You might be thinking about retirement now that you're over 60. Perhaps you've just retired and are looking for ways to fill your days. Travelling is a great way to relax and enjoy your time after your working life ends. But you don't want travelling to eat too much into your retirement income. Choosing the right travel insurance is an integral part of keeping the costs down.
Travel insurance isn't difficult to find when you're young and free. But as you age, you will see premiums hike up. Insurers in England have looked at the statistics and found that older people are statistically more likely to claim. So to keep your costs down, you should look to tailored over 60s travel insurance.
Do you need specialist over 60s travel insurance?
Basic holiday insurance might look the cheapest. The problem is standard travel insurance often only covers those aged 18 to 64. If you've just turned 60, then it might be the best option for you. You can find lots of options on the market and pick an insurance that fits your needs.
But if you're over 64 or have a pre-existing medical condition, you need to turn to specialist travel insurance. Standard holiday insurance tends to exclude most pre-existing conditions, such as heart conditions or diabetes. With specialist over 60s travel insurance, you can find comprehensive cover without paying a fortune.
So if you are in your early 60s and don't have any health issues, you may find standard travel insurance. You won't have to worry about the upper age limit. But once you are over 64 or have a medical condition, it's time to look for specialist cover. It'll guarantee all medical bills are taken care of in case of an emergency.
What's included in over 60s holiday insurance?
Over 60s travel insurance provides everything a standard travel insurance policy gives you and more. Standard travel insurance covers:
- The cost of any medical treatment you might need in case of illness or injury during your travels
- Possible repatriation to the UK
- The cost of your holiday in the event of cancellation
- The cost of luggage, personal possessions, gadgets and money
Specialist holiday cover for over 60s will also include:
- Extra cover for pre-existing medical conditions and any medical treatment you may require because of these
- Additional cover for medicines you may need to take during travel
- Cover for your mobility equipment in the event of damage, theft or loss
- The option to add a travel companion to your policy
You get a more comprehensive policy to meet your varying needs. The good news is there are specialist insurers for older people, and most mainstream travel insurance companies also provide tailored policies for over 60s.
Like standard travel insurance, over 60s holiday cover can be for a single trip or an annual policy. A single trip policy means the insurance covers a single holiday. Single trip policies are available for a specific period which is often around 90 days. If you like to go on a holiday once a year, then a single trip policy tends to be the best.
Annual travel cover is valid for multiple trips. You can travel as many times as you want over the year. If you like to travel a lot, a multi-trip policy is generally more cost-effective.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has warned consumers that insurers deal with Covid-19 related issues differently. Your insurance cancellation cover could exclude coronavirus related issues. You can read more about travel insurance and coronavirus from our guide here.
Things your over 60s travel insurance won't cover
Travel insurance for over 60s covers a wide range of medical conditions and needs. However, travel insurance policies can come with exclusions. For example, your holiday insurance doesn't typically cover:
- Any undeclared medical conditions. You need to let the insurer know if you have a medical condition. Failure to do so can mean your insurance won't cover any medical expenses. You don't have to go through medical screening in most cases; simply include any known medical issues when applying.
- Claims you make if you travel against medical advice and get sick or injured. If you have a medical condition, talk to your GP before you book the holiday. While you typically don't need to provide a letter declaring you're fit to travel, your insurer could reject your claims if you travel against medical advice. So make sure to also check the FCDO's travel advice.
- Injuries or damage caused by activities not listed in your insurance. Most travel policies don't cover adventurous sports like skiing or even playing golf. You need to disclose any activities with a higher chance of causing injuries when applying for travel insurance. Note that you can also find specialist policies for cruises.
- Claims caused while under the influence or due to deliberate negligence. Keep in mind your travel insurance might not cover injury or illness caused by substance abuse or negligence. Even some prescription medicines might fall under the category of 'being under the influence'. If you're using medication to treat your condition, make sure to check with the insurer how they treat it in terms of making a claim.
As with most insurance, you should read your insurance policy's terms and conditions carefully. Be aware of what is and isn't included for that extra peace of mind while travelling.
