There's been a 50% rise in complaints about travel insurers changing policies after they've begun.
The problem, reported by consumer group Which?, involves cases where policyholders have developed a medical condition for the first time after starting a policy but before going on holiday.
Around one in three people in such situations who informed their insurers of such a development say they were told to pay a premium "top-up" or had their cover cancelled altogether. The insurers are doing so under clauses known as "change of risk" or "ongoing medical warranties." In one extreme case, a customer who developed a form of leukaemia was told he would have to pay nearly eight times his original premium to keep his policy active.
The insurers' actions appear in many cases to violate a 2004 ruling by the Financial Ombudsman Service which said firms normally couldn't refuse to cover new conditions that developed during the term of the policy. It said doing so was only reasonable if the condition fundamentally changed the nature of the risk being covered.