As part of our series on 'Family Life in the Holidays', a specialist travel insurance provider has answered some questions from parents of a child with a brain tumour.
Mary Holt from Free Spirit, has almost two decades of experience helping people with medical conditions navigate the complex insurance market and finding solutions to a wide range of specific needs.
What do I need to consider before applying for travel insurance – what information will I need to tell the company?
You will need to tell them:
- where you are travelling to
- dates you are travelling
- are the treating doctors happy for you to travel to your picked destinations?
- if you wish them to do any activities whilst away, would the GP approve?
Does my child need their medical team's permission to go on holiday, and does this impact travel insurance?
Yes, and it must be confirmed that they are fit to travel at time of calling for a quote. (So if you call today, but your child will not be fit to travel till September, most insurers will not quote, as it is all material facts of the day that they are interested in.)
Questions around specific tumours or treatments
We are going to America for proton beam therapy. Will travel insurance firms provide cover for people with adrenal insufficiency?
Most insurers will not cover anyone who is travelling for treatment. Some specialised companies will cover, but exclude the treatment and the condition that the treatment is for.
How do they make their decisions for teenagers flying independently with slow-growing, low grade tumours?
How do the actuaries make their decisions for teenagers flying independently, especially for a long-term, slow-growing, low grade tumour which has been present since birth? Do they also take into account the adjuvant treatments such as growth hormone and cortisol replacement?
This is something that would have to be declared on a travel insurance application to obtain the cover you need. The insurers take into consideration:
- the way the questions are answered on the application
- the treatment
- that he is fit to travel at the time of requesting a quote
- where he is travelling to
- the duration of the trip
We have more information about travel on our travel and brain tumours webpage and factsheet.
At The Brain Tumour Charity we do not recommend, and have not vetted, individual travel insurance companies. However, from feedback gathered from those who have been affected by a brain tumour, we have produced the following list of companies who may be able to help:
- Free Spirit - 0800 170 7704
- Boots - 0345 1253 880
- Insurancewith - 0203 8296 761
- Columbus Direct - 0880 0680 060
- Flexicover - 0800 093 9495
- MIA - 0800 999 333
- All Clear - 0808 168 9554
- World First - 0845 908 0161
- 4Medical - 03459 080121
- InsureandGo - 0330 400 1383
If you have further questions, please contact the Children and Families Team on 0808 800 0004 or firstname.lastname@example.org