A cancer charity has revealed the ‘scandal’ of patients being denied valuable holiday break because they are unable to obtain affordable travel insurance due to their ‘misunderstood’ illness.
Southampton-based cancer charity Planets has described the situation preventing some patients from enjoying holidays as a necessary break from their treatment as a “scandal”.
The organization says a patient received a quote for £7,000 for insurance for a two-week trip to Canada and another patient received a quote for £1,000 for a stay in Spain.
Both of these patients have neuroendocrine tumors, called NETs, which are usually found in the pancreas, intestine, or lungs, but can also grow in other parts of the body and grow slowly, with many living with stable disease.
Neil Pearce, co-founder of the charity which helps patients with pancreatic, liver, colorectal, abdominal and neuroendocrine cancer, said other patients have been denied insurance because of their current illnesses or earlier.
He said: “The difficulty for cancer patients to obtain travel insurance or deal with inflated premiums is an outrage and something the industry needs to do something about as it is currently in the process of impose.
“For many people, the respite and morale that holidays with family or friends bring are invaluable to their lives, but we are in a perverse situation where very little effort is even made to establish the state in which there is a person.”
Planets has launched a petition calling on the travel insurance industry to review its procedures regarding access to affordable insurance for cancer patients and establish a model in consultation with cancer agencies and organizations charities.
Mr Pearce said: ‘I have written letters to insurance companies on behalf of patients in the past and I am sure many other specialists have done the same, but the lottery should not be left to the lottery. looking for a company that will accept a letter.
“Even then it may make little difference and therefore the options are limited.
“We call on the industry to address this issue and find a solution to ensure that cancer patients simply have fair access, as opposed to discrimination.”
Mr Pearce said that for some patients, such as those with NETs, the likelihood of emergencies was extremely rare and posed little risk to insurers.
He said: ‘No effort is being made to understand this as it is currently a ‘one size fits all’ approach where any utterance of the word cancer means a person will either be turned away or charged exorbitant fees and often unaffordable. ”
To sign the petition, visit: https://www.change.org/p/ensure-cancer-patients-are-able-to-access-affordable-travel-insurance