Over 60s travel insurance and pre-existing medical conditions
One of the main reasons for getting travel insurance for over 60s is the more comprehensive coverage available for pre-existing medical conditions. Standard travel insurance often excludes most illnesses.
Which medical conditions are covered depends on the insurance policy. Don't assume your condition is covered - always check the specific policy. For example, over 60s travel insurance can cover all pre-existing conditions, but some will only cover certain conditions.
A pre-existing medical condition is any illness or injury you've experienced symptoms or treatment in the past. Conditions include things like:
- High blood pressure
- Heart conditions, such as heart failure
- Rheumatoid arthritis
You can find a list of included pre-existing conditions in your insurance policy documents. You also need to declare your pre-existing conditions when you're buying travel insurance. You need to do this, as failure to report a known medical condition can mean insurance claims are rejected. Different insurers might require varying amounts of information regarding your condition. With some insurers, it's enough to just list your medical conditions during the application. Others might require more documentation. With many insurers, declaring pre-existing conditions won't take longer than a few clicks, and you can do it online or over the phone.
How much does over 60s travel insurance cost?
The cost of insurance is a significant factor when deciding what insurance you get. Two of the main factors influencing the cost of your holiday insurance are:
- Your age - Travel insurance for older people costs more.
- Your destination - Destinations further away tend to cost more due to the local cost of medical treatment and repatriation. Healthcare and repatriation from the USA cost more than from Gibraltar, for example.
Your travel insurance costs will also go up if you travel for longer, as you require insurance for more days. If you are going on an adventurous holiday, you'll pay more. For example, winter sports and even golfing can add extra to insurance premiums. Cruise cover can also be more expensive but very useful. It can cover things like cabin confinement, so keep that in mind if you're planning a Caribbean cruise.
As you can see, travel insurance premiums can have several moving parts, and your insurance costs can vary from trip to trip. Nimble Fins data shows the average cost of single trip travel insurance for over 60s is:
- £11.75 for a trip to Europe
- £26.76 for worldwide travel
According to Bought By Many, an annual policy for over 60s costs £24.18, on average. In general, you should opt for annual insurance if you travel more than twice a year.
Whether you opt for a single trip or annual policy, comparing travel insurance policies is essential. You can use comparison websites to get an overview of what's on offer. However, it's also worth checking out travel insurance providers directly, as some insurers don't put their products on comparison websites.
What to keep in mind when looking for travel insurance
The unfortunate truth is that travel insurance prices go up as you age. Insurers have looked at the statistics, and the likelihood of claims among older people is higher. But it doesn't mean you can't find affordable travel insurance for over-60. Specialist medical travel insurance is a great option, especially if you have pre-existing conditions.
When you are looking for over-60s travel insurance, you need to remember to:
- Shop around - Use both price comparison websites and insurer websites to get an idea of the cost.
- Tailor policies to your needs - Don't buy add-ons you don't need. Travel insurers might sometimes include things you don't want, so be careful and read your policy details. You can also tweak your personal liability to bring the cost down.
- Include your pre-existing conditions - Don't try and save money by avoiding the inclusion of pre-existing medical conditions. You can find cheap policies that include different medical conditions.
If you have a credit card, check if it includes travel insurance. Some premium credit cards offer travel cover as part of the policy, and you might not need travel insurance. However, these might have restrictions on the length of your trip or limitations on medical cover. Nevertheless, it's still worth checking them out, so you don't needlessly pay for travel insurance cover.
Travel insurance for over 60s
Don't skip travel insurance when planning a holiday. Travelling without it can end up costing a lot of money if things go wrong. The likelihood of medical emergencies goes up as we age, which is why travel insurance for older people tends to cost more. The good news is that when you're in your 60s, you still have two options. If you're under 64, you can often still find standard policies to cater to your needs. If you're older, you want to look for specialist holiday insurance for over 60s.
Holiday insurance for over 60s comes in many types. You should always compare different travel insurance on comparison websites. But don't forget to go straight to the insurers, too. Plenty of affordable options are available if you just do a little bit of digging.