work, cover private treatment costs in the UK or abroad, or pay for a holiday. A cancer diagnosis doesn t necessarily trigger a payout. Check the wording of a critical illness policy to see which cancers are covered. If the wording is unclear, contact the insurer. I spoke to the insurance company today and was informed our critical illness cover will be paid in full in the next five days. I know money isn t everything, but at least I know now my wife and children will have a house that is paid for and enough in the bank to live on if, God forbid, anything did happen for the worse. I m so glad I spoke to people and claimed. Simon
28 26 Insurance JARGON BUSTER Waiting period A delay between the start of an illness and the start of the payout from an insurance policy. Acute condition A health condition that is sudden and can be substantially relieved or cured through treatment. Chronic condition A health condition that continues over a long period or periodically comes back. Income protection insurance claims Income protection insurance pays out a monthly income if you re unable to work because of illness or disability. You will have chosen the level of income at the time you started the insurance and hopefully it will be enough for you to pay your bills and carry on with a reasonable lifestyle. You ll also have chosen a waiting period before the payments start, which may be from four weeks to up to two years. The insurance usually carries on paying out until you either return to work or reach retirement age, whichever comes first. But some policies pay out only for a maximum term. This could be five years, for example, or less for short-term income protection policies.
29 Health insurance 27 While you are receiving payments, your claim will be regularly reviewed by the insurer for new medical evidence that may show a change in your situation. The payments may stop if you are considered able to return to work. You should let the insurer know if you change your occupation or move home after buying income protection insurance. If you don t, there s a chance your claim will be refused. Some policies also need you to keep paying the premiums while you are making a claim. You should check your policy documents. Payment protection insurance claims If you re diagnosed with cancer and have a personal loan or credit card, you may have payment protection insurance (PPI). This should cover your loan or card repayments if you re signed off sick from work. You should make the claim as soon as possible. Usually, the payout only starts after a waiting period of around days. With some policies, payments are backdated to the start of the period off work. PPI pays out for a maximum of 12 or 24 months. PPI has been widely mis-sold in the past. If your claim is turned down and you feel that it wasn t made clear to you when you took out the insurance that claims like yours wouldn t be covered, you should consider making a complaint as you may be eligible for compensation. Many people have used a claims management company to complain and seek compensation on their behalf. Be aware that these companies will take a percentage of any compensation you are awarded. For more information about making a complaint, contact our financial guides on
30 28 Insurance Private medical insurance claims If you have private medical insurance (PMI) either your own policy or cover through work it may reimburse the cost of some or all private treatment for cancer. PMI is designed to cover acute medical conditions but not chronic ones. There can be confusion about when cancer counts as acute or chronic see page 26. Macmillan Cancer Support worked with the Association of British Insurers (ABI) to make sure PMI insurers have a separate section that explains the cover for cancer using agreed examples. You ll need to check the wording of the policy and it may be helpful to discuss it with the insurer. You must get the insurer s approval for any course of treatment before it goes ahead, otherwise the insurer may refuse to pay. There may be arrangements for the insurer to pay the bills directly. Alternatively, you ll need to pay first, then collect receipts and claim refunds. For income protection insurance or private medical insurance provided through work, contact your personnel or human resources (HR) department for guidance on making a claim.
31 Health insurance 29 NEXT STEPS For guidance about finding suitable health-related insurance, contact our financial guides on Check with your HR department at work and your mortgage provider if you are covered by any form of health insurance. To find out more about genetic tests, visit the website of the Association of British Insurers (abi.org.uk) and search for genetic testing.
