It’s a sad fact that as we age and are considered more of a risk both in our actions and health, certain things become more expensive. Unfortunately travel insurance is a prime example.
You might think it’s ironic that at a time when many retirees are planning to travel the world and experience a new sense of freedom; they face being penalised by insurance companies for being more susceptible to illness; prone to accidents and likely to cancel their holiday. Great!
Over 65 travel insurance shouldn’t be avoided though, as there are ways of reducing the price you pay and the financial consequences of going on holiday without it can be catastrophic, especially when traveling to countries where medical treatment is more expensive.
Whether you are over 50, over 60 or 65, or over 70, travel insurance is something you should always consider before you travel. Here are my top tips for getting the best from your travel insurance whatever your age:
Don’t leave it too late
Many people make the fatal mistake of waiting until the last minute before arranging their holiday insurance. This would leave you unprotected in the event you need to cancel your trip for any reason so a word to the wise, always look at arranging your travel insurance when you book your holiday.
Shop around and say ‘No’ to travel agents
Always shop around and compare travel insurance quotes before making your decision, taking care to read the terms and conditions so you can be sure of what is covered. Cheap travel insurance may not necessarily provide the cover you need and plans do vary, so it pays to be clear about what you are getting for your money.
Avoid travel insurance offered by travel agents as this can either be basic holiday insurance cover or carry an inflated price. Instead use one of the many comparison websites available which are free to use and will provide the best travel insurance quotes from a range of companies.
Some companies don’t provide travel insurance for the more mature traveller however there are a range of companies like Over50choices who insure travellers up to the age of 80 and some with no upper age limit whatsoever like Saga and AgeUK.
Choose the most suitable policy
Depending on your age, you will be able to choose between single and multi trip or annual travel insurance (a limited number of insurers offer multi-trip travel insurance to the over 75s). If you are planning to travel a number of times within the year, multi-trip or annual travel insurance could be the cheaper option.
Some companies also offer more specialised travel insurance plans such as cruise insurance which again can offer better value for money.
If you are travelling with a partner, compare travel insurance quotes for couples as this could also work in your favour. Remember using a comparison website gives you the ability to compare numerous quotes in minutes, so you can explore different options to see which one gives you the most suitable cover.
Get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
The EHIC is free, lasts up to 5 years and entitles you to the same medical care as a local resident in the country you are visiting (includes all EU countries plus a handful of others).
Depending on the country, with the EHIC treatment may be free or reduced, or you may be entitled to claim a refund when you return home.
It’s worth mentioning that the EHIC should not replace your travel insurance as it doesn’t offer the same level of medical cover and is only accepted at state funded hospitals but it can compliment your insurance. For example some insurers waive the access on claims for medical treatment if you have used your EHIC.
Also look out as some insurers will not pay out for treatment that would have been free with the EHIC.
Be honest about medical conditions
As with all other types of insurance, honesty is always the best policy when it comes to arranging cover as if you fail to disclose something, the insurer could refuse to pay out. If you have or develop a condition within the period of insurance, inform your insurer. The company will then decide on the best course of action which could be to do nothing, increase your premiums, exclude the condition from your holiday insurance or refuse cover all together.
Don’t despair if insurance is refused as there are still insurers that specialise in this type of cover such as Avanti, All Clear, Freedom, Staysure and World First.
You may have to pay more for your travel insurance but at the end of the day it could be a lot cheaper than if you required medical treatment abroad.
So travel insurance for over 65s is readily available, but do your homework and shop around for the right deal that suits your own personal requirements and holiday ambitions.