Some leading insurers are being increasingly picky about who they will insure.
None of them are going public on this, but trade sources suggest a drastic tightening up. Insurers now have to rely on underwriting profits as their investment income has dried up. So some are not prepared to take on people or types of people where they may make a loss.
Insurers are also increasing premiums by at least 25% for those with a high body mass index (BMI) for their height, on top of extra charges for being overweight.
Although all insurers pick and choose the risks they will take on, there are fears that panic means some are rejecting customers outright because they prefer to avoid paying for medical reports.
Some insurers will penalise people who are fully fit and healthy but have suffered from a condition in the past — or even if their relatives have had health problems.
This does mean that, even if you are the perfect insurance proposition, it makes a lot of sense to shop around. Do not assume that the big brand names offer you the best deal, as smaller companies can be more flexible.