There are advantages to being an older traveller, firstly, it tends to be the older traveller that has more spare time in which to travel and secondly, a greater amount of disposable income to afford specialist adventure holidays. However there are often disadvantages that have in the past prevented a person from travelling, which is a great shame, as nothing should stop us all from enjoying some of the best years of our life….
One disadvantage is the dreaded holiday insurance and its not just people over 60 or 65 who are affected, even if you are over 40 there is a steep increase in the cost of holiday insurance. From this point the cost of premiums tend to go up every 10, or even 5 years. Once you reach the magic age of 65 some of the most popular insurance companies policies will not cover you, and if they do, premiums commonly double again, and then continue to increase as you pass 70.
These financial increases and age cut-off points are added despite the fact that older travellers tend to be wiser and more experienced and certainly a lot less likely to end up in hospital after falling off a balcony or diving into the shallow end of the swimming pool after too much to drink.
The standard response from insurers is that the higher premiums reflect an increased risk of other types of medical claim, which are also among the most expensive to settle. Older people, they say, fall ill more often, are more prone to different types of accidents, have to stay longer in hospital and are more expensive to treat.
All this is very frustrating, as they seem to have ignored the fact that lots of customers over the age of 65 are fitter than many younger travellers. Insurers only look at the averages and weigh everything in their favour: Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could find an insurer who offered a discount for being fit?
If you already have an illness or a health condition (It is very important that you declare these) there is a good chance that if they are prepared to cover you at all they will charge you even more, and probably include an exclusion for treatment which is related to that existing illness or condition.
When looking for a suitable holiday insurance policy, the problem is trying to compare premiums becomes very difficult as no two travel insurance policies offer exactly the same levels of cover or terms and conditions. The best policy for you may not be the cheapest overall however; it will be the one that offers you enough cover at the best price.
To make the job of finding good holiday insurance for our customers simpler we have put together 6 top tips on finding the best insurance cover at the right price.
Below is a comprehensive list of insurers that all our customers have recommended from personal experience.
Step 1: Take out insurance immediately
Did you know that Holiday insurance covers you from the moment you take out the policy until the day you return home (if travelling less than 1 year away) By taking out holiday insurance as soon as you have booked the holiday you then are covered for cancellation insurance (subject to the terms / value of your policy) so therefore if you should have to cancel your holiday due to ill health you can claim your loss of deposits / payments etc back from your insurers.
Step 2: Find a specialist insurer our recommended list
This is a selection of companies that offer cover to over-65s and older people.
Age UK Travel Insurance (0800 030 4880; www.ageuk.org.uk) is owned by the charity Age UK, which represents Age Concern combined. It offers all types of single-trip and annual policies, with no upper age limit.
All Clear Insurance (0845 250 5250; allcleartravel.co.uk) offers cover to “all ages”.
Avanti Travel Insurance (0800 066 5604; avantitravelinsurance.co.uk) has no age limit on single trip policies (70 for annual policies).
Flexicover (0800 093 9495; flexicover.co.uk) single-trip and annual multi-trip insurance goes up to the age of 85.
Freedom Insurance (01223 454290; freedominsure.co.uk) policies have a maximum age of 85 for a single trip, but 75 for annual policies.
Holidaysafe Insurance (0845 658 0570; holidaysafe.co.uk) has no maximum age for single trips (79 for its annual policy).
Insurance with (020 3829 3875; insurancewith.com) offers no age limit on single trip policies (85 on its annual policy).
JD Travel Insurance (01689 859102; jdtravelinsurance.co.uk) has no age limit for single trips, but 74 is the maximum age for annual cover.
PJ Hayman (0800 170 7704; freespirittravelinsurance.com) imposes no upper age limit for single or multi trip cover.
Columbus Direct (0800 0680 060; columbusdirect.com) offers single-trip cover up to the age of 85, annual up to 74 years. For those aged 80 and over who want to travel for 31 days or more, Gold policies are available.
Saga (0800 015 8055; saga.co.uk) tailors policies to the over-50s but family and friends who are under 50 can be added. There is no upper age limit.
Staysure (0800 033 4902; staysure.co.uk) has no upper age limit for single-trip policies, annual up to 85 years.
World First (0345 908 0161; world-first.co.uk) covers those up to the age of 100 for a single trip, and up to age 79 on annual cover.
Step 3: Buy a multi-trip policy
Many of our customers travel away with us more than once a year, our also have family holidays in addition to their adventure holidays. If you do or expect to travel away more than twice a year, it will probably be cheaper to take out an annual “multi-trip” policy, which will cover you for all the travel you do in that year.
Step 4: Cut cover
Many policies are now flexible especially for the over 65, take time in looking over what the policy covers, there may be risks covered in the policy that you do not require, just a simple question to the company to remove unrequired cover, or maybe increase the excess on your policy. You will be surprized what you can remove from your insurance to reduce the cost. Insurance companies do not make this common knowledge, as it is not in their benefit to reduce the cost of their premiums.
Step 5: Declare health problems
Please do not be tempted to try and reduce your premiums by not correctly declaring health problems. This is what worries insurers most. If you are taken ill because of a condition that you did not declare when you bought the insurance, your claim will not be paid.
Even if you have an annual policy, you must inform the insurer if you develop a condition during the period covered by the insurance. Typical conditions might be high blood pressure, diabetes, or cancer, even in remission, but if you are in doubt talk to the company before you buy cover, and have all the details recorded in writing. It may not increase your premium by much and the insurer might not be concerned about it. On the other hand, it might result in a specific exclusion on treatment, or cover might be refused.
Step 6: Stick with your insurers
Although we never actually know just how good our insurance policy is until we have to make a claim. If you believe that you have a good policy and at a premium that you are happy with, it is best to just renew with the same company for the same cover each year.