A BURGLARY victim, undergoing chemotherapy for an inoperable brain tumour, has been left unable to seek alternative treatment to combat the disease after insurers refused to pay out for his £31,000 claim.

About £27,000 worth of watches, heirlooms and electronic gadgets were stolen in November from the Cade's family home in Marlow, with another £4k of damage caused.

Airline pilot Robert Cade, 50, was enduring a battle with cancer when he got a letter saying his insurance policy did not cover the claim.

Their contents insurance was for a total of £50,000 but smallprint said the valuables in the home must be no more than a third of this - £16,667.

His wife Louisa said: "This is just an added stress to our already really stressful situation. It's made it even worse. The money in comparison to what we're facing is insignificant although it could have paid for us to seek alternative treatment.

"There's a place we wanted to go to which is a healing centre, which we're unable to do now. That money to the insurance company doesn't mean anything to them."

Mr Cade said: "When they told me they were ripping up our policy, I thought it was a joke. I could not believe they would simply cancel it, leave us without cover and refuse to pay any of our claim.

"The sense of a stranger going through your personal things is sickening. It feels as though the memories of much-missed family members have been trampled on."

The burglary happened in particularly distressing circumstances. The family left home for under two hours to take their daughter, Holly, to hospital, after she had breathing problems. The tally of items snatched included a German officer’s sword - a souvenir from Mr Cade’s late father’s wartime service.

The father-of-three told the MFP: "I feel let down. It was a shock but because of what we're going through it sort of softened the blow, at the end of the day it's only money whereas the cancer is life changing."

The Cades bought the £280-a-year policy through comparison website MoneySupermarket in July. They chose a company called Home Quote Direct, an online broker. After filling in the paperwork they were eventually passed to a company called Paragon Insurance.

A letter from loss adjuster Knowles on behalf of the insurer said: "Certain facts have emerged which have caused underwriters to void your policy of insurance on the grounds of material non-disclosure and misrepresentations made by you. The result of this voidance is that the policy does not and has not existed, and therefore no claims are payable under it."

A cheque was sent to refund their premiums. Paragon Insurance said in a statement: "The Cades have made a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman; while this is happening we won’t comment further."