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So you’re over 65. You’ve retired, or are hopefully working less, and have a little free time on your hands. What better time, then, to travel more and see the world?
What might seem unfair about being over 65 is that, no matter how good your health and fitness might be, your age often means that travel insurance is more expensive.
The reason for that is… statistics. Providers’ data shows that the older people get, the more likely they are to make a medical claim on holiday.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t still shop around and get a good deal. comparethemarket.com can help you quickly compare prices across lots of different providers, so that you could save money on your over 65 travel insurance.
What does travel insurance cover?
The main purpose of travel or holiday insurance is to cover you for cost of medical treatment abroad – which can unfortunately run into thousands of pounds. Policies do vary, but most include emergency medical treatment costs, including hospital charges and ambulance fees, and getting you home if you can’t use your original ticket. Often you’ll be covered for the costs of a friend or relative staying with you, or flying out from home if needed.
Travel policies can also cover the costs if you lose your baggage or their content (or they’re stolen), and refund you if the trip has to be cancelled or cut short for some reason.
You can buy either an annual policy or single trip travel insurance. Often, if you are taking more than one holiday in a year, it is cheaper to buy annual travel insurance. But the best way to find out what would work best for you is to run a travel insurance comparison.
Where are you going?
When you compare travel insurance you first need to decide if your policy needs to cover you for UK, or for Europe, or the USA, Canada and Caribbean. So if there’s a chance you will be going somewhere exotic, check that destination is covered.
Some people think that they don’t need travel insurance if they have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). If you need medical treatment while travelling within many European countries, the EHIC means you can get medical treatment on the same basis (maybe free or at a low cost) as people who live in that country. However, it will be on the basis you get taken to a public not private hospital. In the event of an emergency you will be taken to the nearest hospital. Also some policies will waive your excess if you have one.
But the EHIC isn’t a substitute for travel cover – it wouldn’t pay for getting you home or other costs linked to your medical emergency. They are also date-specific, so check the expiry on your card before you travel.
If you’re going outside the EU there’s no EHIC, of course, so it can be expensive to get medical support. Be aware too, that not all European countries recognise the EHIC.
A final point on where you’re going. Your travel insurance won’t cover you if you are travelling to a country that the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) doesn’t consider to be safe. If you’re not sure, check the FCO website.
Who are you taking?
Your over 65 travel insurance could just be for you, or you could buy it as a couple or a group. If you’re including other people, you will need their dates of birth and details of any medical conditions they might have, to get an accurate quote. Bear in mind too, that a group premium will be affected by the ages and health of other participants, so if one person is over 80, for example, it may work out cheaper to get that person an individual policy.
Your health is important
From a providers' point of view, if you have a health condition it could mean you‘re more likely to need medical help while you’re away. Because of this, some conditions might make your insurance more expensive, but not all conditions.
It’s important that you do list any medical conditions and give providers all the information they need because, if not, you might be charged more by your provider or not be covered. If your insurer discovers that the medical emergency on your trip was linked to a condition you already had, they could refuse to pay your bills or add a cost.
So make sure you mention any conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes in your quote, you could be risking thousands of pounds if you don’t. To get you a list of quotes, we’ll ask you a few questions about your health and get you to add in the names of any medical conditions.
What will you be doing?
If you’re going on a cruise, not all travel insurance for over 65s will cover you. On a cruise more specific things can go wrong, like you falling ill and being confined to your cabin, or you miss a port because of bad weather. You could even need an emergency airlift to hospital. You can click a button to include this as part of the comparison.
Next you’ll get a page full of travel insurance quotes. These are listed in price order with the cheapest travel insurance at the top. These may specifically be types of travel insurance for the over 65s – or may not!
You can also see all the main points about each policy – how well it’s been rated by Defaqto, the amounts of medical, baggage and cancellation cover and how much excess you would pay if you did make a claim. You can filter your results to only show those over a certain limit, if you like.
To find out more about what is and isn’t included in the policies, click each one for more details.
Once you have found a travel insurance quote that suits you, click the button to go through and buy. But do make sure you read all the details to make sure you have the right cover, just in case.