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Policyholders going abroad face losing their critical cover

Sesame research manager Dale Tranter says critical-illness policyholders could be left without cover because some product providers stop cover if they are out of the area stated in their policy for as little as 13 weeks.

He says: “Clients could work or live abroad for a relatively short term and no longer be covered despite their chances of getting cancer or having a heart attack being no greater than when they were in the UK. In some cases, they may even be unaware that they could be off risk.” Aegon Scottish Equitable applies a residency exclusion and its critical-illness policyholders cannot travel or live outside the area stated in its policy for more than 13 weeks or their cover will be suspended.

Aegon head of claims and underwriting Matt Rann says: “We still apply a residency exclusion as we believe some countries have an increased risk of a claim occurring due to the higher incidence of particular illnesses, the poor standard and availability of healthcare and the unreliability of medical information required to support a claim.”

Tranter adds that some insurers require clients who are taken off risk to undergo the full underwriting processes again if they want to reinstate cover.

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