Charity Cancerbackup has said that the insurance industry is unfair in dealing with people suffering from cancer. Patients are being denied travel insurance or are being asked to pay higher premiums even when they can prove they are disease free.
A survey conducted by the charity found that 90 percent of cancer sufferers were being denied the insurance. But insurers say that it is not only cancer patients, but anyone with a pre-existing condition is treated the same.
However the survey also showed that 70 percent of the people felt taking insurance was a tough business and staff was also insensitive to the needs of cancer patients. In a "mystery shopper" exercise, the charity found that most companies do not provide cover for cancer since they are designated as a risk. Individual assessments are rarely undertaken.
Only 1.6 percent of people surveyed said that they had a cancer-related claim on travel insurance, compared to the 70 percent who were eligible. One in 10 of them cancelled their trip, while one in 20 traveled without insurance.
"Traveling without cover for cancer can be a huge personal risk," said Joanne Rule, Cancerbackup's chief executive. "We know anecdotally that if you need to claim for any illness at all, there is a presumption by insurance companies that is it related to your cancer, and you will need to prove that it is not."