Travel insurance when relative has terminal #cancer diagnosis

In about a month I have a fortnight booked off work, it’s my first break since March and I can’t wait. This year seems mad busy, one thing after another, shed load of work, real life and personal stuff. There have been a couple of weddings, a hen weekend and a forthcoming christening – all good fun, but when you travel for work during the week and are away at weekends, it sometimes feels like you’re on a conveyor belt – at least it does for me. So I can’t wait to get some time away. In March I spent a week cross-country skiing in Italy and was on a total high when I got back – you can read about it here.

So in theory the biggest challenge should be identifying what to do or where to go on holiday. Except life is never that simple. My current dilemma is what to do about travel insurance.

My Dad has a terminal cancer diagnosis, his health can change at any moment, he is currently fine having recovered from his latest infection, but I’m not sure what he’ll be like in a month’s time. So before I splash out on an exotic, far away, expensive holiday (and for once, yes, that is the type I’m hoping for) I need to get travel insurance – except Dad’s condition is pre-existing, I know he is terminally ill, so no policy I’ve yet found will cover me! I’m not so worried about coming back if Dad’s health were to deteriorate while I’m away –  my Dad is a pragmatist and he’d want me to have a holiday, blissfully unaware (I think) and I definitely feel like I need one. That said, if his health were to go downhill in the next four weeks I don’t think I could leave!

So I’m looking for an insurance policy that covers me to cancel up to the last minute – even though I know that it’s a possibility. I’m prepared to have to pay an extra premium for that (although in theory I shouldn’t need to – isn’t that the point of insurance) but as yet I can’t find any policy that matches it. I had a look on Macmillan’s site and instead found their Travel Insurance campaign – seemingly years after having had cancer, people are still discriminated against in travel insurance circles.

I’d really appreciate any ideas for where I can get a policy that might cover me. I’ve even gone with a totally awful blog post title in the hope that some real life insurance person might spot it – I’m hoping someone has an idea, rather than I just get inundated with spambot followers but we’ll see. What do you recommend oh wise ones?

7 thoughts on “Travel insurance when relative has terminal #cancer diagnosis

  1. Thanks for the post, it has been a long road for my cousin who has terminal cancer this year, and I was unsure as to where we stand when it comes to travelling to America for the trip of a life time. We were thinking of travelling by boat which will take 1 weeks sailing across to new york we will stay a week, then will come back on the third week, where would we stand on travel insurance in this case ? Thanks

    1. Hi Paul, sorry to hear that. No I never did. I could have got insurance for Dad, or indeed insurance for me if Dad was travelling with me, but none to cover me for any sudden changes while I was away. There is obviously a rather considerable gap in the market! That said that doesn’t really help you.

      My Dad died in November and I had concerns (to some extent) every time I went on holiday in the past five years, I probably didn’t really need to be worried most of the time. The way I rationalised it in the end is anyone could become ill very quickly, at any point, whether we know they have cancer or not. In the end it was very obvious that Dad was dying and his health declining and I think I would have known not to travel – in a way I can only recognise now. I suspect I needed those holidays a lot more than I realised! Hope you have a good trip, G

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