Policies will cover you for a single trip abroad. Most providers will have a maximum trip length to qualify for a single trip policy, but this can be up to 365 days with some insurers.
1Accurate as of November 2023
Travel insurance is designed to cover you for unforeseen events and emergencies that may happen while you're on holiday, such as:
Needing medical treatment
Stolen or lost baggage
Travellers over the age of 70 can qualify for standard travel insurance, covering all the above, but cover can often be more expensive for this age group.
This is because over 70s are more likely to have pre-existing medical conditions than younger travellers. This means that as well as an increased risk of needing medical treatment on holiday, over 70s are more likely to need to cancel a planned trip for medical reasons.
Specialised over 70s travel insurance often includes cover for pre-existing medical conditions, additional medical cover and/or cover for prescriptions (if you are stranded abroad without sufficient medication, for example).
It’s important to tell your travel insurer about any pre-existing medical conditions you have, or if you are waiting for test results or diagnosis. Failure to disclose any existing or previous medical conditions could disqualify you for cover when you make a claim.
Some common conditions may be covered as standard, while others might be covered for an extra premium. Some insurers will exclude pre-existing conditions from your cover, meaning that you won’t be able to claim any medical cover related to those conditions while you’re abroad.
However, there are special policies for travellers with pre-existing health conditions. These are usually more expensive than standard policies, but all your health problems will be covered while you travel.
If you’re still struggling to find suitable cover, the Money and Pensions Service (MaPs) also provide a list of specialist insurers on the MoneyHelper website, or you can call the British Insurance Brokers Association on 0370 950 1790.
Medical expenses: Insurance will cover the cost of emergency medical treatments you receive while abroad
Medical aids: Medical equipment and accessories that you bring abroad will be protected against loss or damage
Medication: If you lose your important prescription medication, your insurance will help you afford a replacement
Repatriation: If you need to return home in the event of an emergency, your insurance will help you cover travel costs
Baggage: If your baggage is stolen or damaged, travel insurance will pay out to help you replace important items
Cancellation: Travel insurance will cover the cost of your holiday if you have to cancel due to an emergency
Travel disruption: If your travel plans have been disrupted, insurance will help you cover alternative transport or accommodation
Non-disclosed pre-existing conditions: Providers won't cover any pre-existing conditions you didn't disclose when applying for your policy
Airline strikes: It is the responsibility of the airlines to compensate travellers for airline strikes and help organise alternative transport
High-risk activities: Insurers won't cover certain high risk activities that are likely to result in injury or damage, such as rock climbing
Accidents related to drugs/ alcohol: Insurers will not cover claims for accidents that occur while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Travelling against FCDO advice: Even with worldwide cover, insurers will not cover travel to countries that the FCDO has advised against
Missed flights: You will not be covered for missed transport if it is the result of poor time management or mistakes that you are responsible for
Choosing not to travel: You will not receive cancellation cover if the reason for cancelling is that you have changed your mind
Insurers will price your policy based on your holiday destination. This is because some destinations are riskier than others or have more expensive medical costs
If you’re purchasing a single-trip policy, getting cover for a longer trip will be more
With a standard travel insurance policy, most providers will increase the cost if you have a history of medical problems. Specialist policies for pre-existing conditions are more expensive than standard policies
Adding extra cover to your policy will add to the cost of your policy. Some travel insurance providers may also offer a choice of travel insurance policies with different levels of cover for certain categories
Over 70s in good health may be able to buy standard travel insurance. But if you’re in this age group and have any pre-existing medical conditions, you might need to seek out specialist cover. This will provide reassurance that you are fully covered when you go abroad – so you can relax and enjoy your holiday"
A Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) can act as an addition to your travel insurance but isn’t a replacement. With a GHIC, you can gain access to state-provided healthcare in EU countries. This means that you’d be able to benefit from the same level of care that any local resident would receive for the same cost.
That said, GHIC won’t provide cover for countries outside of the EU. What’s more, if you don’t have travel insurance, you will not benefit from cover for lost luggage, flight cancellations, and so on.
It’s always a good idea to buy your travel insurance deal as early as possible in case you have to cancel your holiday before you leave. Having a good policy in place could mean you’ll be able to claim compensation for the money you lose on travel and accommodation. Possible reasons for cancellation that may be covered by your policy include:
Illness or injury
Once you reach 75 years of age, you may have fewer options but you can still get travel insurance. Some providers may have maximum age limits for their travel insurance policies but there are other providers that don't have age limits.
With our travel insurance comparison tool, we'll help you find cover no matter your age.
In general, insurance companies will band older customers into an age bracket of 55-65 and then 65-74. After this, insurance will usually go up annually, or every five years, depending on the provider - so if you're looking for cover aged 75, cover could get costly.
Over 70s travel insurance usually includes cover for any medical equipment you take on your trip. For example, devices that help you walk may be covered for loss or damage. You can also be covered for the cost of hiring any necessary replacement medical equipment. Policies can also cover medication if yours is lost or stolen, or delays mean you run out before you get home.
Travel insurance is more expensive for travellers aged over 70 as this age group is more likely to make a claim for medical reasons. Healthcare can be very expensive abroad and not every country offers state-funded medical treatment.
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