New FCA signposting travel insurance rules

27 March 2020. Published by Lauren Murphy, Senior Associate

Earlier this month the FCA published a policy statement detailing new requirements aimed at helping consumers with pre-existing medical conditions (PEMCs) obtain travel insurance. The new requirements demonstrate the FCA's continuing focus on improving the treatment and protection of vulnerable consumers accessing insurance and other forms of financial services.

Under the new rules, firms are required to direct or signpost consumers with PEMCs who are looking for travel insurance to a directory of specialist travel insurance providers. The signposting to consumers is required when a consumer is declined or otherwise not offered cover and applies to new policies, renewals and mid-term adjustments.

The FCA is working with the Money and Pension Service which is due this summer to set up a directory in accordance with the FCA criteria. Note however, based on recent guidance from the FCA, certain activities are being scaled back as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic so this may change. 

Organisations and firms are also permitted to create alternative directories and firms are free to signpost to compliant directory (or directories) of their choosing.

Firms must implement the signposting requirements by 5 November 2020

Additionally, the FCA is also looking to publish guidance aimed at improving consumer understanding of the travel insurance market including the implications of PEMC exclusions.

Read the FCA's policy statement here.

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