Should people be penalised for what they can’t control?

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Let’s face it insurance is one of those things that very few of us actually enjoy paying out for.

It’s not something you get to hold or enjoy, and if you’re lucky it’s something that you can pay out for year after year – for your house, your car or your holiday – without any need to use it.

But my word, when you do need it, you’re usually grateful that you had it.

Travel insurance is often called upon for help with medical emergencies in foreign climes.

Take the British couple who went on holiday to New York recently and when their baby was born 11 weeks premature, they faced a hospital bill of £130,000.

Although the couple had taken out travel insurance, it didn’t initially appear that they would be covered. While this story had a happy ending – the insurers agreed to cover the family’s bill – others are not so lucky.

Today we feature the story of Louise Reilly, a keen traveller who saw the cost of her travel insurance multiply nearly eight-fold. Unfortunately Louise is currently battling cancer.

Obviously the company levies the premium it sees fit for that individual’s circumstances. As Insurancewith say in the story, ‘change in treatment or medication, the choice of a destination or choosing to stay longer’ can all make a difference.

But should Louise be penalised so harshly financially for something that is outside her control? Particularly when she appears to be doing all the right things in terms of managing her condition and making sure she had her GP’s approval before making her plans.

When you drive, if you have an accident, you see your premium rise, and that is understandable. But how can such high premiums be justified for people trying to live a risk-free life, but are still tripped up by conditions like cancer.

You could, of course, go on holiday without taking out any insurance at all, but you may as well play Russian roulette.

And insurance companies naturally have to protect their own bottom line. Is there a middle-ground here?

To read the full story click here.