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Cancer And Travel Insurance

Cancer is generally considered a pre-existing medical condition, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get travel insurance. 

This doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get travel insurance, but you do need to disclose your condition when you’re booking your travel insurance.With cancer, all grades need to be disclosed, even if you’re not taking medication.

It’s important that we know about your past or present cancer - that way you’ll know if you’re covered or not if anything happens to you because of your condition. 

There a few travel insurance possibilities* if you have had cancer or have it now:
  • You can obtain travel insurance, but if you want your cancer to be covered, you’ll need to pay extra; or
  • you can obtain travel insurance but it will mandatory to purchase coverage for your cancer; or
  • your condition won’t be covered at all, but you can still purchase travel insurance. 

Please note, there’s a possibility we might not be able to cover you at all, but we will tell you this during your medical assessment.

*based on cancer being your only pre-existing condition

How do i let you know about my Cancer? 

The process is simple and quick. You don’t need to call us and you don’t need to provide doctor’s certificates or other documents. All you need to do is answer a simple questionnaire when you’re purchasing a policy online.

You’ll be asked about pre-existing conditions during your online purchase and if you select ‘yes', you’ll fill out the questionnaire. This is where we’ll ask you everything we need to know about your cancer.

Once you’ve filled out this questionnaire, you’ll immediately find out your travel insurance options.

Get A Quote & Medical Assessment


travelling with Cancer

Cancer is a disease of the body's cells. Normally cells grow and multiply in a controlled way. However, a cell can mutate and control can be lost. If this happens over and over with numerous cells, it’s called cancer because mutated cells are multiplying, as opposed to normal cells. Cancerous cells can arise from almost any type of tissue cell, so the term ‘cancer’ actually refers to about 100 different diseases.

If you’ve had cancer or have cancer now, you should make sure you’ve taken all the necessary steps to keep yourself as safe as possible on your trip.

Please note, the below is general advice only is not intended to replace the advice or information from a registered body or your doctor.

before You Travel
  • Speak to your doctor about your travel plans. Book an appointment with your doctor before you go to inform them about your travel plans. Your doctor will be able to advise you on whether it is safe for you to travel, various precautions, necessary medications and what to do if you feel ill on the trip.
  • Research your destination. Some destinations require vaccinations for diseases that are prevalent in certain regions. You’ll need to consult your doctor on what needs to be done based on your condition.
  • Make sure your airline knows about your condition. You can request an aisle seat, extra leg room to improve blood circulation, or even request a wheelchair at the airport if your cancer causes you pain and you’re flying for a long time. Additionally, if required, most airlines provide inflight oxygen at a charge.
  • Think about the activities you’re going to take part in. Talk to your doctor about the types sports and adventure activities that you’re taking part in. If you are currently undergoing treatment, consider activities that might tire you out less.
During your Trip
  • Make sure you have important details with you. This includes information on all the medications you are currently taking and a list of relevant medical contact phone numbers.
  • Massage, stretch and move around regularly.  Depending on the type of cancer you are affected by, or were affected by in the past, you may be at a higher risk of developing blood clots. During any long journey, get up and walk around every 45 minutes. Be sure to massage your muscles with something like a tennis ball to promote circulation.  
  • Make the most of your good days. Travelling with cancer shouldn’t stop you from enjoying that long anticipated holiday, but be open to changing your plans if you start to feel unwell.

Cancer Related FAQs

  • If I’m not covered for cancer, is there any point in travel insurance?
  • If we are unable to provide cover for your cancer but are still able to offer you a policy, there are other benefits still on offer, including medical cover for other unforeseen injuries or illness, cancellation fees and lost deposits, and your luggage and personal effects. See our comprehensive travel insurance page for more details. 

  • Do I need to disclose my condition if I no longer have cancer?
  • Yes, cancer that you've had in the past is among a number of pre-existing medical conditions that need to be declared.

  • Why is cancer considered a pre-existing medical condition?
  • A pre-existing condition could be anything that is chronic or ongoing, or has ongoing implications. It could also be something that you take regular medication for. Visit our pre-existing medical conditions page for our full definition.  

  • What if I have cancer but I don’t get travel insurance?
  • Travel insurance provides cover for a wide range of benefits, so although, in some cases, we may not be able to provide cover for anything that’s related to your condition, we may offer cover for other unforeseen events.

    If you don’t take out any travel insurance you will be liable to pay all expenses that you incur when the unforeseen happens.

