Thursday, October 29, 2009

Travel Insurance for Over 65's

Retirement beckons and the decades of toiling for a wage come to a close, life is great and it is all downhill from here so why not enjoy the now? The holiday is booked to that dream escape which filled childhood curiosities but here comes the crux; travel insurance 65 years on is not so cheap!

Frequently pensioners are choosing a lifestyle which reflects their revised combination of time and money as age 70 approaches and passes.
Cruises, golfing holidays, coach tours, safaris, and others leisure pursuits form the range of travel options favoured by a large number of over 65 travel insurance consumers.

However, when it comes to buying that travel insurance policy, elder holidaymakers are penalised automatically because of their age. In the UK, the Association of British Insurers claims that up to one third of pensionable insurance customers are point-blank refused any cover.

Companies which do serve this growing demographic present a host of reasons to justify the 200% additional travel insurance cost which many endure. Some are understandable, such as the higher incidence of pre-existing medical conditions, but some seem unfairly biased; the claim that over 65's have more accidents: Where is the evidence for that assertion?

Insurers apply a converse logic to policy pricing for old versus young, particularly for annual cover. The logic goes like this; pensioners able to take multiple trips abroad each year must be sitting on a mountain of financial security in order to do so, therefor insurers see this as a very lucrative market.

If the same logic were applied to financially stretched twenty-somethings, the effect would not be an increase in profits, it would be a drop in sales since the youngsters may risk flying without travel insurance, given their robust health record and absence of medical issues.

What Should Be Included?

  1. Expect to see medical expenses cover for several millions in value, plus cancellation cover if the trip were to be cancelled for some reason. Check the value of this sum and ensure it is greater than the total trip cost.

  2. Special price increases are often demanded for trips to the USA, this is primarily due to the high medical costs in America.

  3. Repatriation costs are also a standard inclusion if such a flight needed to be arranged.

  4. Review the small print for the precise sums which can be claimed for lost or stolen items, and bear in mind the insurer's excess fees which may apply.

Over 65 Policy Providers

It seems like every major retailer provides for senior citizens now, but many have no specific interest or heritage of serving this demographic and are simply attracted by the potential profit. This criticism is most definitely applicable to the large global brands and household names in finance.

A wiser decision would be to consider companies which have a more genuine rationale for making travel insurance more affordable and accessible for seniors. See below for a list of insurers covering over 65's:

  • Intune Group - In association with help the aged, offers travel insurance with no age limit.

  • Insure For All - Caters specifically to the over 65 age group and has no maximum age imposed.

  • Karma Insurance - Selling a variety of conventional policies available to those aged 69 and under. Plus, retails a 70+ product with no upper age restriction.

  • Essential Travel - Supplying mainstream insurance and over 74 travel insurance with cover available for single trips for seniors up to age 89.

  • Club Direct - Has a range of conventional products which extends in to travel insurance for those aged 65 to 99.

  • SAGA travel insurance - A brand associated with senior citizens but not necessarily the best value.

An Important Point

While it is established that the link between medical issues and higher policy premiums is known, it is a false economy to skimp on information to get the cheapest travel insurance quote.

Especially pertinent for over 65 year old travellers is to declare all known medical issues when purchasing a quote, because insurers will seize upon any such communication failures as grounds to not pay out, when subsequently making a claim.

Technorati tags; over 65, travel insurance, seniors insurance.

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