Senior travel insurance
It's a sorry fact that, as we get older, insurance of all kinds get even more expensive. The perception that elderly people make worse drivers, and are more prone to accidents around the home, means that motoring and life insurance can cost a pretty penny if you're not looking in the right place.
The same, unfortunately, is true for travel insurance: the health complications associated with getting older make it more likely that you will need to be treated while you're overseas. Luckily, there are ways to keep your insurance costs down - and we've put together this handy guide to help you do just that.
What do you need from your insurer?
While comprehensive cover is top of most holidaymakers' agenda, it's important that you don't end up paying for something that you dont really need.
The obvious example here is buying an annual travel insurance package, even though you only intend to go on holiday once or twice in a year. Unless you're a frequent flyer - we're talking four or five vacations - it's probably best to buy insurance as and when you need it. Yes, this can be a hassle, but it should end up cheaper in the long run.
Some insurers will also allow you to play around with the specifications of the package you're buying. In other words, you can remove features that you don't really need. Let's say your insurers are offering to cover lost baggage. If you are keeping your things in a cabin bag and never letting it out of your sight, this won't really be neessary.
It's entirely your call, but think about the nature of the trip you are taking before you buy.
What's included by default in the package?
Here is a list of a few things you'll be covered for:
- Medical emergencies and treatment
- Loss, theft or damage to your medication or medical equipment
- Mobility aid cover
- Loss, theft of or damage of your personal possessions
- Damage, death, personal injury
- Trip cancellation, curtailment or delays
Be open and upfront
The importance of declaring any health conditions you may have is paramount for anyone travelling overseas, but even more so for elderly people. Though it may be tempting to tell some half-truths to your insurers, this simply isn't a sensible way to drive down costs.
If you do end up falling ill in another country, and your insurers discover that you've failed to disclose relevant information about your health, you could end up paying full whack for your hospital stay. In this sense, it's effectively like travelling without any insurance at all - which is a huge risk, especially when you're outside the European Union.
Just as we expect companies to open and upfront about their charging scheme, we need to return the favour when it comes to filling out their forms.
Which insurers are best for older travellers?
If we could give just one piece of advice, it would be to shop with an insurance company that specialises in packages for the elderly.
Whether you go with a provider that caters to over 65s or over 90s isn't important - just that you have the peace of mind of knowing you're covered by people who understand you needs and are on hand round the clock with attentive customer service.
Below are some of the most highly-rated companies in the UK:
JD Travel Insurance (no age limit)
Freedom Insurance (up to 85)
Age UK Travel Insurance (no age limit)
Flexicover (up to 85)
Holidaysafe (no age limit)
Note that some of companies impose different age restrictions on their annual policies. The above information relates to one-off, single-use premiums.