  • What if I am diagnosed with cancer after I have purchased a travel insurance policy?
  • If your cancer was diagnosed after you purchased your policy and you had no signs, symptoms or investigations, then you would have a provision to claim for unforeseen incidents that arouse from this newly  diagnosed condition.

    For example, you might need to cancel a trip, or if you were diagnosed overseas, you may have provision to claim for overseas medical and hospital expenses.

  • What if I am diagnosed with a secondary cancer after purchasing a policy?
  • If we agreed to cover your primary cancer, and you paid any additional premiums, and then you developed a secondary cancer that you could not have foreseen, then you may have a provision to claim for this.

  • What do i do If I get sick overseas?
  • If you’re sick or injured, we advise that you or a member of your travelling party call our medical assistance team as soon as possible. Our medical team will liaise with the treating hospital, and if you are covered, may provide written guarantees of payment for reasonable expenses (subject to your claim being approved). If you are covered and approved for medical evacuation, they will arrange this, if it’s deemed necessary.

    For minor ailments, such as those that only require a GP visit, you may choose to visit a doctor, pay for your visit upfront, and then submit your claim either from overseas or once you return home. Make sure that you keep all receipts and reports from your treating doctor, including the diagnosis and treatment notes and any other documents.

    If your total cost of treatment will exceed $1,000 you MUST contact our medical assistance team as soon as possible.

    If you are still uncertain about what to do in relation to an injury or illness, please contact our medical assistance team for further advice.

  • How does cancer affect my frequent traveller policy?
  • Cover for cancer on a Frequent Traveller policy works in the same way as single trip policies. You’ll need to disclose your condition and we will let you know the outcome and whether we can offer you travel insurance.

    If you’re diagnosed with cancer part way through your Frequent Traveller policy, your new condition will be considering a pre-existing condition for the remainder of your policy. This means you’ll need to disclose your condition before you go on any further trips.

  • What if i forgot to tell you about my cancer?
  • If you forgot to disclose your condition and your policy has not started we may be able to add it. You can call our Customer Care Team to carry out an assessment for your condition.

    Please be aware that depending on the outcome of the assessment you may need to pay an additional premium. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to cover your condition even after you have declared it on an existing policy.

    All terms, conditions and limitations will apply in the same way as if you had disclosed the condition when you purchased the policy.

  • What if I am in remission from cancer?
  • We offer cover to many people who are in remission - but we need to know about  your individual circumstances. When you purchase your policy, you’ll be able to disclose any cancer you had in the past, and we’ll let you know if we can provide you with travel insurance.  

  • What if my condition is terminal?
  • If you have been given a terminal diagnosis, we’re very regretfully unable to issue you with a policy.

  • What if I am in the middle of a diagnosis?
  • If you are still under investigation, undergoing tests or awaiting treatment, we may not be able to provide you with cover in relation to this condition.  You’ll need to disclose your condition and we may still be able to provide cover for all other benefits of the policy and for unforeseen injury or illness not related to the diagnosis.

  • What if I have cancer as well as other pre-existing medical conditions?
  • If you have other pre-existing medical conditions that are not on our automatically covered list or they do not meet the criteria for automatic coverage you will need to disclose them.

  • Do you cover cancer at all stages?
  • Whether we can offer cover for your cancer would be determined by your medical assessment.




Do you need to know About...


Pre Existing Conditions

A pre-existing medical condition is something that must be disclosed when you’re purchasing travel insurance. Find out what they are and how they affect your travel insurance.


You or someone you’re travelling with is going to have a baby…so you’ll need to find out how travel insurance works for pregnant women.


Repatriation is the process of returning a person home after a medical emergency or at worst case death. Being covered for repatriation, so read the ins and outs.


It’s important that you have all the right vaccinations before you travel. From malaria to meningococcal, find out what you need to know about vaccinations and travel insurance.


One Last Thing: Handy resources 

Cancer Society is a charity who support all types of cancer. You can find a range of information about how to care for yourself if you're travelling with cancer.


Be informed. Be prepared. Visit the New Zealand Government's Safe Travel website, where you'll have all the latest safety information for your next trip.







visit safe travel

IAMAT are a non-profit organization who help travellers plan a healthy trip,  and connect travellers with reputable English-speaking doctors. They are a useful point of contact for anyone travelling with a health condition.

The Ministry of Health New Zealand aims to deliver better health outcomes for Kiwis. Their website has a myriad of information on cancer that can help you plan out your trip better.