If 60 is the new 40 and so on, it seems bizarre in this day and age that once you pass 65, most travel insurers consider you too ancient for cover without slapping on a hefty premium. This is regardless of your state of health, or your ability to party all night on board, join vigorous cycling tours in port and zoom down zip lines in Alaska.
And the older you get, the more difficult finding insurance becomes, until you reach an age where cruising might be the easiest and safest way for you to travel – but nobody will sell you a policy at a reasonable cost.
A report out this week from Which? Money highlights the problem. Which? researchers looked at 98 annual travel policies and found that only five covered the over-eighties. Even for the over 65s, prices varied according to whether the quotes were given online or over the phone – and some insurers refused point blank to offer a quote. Even some of the specialist companies supposedly catering for the over-50s suddenly became almost twice as expensive for a person passing into a new age category, for example, from 74 to 75, regardless of their state of health.
The good news is that a couple of insurers will sell a worldwide policy to the over-80s at a reasonable price (subject to pre-existing medical conditions, of course). Co-operative Insurance Home Options and Intune/Age UK both impose no upper age limit and came out reasonably priced in the Which? survey.
And for single trip insurance, there’s a surprise new star on the scene – Easyjet, which for a 15-day European cruise would charge a 65-plus traveller a reasonable £31, underwritten by the reputable Mondial Assistance, with no upper age limit. I posed as a 79-year-old (the maximum allowed) and got an online quote for the same holiday from BUPA, which came out at £65.92. The cover is higher – but it goes to show how much variation there is. So shop around before you sail!