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Fiona Macrae the founder of Insurancewith talks to Sky News about being diagnosed with breast cancer and how it spurred her on to create an affordable travel insurance policy for people diagnosed with cancer.
With a background in insurance, Fiona understood risk but couldn’t understand why she was deemed an unacceptable risk just because she hadn’t actually had an operation to remove her cancer, she had had her chemotherapy and was waiting for her surgery and radiotherapy, a two month break in treatment was an ideal time to fit in a quick holiday in the sun. However finding a travel insurer to cover her was impossible, Fiona found the whole process very confusing and demoralising. If she understood insurance and found the process confusing, what chance did the general public have!
It was this experience that made her determined to create a travel insurance policy for people with medical conditions that was easy to understand and affordable.
Holiday travel insurance soars for the sick
Fiona Macrae had hoped that a holiday would break up months of hospital treatments, a trip to France was supposed to take her mind off her breast cancer, but she said that travel insurance companies were intrusive or insensitive. “You’ve been through your treatment you don’t want to be telling someone constantly about it on a phone call, to a stranger, discussing personal medical information with what can sometimes be kids in call centres”.
Thousands of people needing time away are facing similar problems, many companies will increase travel insurance prices or even refuse cover for those with medical conditions. We called 10 companies to see what impact illnesses would have on travel insurance prices, 8 companies wouldn’t cover a previous condition like cervical cancer, another asked for a medical report and in the last case the price jumped from £67 to over £2037 for 10 days in New York and that was because of previous medical conditions.
Which the consumer watchdog say people are effectively black listed from getting travel insurance, “the insurance industry does need to catch up, ok if there are conditions where there is a big risk obviously that should be reflected in the policy, but people should be getting fair deals.
The cost for travel insurance varies on where you travel; it is much more expensive in say America where medical bills are higher.
Fiona says people who have had previous medical conditions should be able to travel to faraway places, and has now set up her own specialist insurance company, but accepts that the industry still has a long way to go.