British pensioners continue to be punished with high travel insurance costs on the grounds of their age, with those travelling within Europe being penalised the most once they reach the age of 65, according to research by moneysupermarket.com.
Despite travel being a huge priority for retirees, Britain's intrepid OAPs should brace themselves for a shock on the cost of their annual multi-trip travel insurance policies when they turn 65. Those travelling within Europe will see a shocking 174 per cent increase, while those opting for the worldwide equivalent will fork out 131 per cent more for an annual multi-trip policy when they hit their 65th birthday.
The research also found travellers taking out a worldwide policy will also see a considerable hike to the cost when they hit their next birthday and turn from 65 to 66, and then also 70 to 71 years old - an average increase of 46 per cent and 20 per cent respectively.
Bob Atkinson at moneysupermarket.com says, "Anyone who is planning to spend their retirement seeing the world should prepare themselves for the shock of being penalised for turning 65, and this is repeated when you turn 66 and then 70. With people in the UK living longer, and with many pensioners having far more disposable income which enables them to travel more, insurers need to change their attitude towards older travellers and play fair by ensuring the premiums they are charged actually reflects the risk they pose. A 174 per cent increase in premiums for European travellers seems extreme to say the least. If your risk does increase over the age of 65, you would expect a year-on-year increase in premiums but our research shows that the premium remains the same between 66 and 70, so it is clear insurers are using age as a crude measure to increase premiums. My advice to travellers who find themselves in this situation is to shop around as the difference in premium can vary considerably between providers. You should always take out travel insurance no matter how high the premium may seem, as the cost of medical treatment or repatriation would be considerably higher and would leave you with some expensive bills to pay."
moneysupermarket.com recommends at least the following level of cover:
£2 million for medical expenses
£1 million personal liability
£3,000 cancellation - or enough to cover the cost of your holiday
£1,500 for baggage
£250 for cash
Travel insurance: News update: 14 March 2010