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22
Jul

The FCA explores new rules to improve travel insurance for those with pre-existing medical conditions

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is looking for advice on new rules to help consumers with pre-existing medical conditions (PEMCs) get better access to travel insurance.

A new consultation has been released to find opinions on a new ‘signposting’ rule which would give consumers with a directory of travel insurers which have the capability of covering those with PEMCs.

Firms will be required to signpost consumers when cover has been declined or cancelled mid-term due to a PEMC, when cover is offered with an exclusion for a PEMC that cannot be removed, and when a consumer is offered cover with additional loading to their base premium due to a PEMC.

Alongside signposting, the FCA will work with stakeholders to improve customer understanding of travel insurance and will offer material on PEMCs. The information will give consumers details on implications of traveling with exclusions and how different countries could impact medical costs and insurance premiums.

The FCA has estimated there are 14.1 million consumers with a PEMC which look to buy insurance last year. Of these, it believes 0.7 per cent were declined cover and 11 per cent bought a policy with an exclusion for their PEMC.

FCA executive director of strategy and competition Christopher Woolard said, “We want to reduce the numbers of consumers, who are currently faced with a choice of not travelling or travelling without insurance, and running the risk of incurring significant costs, including medical bills abroad.

“The changes proposed today will be an important step in helping people to navigate the market more easily and also in reducing the number of customers who are over-paying significantly for travel insurance.”

Consultation will last until 15 September 2019.

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