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, some older travellers are finding it hard to get cover 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. 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.
MoneySupermarket can help you find an insurer sympathetic to those who 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 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 maybe a price worth paying to avoid ending up out of pocket.
How to keep costs down in over 65 holiday insurance
The key to keeping down the cost of over 65s travel insurance is searching out reasonably priced cover; the best way to do this is by comparing quotes online.
Don't buy on price alone, without checking exactly what you are covered for - as you must have comprehensive cover in place.
While general insurers can offer cheap policies, you may also want to get quotes from insurers who specialise in older travellers.
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.
Over 65s travel tips
To ensure your break goes smoothly, the key is to 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, and to find out about local rules and customs - such as whether or not to tip.
Check your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your return date, and get all your immunisations 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.
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.
Remember to tell your bank that you are going abroad to avoid having your card stopped if your bank sees an unusual transaction at an overseas shop or ATM.
Take photocopies of all essential papers, such as passport and driving licence, and leave copies at home.
The risk of developing deep vein thrombosis can increase when travelling for long periods of time. If dehydration and poor circulation combine it can trigger a potentially life-threatening blood clot.
Advice on how to prevent this can vary between medical professionals but most agree that drinking plenty of water, wearing flight socks, and walking and stretching your legs at least every two hours can help to avoid any chance of suffering from DVT.
Check if it's safe to drink the water once you arrive at your destination, and if you're unsure whether food is safe to eat, politely decline.