Which? Travel found that while all demographics have seen a rise in travel insurance premiums in the past three years, premiums have risen ‘disproportionately’ for older travellers since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
The study compared average quotes on travel insurance for a week’s holiday to Spain collected this summer through price comparison site MoneySuperMarket, with similar quotes for 2019.
Which? revealed that UK travellers between the ages of 25 and 54 had seen premiums rise from an average of £7.98 in 2019, to £10.65 in 2022 – a 33 per cent increase.
By contrast, travellers between 75 and 84 saw premiums rise from an average of £27.68 in 2019, to £44.23 in 2022 – a 60 per cent rise.
Travellers 85 years old and over saw the biggest increase, as premiums rose by 169 per cent over the past three years, from around £40.15 in 2019 to £107.99 in 2022.
Older travellers face restricted insurance options
In addition to substantial price rises, older holidaymakers also face far fewer options for policies – with many insurers refusing to cover older travellers at all. Which? stated that while the age at which customers crossed this threshold varied, it was usually between 70 and 75 – but could be as young as 65.
Which? Travel analysed 199 travel insurance policies and found that only nine providers did not have a maximum age for new customers.
Additionally, travellers who received insurance as a bank account benefit were frequently ‘stripped’ of coverage once they passed the threshold. