Santorini in Greece
Santorini in Greece

Cruises remain extremely popular with older travellers for a very good reason. They offer a convenient and relaxing way to visit new destinations, see new sights, and meet new people along the way

And why not? As you enter your later years, you have the time on your hands to enjoy yourself, and you have certainly earned it.

As you reach 80 and beyond, however, there is often one barrier blocking your journey to a dream cruise holiday – travel insurance. Although the misgivings older travellers have about finding suitable policies are not without foundation, there are solutions.

This article will explain how to find the right over-80s travel insurance for you, so you can get on with planning the trip of a lifetime.

Travel insurance pitfalls for older travellers

For travellers aged 80 and over, there are two main challenges when looking for travel insurance – spiralling costs and age caps on policies.

The majority of insurance providers start to add premiums to travel policies around about retirement age. The reason is that older travellers are deemed more likely to make a claim, especially for medical assistance needed while abroad.

These premiums tend to go up incrementally, often year-by-year as you get older, as insurers feel the risks of falling ill or having an accident while on holiday go up as you get older. Ironically, there is evidence to suggest that the proportion of travellers making claims starts to drop amongst the over-80s, possibly because only the fittest and healthiest people in that age bracket travel at all.

But that does not stop providers putting up their premiums. And with insurance providers being exempt from age discrimination laws which govern equal pricing, older travellers, unfortunately, have to put up with it.

The second barrier travellers over 80 often face when looking for insurance is age caps. Many providers simply decide it is no longer viable to offer cover to people of a certain age – often 85 for single trip policies, and 80 for annual multi-trip policies. This can make searching for travel insurance if you are aged over 80 stressful and frustrating.

What you can do

The simple solution to overcoming these barriers is to search for a provider that specialises in policies for older travellers.

The above problems relate experiences people aged 80 and over have with large providers that operate in the general travel insurance market. But there are plenty of niche operators out there who base their business around meeting the needs of older people.

While you may not be able to find the bargain basement prices available to younger travellers, age specific specialists will offer you the best deal based on your age, often by dispensing with the industry trend of increasing premiums incrementally by age.

If a provider advertises that they specialise in policies for the over-80s, you know where you stand with age caps and can be sure of getting a policy. Plus, many of these providers will also offer bespoke cover for pre-existing medical conditions, so you can rest assured you’ve got exactly the protection you need for your trip.