33 Life insurance Types of life insurance 32 Buying life insurance 35 How cancer can affect buying life insurance 37 Getting money early from life insurance 38
34 32 Insurance Types of life insurance There are four main types of life insurance: Level term insurance pays out a lump sum if you die within a set time period. This lump sum amount was agreed when you were setting up the policy, and it does not change. Decreasing term insurance is often taken out with repayment mortgages. The amount you are covered for decreases in line with the amount of mortgage you owe. Endowment insurance pays out a lump sum if you die within a set time period. If you do not die within the term, it pays out at the end of the term. So this type of life insurance builds up an investment value. You will have taken out this type of insurance in the past if you ve had an endowment mortgage (where you only pay the interest to the mortgage lender and the rest is invested in a life insurance policy). Some endowment policies will pay if you are diagnosed with a critical illness. Whole life insurance builds up in value and pays out on death. It can be used as an investment, for protection, or both. I sadly didn t have life or critical illness insurance, which I now regret as I was entitled to nothing. If I had had it, my mortgage would have been paid during treatment. Laura
35 Life insurance 33 Death-in-service benefit Many employers also offer life cover to employees. Cover is usually available to every employee up to a set limit, whatever their state of health. Speak to your HR department at work to find out more. Many employers offer a type of life insurance called death-in-service benefit. Death in service benefit guarantees a lump-sum payout if you die while working for that employer. You can usually choose who you would want this payment to go to (your beneficiaries). However, sometimes death-in-service payouts go into a discretionary trust, which means you cannot choose exactly who will benefit. If you consider giving up your work due to ill health, check with your employer what would happen to any life insurance cover they provide. Over-50s plans Over-50s plans are designed to pay a lump sum of money into your estate when you die. They re mainly intended for anyone aged who doesn t already have a life insurance policy. People with life insurance can still buy over-50s plans and may choose to if they are saving for a particular purpose (such as paying for a funeral) and want to keep this separate from their life insurance. Over-50s plans don t require medical underwriting. This means your health won t be taken into account when you are applying for the policy. The payout also isn t affected if you are in poor health when you take out the policy. For these reasons, over-50s plans can be suitable for people with existing health problems.
36 34 Insurance The monthly payments are usually an affordable amount, but the final payout is generally modest. If you live for many years after you take out the plan, you may end up paying in much more money than is paid out when you die. If you die within two years of starting an over-50s plan, there may not necessarily be a full pay-out. But there may be a refund of the money that had been paid into the plan. Some people prefer to pay for their own funeral using a pre-paid funeral plan. These may be better value for money, but you need to make sure you ask: Does the plan cover all the costs of the funeral? What happens if the funeral home goes out of business? What happens if you die while overseas? JARGON BUSTER Underwriting The process where insurance companies look at your details to decide whether or not to insure you, and what the terms of that insurance should be.
37 Life insurance 35 Buying life insurance The two main reasons people may buy life insurance are to: Pay off large debts, such as a mortgage to protect your house for your spouse or family. Provide an income to your spouse or family after you die. You will normally pay monthly payments called premiums. The premiums are set at the time you start the policy and take into account your state of health at that time. If there is a change in health after the policy has started, it doesn t affect the premiums for an existing policy. However, it will affect the premiums for any new policy. If you re paying regular premiums for the policy (each month, for example), the insurance continues for as long as you keep paying the premiums. If you stop paying, the cover stops unless you have a waiver of premium benefit (see page 19). Mortgage providers often try to sell life cover when mortgages are taken out. You don t need to buy life insurance from them, so you can shop around to find the best insurance for you. It s always a good idea to contact your mortgage provider to check whether you have any life insurance included in your mortgage repayments.
38 36 Insurance Many employers offer life cover to employees on a group basis. Usually, cover is available to every employee up to a set limit, regardless of their state of health. Contact your personnel or human resources (HR) department at work to find out whether your employer offers a group life insurance scheme that you can join. Putting a policy in trust When you die, there may be inheritance tax to pay on your estate. Your estate is everything you own at the time of death, minus anything you owe. Normally, everything you own would include any payout from a life insurance policy, but you can arrange to have most life policies written in trust. This means that instead of the payout forming part of your estate, it goes directly to whoever you nominate for example, your partner or children. As well as possibly reducing tax, writing a policy in trust ensures your survivors get the payout quickly instead of having to wait until your estate is sorted out, which could take months or even years. Ask the insurer about putting a life policy in trust. Usually, there is no extra charge for doing this.
