It has long been an aim of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to ensure that all customers are treated fairly. One of the main areas of concentration that has been on the radar of the FCA has been in relation to travel insurance customers who have pre-existing medical conditions.
The concern has surrounded that fact that in some cases these customers have found it difficult to obtain travel insurance, may have obtained travel insurance that is unsuitable due to exclusions within it, or the pricing of a policy is prohibited causing an increased possibility of consumers travelling uninsured.
The FCA has recently released paper referenced PS20/3 called signposting to travel insurance for consumers with medical conditions. In summary, the regulator has tried to deal with many of the problems that have existed by signposting consumers to specialist providers who may be able to help with medical conditions. As a result they have created the Money and Pensions Services Directory operated as the name suggests through the Money and Pension Advice Service (MaPS), which is a free and impartial money and pension advice service set up by the Government to provide information and guides to help improve the finances of consumers.
Therefore, with effect from the 26th April this year, new rules come into effect that require brokers such as ourselves to signpost consumers to a suitable travel insurance directory under certain circumstances. We must signpost a consumer:-
- Where an insurer declines or otherwise does not offer a quotation due wholly or partly to a medical condition.
- Where an insurer cancels a consumers policy due wholly or partly to a medical condition.
- Where an insurer offers a policy with a medical condition exclusion which cannot be removed from the policy.
- Where an insurer offers a policy with a medical condition premium of £100 or more and/or offers a policy in respect of which a medical condition premium is not known.
In order to fulfil our obligations under these new rules, MOFS, as proud members of the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA), will be using the BIBA Find Insurance Service to signpost customers to an independent directory outside of MaPS, where customers will be able to source an exclusion fee or appropriately priced product if we are unable to do so. We will still be able to provide quotations as we do now, which you can obtain online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year, by visiting the travel insurance section of our website, which can be accessed by clicking the following link: https://www.mofs.co.uk/services/travel/
Further information on the BIBA Find Insurance Service can also be found in the Travel section of our website.