Insurance and cancer - Maggie's Centres

Insurance and cancer


Information from Maggie’s about insurance and cancer, links to useful websites, and ways that Maggie’s can help.

What is insurance?

Insurance is a form of protection. It’s a risk linked contract between insurer and ourselves. It provides peace of mind, and sometimes is a legal requirement. We take out insurance to cover a number of important life issues. It may be to protect our house, contents and mortgage.  Another important insurance that most of us take out covers motoring, our cars, and costs incurred in case of accident.  

Commonly, we take out insurance when we travel abroad, or to look after our families if we become ill, or die. Some people take out private health insurance, to help with hospital treatment, or care in private hospitals.

Insurance and cancer

Sorting out insurance can be more difficult during and after treatment for cancer.  

It is often thought that people will not be able to get insurance, once diagnosed with cancer.  However, it is possible, but you may have to 'shop around' and pay a larger premium.

If you know that you will need insurance cover (for example, travel insurance) start early and check that you meet the conditions of the policy.  Travel insurance can take a while to organise, but can help protect you against having to pay expensive medical bills. Be prepared for considerable questions, and prepare to provide supporting medical information. Many insurance companies will ask for permission to contact your consultant or GP.  There are several cancer websites (including Maggie’s) who have put together lists and information about travel insurance, and companies you can use. You can find out more information in our section on travel and cancer.

Motoring insurance can be affected by your cancer diagnosis, and how the cancer and treatments affect your ability to drive.  It’s important to let your insurer know of your cancer diagnosis, and follow medical advice regarding your ability to drive. You can find out more in our section on driving and cancer.

Life insurance will not be provided if you have a serious, life limiting illness.  However, for many cancers, life insurance may be provided, although the premiums will be high.  Generally, life insurance isn’t provided for 2 or 3 years following your recovery from cancer, but then it can be reviewed.  

Meanwhile, check through your current insurances. Notify them of your cancer diagnosis, so they are aware of the changes.  Insurance companies can refuse to pay any claims, even if they’re not cancer related, if you haven’t let them know.  If you already had critical illness cover, check with them, in case you can claim.

Where Maggie’s can help

There can be considerable financial considerations, when you are living with cancer, including insurance concerns.  Maggie’s have benefits advisors who can help guide you through your insurance rights and responsibilities. Our team of cancer support specialists can also provide information about travel and motor insurance concerns, signposting you to useful websites, as well as our online information.


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