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Expat Investor : July August 2007
TRAVEL INSURANCE July/August 2007 EXPAT INVESTOR 15 Retired travellers face insurance price hikes of more than 100% on their 66th birthday, and similar increases on turning 70, according to research from moneysupermarket.com. The price comparison website is urging insurers to smooth out these overnight premium shocks to reflect the true and fair cost of insuring individual retired travellers. Richard Mason, Director of Insurance, moneysupermarket.com, tells Expat Investor,"Anyone who dreams of seeing the world in their retirement will get a nasty shock when they reach their 66th birthday and find insurers have doubled the cost of their travel insurance. The situation gets even worse for travellers entering their seventies as the cost of cover leaps by almost as much again. "How can these overnight premium shocks be a fair reflection of an individual's increased risk of making a claim? Older people should not be penalised for going abroad and should be able to find fairly priced travel insurance, whatever their age." The table shows the annual increase in premiums based on taking out an annual multi-trip travel insurance policy with no pre- existing medical conditions. Mr Mason adds, "Many older people may have some form of pre- existing medical condition, and this should definitely not put them off arranging insurance before travelling, since the risks are just too great -- and providers will cover them in most instances. Failure to disclose a pre- existing condition may mean an insurer refuses to pay out if a claim looks to be linked to this." As an older traveller, it is more vital than ever to choose the right level of cover at the best possible price, and not to be blown off course by the confusing array of providers, policies and terms out there. moneysupermarket.com has put the following checklist together to help older people get the right travel insurance as quickly as possible and without any problems: ALL ABOUT YOU 1. Do you have any pre-existing medical conditions? Failure to declare these could invalidate your policy should you need treatment. 2. What age will you be on the date of travel? All policies have age limits. Check you will not be over the age limit by the end of the travel period. 3. Consult a doctor before you travel to ensure you understand the risks associated with your destination -- for example, what will the climate be like? Will this affect any medication you are taking? 4. Ask your doctor for adequate medication to cover the whole trip and any possible delays. It may be difficult to obtain your medication overseas. 5. Remember that regular exercises during flights can prevent ankle swelling, and more seriously, the risk of thrombosis. Prepare carefully for longer flights -- make sure you drink enough water to avoid dehydration and ensure you have enough medication in your hand luggage. 6. Angina and breathlessness can be worse at high altitude. It is wise to alert the cabin crew if you suffer from these conditions WHERE YOU ARE GOING 1. Going to the EU? Make sure you Soaring insurance costs cripple retired travellers Fast Facts 66011 For access to the checklist and other significant global information prior to travel visit www.fco.gov.uk/travel. ABOUT THE SMALL PRINT 1. Check the cancellation policy. Some insurers do not include this as standard. For example, are you covered if you need to cancel your holiday because of a pre-existing condition? 2. How much cover does your policy provide? Check the ceilings on each aspect of a claim, for example, medical expenses. 3. Do you need personal baggage cover? Many travel insurance policies do not include this as standard, but you may not need to add it if you are already covered under your home and contents policy; check the small print before you decide. 4. Check where valuables should be kept. Many policy conditions insist that valuables be kept in a safe place, as defined by your insurer, otherwise you may not be covered. In conclusion, moneysupermarket.com recommends you take at least the following level of cover: medical expenses: £2 million, personal liability: £1 million, cancellation: £3,000, baggage: £1,500, cash: £250. As travel insurance premiums soar by more than 100% at age 66, then increase by a similar amount at age 70, moneysupermarket.com calls on insurers to smooth out overnight price hikes and reflect the real increase in individual risk. have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). It could significantly reduce your medical bills and enable you to receive the same medical treatment as local residents. 2. Is your destination deemed safe for tourists? You may not be insured if you are travelling to a country which the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised against visiting. Annual Multi--Trip Aged Aged Aged Aged Aged Aged Aged 65666768697071 Top Premium £35.42 £88.64 £88.64 £88.64 £88.64 £88.64 £171.08 Second Premium £46.95 £89.80 £89.80 £89.80 £89.80 £139.72 £154.41 Third Premium £48.00 £114.05 £114.05 £114.05 £114.05 £154.41 £171.63 Fourth Premium £55.00 £121.00 £121.00 £121.00 £121.00 £171.08 £192.50 Fifth Premium £61.00 £139.73 £139.73 £139.73 £139.73 £171.63 £206.87