An alarming report recently released by Saga highlights a very real issue concerning the fifty plus age group not reading the small print on their over 50 travel insurance policies, potentially rendering them uninsured.
A large percentage of the so called ‘silver pound’ is spent on holidaying in Europe and further field as this is now rated as the number one past time for the Over 50s; however although this age group seem to have more free cash to spend and time to enjoy themselves, it appears it could be at the peril of their pocket as far too many are taking needless risks with their health insurance when travelling abroad.
Saga reports that nearly 30% of those insured were unaware that their pre-existing medical condition would invalidate their policy, leaving them completely uninsured. They go on to report that one in ten still do not bother to take out travel insurance at all and 25% believe that they are insured with their banks through current accounts, leaving another potential mine field if they haven’t read the small print.
Roger Ramsden, chief executive, Saga Services, commented: “Whilst more older people tend to follow the advice of the Foreign Office and take out cover, it is concerning to see so many people travelling without adequate cover.
Also some may be travelling with a false sense of security as a quarter of those surveyed said they had travel insurance through their bank account, which could cause them quite a headache when it comes to making a claim. Many travel insurance policies provided with bank accounts have an upper age limit of just 70 and they rarely cover pre-existing medical conditions as standard.”
He goes on to say “It is vital to check that you have the right cover without age exclusions and that you are covered for all your medical conditions or else you may find yourself nursing a huge financial hangover whilst you try and recuperate.
With the typical cost of an insurance claim for an air ambulance to bring you back from the Canary Islands costing around £16,000 and around £45,000 if you happen to be in the USA, travel insurance provides vital cover for your health and wealth should anything happen when you are abroad.”
With around 16 million over 50s suffering from ongoing medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma or osteoarthritis and 500,000 becoming ill on holiday due to their condition in the last three years alone, us 50 plusers (that includes me) must start taking more responsibility for our health and welfare when travelling; reading the small print and making sure we are fully covered no matter what.
At the end of the day can you really afford to take an ‘it won’t happen to me’ attitude? Try asking one of the 500,000 what they think. I’m sure they will have you reaching for your travel insurance terms and conditions in minutes.