Not all cancer insurance policies are equal so it's really important you compare private health insurance with cancer cover from different health insurance providers and make sure you get the best protection for the most competitive price available.

To help you find the best insurance coverage for cancer, we run through a few important facts that you need to know:

What private cancer cover is included?

There's lots of different reasons to take out private health insurance, whether it's to ensure you have to wait the shortest amount of time for treatment or to give you the peace of mind of knowing you will have access to the best care available.

However, before you decide which provider to apply to it's worth asking the question: does health insurance cover cancer treatment?

Although you might think that all types of insurance would cover cancer, especially given that it's one of the illnesses people generally worry about, the truth is that private medical insurance can sometimes be more geared towards acute conditions.

When it comes to treatment and support for chronic or longer term conditions such as diabetes or cancer insurance companies sometimes do not offer the cover you might expect.

Certainly, some - although by no means all - of the cheaper alternatives for private health insurance limit the cover available for cancer treatment or set the amount of time you can claim for. It's for this reason that you must check exactly what cancer treatment is included by each provider before you apply.

How to choose your cancer cover

If getting private health insurance with cancer cover is a priority for you, there are different ways you can go about this.

Some types of cover also double up as cancer health insurance plans, incorporating protection against a diagnosis of cancer together with more traditional private health insurance.

Alternatively, some companies offer cancer-only policies which specifically cover the costs of diagnosis and treatment of cancer alone. On these types of policies, the best cancer insurance companies also provide extras such as round the clock access to specialist cancer nursing advice. If you want comprehensive cover, you could combine a specialist cancer-only policy with conventional private health insurance. Equally if you already have standard health insurance a dedicated cancer only policy could provide extra reassurance that any cancer treatment will be included.

It's a good idea to carry out a health insurance with cancer cover comparison, to identify which option works out cheaper whilst still providing you with the protection you need.

It is worth checking what cancers are covered, as men and women are more susceptible to different conditions.

Insurance for cancer patients can be a real asset; at a difficult time having access to extra support and advice as well as being able to skip waiting lists could help you manage the diagnosis and its impact far more easily.

However, you won't want to have to trudge through the small print to try and work out what costs are covered. Sorting out your protection in advance and making sure you know what cover is in place means that if the worst happens, you can simply call the insurer, get the help you have paid for and concentrate on getting better.