How to find specialist insurance cover when you don’t fit ‘standard’ risk levels

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Woman looking at a map
11:30am, Mon 03 May 2021
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Insurance provides vital help at the points in your life when you really need it. But, while insurance is generally widely available, not everyone finds it easy to find a policy that suits them.

They may not fit into the ‘standard’ levels of risk, perhaps because they have a serious pre-existing medical condition.

Help is available though for those who find themselves being refused travel cover due to medical conditions, or who have perhaps found the cover they have been offered too expensive.

New requirements to make it easier for consumers with serious pre-existing medical conditions to find suitable travel insurance have been introduced by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The regulator previously estimated that up to around 14 million consumers with a pre-existing medical condition look to buy travel insurance each year.

In line with the requirements, travel directories have been developed to help firms signpost people towards a suitable policy.

One directory is available on the Money Advice Service website (

Another, meanwhile, has been developed by the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA), which can be found on their site (

BIBA also has a general ‘find insurance’ directory that helps people to find specialist brokers to help with a range of needs – from insuring exotic animals, to vintage car cover or static caravan insurance.

And, in another move which should help to improve access to insurance for consumers, BIBA is also developing an industry flood insurance directory for launch later in the year.

While many households’ current overseas travel plans are uncertain, BIBA’s services have helped people to travel before the coronavirus pandemic.

In one case, a 69-year-old woman who had several pre-existing conditions, including cancer, was was referred to BIBA member insurance broker, Just Travel, from BIBA’s find insurance service in October 2019. She was able to get cover for a two-week overseas holiday in November that year.

Graeme Trudgill, BIBA executive director, says: “We are determined to help people get the insurance cover they need. It is sometimes more challenging for those with medical conditions to get travel insurance.

“With our experience in connecting many thousands of people and business with specialist brokers on all sorts of insurance requests through our find insurance services, we were delighted to meet the FCA criteria for a medical cover firm directory.”

Check the latest travel advice from the UK Government before making any travel plans (

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