- How to choose the right over 50s travel insurance for travel in Europe and worldwide
- Expert advice on the different types of travel insurance policy and what to look for including single and multi-trip cover
- Travel insurance tips, handling pre-existing medical conditions and when to buy your policy for maximum protection
Travel insurance is the belt and braces part of any travel adventure. While you’re in safe hands – whether on a river cruise exploring the Blue Danube or being awestruck by blossoms in Japan on an escorted tour – it still pays to take out a travel insurance policy that’s right for you.
Amazingly, around a quarter of Brits travel without travel insurance, risking having to pay thousands for medical bills or for lost or damaged items such as mobile phones, tablets and expensive cameras. And while older travellers are usually more worldly-wise and cautious, an incredible 14% of travellers aged 55 and over go on holiday without travel insurance.
Skipping travel insurance may save a few pounds, but if something goes wrong, it’s a false economy. Travel insurance covers a range of problems. As well as medical emergencies, travel insurance gives peace of mind about missed flights, having to cut short a trip, damage you might accidentally cause or if essential documents, such as passports, are lost or stolen.
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office travel insurance section has lots of helpful advice on the need for travel insurance.
Choosing the best over 50s travel insurance
Travel insurance isn’t usually expensive, but premiums can rise significantly the older you get. Insurers calculate that the likelihood of becoming ill increases as we age, and the costs of healthcare can skyrocket. If you’re over 50, look for insurance policies that strike a balance between offering features tailored to you, along with reasonable prices.
There are two broad types of travel insurance for the over 50s: single trip and annual multi-trip travel insurance, plus a range of specialist insurance policies depending on the type of holiday you’re planning.
Single trip over 50s travel insurance
Single trip European travel insurance is the cheapest type of travel insurance policy you can buy but, in most cases, it’s only suitable if you’re planning on making one trip overseas in a year.
Multi-trip annual over 50s travel insurance
When making two or more trips abroad each year, multi-trip annual travel insurance usually works out cheaper than buying separate insurance policies each time you travel. Multi-trip insurance typically covers as many trips as you plan to make, with some restrictions on length of each trip. It also means you need only shop around for one policy each year, removing some of the hassle involved with buying single trip policies.
You’ll need to keep an eye on renewal pricing, however. Annual policies can jump up in price on subsequent years, with insurers hoping that you’re less likely to shop around with an annual policy. If you’re only travelling to Europe make sure the policy excludes US or worldwide cover, as keeping this cover in can bump up the cost significantly.
Worldwide travel insurance
When travelling outside Europe to the US, South America or Australasia, you’ll need to buy worldwide travel insurance. This can be as a single trip or multi-trip annual policy. Worldwide travel insurance is more expensive due to the cost of medical care outside of the European Union.
Pre-existing medical conditions
As we get older, we’re more prone to ongoing medical conditions. Be sure to declare any pre-existing medical conditions when choosing your policy. Not declaring it runs the risk of a claim being turned down and leaving you facing a hefty medical bill. Your insurer may ask you a few medical questions – it’s best to be straightforward and open with your answers. Rest assured that all information is treated in the strictest confidence.
Over 50s travel insurance tips
Buying travel insurance means trying to get the best possible cover for the best possible price. It doesn’t pay to skimp on travel insurance, but there are some steps you can take to make sure you get the best cover and peace of mind while you travel.
- Not all policies are the same – Take time to review any excesses you’ll need to pay in the event of a claim, as well as any exclusions – what is and isn’t covered by the policy. If you’re not sure, contact the insurer and ask them if the policy offers the cover you need.
- Use the 14-day cooling-off period – You have 14-days from when you buy your policy to change your mind. This gives you a chance to read the small print, ask questions and even compare the policy with other options. If you change your mind and haven’t made a claim, you should be entitled to a full refund.
- Buy your policy when booking – Travel insurance covers you from the day you buy it, so it’s best to get it as soon as possible. If you need to cancel shortly after booking your holiday, having insurance in place is essential. Leaving it until just before you travel can leave you exposed if you need to cancel your trip earlier on.
- Bring your EHIC card – Until the UK leaves the European Union, it’s vital to bring your EHIC card with you on any European holiday. This gives access to the same level of medical care received by the citizens in the EU country you are travelling in, such as free hospital care. Avoid scam websites offering EHIC cards for a charge – apply for a free EHIC card from the official EHIC application site.
- Check your bank – Some banks include annual travel insurance, especially with premium accounts. Other services may include free travel insurance, so check first before buying a new policy – just make sure it covers your needs for the trip you are planning.
- Separate policies – If buying a group policy, say for family or friends travelling together, consider splitting policies if there are large age differences. For example, some group policies can be more expensive if you’re over 65 even if the majority of the group is aged less than 65. It can be cheaper to buy a policy for you, and a group policy for all those below age 65.
Travel insurance for peace of mind
You’re free to choose any travel insurance policy, however Riviera Travel offers peace of mind with its travel insurance. It includes cover for up to £5m for medical expenses and up to £5,000 cancellation or curtailment cover. Find out more about travel insurance from Riviera Travel, including costs and policy wording.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.