A fifth of travellers refused travel insurance

12 February 2011 12:46

A fifth of travellers refused travel insurance

Research by travel insurance specialist, World First Travel Insurance has shown that 20 percent of their customers have been refused travel insurance elsewhere and almost 60 percent faced a surcharge on their policy because of their age or health or that of someone they were travelling with.

The research, which was carried out by independent research company, PFA Research, targeted more than 600 people throughout the UK who had previously insured with World First Travel Insurance.

Customers were asked if they'd had trouble finding travel insurance in the past. They were invited to provide feedback on the reasons insurers had given them for refusing to provide them with cover or putting a surcharge on the cost of their policy.

601 people responded to this question. People were able to tick more than one answer should they have encountered the problem on more than one occasion.

The research found that;

  • 29 (5pc overall) had been refused insurance because of their age or that of a person travelling with them;
  • 92 (15pc overall) had been refused insurance because of their health or that of a person travelling with them;
  • 42 (7pc overall) had been faced with a premium surcharge because of their age or that of a person travelling with them;
  • 297 (49pc overall) had been charged a premium surcharge because of their health or that of a person travelling with them; and
  • 249 (41pc overall) respondents stated they had not been refused insurance or had to pay a surcharge.

Martin Rothwell, managing partner of World First Travel Insurance said, "It's staggering how many people struggle to find travel insurance if they have pre-existing medical conditions or are over the age of 65. The figures revealed by our research really put the problem into perspective.

"As a travel insurance specialist we can provide cover for people up to the age of 100, as well as medical travel insurance. We can provide people with a comprehensive package of cover that other insurers simply can't offer.

"The findings in the research echo the anecdotal feedback re receive from our customers on a daily basis. Many people who insure with us are surprised that we can offer them a policy and that it is such good value."

As highlighted by this research, older travellers and people with pre-existing medical conditions find it difficult to get cheap travel insurance. Insurers are less able to offer competitive travel insurance to people who fit into this category due to the perceived increased risk.

Specialist insurers are more likely to be able to provide single trip travel insurance policies and provide cover for people struggling to find travel insurance from other providers or price comparison websites who do not cater for the needs of travelers with medical problems.

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