Holidays: 14.1 million consumers with pre-existing medical conditions search for travel insurance
Travel insurance should be obtained by all jet setters ahead of a holiday, is the going recommendation. While shelling out for a premium might seem unnecessary to some, cover can prove a boon if things go wrong. However, Britons with pre-existing medical conditions often struggle to find appropriate travel insurance.
It is estimated that 14.1 million consumers with pre-existing medical conditions search for travel insurance each year.
Yet, sometimes these holidaymakers with existing condition are declined cover.
Other problems include being offered unaffordable premiums or cover with exclusions for their condition.
According to the Financial Conduct Authority (FC0), 0.7 per cent of the above 14.1 million consumers are declined cover.
READ MORE: Holidays: Britons forgetting travel insurance could lose money
Holidays: Sometimes these holidaymakers with existing condition are declined cover
Meanwhile, 11 per cent are furnished with policies that exclude coverage for their condition.
Luckily, thanks to new regulations, this frustration for some travellers is now at an end.
New rules from the FCA are being introduced this year.
The FCA has told insurance companies that if they cannot offer travellers with pre-existing medical condition cover, they must direct them to a list of companies that can help.
These insurance firms will be expressly chosen as insurers that will cover Britons with medical conditions.
By buying travel insurance with a specialist provider, customers with pre-existing medical conditions could save around 40 per cent on their premiums, the FCA has said.
According to website Money Expert, specialist insurers typically charge seriously ill customers £1,200 less for their policies than mainstream providers, and don’t exclude conditions.
This means globetrotters with cancer and other serious illnesses could save as much as £7.5million annually.
Holidays: Customers with pre-existing medical conditions could save round 40 per cent
The FCA is teaming up with the Money and Pensions Service to curate a list of these specialist insurers.
The financial watchdog has said travel insurance firms will be required to include the details of the directory online within 30 days of becoming aware of the directory going live.
The changes will have to be in place by 5 November 2020.
Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA, 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.”
Eve Byrne, Macmillan Cancer Support’s head of campaigns, told MailOnline: “This is sorely needed for customers desperate for a break but struggling to access affordable travel insurance.
“While a directory of specialist firms is a step in the right direction, mandatory signposting will only benefit customers with pre-existing medical conditions if there is appropriate and affordable cover available to them.
“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.”
MoneySavingExpert Martin Lewis has urged travellers to buy travel insurance as soon as they book their trip rather than wait until they leave.
“You’re only covered for cancellation if you have insurance BEFORE an illness/injury, job loss, jury service call-up etc,” he said on Good Morning Britain.
“So whether going away soon or later this year, buy ASAB [‘as soon as you’ve booked’].”