Older travellers paying too much for travel insurancePremium rises are over the odds, research suggests

21 May 2015

plane flying off into the sunset

Older holidaymakers face huge increases in the cost of travel insurance despite claiming less, Which? research has revealed.

Quotes obtained by Which? show that healthy travellers aged 65 pay an average of £126.26 for an annual worldwide policy, while those aged 75 pay £306.34 and 85-year-olds pay a huge £611.63.

Yet, despite the cost of cover increasing massively as consumers get older, their risk and cost of claims fall, according to the industry's own data.

The recent data from the Association of British Insurers (ABI), show claims from holidaymakers aged 66 to 70 cost insurers £60 on average, while the sum for those aged 76 to 80 is just £57.

Frequency of claiming also dropped after age 65. According to ABI data, which was published last year, 7.2% of 61 to 65-year-olds claim on their travel insurance with the figure dropping to just 5.6% for those aged 76 to 80. 

Find the best rate for cover:  Best Rate Providers

Finding cover also becomes more difficult as holidaymakers get older. Only four of the 20 insurers we checked would provide annual worldwide policies for customers above the age of 80, while only 11 providers would cover holidaymakers aged over 80 looking for worldwide single-trip cover.

How to find the right travel insurance

While cover can be expensive for older travellers, there are ways to find the right cover at the right price.

1. Understand what cover you need

Calculate the cost of your holiday and the items you're taking with you. If you're taking only £1,000 worth of items with you, and your holiday costs £5,000, you don’t need baggage cover of £5,000 and cancellation cover of £10,000.

Also, consider whether you need a cover for a single trip or annual cover. Single trip policies work out cheapest if you are taking one or two trips in the next 12 months, but if you are making three or more journeys annual cover is usually your best bet.

2. Check your bank account

Some packaged bank accounts come with travel insurance, so if you have a packaged account check whether cover is included.

If you do have travel insurance with your bank account, check its terms carefully and make sure it meets your needs. Does it cover you for trips outside Europe? Are you within the age limit? Will it cover your medical conditions? If not, call your bank to see whether you can extend your policy.

3. Check the Which? Recommended Providers and Best Rate Providers

Once you've booked your holiday, see our list of Recommended Providers and Best Rate Providers to help you find the right cover at the right price. As part of our research, we review 200 insurers' standard policies and take feedback from thousands of customers into account.

Try the following

  • Europe single trip insurance
  • Europe annual insurance
  • Worldwide single trip insurance
  • Worldwide annual insurance

4. Declare your medical conditions

Medical cover is especially important if you have a pre-existing condition. Insurers will ask you about your medical history so they can set your premiums and cover you correctly.

Any existing conditions you haven't declared to your insurer won't be covered, and you could face a huge medical bill if you fall ill abroad.

More on this...

  • A beginner's guide: What is travel insurance and what does it cover?
  • Ensure your claim goes smoothly: Claiming on your travel insurance
  • Find the best insurers in our Recommended Providers