39 Life insurance 37 How cancer can affect buying life insurance If you ve had cancer or you re living with cancer, you will usually be offered an above-average premium or be refused cover altogether. Cover with an exclusion for cancer-related claims would be very unusual. Whether or not you can get life cover, and on what terms, will depend on the type of cancer you have and the stage it is at. The insurer will want a medical report and may ask you to have a medical examination. Some brokers specialise in arranging life cover if you have existing health problems. However, it s difficult to predict whether a company will provide cover, because the decision will depend on your personal situation.
40 38 Insurance Getting money early from life insurance Cashing in an investment policy Some types of life insurance are investments and can be cashed in early. But the cash-in value may be low, especially in the early years of a policy. Selling a life insurance policy An alternative to cashing in a life insurance policy is to sell it through a specialist firm to someone else in return for cash immediately. The buyer takes over paying the premiums and receives the eventual payout from the policy. For tips about these options, contact our financial guides on We can help with the claims process. We can also help to identify policies you may have through work, for example, or help you if you want to buy insurance but are finding it difficult because you have cancer. Craig, Macmillan financial guide
41 Life insurance 39 Cashing in a protection policy Some life insurance policies include an extra benefit called terminal illness benefit. This means the insurer will pay out the full amount of the insurance cover immediately if you re expected to live for less than 12 months. You keep the payout even if you live for longer. The money can be used for any purpose. You can check the life insurance policy to see whether terminal illness benefit is included. If you cash in or sell your life insurance policy, it won t pay out to your beneficiaries when you die. You may want to think about how they would manage financially before making a decision. NEXT STEPS For guidance about finding suitable life insurance, contact our financial guides on Contact your HR department to check whether you are included in a life insurance policy or if you can join one. Contact your mortgage provider to check whether you are covered by life insurance.
43 Travel insurance What does travel insurance cover? 42 How cancer can affect buying travel insurance 43 Buying travel insurance 44 European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) 49 Travel insurance recommendations 50 If you have an insurance policy when diagnosed 51
44 42 Insurance What does travel insurance cover? Travel insurance is designed to cover unexpected events that may happen before or while you re on a holiday or other type of trip. These are the main areas covered by a travel insurance policy: Medical expenses This covers the cost of emergency treatment while abroad, including ambulances and getting you back home (with a medical escort, if necessary). Cancellation This refunds you if you have to cancel or cut your trip short due to illness, for example. Personal liability This covers compensation you have to pay if you accidentally injure someone or damage their property. Baggage This pays out if your belongings are lost or stolen. You don t have to take out travel insurance, but if you go abroad without it, you risk having to pay medical costs if you become ill, which could be thousands of pounds. If you injure someone, this could cost millions of pounds. You can take out a new policy each time you travel, called single trip insurance, or you can take out an annual policy to cover all of the trips you make during a year.
45 Travel insurance 43 How cancer can affect buying travel insurance When you already have a health problem before buying travel insurance, travel insurance companies call this a pre-existing condition. When buying travel insurance, you need to check whether the policy will cover claims arising from any pre-existing medical conditions. Some insurance companies will simply choose to exclude all cover for any pre-existing medical conditions, while some may exclude any medical claims arising from certain pre-existing conditions. I notified my travel insurance company that I had cancer and they put an exemption clause in the policy. My insurance still covers me for skiing and backpacking travel all the normal accident scenarios. But not anything related to my disease. Alan
46 44 Insurance Buying travel insurance If you re living with cancer, you should check with your doctor or other healthcare professional that you re fit to travel. However, this doesn t guarantee you ll get insurance to cover your cancer. If you have or have had cancer, you ll need to tell the insurer about it if the policy requires you to declare pre-existing medical conditions. The cost of travel insurance was high immediately after I finished my treatment but three years on I found that the premium was only slightly higher than with no pre-existing medical condition. Christine There are lots of travel insurance policies available that cover claims arising from pre-existing medical conditions, as long as those conditions have been declared to the insurance company and have been accepted by the company in writing. You will usually have to pay extra to cover claims arising from the cancer. This is because the likelihood of you claiming for medical expenses or cancellation is increased.
