From April, consumers who are offered a travel insurance policy with a £100 or more additional premium due to a medical condition, are declined cover, are offered a policy with an exclusion that cannot be removed or have a policy cancelled because of their medical conditions must be pointed towards a specialist directory to find help.
The FCA has confirmed that BIBA’s Travel Medical Insurance Directory meets their criteria for a ‘medical cover firm directory’ and will be listed on the FCA website from today, Wednesday 27 January 2021.
New rules coming in from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) aim to help consumers with more serious pre-existing medical conditions more easily access travel insurance and insurance providers will have to signpost customers that they cannot help to an FCA accredited directory such as the British Insurance Brokers’ Association’s (BIBA) Travel Medical Directory to find specialist insurance brokers who can help them.
The FCA estimates there are between 12.6-14.1 million consumers with a pre-exiting medical conditions that look to purchase travel insurance each year.
The incoming changes to the travel insurance market aim to reduce the number of uninsured consumers and to help those who are declined cover, only offered cover that excludes their medical condition or offered what they consider to be unaffordable premiums.
Consumers who prefer to discuss their requirements can call to BIBA’s Find Insurance Service and be transferred directly to a specialist broker who has confirmed that they are able to help with their specific requirements.
BIBA’s Executive Director Graeme Trudgill said: “Suitable and competitive travel insurance is available for people with medical conditions, but they need help to find specialists in this area. We are delighted to have met the FCA criteria for a medical cover firm directory and to be part of the solution. We have worked closely with the FCA throughout the process championing the need for signposting in this area.”
Trudgill concluded: “Travel insurance is as important as your suitcase, and we look forward to the times when consumers can safely travel again. BIBA will do all that we can to help consumers with medical conditions to find the cover they need and make their journey easier.”
BIBA’s Travel Medical Directory is available online or consumers can call its Find insurance Service on 0370 950 1790.
BIBA offers the following advice to those travelling with medical conditions.
- Discuss your travel plans with your doctor before booking your holiday.
- Check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice about your planned destination(s).
- Choose your destination carefully, as you may not be able to have the recommended vaccinations due to your condition.
- Remember to check the availability of suitable medical facilities at your destination – on some holiday islands you might have to travel to the mainland.
- If you are currently undergoing treatment make sure to take enough medication for the whole duration of your trip including extra to allow for any delays in returning.
- Check the rules about taking medications into your destination, the rules and regulations about what and how much is allowed can vary. The NHS has helpful advice.
- Always pack your medication in your hand luggage with an emergency supply in another bag.
- Make sure that you stick to your medication regime. Take a copy of your current prescription.
- Create a ‘Summary of diagnosis’ to take with you. If you are taken ill, this will help your attending doctor.
- Take your doctor’s telephone number.
Notes to editors
- See FCA website for more details on the new rules in PS20/3: to travel insurance for consumers with medical conditions
- Case Study 1
Tom Cook, 76, struggled to find travel insurance due to a complex medical history including multiple heart attacks and a triple heart bypass. After being refused cover from his bank and purchasing a policy that excluded his medical conditions, he found a specialist policy from BIBA broker, AllClear Travel Insurance, that fully covered his medical conditions. Unfortunately, in a period of a little more than a year, Tom had to claim twice on his policy – to the total value of over £11,000. Tom’s first claim happened while on a cruise to the Far East, when he had an adverse reaction to the heat. He was treated in the ship’s medical centre and in a hospital in Singapore for heart failure and advised to fly home. The claim covered his stay and treatment onboard and in hospital, as well as hotel costs and flights home. The second claim occurred just before setting sail on another cruise, after Tom was rushed into hospital with heart failure, and forced to cancel his trip. Tom said “In both cases settlement has been prompt, fair, and in full value of the claims. I’ve just renewed my travel insurance and was impressed that after making two claims they still wanted to cover me.”
- Case Study 2
Mrs Winifred Jackson from Dorset was referred to BIBA member insurance broker, Just Travel from BIBA’s Find Insurance service in October 2019. She is 69 years old and has several medical conditions including cancer which has spread to other organs. She had planned a two-week holiday to visit Antarctica via Argentina on 20 November 2019 and she was very happy to have found Just Travel, who were able to provide a policy that fully covered her needs. She immediately left a five-star review and was complimentary about the assistance she received by telephone.
- For further information please contact:
BIBA press office:
Pam Quinn, Head of Communications
020 7397 0223
Leighann Forsyth, Deputy Head of Communications
020 7397 0224
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- About the British Insurance Brokers’ Association
The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) is the UK’s leading general insurance intermediary organisation representing the interests of insurance brokers, intermediaries and their customers.
BIBA membership includes around 1800 regulated firms, employing more than 100,000 staff. General insurance brokers contribute 1% of GDP to the UK economy; they arrange 67% of all general insurance with a premium totalling £65.1bn and 81% of all commercial insurance business. Insurance brokers put their customers’ interests first, providing advice, access to suitable insurance protection and risk management.
BIBA receives hundreds of thousands of enquiries per year to its Find Insurance services, online and via the telephone which are directed to member insurance broking firms.
BIBA is the voice of the sector advising members, the regulators, consumer bodies and other stakeholders on key insurance issues.