Retired Britons planning on seeing the world at their leisure continue to be punished with high travel insurance costs on the grounds of their age, according to research by moneysupermarket.com.
Those travelling within Europe with an annual multi-trip policy will be penalised the most once they reach the age of 66. Britain's intrepid older travellers will see a 109 per cent increase, and while the average cost of cover remains the same for the next few years, there is another shock for the wallet for Brits turning 70 years old - adding a further 24 per cent to the cost of premiums.
Travellers taking out an annual worldwide policy will see a considerable hike to the cost when they turn from 65 to 66, and then also 69 to 70 years old - an average increase of 102 per cent and 12 per cent respectively.
Bob Atkinson at moneysupermarket.com, says: "Anyone planning on living the dream in their retirement and see the world should prepare themselves for the shock of being penalised for turning 66 and then 70, even though there may be no further medical evidence to suggest they might be at higher risk. For older travellers, who may have paid off their mortgage and have cash in the bank to rely on for their travels, it is a kick in the teeth to face such a stark price hike. Insurers need to change their attitude towards older travellers and play fair. A 109 per cent increase for European travellers is extreme; 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 69, so insurers are using age as a crude measure to increase premiums. There is a definite call to action for insurers to change their broad-brush attitude towards older travellers and play fair by ensuring the premium charged reflects the actual risk posed. My advice to travellers who find themselves in this situation is to shop around, as the difference in premium can vary considerably between providers. Travel insurance is an absolute necessity for all travellers, especially when you consider that medical bills for treatment abroad can run in to tens of thousands of pounds. Even though the premiums may look expensive compared to those available to younger travellers, it is still a small price to pay to be covered for over £2 million worth of medical treatment. In addition you get the peace of mind a good quality policy brings as well as having the security of being able to make a claim for other types of problems you may face on your travels."
moneysupermarket.com recommends at least the following level of cover:
- £2m for medical expenses
- £1m personal liability
- £3000 cancellation - or enough to cover the total cost of your holiday
- £1500 baggage
- £250 for cash
- Policy excesses under £100
- Cover for scheduled airline failure and end supplier failure as desirable
- Delay cover (eg £20/hour for first 12 hours)