47 Travel insurance 45 Alternatively, claims related to the cancer may be excluded. The insurer may also insist on other conditions, such as putting you and your travelling companions all on the same policy. They may also specify a minimum gap for example, four weeks between the end of cancer treatment and the start of a trip. Be prepared for questions Always make sure you know what you need to tell the insurer, and what is and isn t covered before you take out insurance so you re sure the policy will meet your needs. If you re not sure, ask your insurance company or broker. If you re advised to declare any pre-existing medical conditions, you must answer any question you re asked as fully and as accurately as you can, to the best of your knowledge and belief. If you don t, your insurer may refuse to pay your claim and could cancel your policy. There may be situations where your health or prescribed medication changes between the time you take out the policy and the time you book or depart on any trip. Most insurers require you to tell them any new information about your health or tests being carried out during this time. If you re affected by cancer, you may feel that medical cover isn t important because you would wait until you got back home before seeking medical advice or treatment. But insurance is about covering the unexpected. In particular, it covers emergency treatment and getting you fit enough to travel back to the UK. It also covers the extra costs of flying you home if you have to travel by air ambulance, on a stretcher or with medical equipment.
48 46 Insurance JARGON BUSTER Pre-existing condition A health problem you already have when you come to buy travel insurance. Premium The amount of money you need to pay for the travel insurance policy. Excess The amount you will need to pay towards any successful claim you make on a travel insurance policy. It may be deducted from the payout you receive or you may need to pay it directly to the company before the claim is approved.
49 Travel insurance 47 Family members You also need to tell the insurer about the health of someone close to you if it may affect your trip. For example, if a close relative (such as your partner, parent, child, brother or sister) or a business partner has cancer, there s a risk your trip may have to be cancelled or cut short because of their health. Often, there are no specific questions on the application form about close relatives health, but you normally have to indicate that you ve read the policy terms and conditions. These may state that claims will not be covered if you or any person whose condition may give rise to a claim are receiving or waiting for hospital treatment or have a terminal condition. You must tell the insurer of any change in your own condition, or that of a close relative, between taking out the insurance and travelling, if you re required to.
51 Travel insurance 49 European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) The EHIC is available to all people who are ordinarily resident in the UK. This is someone who normally lives in the UK, apart from temporary or occasional absences. You don t need to have a British nationality to be ordinarily resident in the UK. The EHIC entitles you to access emergency healthcare in some countries either free of charge or at a reduced cost. It covers the European Economic Area (the countries of the European Union and Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein) and Switzerland. It s a reciprocal arrangement between governments, not a commercial policy with an insurer. You can only access state-provided healthcare. There are no exclusions for pre-existing medical conditions. Some travel insurers insist you carry an EHIC so that your insurance builds on the emergency cover the EHIC provides. The EHIC isn t a substitute for travel insurance. The EHIC doesn t cover the cost of medical treatment in private clinics or hospitals. It also doesn t cover ambulances, getting you back to the UK or non-medical things such as personal liability and cancellation cover. Also, few European Union countries will pay the full cost of medical treatment. It s therefore important to have both an EHIC and appropriate travel insurance before you travel. EHICs last for up to five years at a time, so don t forget to renew your card in time for any trips. An EHIC is free. You can apply online at ehic.org.uk or call Be careful not to apply through unofficial websites, as these usually charge you to order an EHIC.
