Travel insurance for over 80s

Get over-80s travel insurance for travellers up to the age of 99. We’ll find you policies that can cover for a range of pre-existing medical conditions, allowing you to book your holiday with peace of mind. Here’s what you need to know to find over 80s travel insurance that’s right for you.

Get over-80s travel insurance for travellers up to the age of 99. We’ll find you policies that can cover for a range of pre-existing medical conditions, allowing you to book your holiday with peace of mind. Here’s what you need to know to find over 80s travel insurance that’s right for you.

Josh Daniels
From the Travel team
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Posted 18 JANUARY 2021

Can the over 80s get insurance?

While you might have come across age limits of 79 or lower from some insurance providers, travel insurance for over 80s does exist – but it can be hard to find as fewer insurance providers offer it. Finding the right provider is easy with Compare the Market.


International travel is not currently permitted before 17 May 2021 at the earliest (date subject to further confirmation from the government). For single trip and long-stay trips, you won’t be able to get a travel insurance quote if you’re travelling before this date. 

You’re still able to purchase annual multi-trip policies. But if you choose to travel against the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advice and current restrictions, you won’t be covered for your trip. 

While the majority of travel insurance providers don’t offer cover if you’re travelling for essential purposes before 17 May 2021, some are now able to offer cover. If you have any queries, you should check the policy wording or contact your chosen provider before you buy. 

Different rules may apply in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and it’s important that you follow all the rules that apply to you. 

For travel advice on your destination, check the FCDO for the latest information. 

Find out more here

Customers with more serious pre-existing medical conditions

Our panel includes insurance providers who quote cover for all medical conditions declared on our website, with no exclusions.

The Money and Pensions Service (MaPs) has launched a directory of insurance providers on its Money Advice Service website that may be able to provide quotes over the phone, if you have more serious medical conditions. Find more information at the Money Advice Service or by calling the British Insurance Brokers’ Association on 0370 950 1790.

What does travel insurance for over 80s cover?

Many policies will cover you for:

  • Emergency medical expenses if you have an accident or become ill
  • Repatriation home if medically necessary and approved by the insurance provider
  • Costs if you need to cancel or cut your trip short because of illness or death of a close relative – but check the policy details
  • Unexpected costs if you cannot travel back as expected
  • Loss or damage to luggage, medication, medical aids including a wheelchair or money – check the maximum for one item and the total for all valuables.
  • Travel delays and disruptions
  • 24-hour assistance helplines to offer support and advice about appropriate treatment

Read the policy details and terms carefully before you buy, to make sure you are getting the cover you need and check with the insurance provider if you are unsure about the details.

How much does travel insurance for over 80s cost?

It depends on your travel plans. Whatever your age, travel insurance for a city break in Paris will be cheaper than travel insurance for snowboarding in the Rocky Mountains or scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

In your 80s and beyond, you can expect to pay several times more for travel insurance than someone much younger. This is because, statistically, those who are aged 80 and over are more likely to make a claim (whether that’s medical treatment abroad, or ill health that prevents travelling resulting in a cancellation claim). Add in the likely pre-existing conditions and the premium may increase further.

But while over 80s travel insurance is more expensive, it’s also a good investment. While most people going away enjoy their holiday without any problems, accidents do happen and you can fall ill. If you aren’t insured, medical bills will have to come out of your own pocket, while with travel insurance you can plan and enjoy your trips with confidence.

Can I get insured with a pre-existing medical condition?

Yes, there are insurance providers who offer over 80s travel insurance to people with medical conditions – just make sure you declare all pre-existing medical conditions, otherwise you risk invalidating any claim you make. 

When you search for travel insurance with Compare the Market, we’ll ask you some simple questions about your health. There’s an easy tool to help you declare your pre-existing conditions – anything from high blood pressure, diabetes, and arthritis, to angina, heart conditions and cancer.

Find out more about travel insurance with medical conditions.

What is not covered by over-80s travel insurance?

While you’ll find your travel insurance will cover you for many things, you’ll probably find a number of exclusions. Please read your policy carefully, so you know exactly what you’re covered for.

Here are some common examples of policy exclusions:

  • Undisclosed pre-existing medical conditions – if you don’t declare all of your pre-existing conditions to your insurance provider during your application, and then claim for them, your policy may be invalid
  • High-risk sports and activities – if you don’t tell your insurance provider about any extreme sports, or other high-risk activities that you’re planning on taking part in, any claim will likely be rejected
  • Irresponsible behaviour – if you injure yourself, lose or have had something stolen, due to negligence or intoxication, you may void your claim

Will I have to pass a medical test to get over 80s travel insurance?

Possibly, you don’t necessarily have to pass a medical test to get covered. Usually insurance providers will simply look at the information you give about your medical history when they calculate your insurance premium. Make sure you know the names of your medical conditions before you apply.

Where can you go with an over-80s policy?

Different types of travel insurance can cover you for various regions. You can find separate policies for:

  • The UK
  • Europe – this can sometimes include African countries such as Egypt, or transcontinental countries like Turkey, so it’s important that you check the policy wording carefully when looking at cover types.
  • Worldwide – some worldwide policies exclude countries such as the USA, Canada and the Caribbean, where medical costs can be even more expensive. Make sure you find a policy that covers the country you’re travelling to, if going on holiday to these regions.

Do I still need travel insurance if I've got an EHIC card?

Ideally, because it won't cover you for all the possible risks you face when travelling.

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) gives you the right to access state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in the countries in the European Economic Area or Switzerland. You'll get treated as if you were a resident of that country and in some places you may be expected to make a contribution towards the cost of your treatment – the same as local residents.

After Brexit, and the UK officially left the EU with a deal in place, things have changed. You won’t be able to apply for an EHIC anymore, but, if you have one already, issued before the end of 2020, then it’ll still be valid until the expiry date.

However, the UK government has introduced a replacement called the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). If you don’t have an EHIC, or once yours expires, you can apply for a GHIC here, and it should arrive within 10 days. The GHIC will offer the same cover as the EHIC did in EU countries.

But your EHIC/GHIC won't cover any private medical healthcare or costs such as being flown back to the UK, lost or stolen belongings or delays. It also isn't valid on cruises. So travel insurance is essential if you want to be covered for these kind of situations.

See more on EHIC cards

When should I buy travel insurance for the over 80s?

Travel insurance should be high on your list of priorities. We recommend taking out your insurance policy as soon as you book your holiday. That way, you’re covered if something happens that means you need to cancel the trip.

Can I get an annual travel insurance policy?

Yes, annual plans are available and if you’re going away more than once they could potentially save you money. If you are going away on an extended trip, make sure you understand the maximum time you can be away on the policy in one go.  

If you're not sure how often you are likely to be going away, then a single-trip policy might be a better option.

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