Britain’s Biggest Killer Diseases – Cancer Cover and PMI
Photo: Stuart Richards: /CC

Private Health Care and Cancer Cover

Each year, an estimated 280,000 men, women and children in the UK face up to the emotional and physical hardships of a cancer diagnosis (, 2015)

Contrary to what some information available online says, cancer cover on most PMI policies is actually excellent.  Most insurers will cover you, as standard, for the diagnosis, treatment and aftercare of most cancer conditions.

One obvious bonus that comes with private cancer care is the availability of some cancer drugs which might not be available on the NHS. These can be expensive; that is why the NHS or NICE often does not approve them. Private Health has bigger pockets so can often afford these pricier, cutting-edge drugs.

Most insurers will also offer significant cover towards the more recovery oriented aspects of cancer care, such as wigs and prosthetics.

Cancer treatments covered as standard by most insurers include – surgery; radiotherapy; chemotherapy; hormone therapy; drug therapy; palliative care if the cancer becomes terminal. The palliative care is vital to some customers, as it gives them peace of mind that they will not be just left if they receive a terminal diagnosis.

Case Study

The site recently carried the story of a family man called Richard, who works as an accountant in London and lives with his wife and children in Guildford, Surrey.

Richard was recently diagnosed with an aggressive form of lung cancer, and describes how his private health cover really helped him once he had received his awful diagnosis:

“I knew I had some sort of insurance through work and when I checked I found it was very comprehensive. It has taken some of the worry away as everything is covered and I haven’t had to wait at all.”

“I think cancer treatment is now exceptionally good within the NHS anyway, but with the rate at which my cancer had developed, even a few days may have made a difference,”

The insurance made sure that Richard was seen within days by a leading expert of his fairly rare form of lung cancer and his treatment, which began with surgery, was arranged the following week.   


One of the main reasons that cancer is being covered pretty comprehensively by the private health insurers is due to the remarkable rise in recovery rates in the past few years. An emerging pattern of increased survival in cancer cases is well documented.

The proportion of women likely to survive breast cancer for at least 10 years has jumped within a few decades from less than 40 per cent to 77 per cent, according to Cancer Research UK.

In addition, the proportion of people expected to survive bowel cancer has increased from 23 per cent to 50 per cent.

So in effect the insurers have seen that in many cases people will survive cancer to carry on paying premiums. Obviously cancer is turning into a lower risk sector of the market for insurers, so most are now treating it favourably.

When the health concerns of people in the UK are listed, cancer usually comes out at number one. With the comprehensive cover of the UK PMI industry, people are resting easier knowing that their health is better protected.