New rules around travel insurance could help millions of people save money.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced new rules to help people with pre-existing medical conditions find affordable travel insurance.
People will medical conditions regularly face higher premiums from insurers, and can often be refused cover even if they are healthy enough to travel.
What are the new rules?
Under the new FCA rules, insurance firms must ‘signpost’ customers with pre-existing conditions to specialist firms if they are declined cover, or have their cover cancelled.
They must also refer customers with pre-existing conditions to specialist insurers if the condition is excluded from a policy, or when the customer will have to pay more for their cover.
The FCA estimates that people with serious medical conditions could save 40 per cent on the cost of their travel premiums by switching to a specialist insurance provider.
Insurers will have until Thursday 5 November to implement the changes to their policies.
14.1 million people could benefit
According to the FCA, 14.1 million people with pre-existing conditions apply for travel insurance every year, but more than 10 per cent (1.4 million people) are forced to settle for a policy which does not cover their illness.
Around 100,000 people are declined cover altogether on account of their medical condition each year.
Eve Byrne, head of campaigns at Macmillan Cancer Support, says that while the new rules are essential for travellers with PEMCs, the travel insurance industry needs to do more.
She said: “The insurance market must change its approach to covering people with pre-existing conditions to ensure that people living with cancer can access a competitive range of options that appropriately meet their needs.”
Hugh Savill, director of regulation at the Association of British Insurers, added: “The vast majority of consumers can obtain travel insurance, including those with pre-existing medical conditions.
“While we welcome the FCA’s changes to strengthen the current signposting measures, the £100 premium loading trigger must be carefully and thoroughly worked through to ensure that it delivers real customer benefits and makes the buying process as smooth as possible.”