Regulator to probe travel insurance market for cancer sufferers

20 June 2017
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The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has launched an industry consultation to see how the travel insurance market can be improved for people with cancer.

The regulator is looking for feedback from firms in the market in order to better understand the problems these consumers face when trying to find appropriate insurance.

At present many people who have, or have had, cancer can find it difficult to find suitable travel insurance policies at a reasonable price.

The FCA will consider any innovative practices which currently exist in the market and whether these can be expanded to improve consumer experience.

While the regulator is currently considering just cancer sufferers, the findings could also be applied to other pre-existing medical conditions and to other insurance products.

This consultation will close in September and the regulator plans to publish its findings and set out its next steps by the end of 2017.

'Travel insurance policies should be clear and fairly priced'

Lynda Thomas, chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, says: “Every day we hear from people who are having trouble accessing travel insurance. They may have been quoted sky-high prices, had their cancer excluded from cover or had to deal with endless phone calls or mountains of paperwork in order to apply for a policy.

"Macmillan is calling on the insurance industry to try to use more accurate, relevant and tailored information so people with cancer are treated fairly and aren’t priced out of the market.

"We also want insurers to give clearer explanations about how quotes have been calculated and what an exclusion would mean if someone needed to make a claim. Travel insurance policies should be clear and fairly priced for everyone, including people with cancer."

Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA, says: “Being able to access financial services is critical for people to fully participate in society. We hope that this will encourage discussion on access issues to examine the challenges for firms and consumers.

“Given our previous findings in this area, we see this as a critical time to fully explore these issues and consider potential solutions.”

Comments

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I am suffering from the return of kidney cancer and whilst I am at the moment in good health I have been quoted sky high prices for travel insurance and my packaged bank account has excluded my pre exciting condition from my cover. My argument is that whilst I am healthy my condition is most unlikely to jump up and bit me on the backside in fact I would argue the a none cancer suffering young person is a far greater risk than I am because I an far less likely to get roaring drunk and go out and do something stupid. Yet they are able to get insurance without any problem.

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