52 50 Insurance Travel insurance recommendations Travel insurance is one of the most widely discussed topics on the Macmillan online community. By reading the conversations happening there, you can find out which providers people are recommending. You do not have to join the community to read what people are saying. We have set up a conversation on the online community at tinyurl.com/travelrecommendations This is where we encourage you to share your experiences of getting travel insurance and to recommend companies. We also have a booklet called Getting travel insurance, which we can send you for free. It has general information about getting travel insurance and includes tips about finding travel insurance providers that may be able to cover you. It does not include details of particular travel insurance providers. If you have problems buying or claiming on travel insurance, contact our financial guides on for information and support.
53 Travel insurance 51 If you have an insurance policy when diagnosed You should tell the insurance provider if there are any health changes between taking out the insurance and travelling. If you have an annual travel insurance policy and you are diagnosed with cancer during the period of your cover, you should tell your insurer. This also applies to your family members if there is a risk they may have to cancel a holiday due to your health. If you give all this information to your insurance provider in advance, you should normally be covered if you decide to cancel the trip. Or they may increase the premium to cover you for the cancer diagnosis. This depends on the provider and the policy. Ask the provider as early as possible about this. NEXT STEPS Visit Macmillan s online community at tinyurl.com/ travelrecommendations to see travel insurance recommendations from people affected by cancer. For guidance about finding suitable travel insurance, contact our financial guides on
55 Car insurance How cancer can affect buying car insurance 54 Do I need to contact the DVLA or DVA? 55 Car insurance policies 57
56 54 Insurance How cancer can affect buying car insurance Differences across the UK Driving licences are issued by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in England, Scotland and Wales, and the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) in Northern Ireland. Your car insurance should only be affected if the cancer makes it more difficult or risky for you to drive. If the DVLA or DVA has provided you with a driving licence, you should normally be offered car insurance on standard terms. If the cancer may affect your ability to drive, the DVLA or DVA may decide to restrict your driving licence so that you can only drive certain vehicles. You may need to adapt your vehicle to meet your needs. You should tell your insurance provider of any adaptations you make to your car straight away. If you don t, you may not be covered if you need to make a claim. Adaptations to your car could make it more expensive for the insurance company to repair your car. If this is the case, the cost of your car insurance may increase.
57 Car insurance 55 Do I need to contact the DVLA or DVA? The DVLA The DVLA says that you only need to tell them you have cancer if: you have, or develop, any problems with your brain or nervous system your doctor is concerned about your ability to drive safely you re restricted to certain types of vehicles or vehicles that have been adapted for you your medication causes side effects that are likely to affect safe driving. Visit gov.uk/cancer-and-driving to find out more. To tell the DVLA about a health condition, call You can also send an from the website at gov.uk/contact-the-dvla You can be fined up to 1,000 if you don t tell the DVLA about a condition that affects your driving. The DVA The DVA says you only need to tell them you have had cancer if you have had treatment in the past five years for any of these: lung cancer melanoma non-hodgkins lymphoma.
