We have made changes to the Handbook to introduce new requirements to help consumers with more serious pre-existing medical conditions (PEMCs) better navigate the travel insurance market. Firms that sell travel insurance will have to signpost consumers to a directory of specialist firms that provide this type of insurance.
In addition to signposting, the FCA will be working with stakeholders to try to improve consumer understanding of the travel insurance market, including producing material on PEMCs. This information will help consumers understand the implications of travelling with exclusions, and how factors such as country of travel can impact medical costs and therefore travel insurance premiums.
Our changes will:
These changes will primarily be of interest to:
Some consumers with PEMCs have problems navigating the market and finding affordable cover for their conditions.
Some are declined cover, only offered cover that excludes their PEMC or offered what they consider to be unaffordable premiums.
In July 2019, we consulted on new requirements for firms to signpost certain consumers with PEMCs to a directory of travel insurance firms that are able and willing to cover consumers with more serious PEMCs.
We also consulted on new guidance to clarify how we expect firms to treat travel insurance customers with PEMCs.
We received 37 responses to the consultation from a range of stakeholders. These included both mainstream and specialist insurance firms, trade bodies, medical screening companies, charities, consumer organisations and price comparison websites.
This policy statement summarises the feedback we received to this consultation, our response and the final rules and guidance we are making as a result.
Firms offering retail travel insurance must implement the new requirements by 5 November 2020.
Firms will also be required to include the details of the directory on their website within 30 days of becoming aware of the directory going live. We expect the MaPS directory to be completed by Summer 2020.
We will carry out a review approximately 12-18 months post-implementation to assess whether our rules and guidance are delivering our intended outcomes.
We will also support MaPS’ work to create its directory. This is expected to be completed by Summer 2020. MaPS expect to publish further information about the directory, including details of the application process for firms, later in February.