What is travel insurance for over-80s?
Travel insurance for over-80s offers you important coverage when you go abroad later in life. It offers more comprehensive cover for your medical needs, including pre-existing medical conditions and any medical equipment, medication and aids you may need. You can also get protection for your personal items, holiday cancellations and more.
If you’re over 80 years old and planning to travel, it’s worth looking specifically for over-80s travel insurance as providers often set an upper age limit for most of their policies – set anywhere from 65 to 79.
What does travel insurance for over-80s cover?
Over-80s travel insurance usually means extended coverage for health and medical care. This is because your risk of needing medical treatment or attention rises as you get older, and in order to avoid any unwanted costs you’ll likely need a more comprehensive level of cover.
Depending on the provider, you could be able to find extra cover for:
- Treatment: An over-80s travel insurance policy will probably include more financial cover for medical treatment and expenses than a standard one.
- Pending treatment: You might also be covered for ending your trip early if you’re waiting for medical treatment or a consultation that becomes available when you’re on holiday, such as a transplant
- Medication: You may even find that over-80s travel policies include more cover for medication in case you lose yours
- Aids and equipment: If you require a wheelchair, a hearing aid or other medical equipment, these could be included under your cover, which means you can claim if they became damaged, lost or stolen
A good over deal might also provide coverage for any travel companions like family or friends – though this could only apply if the companions are necessary for you to be able to travel.
Travel insurance for over-80s should also cover the travel insurance basics, including personal possessions, legal cover and travel disruptions. You might have to find additional policies to cover certain activities or more expensive items. Providers can differ when it comes to what’s included in standard coverage, so read your policy documents beforehand.
How much does travel insurance for over-80s cost?
This kind of insurance is generally more expensive to take out because of the extra medical coverage that’s normally needed at this age. A single trip for someone aged 81 or more cost on average £39.08 in May 2019, according to MoneySuperMarket data. An annual policy for people in the same age group cost £807.42, while pre-existing medical conditions inevitably raise premiums further.
Data collected by MoneySuperMarket between January and April 2019, accurate as of July 2019
What’s not covered by over-80s travel insurance?
Insurers may also limit how long you can travel for at this age, which can be anywhere from 31 days to over 100. You might not be covered if you’re away longer, so you should check your policy documents to be sure.
Other general exclusions may still apply, including:
- Undeclared medical issues: If you have to claim for treatment for a pre-existing condition that you didn’t declare when taking out the policy, your insurer will reject the claim
- Undeclared activities: Some activities aren’t covered by default because they come with added risk, such as winter or water sports
- Undeclared belongings: If you’re taking any particularly valuable non-medical items on holiday, they might not be covered under your standard over-80s policy
- Unattended or unprotected belongings: Some insurers might say that particular items need to have been secured if you want to claim
- Reckless behaviour: If you have to claim for something that happened as a result of dangerous or reckless behaviour, such as an injury or lost and damaged possessions, your insurer may refuse to cover you
- Influence of drugs or alcohol: Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol might void your cover. Some insurers may allow a certain number of drinks before your policy is no longer valid, while others might not cover you if you’ve had even one. Insurers also have different rules about prescription medication
When should you buy over-80s travel insurance?
Buy your insurance as soon as you can after booking your holiday, because if you need to cancel your booking before you’ve left, you’ll be able to claim compensation for travel and accommodation costs.
For example, you might need to cancel your holiday early as a result of:
- An illness or injury
- A redundancy
- A bereavement
Where can you go with over-80s travel insurance?
If you’re only travelling in Europe, you need a policy that only covers Europe, while a worldwide policy is necessary if you plan on visiting Asia or the Americas.
Worldwide insurance coverage can also come with exceptions, generally applying to the USA, Canada and the Caribbean – so if you’re planning on travelling to any of these places, it’s best to check your worldwide insurance policy offers coverage.
Things to keep in mind
Before you take out an over-80s travel insurance deal, consider the following:
- Upper age limits: Insurers sometimes have upper age limits to their policies, so if you’re over 80, keep an eye out for deals that cater specifically to your age group
- Minimum cover: The right level of cover for things like personal money and liability cover is particularly important for medical cover, as treatment costs can vary hugely between countries and continents. You should aim to take out a minimum amount of £5m for medical expenses, £250 for personal money, £1m for personal liability, and £2k for cancellation
- Customer support: If you need to claim for something, it’s useful to know you can speak to your insurer whatever time of day it is, so an insurer that offers 24/7 customer support is valuable
- Insurance coverage for other people: Some insurers let you take additional travellers with you and include them on your policy. So if you are travelling with companions, you should check to see if you could save them some money
Compare over-80s travel insurance
It’s always a good idea to shop around for policies and quotes to make sure you’re getting the best deal from what’s available. On MoneySuperMarket, you can compare providers and deals easily – all you need to do is answer a few questions about your holiday, like where you’re going and for how long.
You’ll then see a list of quotes you can look through to help you find the right over-80s travel insurance policy – you can then compare them by the amount of cover they offer for medical costs, cancellation, personal possessions and other features.
A cheaper policy doesn’t necessarily mean a better one: if you choose a deal based entirely on the cost, you might find yourself underinsured – so it’s better to read all the details before choosing an insurance policy.