More and more people are seeing their retirement as an opportunity to travel the world, and are heading for foreign climes. But despite people generally living longer, healthier, and more active lives, it can be difficult to find travel insurance for the over 65s at an affordable price.
What is over 65s travel insurance?
As you get older, the price you pay for travel insurance increases; this is because insurers perceive older travellers as being higher risk. Typically, insurers have one price bracket for those aged 18-64, with those aged 65 or over paying higher premiums. This can mean that some low-risk healthy customers get turned down for being the wrong side of 65. But all is not lost, as there are insurers who will offer holiday insurance to the over 65s.
Travel insurance for the over 65s may come at a price, but equally, you may find you get additional benefits which you wouldn't have got with a standard policy, such as extra emergency and medical cover.
Pre-existing medical conditions in the over 65s
Statistically, the older you are, the more likely you are to make a medical claim - and especially if you already have a pre-existing medical condition, such as angina or diabetes. This also means that once you’re over 60, travel insurance becomes more important than ever. But tempting as it may be to stretch the truth, you must not lie about your medical history when applying for cover, as failing to disclose all the facts could invalidate the policy when you come to claim.
Find out how to find a sympathetic insurer if you have pre-existing medical conditions.
Other travel insurance options for the over 65s
Many travellers over 65 are retired, and often head abroad for a longer period, or to several different destinations. If you go abroad more than twice a year, a multi-trip policy is likely to be cheaper than single trip policies. Equally, if you are only travelling within Europe, a “Europe-only” policy will be cheaper than a worldwide policy.
Some travel insurance policies provide cover against the airline you are flying with going bust, along with strikes, and various natural disasters, such as earthquakes and hurricanes. You may have to pay extra for this cover - but it may be a price worth paying to avoid ending up out of pocket.
How to keep costs down in over 60s holiday insurance
The key to keeping down the cost of over 60s travel insurance is searching out reasonably priced cover - and the best way to do this is by comparing quotes online. When you compare travel insurance with MoneySuperMarket, you’ll be able to declare any pre-existing medical conditions and filter results by a number of features including cancellation value, baggage cover, and medical cover.
The travel insurance quotes automatically display the cheapest quote at the top, but don't buy on price alone. Failing to check exactly what you are covered for is likely to leave you out-of-pocket in the long run.
As well as comparing the level of cover, the duration of cover and the excess, reviewing the Defaqto rating is also important. It’s an independent view of the quality of the travel insurance policy and is designed to give you an overview of how the cover compares to other options. If you want to see the best-rated insurance, simply sort results by the Defaqto rating.
Over 65s travel tips
The advice for anyone planning a trip is the same whether you’re 18 or over 60. Top tips include:
- Plan ahead. Read up on your destination both in guide books and online so you know what to pack, what the weather will be like, find out about local rules and customs - such as whether or not to tip - and check if the water is potable.
- Check your passport. Make sure it’s valid for at least six months beyond your return date.
- Check if you need immunisations and get these done in good time.
- Apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) as this entitles you to free or reduced-cost state medical treatment in many European countries.
- Get your currency sorted. Don't wait until you've got to the airport to change your money; shop around for the best deals on your currency in advance, and consider a prepaid currency card that you load up before you go.
- Consider a travel credit card. Don’t get stung by avoidable foreign transaction or purchase fees.
- Tell your bank. If you plan to use your card abroad, make sure your bank knows so they don’t stop your card if they spot unusual transactions.
- Copy your travel documents. Take photocopies of all essential papers, such as passport and driving licence, and leave copies at home.
- Drink plenty of water and move every two hours when you travel. Most medical professionals agree that the best way to avoid DVT is to drink plenty of water, wear flight socks and walk or stretch your legs every two hours.