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Travel insurance for over 80s: what you need to know

Travel insurance for over 80s: what you need to know

There’s no age limit on travel – so why should there be on travel insurance? Whatever your next adventure, you should be able to enjoy your trip with the peace of mind travel insurance can provide. Here’s what you need to know to find over 80s travel insurance that’s right for you.

Patrick Ikhena
From the Travel team
minute read
posted 12 NOVEMBER 2O19

Can the over 80s get insurance?

Yes. 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 who offer it. Finding the right provider, is easy with Compare the Market. We can find policies with no upper age limit to suit you.

When you search for travel insurance with us, we’ll show you policies from providers that cater for your age range so you can compare over 80s travel insurance quotes easily.

Is travel insurance for over 80s expensive?

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. For example, for a 7-night trip to France in August 2018 for someone with no pre-existing medical conditions using our own comparison tool – the only change is the date of birth:

  • Aged 84 cost £29.25
  • Aged 54 cost £5.99

This is because statistically, those who are aged 80 and over are 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. Payments for emergency medical treatment accounted for over half of all claims made – 52% in 2017, according to the Association of British Insurers.

The average cost of a medical claim is £1,264 and a cancellation claim is £833 and this potentially rises with age. If you aren’t insured then medical bills will have to come out of your own pocket. another required a £20,000 payout to treat a blocked intestine. Even a smaller injury, such as damage to a knee ligament, cost as much as £3,800 to treat. 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

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.

But your EHIC 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

What is typically covered in an over 80s travel insurance policy?

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.

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.

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.

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.

Compare over 80s travel insurance quotes

Just answer a few simple questions and we’ll compare insurance providers to help you find over 80s travel insurance that’s right for you.

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