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FCA call for input on access to travel insurance

  • United Kingdom
  • Insurance and reinsurance

27-06-2017

Access to travel insurance: a problem for consumers

A key focus of the FCA is access to financial services in the UK and, in particular, problems which consumers may encounter when shopping for insurance, including ability to obtain insurance and affordability. This is caused (in part) by the use of “big data” and underwriting advances - those who have previously benefitted from larger risk pools (an important social function of insurance) and, consequentially, lower premiums, are now finding fewer options available to them.

This is particularly prevalent in the travel insurance market for consumers with pre-existing medical issues. As a result, the FCA has published “Call for Input: Access to insurance”, referring to a recent survey of 2,000 individuals which revealed that 35% of UK adults suffer from a medical condition and 23% of those surveyed found difficulty in getting cover for a pre-existing medical condition within the past three years.

The FCA believes that those with, or recovering from, cancer, are especially vulnerable to difficulties in obtaining travel insurance and is therefore seeking to encourage industry conversation with a focus on addressing this access issue.

Travel insurance: a complex market

The FCA recognises that the travel insurance market and the pricing mechanisms used by firms are complex. It accepts that, from an industry perspective, high premiums for some consumers with pre-existing medical conditions may be justified by the higher risk involved, the expected higher value of claims and/or a lengthier and more expensive underwriting process.

Through this call to evidence, the FCA seeks to understand the key challenges for the industry and consumers and identify opportunities for creating a more consumer-friendly environment.

FCA call to evidence: questions for the industry

The FCA is seeking evidence of the challenges firms face in providing travel insurance for consumers who have, or have had, cancer and the rationale for pricing differentiations in quoted premiums. The FCA wants to understand how consumer outcomes can be improved, whether by traditional methods or innovation.

The deadline for responses to the Call for Input is 15 September 2017.

What does this mean for the travel insurance market?

It is reasonable to assume that the FCA will expect the market to adapt to make travel insurance more accessible for consumers with medical conditions.

The Call for Input is an opportunity for those involved to have their say and influence any steps that the FCA may take. It is also an opportunity for innovation (including insurtech) to have a real impact and make a difference for the benefit of both the market and consumers.

How we can help

We would welcome the opportunity to discuss with you a response to the Call for Input, the impact that this may have on your existing business models and practices, and how you may take advantage of the likely opportunities.

Our Insurance Group is recognised as a leader in the field, bringing a long track record of great results, innovative attitude, highly effective advice and a level of service few law firms can match.

For more information contact

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