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Are You Too Old For Cheap Travel Insurance?

Mar 15, 2008
Remember the days when grandparents might toddle off to the coast for a holiday? When the most adventurous trip they might take was a sight-seeing bus through the Highlands? Those days are long gone for many senior citizens and those over 65 are just as likely to be on the ski slopes as those half their age. Many seniors have just got to the point in their lives when they can kick back and relax - and their relaxing often involves deep sea diving and hikes through the wilds of a jungle.

The travel industry has made great strides in catering to older travelers, with tours and cruises designed especially with seniors in mind. Unfortunately, there's one segment of the industry that hasn't managed to adapt to the changing needs and desires of such an important sector of the travel and tourism market. Travel insurance for older adults can cost up to three times as much as it does for those in their twenties and thirties, if it's even available.

You'll pay more for travel insurance if you are 65 or over.

In fact, the moment you turn 65, you can expect your premiums for travel insurance to literally double. Nearly every insurance company that offers single trip and annual travel insurance charges far more to insure over-65's than those who are under 65, and many refuse to cover them at all. It gets even worse as you get older, with premiums taking another big jump at 70, and if your 80 years or older, your only option for travel insurance may well be one of the specialist insurers.

The reason for that, according to the insurers themselves, is that travelers over 65 are more than twice as likely to make claims on their travel insurance policy, and that when they do, those claims are often many times more expensive to pay out than claims made by younger travelers. In fact, they say, it is nine times more expensive to insure travelers over 65 than it is to insure those under 65. While older travelers are actually less likely to be injured while abroad, they are far more likely to become ill - and when they do, the costs are often high.

How to save on travel insurance for over-65s

It should come as no surprise that the best advice is to shop around. Companies that offer the best prices for younger travelers don't necessarily offer the best deals for those who've reached their golden years. Leave behind your feelings of loyalty and think about your pocket, and how many more souvenirs you can bring home for the grandkids with the savings you'll make. Here are a few more specific suggestions. Be aware that rates can change, so be sure to do your own research before buying.

- Don't automatically expect your travel advisor or tour operator to offer the best deals on travel cover. Because it's so convenient, when asked if they want travel insurance many customers just say "Sure, tack it on!". It's often the MOST expensive insurance you'll find.

- Do check with the company that insures your home and motor vehicles, but shop beyond them too. In some cases, though, you may get a discounted deal if you've been a good customer and low risk for years.

- Reverse the usual advice given to youngsters - single trip coverage is often less expensive for seniors than an annual policy that covers you for all travel abroad.

- Don't go without it. The simple fact of the matter is that as you get older, the chances of your being taken ill while abroad do increase.
About the Author
For a comprehensive list of UK over 65 travel insurance companies visit http://www.uk-insurance-index.co.uk. You'll also find a section containing travel insurance reviews written by real customers who have made claims and rate their experiences.
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