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As you get older, you may find yourself with more free time and fewer responsibilities; with no term time or no annual leave to contend with, travel becomes much easier to arrange. Sorting travel insurance, on the other hand, can be tricky – that's where our advice comes in.
Unfortunately, travel insurance providers consider the over-65 age group greater risk, even if you're in rude health, and push up prices. So how do you find a deal?
The increase in premiums compared to policies for younger travellers can be a barrier to travelling for the older person.
Sometimes the cost can be as much as double the price of a policy for a younger traveller and the older you get the more expensive taking out insurance becomes. In some cases insurers may even refuse to cover you at all.
The higher price of policies for older holidaymakers makes it particularly important to compare those available online, and study the terms and conditions carefully as no two policies are the same. Each insurer will have slightly different rules on ages and price.
While it can be tempting to opt for the cheapest cover, this may prove foolish in the event of a claim if you find the small print means the policy won't pay out. Remember that as an older traveller you should check the medical and cancellation limits, as you're statistically more likely to claim than younger travellers. Also check the excess level - or the sum you are liable to pay yourself in the event of a claim - to make sure you're happy with this, and can afford the cost should you need to pay it.
As a general rule, you should consider a policy with the following levels of cover as a minimum:
Medical expenses - Medical cover should be around £2million, and should also cover the cost of emergency repatriation.
Personal liability - Cover for personal liability should amount to around £1million.
Cancellation Cover - Cancellation cover should be either £3,000 or enough to cover the total cost of your holiday, including the cost of any prepaid excursions.
Baggage Cover - Minimum level of baggage and possessions cover should be £1,500.
Holiday Money - Minimum cover will usually allow for £250 worth of cash - if you plan to carry more with you ensure your policy reflects that.
Policy Excess - This should ideally be under £100.
Scheduled Airline Failure - Cover for this should be included, along with end supplier failure if you are not travelling on an ATOL backed package holiday
Delay Cover - For example, this could be £20/hour for first 12 hours.
Why do policies for the over 65s cost more?
Simply because you're a greater risk for the insurer. While it's understandable that travel insurance providers are more cautious in providing cover for older people, as they are considered more likely to get ill, this is frustrating for the customer. Likewise, if you have an illness or health condition there is a chance an insurer will sharply increase your premium, whatever age you are.
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