Travel insurance can give you peace of mind as you explore the globe. But if you’re over 65, or have ever suffered from a serious illness, you may find yourself locked out of most policies.
New travel insurance products from Co-op and Bought By Many target people who might otherwise struggle to find cover – but do the deals stack up to the competition?
Which? takes a look at what the policies include and whether they can compete with other offers on the market
Co-op travel insurance with no upper age limit
Co-op insurance recently expanded into the travel insurance market and now offers cover with unlimited cashless medical expenses for all ages.
As well as making it easier for older travellers to get cover, Co-op’s new travel insurance product aims to address the issue of customers having to pay out for medical treatment themselves before making a claim.
Co-op’s travel insurance, which is underwritten by Mapfre Asistencia, offers single-trip, annual/multi-trip and backpacker policies.
The main features of each policy are:
No upper age limit
Travellers of all ages can get cover with Co-op’s travel insurance – although if you are over the age of 90, you will have to call Co-op first before you can take out cover.
Cashless medical expenses
With Co-op’s travel insurance, your fees will be paid directly to the hospital straightaway. This means you won’t have to pay your own fees up front and claim them back later from your insurer.
Video GP consultation
You can get 24/7 access to a UK GP over the phone through Co-op’s travel insurance. Face-to-face consultations are also available between the hours of 8am and 10pm (Greenwich Mean Time). The service allows you to get prescriptions, referrals and fit-for-work notes.
- Find out more: how to find medical insurance if you are over 65.
How does Co-op’s travel insurance compare?
Co-op’s travel policy offers comprehensive cover for travellers of all ages, including protection for baggage and belongings, cancellations or travel delays, personal liability, personal money and legal expenses.
There are some limitations, however, to the number of days you can get cover for a single trip for over-65 travellers.
If you are 66 and over, you can only get cover for a single trip of up to 31 consecutive days. Travellers under 65 can get cover for a single trip of up to 365 days.
Bought By Many travel insurance for serious medical conditions
Bought By Many, an Insurtech company, recently launched a new travel insurance product for people with serious medical conditions, such as cancer.
The policy offers cover of up to £500,000 of emergency medical treatment for customers travelling in Europe.
The main policy features include:
Cover for all medical conditions
Bought By Many’s travel insurance covers all medical conditions, except those with a terminal prognosis of less than six months. There is also no upper age limit to get cover.
No medical questionnaire
Rather than filling out a medical questionnaire, Bought By Many asks for confirmation from your GP that they are happy for you to travel.
Additional travel expenses caused by a medical emergency
If you are unable to use your existing travel arrangements due to a medical emergency, Bought By Many will cover the cost of bringing you and your travelling companions home. Similarly, if you have to stay abroad longer for emergency treatment, the policy will pay for your accommodation.
When a lone traveller suffers a medical emergency abroad, Bought By Many will cover the cost of transporting one person to their location and accompanying the patient home.
- Find out more: travel insurance for cancer patients.
How does Bought by Many’s travel insurance compare?
While Bought By Many may extend cover to people who might otherwise be excluded due to pre-existing conditions, the policy has significant limitations.
Firstly, cover is limited to emergency medical assistance and expenses for travel in Europe, which excludes cover for any mental health and non-emergency medical treatments or travel to a non-European country.
In order to get cover, you will also need to have a valid European Health Insurance Card (Ehic) with you on your trip. An Ehic is a free medical card that can be used throughout the EU. It allows you to get treatment in state hospitals at the same price as the residents of the country you are visiting.
With an Ehic, the majority of your emergency medical expenses in most European countries will already be covered. This means the Bought By Many travel policy will be most useful for arranging your transport home, extending accommodation or arranging travel for your companions, rather than for the medical treatment itself.
Bought By Many’s policy also does not currently offer protection for baggage and belongings, cancellations or travel delays. These costs can be significant, and airlines will not always be required to compensate you, leaving you out of pocket or stranded.
So for comprehensive cover, you would need to take out an additional travel insurance policy.
How can I find the best insurance cover for me?
Which? has not yet reviewed Bought by Many or Co-op’s travel insurance product. To find an insurer with a high Which? score, check out our reviews for best and worst travel insurance.
You can also read our reviews of travel policies for people with medical conditions.
The policy you choose will depend on your needs. But as a guideline, we would suggest finding a policy that offers:
- Emergency medical cover of at least £2m for Europe or £5m worldwide
- Cancellation, curtailment and missed departure cover of least £3,000
- Personal belongings and money cover of at least £1,500
- Personal liability cover of at least £1m
And before taking out a policy, check the terms and conditions carefully to make sure it’s suitable for you.