In its own words the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is “the conduct regulator for 56,000 financial services firms and financial markets in the UK and the prudential regulator for over 18,000 of those firms”.
On 21st July this year the FCA issued a “Call for Input” paper requesting views on “the challenges firms face in providing travel insurance for consumers who have, or have had cancer, together with the rationale for pricing differentiations in quoted premiums.” The FCA are asking for input, by 15th September, note the date, from both the industry providers (i.e. insurance companies and their big-hitting lobbyist organisations) and from consumers (i.e. cancer patients and their support organisations). The industry employs the likes of the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) to represent them. Consumers have only themselves, support organisations and charities such as Macmillan to put the case for cancer patients.
With all this in mind click on the above FCA logo or click here to see the contents of the “Call for Input: Access to Insurance” paper.
Sometimes the document feels a little like a “template” built to serve any number of issues involving any financial institution or industry for which the FCA has a regulatory responsibility; the “consumer” could be any individual or group for which fairness and transparency of access to financial products is the major concern.
However, there is specific mention of organisations (besides Macmillan) that seem to have long recognised that all is far from well (being neither fair nor transparent) in the travel insurance business world and in their treatment of people coping with cancer and other long-term health conditions. Mention is made of Bought By Many, a campaigning organisation which seeks to multiply the power of the individual by forming collective groups of insurance consumers. The other is Travel Insurance Facilities Group an organisation which aims to provide more customised travel insurance proposals than do those companies that rely exclusively on the use of on-line automated logarithm techniques, which make little allowance for the circumstance of the individual.