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Travel insurance for over-65s

Those aged over 65 can find it hard to get travel insurance as many policies have an upper age limit. Here's how you can get affordable cover.

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Older travellers, and particularly those aged over 65, can find it difficult to get travel insurance as many policies carry an upper age limit.

Travel cover for the over-65s tends to carry higher premiums as insurers view them as higher risk, as they are more likely to suffer health problems.

While you may feel discriminated against because of your age, it's not worth taking the risk of travelling uninsured, as you could end up vastly out of pocket should the worst happen. 

Instead, you need to focus your efforts on finding affordable cover.

Shop around

While some insurers refuse to cover older travellers, there are policies with no age limit, so it is vital to shop around.

By researching cover online, you may be able to find a good value policy from a number of insurers who quote for travellers up to the age of 99.

Among Confused.com's panel of insurers, those which will insure older travellers include Saga, OK To Travel and Goodtogoinsurance.com.

Some providers also offer specialist cruise insurance, which is often marketed at older travellers.

Type of policy

Be aware that many insurers only offer single-trip (rather than annual) policies to customers over a certain age.

Unless you are planning to take more than three separate trips in a 12-month period, however, single-trip cover could well end up being cheaper than annual insurance.

Extended trips

Equally, if you're planning to go abroad on an extended trip, be aware that a standard annual policy is unlikely to cover you, as most are limited to three or four weeks.

For longer trips and gap years, you may be better off finding a specialist extended or "long-trip" travel insurance policy.

Check your current account

Some current accounts will offer travel insurance for as part of a package of benefits.

But note that these accounts often come with regular monthly fees.

If you are relying on this cover, check there are no exclusions that could affect you, such as for pre-existing medical conditions (see below).

And make sure you are within the policy's upper age limit.

Insurance offered as part of a bank account is more likely to be limited in its scope as well as to impose age restrictions.

Pre-existing medical conditions

a stethescope on health insurance documentsThose with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart problems or cancer can also struggle to get affordable cover.

Insurers view these individuals as more likely to fall ill while on holiday, so they charge more in order to cover this perceived increased risk of a claim being made.

But it is still possible to get quality insurance at a competitive price through an insurer who takes a detailed medical history to evaluate risk accurately.

Sammy-Lea Samways is head of travel at Confused.com.

She says: "On our site holidaymakers are able to declare their medical history so that they are only shown policies which cover those conditions."

Be honest

While it can be tempting not to mention pre-existing medical conditions in a bid to keep costs down this could be a false economy, as Samways explains.

"It is really important that travellers declare any pre-existing medical conditions they have to insurers before purchasing a policy.

"Any travel insurance claim you make could be turned down if you fail to make your insurer aware of conditions you have before buying the policy or develop prior to travelling."

Think about cover before you book

Finally, Samways says, it is important for travellers who may have trouble getting cover to think about insurance before putting a deposit down on a trip.

"Travellers aged over 65 should take a look at the cost and availability of insurance for their holiday before they book it.

"This is because the cost of cover for certain destinations can be quite high, so being able to get cover may determine where you choose to go on holiday."

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Esther Shaw

Esther Shaw

Esther Shaw is a regular contributor to Confused.com and is the former deputy money editor at The Independent and Independent on Sunday. Before that, she worked as a money and City reporter on The Daily Express and Sunday Express.
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