Most people can’t wait to finish working so they can go on that much dreamed about holiday, however, it’s going to cost them when they get there. The majority of travel insurance policies are unavailable for people over the age of 65 as a result of the increased chance of them making a claim while abroad, therefore if they want to take out cover for their holiday they will find that they will have to pay over the odds for their travel insurance.
Insurance companies who refuse to offer cover for older travellers are simply not prepared to put themselves in the inevitable, in most cases, position of having to pay out large sums of money in the event of an individual becoming ill or injured while abroad, thereby requiring their medical expenses to be covered by their insurer. According to Age Concern, a charity dedicated to working with older people, there has been a 36% increase in the number of over-65s taking holidays abroad over the past five years, and yet 92% of holiday insurance policies are not open to this age group. Though it is an understandable stance to take when holidaymakers aged 65 and over are three times more likely to make a claim on their insurance, more often than not for medical expenses, than someone who is 30 years younger. Therefore, from the point of view of an insurance company, this factor makes covering older travellers uneconomical.
According to the Association of British Insurers, the expenses incurred for covering medical claims made by the over-65s are nearly three-and-a-half times higher than for people who are under 50. For this reason, the cost for cover differentiates between what the young and old pay; a couple under 65 taking out annual European cover with Direct Travel Insurance would pay £46, while a couple over 65 can expect to pay £160 for the same level of cover. Despite the fact that those who only travel as far as Europe are covered by the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), this will only provide up to a certain level of cover, essentially offering the same treatment that is available to locals and therefore being quite useless if the treatment you needed required you to be transported back to the UK before it could be carried out.
People over 75 are highly unlikely to be able to obtain cover of any type, and if they wanted to, they would be looking at paying between £94.10 for two weeks’ cover for the US from Marks & Spencer and £274.14 for two weeks’ worldwide cover from Insureforall. In most cases, annual travel insurance only offers the optimum deal if the individual plans to make regular trips abroad. A suitable option for a single person aged 70 is Bradford & Bingley’s annual worldwide policy, which costs £133.94, and £148.82 including baggage cover. These prices are available for travellers aged up to the grand old age of 79. However, it is worth remembering that these quotes are made on the assumption that the traveller is in good health with no ongoing problems. The price will be dearer if the customer is suffering from ongoing medical conditions, but cover is available. Specialist insurers, in this instance, include All Clear, Free Spirit, Marrs and Medicover.