10 travel insurance tips for older holidaymakers

Whether you’re travelling in the UK or abroad, it’s important to extend your holiday checklist to ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place before setting off. This will protect yourself, your valuables and in some cases, loved ones.

However, good-value cover can get harder to find as we get older. Our travel insurance priorites also change with the top three considerations for over 65s when buying a policy are cover for treatment of a serious illness (79%), personal injury (57%) and repatriation (54%), according to Age UK Travel Insurance.
These suggestions will help you buy a policy:

  1. Upper age limits. Insurers often include upper age limits on their policies, meaning they won’t cover travellers over a certain age. It can pay for older travellers to shop around and look into insurers that don’t apply these limits.
  2. Your health and pre-existing medical conditions and that of your travelling companions. Claims directly arising from any pre-existing medical conditions will not be covered unless you and those you are travelling with have declared them along with hospital visits and any medication you’re taking at the point of purchase – and in some cases have these accepted in writing by your provider. Common medical conditions that must be disclosed include heart conditions (which usually includes high blood pressure), cancer, breathing conditions (including asthma), bone conditions, diabetes and stomach conditions.
  3. How often you plan to travel. If you are planning to make several trips in a year, you may get better value for money by buying an annual multi-trip policy rather than a number of single trip policies.
  4. Limits on trip duration. If you decide to purchase an annual multi-trip policy, consider checking the maximum trip duration cover. This differs across insurers and is important, especially if you’re planning a longer getaway.
  5. Cover for the whole holiday. If you are purchasing single trip insurance, ensure that the policy covers you for the whole time you will be away, including the days you will be travelling. Your policy will end at midnight on the day you specify, so make sure you purchase an extra day’s cover if you are travelling back in the early hours of the morning.
  6. Policy limits. Policy limits exist for both your overall “suitcase” and for individual items. It’s important to check these and consider covering any big ticket items separately. Make a list of what’s included in your luggage – and, if you can, keep a receipt for any high value items. This means you’ll be able to prove the value of your item and claim accordingly.
  7. European Health Insurance Card. Some insurers insist you carry an EHIC whilst travelling and many will waive the excess of your claim if you have one. However, we suggest checking the insurer’s terms and conditions and asking them to confirm what their policy includes before purchasing. It’s important to note that an EHIC is not a substitute for travel insurance; it will entitle a holder to state care (only in the EU) but there may also be charges for seeing a GP, admission to a hospital or use of an ambulance. You may have to pay upfront for these and claim them back from your insurer at a later date. Apply for an EHIC card from the NHS or the EHIC website or at the Post Office.
  8. Unexpected event cover. Almost every insurer is different when it comes to the unexpected events they cover. Some cover for delays or cancellations caused by volcanic ash cloud, flight delays or acts of terrorism, while others don’t. It’s worth checking the small print or, if it is unclear, confirming the cover with the insurer before purchasing a policy.
  9. Holiday activities. If you are planning on taking part in activities such as horse riding, jet skiing or scuba diving whilst on holiday, consider checking the policy will cover you in the event you have an accident. If the activity you are planning isn’t included in the policy document, it’s important to check with your insurer if you will be protected. It may be that it can be covered as standard or you might need to pay slightly more to make sure you are protected.
  10. Missed departure cover. Check the conditions of a missed departure from the insurer. Most will cover if the car or airport transfer bus breaks down for example; but if you didn’t leave enough time to get to the airport or ferry terminal, your claim could be invalid. Some insurers will need proof of the time you left to ensure that you allowed sufficient time.
  • Yours Travel Club offers the best holiday deals from partners we know and trust including over 50s travel insurance
  • For more money-saving tips, pick up the latest copy of Yours magazine