Long term illness suffers struggle to get affordable travel insurance

October 10th, 2019

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The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) confirmed that over 15 million people with long term illness feel “poorly served” when it comes to having access to travel insurance. Often travel insurance companies will not serve to what they determine to be “non-standard risk”.

In one instance, the regulator was informed of a nurse with breast cancer who found the cheapest cover to be £2,800 for trip to Dubai, but luckily she found a specialist provider who provided cover for £800.

What did the FCA report find?

In the UK, at least 15 million people have a long term health condition and this number is expected to rise to 18 million over the next 10 years.

In 2017, the FCA starting working on figuring out how best to address the issue of affordable travel insurance for people with long term illnesses. Their findings led to 3 key issues being identified:

  1. Lack of information on the options especially once the customer has been refused cover or received a very high insurance quote.
  2. Lack of pricing information on how the premiums are actually calculated which leads to customers not understanding if the quote is a true reflection of the risk.
  3. Lack of understanding on insurance terminology which makes it harder to do a thorough comparison on what is offered to them.

Comments from the FCA

The FCA’s director of strategy said, “People with pre-existing medical conditions feel poorly served by travel insurance. There are specialist services out there, but, often, people don’t know where to find them. We’ll work with the industry to point people in the right direction and help dispel some of the myths and misunderstanding to ensure this market works better.

“This will also form part of our continuing our work on insurance pricing practices which are designed to lead to long term positive changes across the market.”

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