How to choose the best senior travel insurance
Holidays are always exciting! Whether it's a relaxing weekend break or the trip of a lifetime, travel insurance should never hold you back. But knowing which travel insurance to choose can be a little confusing. There are so many different policies out there that it's sometimes difficult to know exactly what you're covered for. Thankfully, taking a few minutes to get to grips with the market will help you to find a policy that's perfect for you and your plans. Here's a quick guide to what you should look for when you're choosing travel insurance and a breakdown of what you'll get if you insure with World First. If you have any questions please call us on 0845 90 80 161 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What to look out for when choosing a policy
Compare travel insurance over 65 with Age Concern and Saga
To see how our senior travel insurance compared with other providers, we looked at comparable policies with Saga travel insurance and Age Concern Travel Insurance (now known as Age Concern UK and Age UK following their merger with Help The Aged). Here's what we found:
Quote based on a couple aged 67 buying annual travel insurance with a 31 day trip limit on a worldwide basis. Both have well controlled high blood pressure. Quotes obtained online on 09/01/2012.
|Age Concern Travel Insurance
|Saga Travel Insurance
|World First Travel Insurance
|Average saving with World First
We didn't aim to compare the cover but did seek comparable levels. The results begin to show the savings you can make by shopping around, especially for travel insurance with medical conditions.
"Travel insurance review"
"Cannot comment on how claims are dealt with but would say other company quotes for a couple in their 60s and 50s respectively were dearer by a considerable margin. As a result of my recommendation, my brother and his wife who are in their 70s also found the quote for cover the cheapest, now have cover with World First."
Reviewed by confirmed purchaser
What to look for when choosing a policy
It's not all about cost
For lots of people, the most important thing to consider when searching for travel insurance is the cost. But be careful if you're simply searching for the cheapest policy. As is so often the case, with travel insurance you generally get what you pay for. The cheapest policies may not give you cover that fits your holiday plans or personal circumstances.
The importance of searching for good medical cover
The one thing you definitely don't want to scrimp on when it comes to travel insurance is medical cover. It's one of the most important parts of any policy. But finding the best travel insurance with medical conditions can be time-consuming. Premiums can skyrocket with some insurers and others may simply refuse to cover you. Regardless, it's important to declare all of your medical conditions, whether they're major, minor or somewhere in between. If you don't, you risk invalidating your entire policy. That could leave you facing life changing bills if the unexpected happens while you're abroad and you need medical treatment.
At World First Travel Insurance we cover thousands of medical conditions at a price that's fair. Policy benefits include £5 million worth of cover for medical costs and access to a 24/7 emergency helpline – wherever you are in the world.
Read more: Medical travel insurance with World First
Read more: British traveller's potential £120,000 medical bill stresses importance of travel insurance
What about price comparison websites?
Price comparison websites are big business these days. But while they can be a great place to start your search, it's always best to research the travel insurance providers that interest you before you part with any cash. It's also worth getting a quote directly from the provider's website to see if it matches up with the results from your price comparison search. And remember, not all travel insurers are registered with price comparison websites. Shopping around can pay off in terms of both quality and cost of cover.
Read more: Are price comparison websites leading customers astray?
What are you covered for?
It's crucial to be sure of what you're covered for when it comes to choosing your policy. Compare cover for things like cancellation, the loss of personal possessions and cover for medical conditions. Don't worry. This needn't mean hours of trawling through the small print of densely-worded policy documents. Our Policy Wording is designed to be simple and the layout should make it easier to compare and contrast different policies.
Read more: World First's Policy Wording
Cancellation and curtailment
The majority of travel insurance policies contain cancellation and curtailment cover, ranging from £500 to £30,000 in value. This figure refers to the amount of unrecoverable costs (pre-booked accommodation, flights etc) you are entitled to claim back from your insurer if you have to unexpectedly cancel or cut your holiday short. A good tip is to shop around and choose something that matches the total cost of your holiday.
At World First we offer £3,000 of cancellation cover for flights, pre-booked accommodation and timeshare management changes. This includes travel that has been paid for using air miles.
Travel delay and missed departure
Many travel insurers include cover for travel delay and missed departure in their policies. If you'd like the peace of mind that comes with knowing you're financially protected if something unexpected causes you to miss your flight, then make sure travel delay and missed departure is included in your policy.
With World First you can claim compensation as soon as you are delayed for 12 hours. If you miss your departure through no fault of your own we can give you up to £1,000. And if you wish to abandon your trip following a delay we can reimburse up to £3,000 of unrecoverable holiday costs.
In 2009, British insurers processed an average of 3,700 claims for lost baggage every single week. Not all policies contain baggage and on others it will be an optional extra. If you've got important personal possessions or pricey clothes in your suitcase – make sure it's covered. And remember that baggage cover will always contain single article limits restricting how much you can claim for an individual item.
We offer £1,500 worth of baggage cover on all policies.
What's not included? Check your policy exclusions.
Knowing what you're NOT covered for can be as important as knowing what you ARE covered for. All travel insurance policies have exclusions and it's important to read them carefully. For instance, many travel insurers will only cover foreign medical treatment following a bicycle incident if you were wearing a helmet. Participating in certain sports will also trigger policy exclusions. There are countless other examples. Knowing where you stand can save a lot of heartache and help to keep you safe while on holiday.
At World First we automatically cover over 70 sports and activities. You can take a look at our exclusions by reading our Policy Wording.
Read more: World First Policy Wording
Make or break: The claims procedure
The acid test of any insurance policy is when it comes to making a claim. Fortunately, you don't have to wait until that point to find out about your insurer's claims procedure. It will be included in their Policy Wording and it's always worth a call to ask them to go through it over the phone. It's no good taking out a policy that looks great if it's going to be prohibitively difficult to make a claim when you need your insurer most. Also, remember that if you make a claim your insurer may check your medical details with your Doctor. That's one of the reasons it's so important to declare all of your medical conditions when you take out a policy.
World First are backed by the best underwriters in the business. We have a dedicated in-house claims team and offer 24 hour emergency assistance. In the unlikely event that you do need to claim, you can expect a fast, sympathetic and effective service.
Don't forget about policy excesses
Another thing to consider when choosing a policy is the excess applied to making a claim. (This is the amount you will have to pay before the insurer pays out any compensation.) In general, cheaper policies will result in higher charges for claims - we have seen some policies with excesses of £1,000 or more. It's worth taking a look before you part with your money.
The majority of our cover carries just a £60 excess. A £200 excess applies to our £2 million personal liability cover and £25,000 legal cover.
Other possessions loss
Many travel insurance policies will give you the option to insure specific valuables such as cameras or laptops. Cover is also available for the loss or theft of cash and travel documents, such as your passport. Whether you choose to include this kind of cover depends how much risk you want to take. But it's important to remember that items such as cash, passports and valuables are not always automatically covered.
Our policies cover up to £250 of lost cash and up to £250 worth of valuables. We'll also cover £250 worth of costs related to replacing a lost passport.
Having second thoughts? Get your money back!
Don't forget that there is a window of fourteen days after the date you purchase your policy where you can get a full refund if you change your mind. So if you have second thoughts after going through the details of your policy, you can still get your money back.