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Travel insurance for 80-year-olds is 17 TIMES more expensive than it is for 55-year-olds (and there’s far less choice)

Holidaymakers above the age of 55 and older are being penalised with higher costs for travel insurance and fewer policies to choose from.

Exclusive data seen by This is Money reveals the cost of a single travel insurance policy for an 80-year old is now 17 times more expensive than for someone aged 55, rising to 22 times as much for those aged 90 and over.

There is also far less choice the older you get and just 15 per cent of all single trip policies and six per cent of all annual policies have no maximum age limit.

Fewer options: Just 15 per cent of single and sex per cent of annual policies have no age limit

Comparison website Gocompare.com sent us the three cheapest prices available for insurance for a traveller without any pre-existing health conditions.

The average cost of a policy for a two-week trip to Spain was £7.24 for those aged 55, rising to £9.56 for those aged 65, £43.25 for those aged 75, £123.96 for those aged 80 and £161.81 for those aged 90.

This means someone aged 75 is paying five times more on average than someone aged 55. This rises to 17 times more for someone aged 80 and 22 times more for those aged 90.

For annual travel insurance it was a similar story. For those aged 55 prices came in at an average of £12.96 rising to £19.81 for those aged 65 and £66.52 for those aged 75.

For those aged 80 the cheapest quote for annual insurance was £214.01 and for those aged 90 it was £488.30, both from Saga.

Again the price shows the huge hike in premiums for older travellers with those aged 75 paying five times more than a 55-year old, those aged 80 paying 16 times more and those aged 90 paying 37 times more.

A 90-year old can expect to pay 2,134 per cent more than a 55-year old for a single trip policy

As with all types of insurance, the price you’re given depends on a wide-range of factors and the prices we were given were example quotes. However, they do show an alarming pattern whereby older people, especially those aged 75 and older, are forced to pay much higher premiums for travel insurance.

The prices we’ve used are also not including any pre-existing health conditions, which would also add to the overall cost.

THE AVERAGE PRICE OF A SINGLE TRIP TRAVEL INSURANCE POLICY

Age Price 55 £7.24 65 £9.5675 £43.2580 £123.9690 £161.81 Source: Gocompare, price is the average of the three cheapest quotes given for an annual travel insurance policy with no pre-existing medical conditions and at least £10m medical cover and £750 baggage allowance

Insurance pricing is based on risk and the reason the price rises with age is because there is a greater risk that older people may fall ill or have an accident.

As well as rising costs, the number of policies on offer dwindles after the age of 55, dropping dramatically for those aged 75 and older which forces people in this age bracket to pay out more for essentially the same product.

There are 861 single travel insurance policies on the market and 883 annual policies yet the older you get, this number declines rapidly leaving holidaymakers with less choice and ultimately paying more.

With single trip policies, data shared exclusively with us from Defaqto showed that those aged 65 and over still had a choice of 763 to choose from, or 88 per cent of the market.

THE AVERAGE PRICE OF AN ANNUAL TRIP TRAVEL INSURANCE POLICY

Age Price 55 £12.96 65 £19.81 75 £66.52 80 £214.01 90 £488.30 Source: Gocompare, price is the average of the three cheapest quotes given for a two-week holiday to Spain this summer with at least £10m medical cover and £750 baggage allowance

This dropped to 552 policies, or 64 per cent of the market for those aged over 75, 363 or 42 per cent of the market for those aged over 80 and 197 for those 90 and over.

The numbers were similar for annual policies and out of 883 total products, those aged 75 and older had a choice of 408, or 46 per cent of the market while those aged over 80 had a choice of 142 or 16 per cent or the products available.

For travellers aged over 90 the choice is extremely slim as just 63 products exist, 93 per cent less than for those aged under 55.

THE TOTAL NUMBER OF TRAVEL INSURANCE PRODUCTS AVAILABLE

Single Annual Total 861 883 Aged 55+ 830 859 Age 65+ 763 778 Age 75+ 552 408 Age 80+ 363 142 Age 90+ 197 63 No age limit 133 48 Source: Defaqto

Brian Brown, head of insight at Defaqto, said ‘Our insight shows that as age increases, the number of available travel insurance products decreases. There are still a reasonable number of travel insurance products for older travellers, but only 15 per cent of single trip and six per cent of annual trip policies, come with no upper age limit.

‘Even when a provider of a policy has been identified for someone older, there may well be an increase in the premium and the excess. The older you get the more medical conditions you are likely to have which may or may not be covered by your insurance policy.

‘It is important for holidaymakers to disclose medical history to the insurer prior to travelling to ensure that they have the most suitable level of cover.’

Alex Edwards, travel insurance spokesperson at Gocompare.com, said: ‘Unfortunately, getting travel insurance can become more difficult and more expensive as you get older.

‘The main factors that influence the cost of travel insurance are your age, medical history and the destination which you are travelling.

Insurance pricing is based on risk and the reason the price is going up with age is because to an insurer there’s a greater risk that something could go wrong

‘Unfortunately, this means that there’s not a great deal that holidaymakers can proactively do, to reduce premiums. The best way to save money on your travel insurance is to shop around for a policy that’s right for you and compare multiple policies and premiums.

‘If you travel regularly, it might be more cost-effective to look at annual multi-trip policies, which will cover you for multiple trips in one year, rather than buying a separate policy each time you travel.

‘If you’re travelling in Europe, another easy way to save money is to ensure you have a valid European Health Insurance Card. Having an EHIC can help you access free or, more likely, discounted emergency medical services whilst in Europe and in some case insurers may even waive some or all of the medical excess of your policy where an EHIC has been used.

‘Remember, while an EHIC can help you access emergency medical care, it’s not a guarantee that you won’t have to pay anything. So, remember it’s a supplement to your travel insurance and not a replacement.’