Travel insurance til you're 100

14 October 2010 12:33

World First Extends Age Limits on Travel Insurance

14 February, 2010.  Following the 25 January announcement by the Government Equalities Office (GEO) that insurance companies can continue to use upper age limits, the travel insurance specialist, World First has decided to do the complete opposite by raising its upper limit from 79 to 100.  Research just released by Age Concern and Help the Aged* has highlighted there is a very real problem for “older travellers” (in some cases as young as 65) with a third of surveyed companies refusing to offer travel cover**.

Alongside the availability of insurance for people over 79, World First (which specialises in delivering affordable cover for travellers with pre-existing medical conditions) has also increased the range and severity of medical conditions it covers; conditions often found in older generations.

Help The Aged also warned older consumers that, due to lack of competition in the market, they were likely to pay over the odds.  The variation in price across the marketplace also makes it difficult for consumers to know they are getting the best deal.  World First’s travel insurance policies, as the chart below shows (based on Help the Aged’s own research amongst 25 insurers) will be highly competitive and affordable:

All quotes based on a one week holiday in Spain (no pre-existing medical conditions):

Help The Aged Research    World First Quote
Aged 60-65   £11-£72          £14.00
Aged 80+      £40-£413        £47.00

Andrew Harrop, head of public policy at Age Concern and Help the Aged, stated that the GEO decision to allow maximum age limits put unnecessary restrictions on older people’s lives, and continued:
“It defies belief that in 2010 a business is still able to refuse to deal with someone because of the date on their birth certificate.  We accept that age should sometimes be taken into account in pricing insurance, but automatic age limits completely undermine the message the Equality Bill is supposed to be sending, Our fear is household name insurers will see the new law as a green light to shut their doors to older customers.”

Martin Rothwell, Managing Partner at World First Travel Insurance, comments:

“We have been working to increase our age limit to 100 for some time now, but our announcement could not come at a better time.  It has long been World First’s belief that everyone deserves comprehensive travel insurance at the right price.  Our cover for older people with medical conditions and longstanding health problems has long been recognised for its excellence and value for money (often hundreds, sometimes thousands, of pounds cheaper than the nearest competitive quote), and by extending our age limit we hope to once again lead the way.

“It is no secret that we live in an ageing market and that people are seeking more and more active and new experiences well into their retirement.  We are also in a world where families live around the world, and relatives and friends will travel to visit one another.  Our increased age limit simply reflects the reality of the market today.”

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