Travelling is no longer a young person’s game. More and more people are using retirement as an opportunity to spread their wings and explore the world. And why not? Free at last from the ties of jobs and young families, retirement is in many ways the perfect time to travel.
However, older travellers should be aware that buying travel insurance might not be as straightforward as it once was.
Travel insurance will cost more
Travel insurance is one of the few areas where service providers are still allowed to change prices based on age. Which means if you are aged 60 or over, you can expect to be charged more for a policy, or you could even be refused cover outright.
When the UK government introduced the Equality Act in 2010 outlawing age discrimination in the pricing and provision of goods and services, the insurance lobby argued that it should be exempt. Its reasons were that insurance is priced according to risk – and the facts show that older people are more likely to make a claim when they travel, especially for medical care.
So you are paying a premium based on the fact that, on average, it costs companies more to provide insurance to older travellers. You will get better value if you look for a provider that specialises in policies for the over-60s, rather than a general high street underwriter.
Medical conditions can invalidate travel insurance
If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you must declare it when you buy travel insurance. If you do not and then have to make a claim for medical assistance, your cover will be invalidated. This could have disastrous consequences given the cost of medical treatment abroad.
There may be time limits on multi-trip policies
Multi-trip annual travel insurance is a popular way for regular travellers to save money. Instead of paying for insurance for every single trip, they pay once and then are covered for as many trips as they like within a year.
Older travellers should be aware, however, that providers sometimes place limits on how long each individual trip can be depending on the age of the travellers. If you plan on going on two or three extended trips, check the small print on a multi-trip policy carefully.
Your age can hike up prices for everyone on group policies
Group travel insurance policies, such as family policies, are another popular way to save money. However, once you hit 60, you may see the price of a group policy jump, even if the rest of the travelling party are under 60. This is because insurers will price the whole policy based on the oldest, and supposedly most ‘at risk’, Traveler.
In these cases, it might work out better value to take out individual cover for anyone aged 60 or over. This is not so much of an issue if everyone in the party is over 60.
Get the right cover for the type of trip you are going on
Most people understand that if they are going on a skiing holiday, they will need special insurance to cover the inflated risk of injury. What many traveller are not so aware of, however, is that many other types of holiday require a particular type of cover, from cruises to safaris.
Always tell your insurance provider the nature of your holiday to make sure you get the correct type of cover.