travel insurance trouble

As you may (or may not) know, Zsolt and I have decided to get away. Where to? Portugal. Not for long, just a short break – the Ryan Air ticket was so inexpensive that we jumped on the opportunity for a reasonably priced vacation. I’ve heard rumour that the weather is above 20 degrees and sunny (drool) in Faro, which means for the next few days I’ll be sprawled across a beach towel and soaking the vitamin D.

Anyhow, jump back to last night. What’s an essential when travelling abroad? Finger on nose if you’ve guessed it: travel insurance is essential.

When comparing prices we generally go to moneysupermarket.com. I’m not positive they’re the best, but their advertising is hilarious – good marketing wins again. With their search engine narrowed to ‘travel insurance’, the enter button is pushed and a long list of options appear on the screen.  Hmm, cheap.

The EU has this scheme established where you can go into another EU member country and have access to their medical assistance in an emergency. There are limitations, but in general if you fall and scrape your knee – and  you’re an EU resident – you won’t need to pay 100$ for a bandage. However, what is covered varies country to  country, which is why buying travel insurance is smart.

Which takes me back to moneysupermarket.com  – £6 for two person coverage sounded almost too good to be true. And guess what? It was.  Okay okay, for £6 (about 9.50 Canadian bucks) you cannot expect too much from an insurer. . . but I wasn’t  quite ready for the shut down they delivered.

Looking over the policies and conditions I ‘CNTRL+F’ed  (aka searched) “cancer” and found nothing. Then I ‘CNTRL+F’ed “illness” and found lots. Essentially most insures state they won’t cover any medical costs arising from an existing illness. Fair enough. It’s not as though my boob(s) are about to explode, so no worries on my end about the existing illness.

Onwards. Click “purchase” and proceed to the next screen.

This is where the brick wall showed up. Essentially, the medical screening consists of a question along the lines of “have you or anyone being covered by this insurance have or ever had any of the following,” and of course – of course, there was cancer. It’s not like they cared what type of cancer, or whether it’s gone, or in recession, or appeared once and then disappeared forever . . .they don’t care. It’s just: tick this box if you’ve ever had it.

So I ticked the box.

And of course was denied insurance.

Anyhow. I became a steaming kettle of indignation. Like I said, my breasts are not going to explode because last year I had cancer. Right, my lymph nodes are gone – so maybe there is a risk of lympodemia . . . but the question didn’t ask about lymphodemia, it asked about cancer.

Grumble grumble.

That’s when I gave up on the hunt for cheap insurance and went digging through my breast cancer information. There is a company called ‘insurepink’  who cover those diagnosed with non-terminal cancers (specifically aimed at breast cancer) – it was still more expensive than what moneysupermarket.com offered, but I suppose that’s to account for my pre-existing medical condition.

Even on this site I had to answer about 25 questions about my condition, but at least they bothered to ask the specifics rather than apply a blanket policy of exclusion.

Funny . . . imagine being cancer-free for over 35 years, and you still need to tick that little box. Even when cancer is gone, it’s not totally gone.

So that was an interesting experience. Thank goodness for Insurepink. Righto – on a brighter note, time to fly away to warmer places. No more cancer thoughts for the rest of the week. Have a lovely start of April. See you soon.

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2 thoughts on “travel insurance trouble

  1. Catherine – thank you so much for this post! I’ll be traveling from the US to the UK in May (to celebrate my mother-in-law’s 80th birthday) and travel insurance was weighing on my mind. I had no idea that “InsurePink” existed! I just filed out their application and was approved. I was dreading the process and even considering risking the week without insurance. Big *MWAH* to you for sharing this info and allowing me some piece of mind.~ Teri

    • Teri, I’m so happy to hear that Insurepink gave you no hassles. It feels good, eh? My breast cancer nurse told me about the company, and I wonder whether there are more out there. So glad my post made your life a bit easier. 🙂

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