In May 2015 the Cystic Fibrosis Trust launched a travel insurance survey in response to concerns raised by the CF community via our helpline over issues ranging from travel insurance to oxygen on flights.
The results revealed the shocking extent of premiums and restrictions that are often imposed by the travel insurance industry on those affected by cystic fibrosis. These findings included:
- No cover – 1 in 6 said they were forced to travel without insurance.
- Simply unfair – 7 out of 10 people with cystic fibrosis say they are treated unfairly by insurance companies.
- Hiked up costs – Nearly 1 in 4 people with CF pay £250 or more for travel insurance and nearly 1 in 10 pay over £500.
- It takes time – 1 in 4 said it took at least 4 hours to find appropriate insurance cover.
- What would improve things for people with cystic fibrosis? 9 out 10 respondents want travel insurance to be more affordable and 8 out of 10 want more comprehensive insurance cover.
See the survey results (PDF 78KB).
Making travel fair
As a result of these findings we are campaigning to make travel fair and end the discrimination for those with cystic fibrosis and their families.
We are calling for:
- The travel insurance industry to provide cost effective travel insurance based on an individual’s health rather than their condition.
- Charter airlines to provide oxygen on board for those with cystic fibrosis (and others needing to use it) free of charge.
What we have achieved so far
Since our travel campaign launched five years ago, we have continued to meet with a number of specialist travel insurance companies to discuss cystic fibrosis treatments and care to help insurance companies better understand the condition and manage the risks of providing cover for those with the condition.
We have highlighted important factors that might otherwise affect premiums, such as multiple medications, complications such as CF-related diabetes and explaining the difference between planned and emergency intravenous antibiotics.
The meetings have included patient and clinical representation and have been key to creating improved and affordable access to travel insurance over the past five years for people with CF and their families.
As a direct result of our meetings with a major specialist insurance provider in 2019 around medical screening questions, it was confirmed by the company that there has been a notable cost reduction for those seeking cover for their condition.
Many other companies we have worked with have used the information we have provided to improve user experience. For example, using questions and terminology that is relevant and drop-down boxes for CF medications.
Many of these changes have helped ensure a faster and more user-friendly service. However, we appreciate that despite these changes, the process of buying insurance can still often be time consuming, so there is still much more to do!
The Trust is continuing to engage with insurance providers during 2020 and beyond to continue to help improve access to insurance cover for those with cystic fibrosis UK wide.
The Trust’s helpline provides a list of up-to-date travel insurance companies that may offer CF cover.
This list can only be accessed on request via the helpline, and includes companies we have worked with previously and recommendations from the CF community where they have had a positive experience.
The Trust does not recommend any specific travel insurance company.
Contact the helpline
Please check back for further updates on our Travel Fair campaign.
For further travel advice and information on insurance or oxygen on flights, please contact the Trust’s helpline.
If you would like to get involved with the campaign or share your experience please contact firstname.lastname@example.org