Financial watchdog to probe insurance access issues

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The challenges faced by cancer patients in finding suitable travel insurance are being probed by a watchdog.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is seeking views and evidence of the challenges firms face in providing travel insurance for consumers who have, or have had, cancer, and the problems for these travellers in accessing cover.

It will also look at the reasons for pricing differences in premiums quoted.

The move is part of a wider focus by the FCA on problems people can face when trying to find insurance that meets their needs.

The regulator wants to hear about examples of innovative practices in the current market, any barriers that firms face in addressing existing challenges or that prevent innovation, and potential improvements that could result in better consumer outcomes.

Feedback should be received by the FCA by September 15, and the watchdog expects to release a statement in late 2017 with its findings and set out what it plans to do in light of the responses.

Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA, said: "Being able to access financial services is critical for people to fully participate in society.

"We hope that this will encourage discussion on access issues to examine the challenges for firms and consumers."