Cancer Insurance Policies

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. Many people rely on the NHS for their cancer diagnosis and treatment – and for most it does a great job.

But some are keen to have private health insurance, to enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing you will have that quicker access to care, should the worst happen. Plus - many are looking for the higher standard of care that cancer health insurance offers. This includes a private en-suite hospital room with better food and facilities, should you need to go into hospital.

So what can Private Medical Insurance (PMI) cover?

Most insurance companies offer cancer coverage, and the care is excellent – its considered a major selling point of PMI. For many clients we speak to, cancer cover is the main reason that they took out a policy.

Most insurers will cover:


  • Specialist Oncology Diagnosis


  • Radiotherapy and chemotherapy
  • Drug Therapies
  • Stem cell and bone marrow transplants
  • Experimental treatment (must be approved by NICE)

Additional Care

  • Rehabilitation
  • Specialist Nursing
  • Prostheses
  • Wigs
  • Palliative care

One of the cancer cover features that customers find most appealing is that of virtually no financial or time limits being applied to your treatment for cancer*. This means that you will not run out of funding for treatment midway through.

Cancer Private Medical Insurance Q & A

“Why should I use PMI for Cancer treatment rather than the NHS?”

One main reason for using cancer insurance plans for your cancer treatment is that health insurance does not have any financial constraints on the depth of cover you receive*. There are some NHS treatments (some medications, for example) that the NHS will not prescribe because of their high cost. With private, you will never be denied a treatment due to cost, as long as the treatment has been approved by NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence).

“What if my policy has a limitation on it? Will I still be covered for cancer?”

Private cancer treatment is not minimised by limitations* on your policy. For example, if your policy has a £500 outpatient limit, you will not be constrained to that limit should your cancer treatment cost more than that at an outpatient level. The non-limit also applies to other elements of a medical insurance policy, such as alternative therapies.

“Do the different insurers have different levels of cover? How do I know that what you talk about on this page applies to my policy?”

You can be assured that the cancer cover coverage is pretty much the same across all the insurers*. Some insurers do go above and beyond the standard level of care on some points. For example, Bupa currently offer access to qualified counsellors during and after cancer treatment to support you during a difficult time. Other insurers may not offer this option. If in doubt, check with one of our trained advisers.

“What about exclusions?”

Before you take out a policy with us our advisers will make clear to you any circumstances that the insurers will not pay out on; these circumstances are called “exclusions”. These general exclusions apply to all people at all times; they include things such as being injured by war, riots or terrorism, or HIV/Aids.

However, there are only a few exclusions that will apply in the event of a cancer diagnosis.

The main exclusion to be aware of in terms of cancer care is that of pre-existing conditions. If you have cancer, recover from it, then take out a PMI policy, you will not be covered for that type of cancer on the policy.

This is a standard exclusion across the private medical insurers. However, most insurers will advise that they will cover a person who has had a cancer diagnosis should that person get another type of cancer.

“Do any insurers offer surgery as treatment or as pre-emptive action to help the person?”

Virtually all insurers will offer surgery as a cancer treatment option for policy holders; it comes as standard.

Some PMI providers will offer surgery as a pre-emptive option for people vulnerable to cancer, if you have already had cancer treatment with that insurer.

Check with our advisers for the specific insurer information.

“What about if I lose the battle against cancer? Will there be end of life/palliative care for me?”

Yes - most PMI insurers will offer a comprehensive end of life care for cancer sufferers. For example, if one of its clients has a need of hospice care, the insurer will give a donation to either the hospice or charity up to a maximum of £10,000. They will also cover hospital stays when it is medically necessary.

Cover in the form of palliative care gives peace of mind to those who buy a policy through us. Many of our clients tell us that the fact they will be cared for right into the latter stages of a possible cancer insurance policy to a high level of care, really sets them at ease. This comfort is a major selling point of PMI.

Why have insurance for cancer?

Cancer can be one of the most difficult times in an individual’s life. The impact is not just felt by the sufferer – it also impacts the circle of friends and family around them.

But there is hope – according to Cancer Research UK, cancer survival rates in the UK have doubled in the last 40 years – today in the UK, thanks to advances in medical science, more than 50% survive cancer for 10 or more years.

We like to think that cancer health insurance plans have played a part in this improvement in cancer treatment and survival rates, with rapid access to the medical specialists that apply the techniques that save lives.

Why not be a part of this good-news story, and see how reasonable the cost of Health Insurance (including cancer cover) can be with a quote from one of our qualified advisors?

Terms & Conditions

*Some limitations may apply – see your policy documents for the accurate information for your policy

Useful Health Insurance Guides

Find out more about private health insurance - to help clear up any confusion surrounding private medical cover we have included a number of useful guides to clear up any confusion: