How does over 80s travel insurance work?
Older travellers can find it hard to get holiday insurance as insurers are less willing to offer cover to people above a certain age. This is especially true for holidaymakers in their 80s, as many insurers impose an upper limit of 79.
Insurers price premiums according to the increased risk that comes with their age, with older people statistically more likely to make a claim, this can be due to requiring medical treatment whilst overseas, or for cancelling a trip due to ill health - with the treatment cost likely to be higher.
In some cases, those in their 80s can find they are turned down for cover altogether.
While you may be tempted to consider travelling without insurance, this is false economy, as you could end up completely out of pocket should anything go wrong.
Instead, you need to do a little research to find an insurer who is willing to offer cover to those aged 80 and over.
The good news is, there are a number of providers who offer travel insurance for the over 80s.
Generally speaking, policies for the over 80s may cost a little more, but they may well come with additional benefits that are not included in policies for younger travellers, such as extra emergency and medical cover.
Pre-existing medical conditions and over 80s travel insurance
Older travellers are more likely to suffer from an illness such as a heart condition or cancer, and can find it hard to get cover at an affordable price, as many standard policies exclude pre-existing conditions.
While you may be tempted to omit some of the details about any pre-existing conditions you have to try and reduce the cost on your insurance, this could end up costing you more later on down the line, if you fail to declare these at the outset, any subsequent cover could be invalidated.
If you are struggling to get cover, you'll be pleased to know there are insurers who will offer cover specifically for older travellers with pre-existing illnesses.
These providers who offer holiday insurance for the over 80s will look in more detail at your particular medical history and claims history and base your premium on this.
MoneySupermarket can help you find an insurer sympathetic to those with pre-existing medical conditions.
Alternative holiday insurance option for over 80s
Many people aged over 80 are retired, and often travel for a longer period, or to several different destinations.
But while multi-trip or annual policies tend to be cheaper than single trip policies, annual multi-trip policies are not always as cost-effective for older travellers, as some insurers impose a limit of 74 or 79 on annual policies.
That said, not all do - so a bit of research could mean you save money by finding an insurer who will offer you an annual policy.
Equally, you may be able to make savings elsewhere, as if you're only planning on travelling to Europe, you may be able to cut costs by opting for a Europe-only policy, rather than a worldwide policy.
Saving money on over 80s travel insurance
It's usually a good idea to avoid letting the travel agent package your travel insurance with the holiday, as this can cost more in many cases.
Take the time to do some research online and make sure you check the small print.
While general insurers can offer cheap policies, you may also want to get quotes from insurers who specialise in older travellers, such as those over 80.
At MoneySupermarket, you can compare travel insurance from both general insurers and specialists; the site will guide you towards some of the more competitive options.
Travel advice for the over 80s
Check well before you travel if you need malaria tablets or any vaccinations, as some treatments must be started before your trip, and find out about the health risks of the country you're visiting on the NHS website.
Make sure you drink plenty of water and take regular exercise during a flight to reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis.
Go easy on alcoholic drinks, and wear compression stockings or flight socks.
If you're going on a cruise, you'll find hand gel dispensers all over the ship, and especially near food areas - make sure you use them to reduce the chance of illness spreading.
Don't leave renewing your passport until the last minute, and check if you need a visa for any of the destinations you plan to visit.
If you are travelling to Europe, make sure you've got a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), as these give UK residents access to state-provided healthcare at reduced cost, or sometimes free, when visiting an EU country. But you will still need full travel insurance, because the EHIC doesn't cover private treatment or repatriation.
Keep a copy of your passport separate from the document itself; also leave a copy at home.