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'Absurd' Travel Insurance Costs Being Faced By Cancer Patients In The UK

'Absurd' Travel Insurance Costs Being Faced By Cancer Patients In The UK
A report by the City watchdog has revealed that affordable travel insurance is being hard to find by cancer patients even after the completion of a long treatment in the UK.
Now, in order to direct people to specialist cover, it will now work with the industry, says the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
The fact that such a large group of people were finding it difficult to travel was termed to be “absurd” by one trade body.
15 million people who have long-standing health conditions is now hoped to be helped by the action by the FCA.
Within the next decade, this group is anticipated to rise to 18 million, said the regulator. Many of the people with cancer had become marginalised by the insurance sector, the report further noted while completely focusing on people who have undergone treatment for cancer.
Among the problems face by the people the more important ones included a shortage of information related to alternative cover following the offering of expensive quotes or after being refused to be covered because of their condition, or previous condition. Further, such people also faced a problem unclear pricing of premiums.
This has resulted in many of such people to believe that they are uninsurable, especially after they do not find travel insurance through a price comparison website. This is irrespective of the fact that there are options of such people being covered by a number of specialist firms.
"One in hree people living in the UK are likely to get cancer at some point in their lives and it is absurd that this large group are prevented from travelling because they cannot get insurance or worse, forced to risk travelling without it,” said Melissa Collett, professional standards director at the Chartered Insurance Institute.
"Many people living with cancer and those in remission live healthy and full lives and we should be doing all we can to support them in this", she added.
There is little understanding of the health conditions of the people of the group by frontline insurance staff, found some of the people who faced difficulties.
According to media reports, despite having been declared cancer free medically following the removal of a 2mm cancerous "freckle" more than six years ago and regular checks up since then, a woman still found it difficult to get insurance.
Another person treated for "low-grade bladder cancer" was offered premiums of hundreds of pounds.
"I do not understand why I am charged very high premiums every time I travel abroad as my cancer history does not necessitate any medication or treatment and has no impact on my daily life," the respondent explained to the FCA.
Macmillan Cancer Support said that the plans from the FCA needs to be extended. The organization said that travel insurance phone calls to it was over 900 calls since January.
"Improved signposting will only benefit people with cancer if, at the end of it, there is fair and affordable cover available. As it stands, this is rarely the case," the charity's executive director of policy, Fran Woodard, said.
"No two cancer experiences are the same and if travel insurers want to meet the need for people with cancer, they must update their oversimplified medical screening to reflect this."

Christopher J. Mitchell

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