Denton and Reddish MP, Andrew Gwynne, has raised his concerns over the costs of travel insurance for those with medical conditions as a new report from the City watchdog reveals cancer patients are struggling to find affordable travel insurance, even long after treatment is finished.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) report[1] revealed that those with pre-existing health conditions, such as cancer, can be quoted premiums that run into hundreds or thousands of pounds by mainstream insurers, because of the perceived ‘risk’ they pose, with some denied cover completely.

After taking feedback from consumers the FCA found that some of the worst affected by eye-watering travel insurance premiums are cancer victims who are paying an average four times more than other travellers, according to research by Macmillan. A fifth of those living with a medical condition pay more than £200 and some will end up handing over more than 27 times the average for a healthy person, which equates to more than £1,000. The report also found that last year as many as 8,500 people were turned away completely despite being a decade from being given the all-clear.

Some of the problems encountered by those seeking travel insurance cover and living with a medical condition included:

  • A lack of information about alternative cover after people had been given expensive quotes or refused cover owing to their condition, or past condition
  • A lack of understanding among insurance companies and their customers about what risks are considered when setting prices
  • Unclear pricing of premiums.

In response the FCA has outlined plans to introduce a new signposting system, designed to push people with long-term health conditions away from mainstream insurers – and move them towards specialists that are more likely to cover them and at a cheaper price.

Andrew Gwynne said:

“No two cancer experiences are ever the same which is why travel insurers must meed the needs of people living with this medical conditions and update their oversimplified medical screening to reflect this.

 

“We have to call time on the practise of unfair travel insurance costs for people with pre-existing medical conditions.”

 

[1] https://www.fca.org.uk/publication/feedback/fs18-01.pdf

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