58 56 Insurance You can tell the DVA about a medical condition by calling or ing If you have or develop any problems that may affect your driving, you will need to tell the DVLA or DVA. They will decide whether you are medically fit to drive. For information about adapted vehicles, motorised scooters and powered wheelchairs, contact the Forum of Mobility Centres at mobility-centres.org.uk or call
59 Car insurance 57 Car insurance policies It is a good idea to check your car insurance policy as some insurers may request you tell them if you are diagnosed with cancer. If you don't, you may have trouble making a claim later. NEXT STEPS Ask your doctor if you are fit to drive. Check your car insurance policy to see whether you need to tell them about a diagnosis. For guidance about finding suitable travel insurance or advice about contacting the DVLA, contact our financial guides on
61 Further information About our information 60 Other ways we can help you 62 Other useful organisations 65
62 60 Insurance About our information We provide expert, up-to-date information about cancer. And all our information is free for everyone. Order what you need You may want to order more leaflets or booklets like this one. Visit be.macmillan.org.uk or call us on We have booklets on different cancer types, treatments and side effects. We also have information about work, financial issues, diet, life after cancer and information for carers, family and friends. All of our information is also available online at macmillan. org.uk/cancerinformation There you ll also find videos featuring real-life stories from people affected by cancer, and information from health and social care professionals. Other formats We also provide information in different languages and formats, including: audiobooks Braille British Sign Language Easy Read booklets ebooks large print translations. Find out more at macmillan. org.uk/otherformats If you d like us to produce information in a different format for you, us at macmillan.org.uk or call us on
63 Further information 61 Help us improve our information We know that the people who use our information are the real experts. That s why we always involve them in our work. If you ve been affected by cancer, you can help us improve our information. We give you the chance to comment on a variety of information including booklets, leaflets and fact sheets. If you d like to hear more about becoming a reviewer, org.uk You can get involved from home whenever you like, and we don t ask for any special skills just an interest in our cancer information.
64 62 Insurance Other ways we can help you At Macmillan, we know how a cancer diagnosis can affect everything, and we re here to support you. No one should face cancer alone. Talk to us If you or someone you know is affected by cancer, talking about how you feel and sharing your concerns can really help. Macmillan Support Line Our free, confidential phone line is open Monday Friday, 9am 8pm. Our cancer support specialists can: help with any medical questions you have about your cancer or treatment help you access benefits and give you financial advice be there to listen if you need someone to talk to tell you about services that can help you in your area. Call us on or us via our website, macmillan.org.uk/talktous Information centres Our information and support centres are based in hospitals, libraries and mobile centres. There, you can speak with someone face to face. Visit one to get the information you need, or if you d like a private chat, most centres have a room where you can speak with someone alone and in confidence. Find your nearest centre at macmillan.org.uk/ informationcentres or call us on
65 Further information 63 Talk to others No one knows more about the impact cancer can have on your life than those who have been through it themselves. That s why we help to bring people together in their communities and online. Support groups Whether you are someone living with cancer or a carer, we can help you find support in your local area, so you can speak face to face with people who understand. Find out about support groups in your area by calling us or by visiting macmillan.org.uk/ selfhelpandsupport Online community Thousands of people use our online community to make friends, blog about their experiences and join groups to meet other people going through the same things. You can access it any time of day or night. Share your experiences, ask questions, or just read through people s posts at macmillan.org.uk/ community The Macmillan healthcare team Our nurses, doctors and other health and social care professionals give expert care and support to individuals and their families. Call us or ask your GP, consultant, district nurse or hospital ward sister if there are any Macmillan professionals near you. Everyone is so supportive on the online community, they know exactly what you re going through. It can be fun too. It s not all just chats about cancer. Mal
66 64 Insurance Help with money worries Having cancer can bring extra costs such as hospital parking, travel fares and higher heating bills. If you ve been affected in this way, we can help. Financial advice Our financial guidance team can give you advice on mortgages, pensions, insurance, borrowing and savings. Help accessing benefits Our benefits advisers can offer advice and information on benefits, tax credits, grants and loans. They can help you work out what financial help you could be entitled to. They can also help you complete your forms and apply for benefits. Macmillan Grants Macmillan offers one-off payments to people with cancer. A grant can be for anything from heating bills or extra clothing to a much-needed break. Call us on to speak to a financial guide or benefits adviser, or to find out more about Macmillan Grants. We can also tell you about benefits advisers in your area. Visit macmillan.org.uk/ financialsupport to find out more about how we can help you with your finances. Help with work and cancer Whether you re an employee, a carer, an employer or are self-employed, we can provide support and information to help you manage cancer at work. Visit macmillan.org.uk/work Macmillan s My Organiser app This free mobile app can help you manage your treatment, from appointment times and contact details, to reminders for when to take your medication. Search My Organiser on the Apple App Store or Google Play on your phone.
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