If you’re undergoing treatment for cancer, you may have to disclose it to insurers and other financial providers. Here we've summarised everything you need to know.
In 2015, Macmillan Cancer Support estimated that 2.5 million people were living with cancer in the UK, and more than a thousand people a day will receive a cancer diagnosis in 2016.
Many cancers can now be successfully treated through by surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and immunotherapy.
However, your prognosis and treatment may affect the insurance products - including health insurance - available to you, and how much they cost.
Travel insurance is particularly important for people who are being treated for or have recovered from cancer.
As well as providing you with compensation for anything that might go wrong - from losing your luggage to missing a connecting flight - it helps pay for your medical care overseas.
If you’re visiting a country with high medical costs - such as the USA - or need to be flown home in an emergency, without medical cover the cost to you could be huge.
However, getting travel insurance for cancer patients, or for those who have suffered from it in the past, can be difficult.
Because you’ve been ill, insurance companies assume you’re more likely to claim, and they can refuse to give you travel insurance.
However, many insurance companies will now look at cancer cases individually before making a decision:
To be covered for emergency medical problems related to your cancer, you need a policy that states the insurance company will cover you for this.
Be prepared for questions about your cancer diagnosis, treatment and your outlook (prognosis). Most companies will also ask what stage and grade your cancer was when it was diagnosed.
Being treated for cancer could have implications for your driving licence and car insurance.
However, it's up to the Driver and Vehicle Licence Agency (DVLA) to decide whether you're medically fit to hold a licence.
For a car or motorcycle licence, you only need to tell the DVLA you have cancer if:
Download the relevant forms to declare your illness:
Most patients can drive while they’re having chemotherapy and radiotherapy with some notable exceptions.
If your doctor advises you not to drive, you must take their advice because if you ignore it, you’ll not be covered by your insurance policy.
Your driving insurance premium may be raised and car insurance will be refused if you’ve been advised against driving.
However, your insurer isn't allowed to discriminate against you unfairly and must be able to prove that you pose an increased risk if your premium is increased.
Life insurance pays a lump sum if the policyholder dies.
With your permission, the insurer will write to your doctor or hospital, asking for medical details that could affect your policy and they might also ask you to have a medical examination before they’ll issue your policy.
If you have a serious illness that can’t be cured, you won’t be able to get life insurance.
With most cancers, life insurance companies are unlikely to issue a policy for at least two to three years after you've recovered from that cancer.
But when a policy is issued, the first premiums will be high because that’s when the insurance company has the greatest risk, but for most types of cancer, the risk of it coming back gets lower and your premiums should also reduce.
If your doctor advises you not to drive, you must take their advice because if you ignore it, you’ll not be covered by your insurance policy
There are no firm rules about taking out a personal loan when you have or have had cancer although you wouldn't expect to have questions about your health in the application process.
A credit card issuer won’t ask about your state of health and you’re not obliged to tell them either your diagnosis or your prognosis.
You can apply for and use a credit card as normal, whether you have cancer or you've had it in the past.
This is true even if your cancer can't be cured, but if it means you're no longer able to work it could affect your eligibility when income is assessed.
You might have to disclose your medical history to get payment protection insurance.