If you’re heading aboard and you’re over 65, then you’ll need travel insurance that offers great cover and is tailored to any pre-existing medical conditions you may have.
However, the bad news when buying travel insurance over 65, is that travel insurance premiums can be hugely expensive – and far fewer travel insurance companies will offer you a travel insurance policy in the first place.
That said, don’t let the insurance industry curtail your thirst for travel and adventure! With some smart choices and selecting a more age-friendly travel insurance company, you can travel with confidence into your 80s, 90s and even older!
Whatever your age, travel insurance is vital. It protects you in the event of medical emergencies, lost luggage and cancelled holidays. Without travel insurance, you could end up facing bills running into the thousands in the event of an emergency. As an older traveller, you’ll also need to look out for specialist travel insurance such as cruise travel insurance that is tailored to the type of travel you are undertaking.
It’s worth knowing how to buy the best travel insurance over 65 and look for the best price for the best cover. While the price you pay for a premium will be significantly more than the premiums paid by those aged below 65 – premiums are typically double – it pays to focus on the level and type of cover the travel insurance provides. You may also need to buy travel insurance from a specialist over 65s travel insurers such as Age UK or Saga travel insurance.
Get the best over 50 travel insurance with our money-saving guide to travel insurance over 50: buying the best policy.
Why take out travel insurance over 65?
The good news is those travelling in later life can and do take out travel insurance. Compared to the general population, where around a quarter of people regularly holiday without any travel insurance, the over 65s are more sensible. According to Finder.com, only 14% of over 55s travel without insurance, but that’s still a significant percentage taking an unnecessary risk.
A range of events are covered by travel insurance policies: ill-health, sickness and medical emergencies; flights that you missed due to circumstances beyond your control; having to cut short or cancel a trip, such as due to ill health; damage to items, or stolen items including cash, passports, cameras and phones. Most policies will also cover any legal claims and costs for damage you accidentally cause to property or another person.
Popular over 65 travel insurance – such as Saga travel insurance – covers lots of potential events and includes many pre-conditions as standard that have other travel insurance companies digging in their heels and refusing to sell you a travel insurance policy.
Travel insurance over 65 – types of travel insurance
Buying the right type of over 65s travel insurance can make a difference to the premium you’ll pay. Buying the best over 65 travel insurance means you can save money and avoid spending more on travel insurance than you need.
Single trip travel insurance over 65
Single trip travel insurance gives greater choice and flexibility once you hit age 65. Single trip policies tend to be cheaper, even if you buy them for two or three trips throughout the year. Insurers feel happier insuring over 65s for specific trips with very defined dates and destinations. You’ll find that most insurers will continue to offer single trip insurance policies to older aged travellers, such as those aged over 80, compared to annual travel insurance policies.
Over 65s multi-trip annual travel insurance
Multi-trip annual travel insurance over 65 can be a good deal if you make four or more trips per year, and you’re aged nearer 65 than 80. Pick the best multi-trip annual travel insurance cover only for the destinations you are travelling to. For example, don’t add the US or Australasia cover if you’re not going to travel to the US or Australia – these can hugely hike up the price. You’ll also be limited to the length of time you can be away on holiday – usually around 90 days.
Worldwide travel insurance over 65
If travelling to the US, South America or Australasia, you’ll be faced with buying costly worldwide travel insurance. Premiums will be high because the cost of treatment in the US, for example, is dramatically more expensive than in Europe. As the UK has medical arrangements with European countries, European trips are far less expensive in terms of insurance cover.
It also costs more as insurers reckon that older people over 65 will spend more time recovering in hospital, requiring more expensive treatment for longer – even though many older travellers are far wiser and actually spend less time in a hospital than their younger counterparts.
Travel insurance for cruising
Cruising is gaining in popularity, with many over 65s opting for cruises to the Mediterranean or river cruises throughout Europe. Cruising is a great way to travel, with escorted excursions and all-inclusive food. However, it’s worth knowing that you’ll need to buy a separate cruising insurance bolt-on to a standard insurance policy. You can buy directly through your cruise line, although this can be costly.
Look for travel insurance for cruising that covers missing your departure or having to be confined to the cabin for a time due to shipwide illnesses.
Pre-existing medical conditions for over 65s travel insurance
It’s only natural that as we age, we’re prone to developing ongoing medical conditions. While you may be as fit-as-a-fiddle and able to go about your day-to-day life without a problem, an existing health condition means insurance companies will be less flexible and accommodating. Declaring a pre-existing medical condition can ramp up the price for over 65s travel insurance, but it’s far worse to have a claim turned down for medical expenses if you needed to claim on the policy.
Don’t let having a pre-existing medical condition put you off travelling – even if you get turned down by a travel insurance company. Odds on they might not have been great value anyway. Some insurance companies, such as Saga travel insurance, offer more accommodating travel insurance with many existing pre-conditions included.
If aged over 50 with a pre-existing medical condition, you’ll typically face a medical screening call with the insurance provider. You may be asked questions of a personal nature, though these are treated confidentially – and it’s best to be as forthcoming with answers as possible. If you’re turned down, look for insurance providers who specialise in your condition. Use a site such as Medical Travel Compared, or pick a travel insurance specialist from the list below.
Travel insurance over 65 companies
Several specialist insurance firms cater for the over 65s, helping you travel with confidence.
Age Co Travel Insurance – with no upper age limit, this is a good bet for older travellers. Age Co Travel Insurance offers both single trip and annual travel insurance policies.
Columbus Direct – a travel insurance company that caters for travellers over the age of 65. It covers up to the age of 85 on a single trip, and up to 74 on annual policies. There are various levels of policy to further tailor your travel insurance.
Saga Travel Insurance – the specialist over 50s travel and insurance company offers travel insurance to the over 50s with no upper age limit.
World First – offers a truly age-defining policy, with single trips up to age 100, and up to 79 on an annual cover.
Over 65s travel insurance tips
No matter which travel-insurance policy you choose or where you go, there are some travel insurance tips worth knowing. They can save money when buying, increase medical support or make the chance of a successful claim more likely.
Buy travel insurance as soon as you book your holiday. Travel insurance starts working from when you pay for it, such as cancellation protection due to illness. Don’t leave it to just before you go on holiday – if it’s booked, it’s unprotected until you have travel insurance in place.
Not all policies are the same. Take time to look at the excesses you’ll pay, what is – and isn’t – covered, and any exclusions. It may seem obvious but take time to read the policy document and use the14-dayy cooling period to cancel the policy if it doesn’t meet your needs.
Remember your EHIC card when going to Europe. It provides the same level of medical care as citizens in the European country, such as free hospital treatment. It’s not meant to replace travel insurance but adds extra protection. EHIC cards are free – never pay for one – and apply for your EHIC card at and only get the EHIC card from the official EHIC application site.
You might already be covered. Some banks offer free annual travel insurance, especially with premium accounts. Check if you have travel insurance in place and if it offers the cover you need before buying a policy.
If you’re buying a group or family policy, the oldest group member can dramatically impact policy prices. If you’re over 65 but the rest of the group is aged less than 65, it can be cheaper to buy a separate policy for you and a group policy for all those aged below 65.
Watch for automatic renewals and price hikes. Take time to shop around for the best annual travel insurance rather than just automatically renewing to ensure you’re paying the best price.