Holidays 2019: Travel insurance revamp reveals huge hidden holiday issues – what are they? | Travel News | Travel
Travel insurance policies often have grey areas or huge room for human error when filling out the forms – yet new changes may worsen the situation for some Britons. Charity Macmillan has spoken exclusively to Express.co.uk about the re-vamp of policies, centred on the issue of pre existing medical conditions. Earlier this year, Express.co.uk reported how, currently, numerous policies do not cover pre-existing medical conditions, leaving many travellers ineligible and open to be unprotected. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) then announced a consultation which could change all that – opening the door for better protection for Britons.
The survey was specially targeted at giving those with pre-existing troubles better access to travel insurance policies.
Yet while Macmillan commend the new FCA guidelines on making cover more affordable and comprehensive for those with pre existing medical conditions, they additionally shine light on the hidden struggles of some Britons obtaining policies.
Pav Main, 58, from Wolverhampton was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2016 and travel insurance worries have marred her holiday experiences.
She told Express.co.uk: “The first huge disappointment was finding out that I’d miss my brother’s milestone birthday, his 60th, in Greece.
“My insurers put an immediate restriction on my account and told me not to travel.
“I always thought that if I was honest, it’d be fine but instead when I tried to find alternative quotes, they would often be more than the cost of a holiday.
“One of the worst was over £600 which wouldn’t cover me if I fell ill with anything that could be linked to my cancer.
“Even two years into remission I still couldn’t get affordable insurance; now it’s three years on and I’ve got cover but it’s double the price.”
Therefore, for a significant amount of time, Pav was priced out of the travel insurance market.
This boxing off of some Britons may become all the more evident with Brexit.
Should the UK leave the EU on October 31 as scheduled, EHIC cards will no longer be valid, making travel insurance health cover all the more important.
Amanda South, Financial Guidance Service Manager for Macmillan’s free support line, said: “We hear from people on our support line and online community who have, or have had, cancer and are quoted very high prices for travel insurance. This is even the case for people long into their recovery.
“Many are left exasperated by the experience of navigating the system at an already difficult time, and our financial guides are left to try and pick up the pieces.
“With summer here, everyone should be able to look forward to a much-needed holiday without the stress and anxiety of multiple internet searches, long phone calls and mountains of paperwork. Yet we know this is the reality for too many people living with cancer.”
The FCA believes around 0.7 per cent of Britons are flat out declined any cover every year.
Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA, said: “We want to reduce the numbers of consumers, who are currently faced with a choice of not travelling or travelling without insurance, and running the risk of incurring significant costs, including medical bills abroad.
“The changes proposed today will be an important step in helping people to navigate the market more easily and also in reducing the number of customers who are over-paying significantly for travel insurance.”