Help with signposting travel insurance customers with medical conditions

21st April 2021

As we reminded members on 20 April (click here for details) new rules come into force next Monday (26 April 2021) requiring all firms that offer travel insurance, to signpost customers with pre-existing medical conditions (PEMCs) to a ‘travel medical firms directory’ under certain circumstances.

BIBA’s Travel Medical Directory (https://www.biba.org.uk/travel-medical-directory) is listed on the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA’s) website as one of the solutions that meets their requirements to be a ‘travel medical firms directory’.

To help members meet their own requirements to let customers know about the BIBA directory in the five scenarios covered by the incoming ICOBS rules (in ICOBS 6A.4 Travel insurance and medical conditions) we have created some example wordings which members may wish to consider using. To keep matters simple for members, we looked to maintain the same central message across all of the scenarios.

Members are not obliged to use the BIBA suggestions and are free to create their own disclosures that best suit their business model and sales processes.

Where a firm:

(1) declines, or otherwise does not offer, a consumer a quotation owing wholly or partly to a medical condition;

Unfortunately, we have been unable to obtain a travel insurance quote for you and we believe that this may be as a result of your pre-existing medical condition(s).

In situations like this, there is a directory of specialist travel insurance providers to which I am able to guide you, that has been set up to help people like you find the travel insurance you need.

The website address for this directory is www.biba.org.uk/travel-medical-directory

If a customer expresses a wish to speak to someone, they can also be given our telephone number – 0370 950 1790, but this must be in addition to the website as the phone line is not part of the FCA officially recognised travel medical firms directory.

A suggested wording you may wish to consider using to share the telephone number is:

If you would prefer to speak to someone who may be able to help you select a firm that is likely to be on that directory, there is a telephone number of a separate service that I can give you. You will be able to speak to explain your own circumstances and they will try and put you through to a provider that can help.

If you want it, the telephone number of that service is 0370 950 1790.

 

(2) cancels a consumer’s policy due (wholly or partly) to a medical condition;

I am sorry to say that your insurer has decided to cancel your travel insurance policy owing to your medical condition(s).

In situations like this, there is a directory of specialist travel insurance providers to which I am able to guide you, that has been set up to help people like you find the travel insurance you need.

The website address for this directory is www.biba.org.uk/travel-medical-directory

If a customer expresses a wish to speak to someone, they can also be given our telephone number – 0370 950 1790, but this must be in addition to the website as the. phone line is not part of the FCA officially recognised travel medical firms directory. A suggested wording you may wish to consider using to share the telephone number is:

If you would prefer to speak to someone who may be able to help you select a firm that is likely to be on that directory, there is a telephone number of a separate service that I can give you. You will be able to explain your own circumstances and they will try and put you through to a provider that would be prepared to give you cover.

If you want it, the telephone number of that service is 0370 950 1790.

 

(3) offers a policy with a medical condition exclusion which cannot be removed from the policy;

We have been able to obtain a travel insurance quotation for you, but I am afraid that the insurer has excluded any claims related to your pre-existing medical condition.

In situations like this, there is a directory of specialist travel insurance providers to which I am able to guide you, that has been set up to help people like you find the travel insurance you need.

The website address for this directory is www.biba.org.uk/travel-medical-directory

If a customer expresses a wish to speak to someone, they can also be given our telephone number – 0370 950 1790, but this must be in addition to the website as the phone line is not part of the FCA officially recognised travel medical firms directory.

A suggested wording you may wish to consider using to share the telephone number is:

If you would prefer to speak to someone who may be able to help you select a firm that is likely to be on that directory, there is a telephone number of a separate service that I can give you. You will be able to explain your own circumstances and they will try and put you through to a provider that would be prepared to provide cover without the same exclusions) .

If you want it, the telephone number of that service is 0370 950 1790.

(4) offers a policy with a medical condition additional premium of £100 or more; and/or

We have been able to obtain a travel insurance quotation for you, but the premium that the insurer is prepared to quote includes an additional charge of [£AMOUNT] to reflect your pre-existing condition(s).

In situations like this, there is a directory of specialist travel insurance providers to which I am able to guide you, that has been set up to help people like you find the travel insurance you need.

The website address for this directory is www.biba.org.uk/travel-medical-directory

If a customer expresses a wish to speak to someone, they can also be given our telephone number – 0370 950 1790, but this must be in addition to the website as the phone line is not part of the FCA officially recognised travel medical firms directory.

A suggested wording you may wish to consider using to share the telephone number is:

If you would prefer to speak to someone who may be able to help you select a firm that is likely to be on that directory, there is a telephone number of a separate service that I can give you. You will be able to explain your own circumstances and they will try and put you through to a provider that would be prepared to provide cover which may not include this loading.

If you want it, the telephone number of that service is 0370 950 1790.

 

(5) offers a policy in respect of which the medical condition premium is not known

Your quotation is likely to include an additional charge to reflect your pre-existing medical condition(s), but we have not been told how much that is.

In situations like this, there is a directory of specialist travel insurance providers to which I am able to guide you, that has been set up to help people like you find the travel insurance you need.

By using the directory, you may be able to make a saving on the premium that I am able to get for you from the non-specialist market.

The website address for this directory is www.biba.org.uk/travel-medical-directory

If a customer expresses a wish to speak to someone, they can also be given our telephone number – 0370 950 1790, but this must be in addition to the website as the phone line is not part of the FCA officially recognised travel medical firms directory.

A suggested wording you may wish to consider using to share the telephone number is:

If you would prefer to speak to someone who may be able to help you select a firm that is likely to be on that directory, there is a telephone number of a separate service that I can give you. You will be able to explain your own circumstances and they will try and put you through to a provider that would be prepared to provide cover which may not include a loading.

If you want it, the telephone number of that service is 0370 950 1790.

 

BIBA’s Travel Medical Scheme

BIBA’s travel medical scheme is also available to members, where they are approached for travel insurance by a customer with PEMCs. Members may offer to access this scheme on behalf of that customer, in addition to letting the customer know about the travel medical firms directory.

BIBA’s scheme provider AllClear is one of the specialist firms that are listed on the medical directory and whilst it does not take away the requirement to provide details on the directory, members accessing the AllClear scheme may be able to save the customer the task of going to it and choosing a provider themselves.

When offering to access the AllClear scheme, members should not use a form of wording that could be regarded as discouraging customers from accessing the directory. As an example of the wording that members may wish to consider using is:

As well as you being able to use the directory to select a provider that could give you a quote, we have access to one of the providers on that directory. As an additional option for you, would you like me to approach them on your behalf?