More and more over 65s are choosing to travel abroad these days, but if you are in this group it is worth noting that some insurers may impose an age limit or only offer cover at a higher premium. However, there are policies available that are specifically designed with the older traveller in mind.
What is over 65s travel insurance?
Many over 65s travel abroad. Retirement can result in more free time for travel and other leisure activities. Unfortunately, you will usually be considered a higher risk customer on turning 65, even if you are generally fit, healthy and active and have no pre-existing medical conditions.
Insurers may have one age bracket for people aged 18-64 and another for those aged 65 or over or there may be other boundaries put in place. Some insurers charge higher premiums for customers as soon as they hit 50. Some may not offer cover to the over 65s at all.
Travel insurance for over 65s may have different costs than insurance for younger customers. It can sometimes have a more rigorous application process but it may also provide higher levels of cover.
What does over 65s travel insurance cover?
The list of eventualities covered will vary from insurer to insurer and between individual policies but will often include injury and illness cover, cancellation cover and loss or theft of baggage, personal belongings and holiday money. Over 65s travel insurance may also cover you if you have to cut short or cancel your holiday because of illness, injury or the death of a relative.
A policy may provide personal liability cover in case you injure someone or cause damage to property. It may also cover the costs of emergency repatriation. There may be a 24 hour emergency hotline and you may be able to get help if you lose your passport or other important documents.
Different policies will have different exceptions and levels of cover. If you would like to be covered for an eventuality that is not part of a standard policy, it may be possible to have it added as extra or extended cover. This will usually increase the premium you have to pay.
What does an EHIC card cover?
If you are travelling in Europe, a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) can allow you to receive free or reduced cost medical treatment. The card is free and entitles you to the same medical treatments as a resident of the country you're visiting. This may not be the same as treatments available on the NHS, however, and patients may be expected to meet some or all of the costs. The EHIC does not cover any private medical treatment. It does not cover the cost of emergency repatriation either, which can be very expensive.
Benefits of travel insurance for over 65s
Travel insurance for over 65s does tend to be more expensive but there may be certain benefits. Some insurers take the view that older customers may be less likely to participate in dangerous activities such as bungee jumping and water sports and may adjust their prices accordingly.
The level of cover offered, particularly in regards to medical expenses, may also be considerably more for over 65s than that offered on a standard policy.
Single trip and annual travel insurance
Single trip travel insurance covers the policy holder for the duration of a single trip. There is usually a maximum duration and the length of the trip can have a bearing on the cost of the premium.
For anyone who travels more than one or two times a year, annual travel insurance may offer a more cost effective solution. This provides cover for multiple trips taken within the space of a year. Annual travel insurance is typically more expensive than a single trip policy with a comparable level of cover but it may cost considerably less than several single trip policies combined.
For over 65s, annual travel insurance can be more expensive, where it is offered at all. Costs do vary between insurers and individual policies, however, and annual or multi-trip insurance can still be considered for older travellers who take several trips per year.
Pre-existing medical conditions
A pre-existing medical condition is one that has been diagnosed or treated before. Pre-existing medical conditions can affect the cover you are offered or the premium you have to pay. They may even preclude you from some policies altogether.
It is quite standard for an insurance company to ask quite detailed questions regarding health issues before providing cover for a customer who is over 65. Some may also request you attend a check-up or physical examination.
If any facts or relevant information concerning an applicant's health are not fully disclosed, it could invalidate their policy when and if they come to make a claim. Customers with pre-existing medical conditions can often be catered for, albeit at higher costs, so that they have a certain amount of cover in place to meet their needs on holiday.
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