The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) and AllClear Travel Insurance, along with a number of medical charities in the UK, have announced the formation of a new ‘Action Group’ that will help to improves access to travel insurance for customers with pre-existing medical conditions.
The Group, which was officially formed at a recent roundtable event hosted by AllClear, is developing a plan of action to help the travel insurance industry and the charity sector to improve awareness, understanding and accessibility for this demographic, while also working to improve signposting and make exclusions within travel insurance policies more transparent.
BIBA said that every year it receives as many as 550,000 enquiries from people needing access to specialist insurance for their pre-existing conditions. Unfortunately, according to Chris Rolland, CEO of AllClear, as many as one in five people travel without insurance: “Medical travel insurance claims can reach hundreds of thousands, or even millions of pounds. A night in a US hospital can easily cost £10,000 and it is vital these costs are understood and correctly weighed against the risk of travelling without cover. It was clear from our roundtable that charities want to help inform their beneficiaries and supporters and want this information to come from industry experts.”
One of the medical charities present at the roundtable was Kidney Care UK. The charity’s Policy Director Fiona Loud commented: “Every week we hear from patients asking us about travel insurance and providers, worried about the costs and confused about how insurance works for people with kidney disease. Many patients simply don’t understand why their insurance quotes are so high and or what is covered. More worrying is that patients may be travelling without insurance. We’re delighted to be part of this Action Group and look forward to helping insurers understand the complexity of a condition like kidney disease and helping patients understand how they can get the best out of travel insurance.”
Also present at the roundtable was medical risk assessment provider Verisk Risk Rating. Representatives from the company explained how risk assessment software can help insurers to get a clearer picture of the individual needs of a customer with pre-existing medical conditions, better tailoring coverage and reducing the risk to the insurer.
“We have been analysing medical travel insurance risk since 1999, working with AllClear since day one, and have worked hard to obtain a level of detail that is required by insurers and is not unnecessarily arduous for the consumer,” said Paul Beven, Managing Director of Verisk Risk Rating. “The forum was very useful, and I welcome the further collaboration between ourselves and charities to support the best outcomes for travellers with medical conditions.”