Rising medical costs highlights need for travel insurance for over 65s

By , January 19, 2012 2:02 pm
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Research into the rising cost of medical treatment abroad last year prompted the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to advise travellers of all ages to make travel insurance a priority when they are planning a trip abroad.

Travel insurance is particularly important if you are over 65 or if you have a pre-existing medical condition, as unfortunately this means that you may be more at risk of falling ill or having an accident and therefore needing medical treatment whilst you are away.

The Foreign Office advises over 65s to buy a travel insurance policy with adequate medical cover for their chosen destination, it is important that this is done before you depart. The medical cover of your travel insurance policy should be at least £1m for European travel and £2m for the rest of the world. It is also important to declare any pre-existing medical conditions, you may not be covered by your over 65 travel insurance policy if you don’t declare these when asked.

Phil Lords from the Foreign Offices ‘Know Before You Go’ Campaign says:

“These findings highlight the importance of taking out insurance before you travel. Many people try to cut holiday costs, only to discover that when things go wrong they are obliged to pay thousands of pounds in bills. Getting comprehensive travel insurance means that whilst an accident may disrupt your holiday, it won’t bankrupt you.”

The findings of the research show that the average travel insurance medical claim made by British tourists requiring medical treatment abroad in 2010 was £1,333.41. Countries where the cost of medical care can be high such as the USA had average claims of £4,725.

The differing costs of medical treatment abroad is something that is often reflected in the cost of your travel insurance, so if you are trying to keep your expenditure down, why not get travel insurance over 65 quotes for different countries before you make your final decision on where to travel? If you are over 65 or have medical conditions, the country you are travelling to could make a difference of several hundred pounds to the cost of your travel insurance.

The figures above clearly illustrate why travel insurance over 65 to the USA, where the average claim is three times higher than the overall average, can cost more than travel insurance for trips to other countries.

If you are a traveller over 65 looking for travel insurance, or you have pre-existing medical conditions, and you want to keep the cost of travel insurance down, you can save money by travelling to countries where medical treatment is not so expensive, or countries where the UK has a reciprocal health care agreement in place, making travel insurance over 65 to that country less expensive.

If you are over 65 don’t try to save money by travelling without insurance – it could cost you a lot more in the long run.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office can provide some support, such as notifying friends and family, if you are hospitalised abroad, but they will not pick up the cost, without travel insurance that would be down to you.

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