Four ways for pensioners to get travel insurance

Published by Esther Shaw on 19 July 2010.
Last updated on 29 September 2010

old people pool

The older you get, the harder it can become to find travel insurance, with premiums generally much higher and most policies carrying an upper limit of 75 years.

New findings from price comparison website show European travellers aged 65 face a punishing 174% increase in premiums compared with those aged 64, while those opting for the worldwide equivalent will have to pay 131% more for an annual multi-trip policy when they hit 65.

That said, it's not all bad news, as there are a host of specialist insurers, such as Age Concern, Saga, Intune and All Clear, that don't impose such limits and which also cover certain pre-existing medical conditions.

And Fit2Travel covers travellers up to the age of 90 for a single-trip policy.

There are also some simple steps you can take to improve your chances of getting cover:

1. Do your research: premiums can vary considerably between providers. A recent survey by the Genetic Interest Group, a patient organisation, found that 41% of its members find it "difficult" or "very difficult" to get travel insurance, while consumer body Which? also reports that members with medical conditions repeatedly get "wildly differing" quotes.

So it pays to compare a number of different policies to see which one is right for you. Also, remember cheapest doesn't always mean best.

2. Don't omit details about any medical condition in a bid to keep costs down. This can be tempting but it's a false economy. "You must be scrupulously honest, as failure to disclose a pre-existing medical condition could jeopardise your claim," says Lee Griffin, spokesperson for price comparison service

3. Contact the charity for your condition for information on who to get in touch with about getting cover. It will often point you in the direction of a specialist insurer, where you can usually get quality insurance at a competitive price.

4. Look for alternatives: If your standard insurance product can't offer you cover, contact a specialist insurer for older people, or one for those with pre-existing medical conditions. These providers will take a detailed medical history in order to evaluate risk accurately."

All policies are are rated on a case-by-case basis," says Diane Calpehorn, specialist insurer Heath Lambert's associate director. Other specialist insurers include: All Clear, Free Spirit and Insurancewith, while Insurepink is dedicated to women who have had breast cancer.

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