Over-65s hit with hefty insurance premiumsWhich? Money finds older people getting raw deal

18 June 2010

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New research from Which? Money has found that many insurance providers are hitting the over-65s with significantly higher premiums for car and travel cover and often refusing to provide quotes at all.

The consumer champion found a huge range in the price of travel insurance products, with a steep increase when passing through the different age brackets. For example, a 74-year-old would pay £383 for an annual worldwide policy with Rias. Yet a year later, aged 75, this would cost £707 – a price hike of £324.

Of the 98 annual worldwide policies looked at, only five covered people aged 80 plus. Single-trip policies also revealed big differences - a 69-year-old would pay £57 for a 15-day European single-trip policy with Bupa Premier, but would have to fork out £86 when aged 70.

Car insurance no better

The Which? Money experts found that 60% of policies were unavailable to those aged 81 and over, and again, there were huge differences in price between age ranges, even among those that specialise in insurance for older people. An annual policy with Saga for a 75-year-old woman would cost £702, but would soar by 74% to £1,224 at 85 years old.

The research also threw up considerable differences between online and telephone quotes with the same companies, showing that it pays to buy online.

Over-65s priced out

Which? chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith says: 'Our research shows that many over-65s are getting a raw deal when it comes to arranging insurance simply because of their age. Restrictions imposed by insurers leave many people struggling to pay increased premiums just when they may need cover the most.

'It’s vital to shop around to get the best rate due to the considerable differences between quotes over the phone and online, and always ensure you get sufficient cover for your needs.'

Go online to find Which? Best Buy single-trip and annual travel insurance policies, as well as our guide to insurance for older drivers. If you're having difficulty finding cover at a reasonable rate, you can phone the Which? Money helpline on 01992 822 848 - our financial experts will be happy to point you in the right direction.

Emergency budget

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne will deliver the government’s emergency budget on Tuesday 22 June, and you can follow his speech as it happens on the Which? Money 2010 emergency budget liveblog.

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