Over 65? Don’t pay over the odds for your travel insurance

If you are over 65, enjoying your retirement and busy planning the holiday of a lifetime, it may come as a shock to discover just how costly obtaining travel insurance can be.

In fact, even if you are only aged 66, you can expect to pay significantly more than your peers who are just a year younger. This is because as soon as you hit your 66th birthday, you will be pushed into a higher risk bracket – even if you are still in perfectly good health. 

We found a worldwide annual multi-trip policy for a 65-year-old male for just £37 which covers up to £10,000,000 in medical expenses, as well as baggage and cancellation cover. However, if the same male were to have been born a year earlier, he would pay £59 for exactly the same cover. 

This discrepancy, although unfair, is down to the fact that statistically, insurers see the over-65s as having a higher risk of illness or accident while abroad. This means a greater chance of the customer making a claim – and a greater chance of them having to pay out. 


 

Travelling with pre-existing medical conditions

Unfortunately, having a pre-existing medical condition will result in your premium being even steeper. Prices for medical care in countries such as the USA can run into millions; therefore insurance providers have to take this into consideration.

For example, a 65 year-old male with high blood pressure and cholesterol obtaining a worldwide multi-trip policy would be looking at paying around £130 for his insurance. If, however he waited until he hit 66 to travel, this quote would jump to a whopping £181.24 – a steep price to pay for a birthday.

Given this reality, you may be tempted to think about withholding medical information from insurers when applying for cover. However, even if your condition is something you consider relatively insignificant such as mild asthma, not declaring it could deem your insurance invalid and leave you with a huge bill for medical care if you were to become ill abroad.

The same danger applies even if you were to fall ill with something that is completely unrelated to your condition. Be aware that insurers can obtain access to your medical records, so not declaring it just to obtain a lower premium simply isn’t worth it.

That said, finding travel insurance for pre-existing conditions isn’t particularly easy, with some providers refusing to provide cover at all for some conditions. Fortunately, MoneySupermarket has a dedicated channel where you can compare quotes and find the cheapest insurance price for your big trip away. Reading our article ‘Travel Insurance with Pre-existing medical conditions’ will also give you more detailed information and advice.

How to get the cheapest insurance

It may seem that it is inevitable you are going to have to shell out a substantial amount of cash just to make sure you’re protected on your travels.

However, there are steps that you can take to make sure you get the best possible price for your circumstances. Taking a few minutes to compare policies online will allow you to see all the various options available – but remember when searching for quotes the cheapest isn’t always the best. 

Check the small print carefully for exclusions, as there is no point going for a policy that appears attractive at first glance but wouldn’t pay out when it was really needed.

Opting to pay a higher voluntary excess could be a way to reduce your premium but just make sure that you could actually afford to pay this if you had to put in a claim.

Choosing a different destination could also significantly bring the cost down as some countries such as America, the Caribbean and Canada are renowned for having sky-high prices for medical care. 

Brighter horizons

While it may seem unfair that you will have to pay so much more simply for being the wrong side of 65, it would appear that insurers are starting to realise this – and the good news is, the gap is narrowing.  And while you can’t control the price of insurance, you certainly can do your research and plan ahead so you avoid being stung with an unexpected cost just before you jet off.

Please note: Any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct.

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