The most commonly asked questions, answered
Cancer cash insurance
Being diagnosed with cancer often means extra costs such as transport to and from hospital for regular treatment, at the very time income is reduced with time off work. Specialist cancer and cancer cash policies offer tax-free cash on diagnosis of eligible cancers, to pay for extra expenses such as transport, heating, special diets or home modifications. Some insurers also offer access to cancer drugs that the NHS does not offer. They may also offer telephone support from cancer nurses.
Watch for differences
No two plans are the same. Some plans offer cover for most cancers, while others are only for men or only for women, or are specific to certain listed cancers. Some plans offer no extra help, just money.
If you have, or have had, cancer, insurers may refuse to offer cover, limit the cover available or charge you a higher premium. Some insurers may reduce or refuse cover if you have a family history of cancer.
You may have the option of different levels of cover, so you could choose a lower level of cover for a smaller premium. These are package plans; few insurers offer the option of removing sections or having an excess.
The key benefit of cancer cash insurance is a cash payment if you are diagnosed with specified cancers. This amount may vary by type of cancer. It may be a one off payment or paid in stages.
Insurers may include free cover for children under 18.
Helplines and online support are common, while some insurers offer detailed help from specialist cancer nurses. Whether you want to talk about a specific health worry, medication or simply need a little guidance and reassurance, your insurer can provide support for you.
The NHS may not offer some expensive cancer drugs, and your specialist may feel one of these licenced cancer drugs is best for you. Some policies cover the cost of such drugs and the costs of administering them.
Items that are not covered
This varies by policy but would typically include:
- Pre-malignant cells.
- Non-invasive cancer.
- Carcinoma in situ.
- Borderline or low malignant potential.
- Early stage prostate cancer.
Cancer cash insurance versus health cash insurance
Conventional health cash policies mainly cover part of the costs of dental treatment, eye care and extra costs when in hospital. Few offer cover for cancer treatment and if they do it is not the main purpose of the policy. So, they offer very limited cover with low pay-outs.
Cancer insurance guide
- Health insurance and cancer
- Cancer cash insurance
- Travel insurance for cancer patients
- Critical illness insurance
- Income protection insurance