FCA update on travel insurance for consumers with medical conditions
05 February 2020
03 March 2020
Policy and Public Affairs
The FCA have published a policy statement in response to their consultation on signposting to travel insurance for consumers with medical conditions.
PS20/3 makes significant changes to the FCA Handbook, introducing new requirements to help consumers with pre-existing medical conditions better access to travel insurance products. This requires firms that sell travel insurance to signpost customers to a directory of specialist firms that provide this type of insurance. This will apply to:
- all firms that offer retail travel insurance, including insurers, Lloyd’s managing agents, intermediaries and appointed representatives
- banks that offer packaged bank accounts which include travel insurance
- insurance industry trade associations
- charities, particularly medical charities
- consumer organisations
- consumers, primarily those with pre-existing medical conditions
The original consultation CP19/23 received 37 responses who generally agreed with the concept of signposting. However, most opposed the proposal to signpost all consumers who faced additional costs because of their condition. The respondents argued that this would capture too many consumers, many of whom would not benefit from being signposted to providers that specialise in covering individuals with more serious medical conditions.
Hugh Savill, Director of Regulation at the Association of British Insurers (ABI) responded:
“The vast majority of consumers can obtain travel insurance, including those with pre-existing medical conditions. While we welcome the FCA’s changes to strengthen the current signposting measures, the £100 premium loading trigger must be carefully and thoroughly worked through to ensure that it delivers real customer benefits and makes the buying process as smooth as possible.”
Firms affected by these changes are required to do the following:
- travel insurance providers must implement the new requirements by 5 November 2020
- all relevant firms must include the details of the directory on their website within 30 days of becoming aware of the directory going live
- Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) will develop their directory alongside the FCA for summer 2020
- 12 – 18 month review process by the FCA once implementation has taken place
The results of the FCA’s consultation “GC19/3: Guidance for firms on the fair treatment of vulnerable customers” is expected later this year.
This document is believed to be accurate but is not intended as a basis of knowledge upon which advice can be given. Neither the author (personal or corporate), Society of Claims Professionals or Chartered Insurance Institute, or any of the officers or employees of those organisations accept any responsibility for any loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the data or opinions included in this material. Opinions expressed are those of the author or authors and not necessarily those of the Society or Chartered Insurance Institute.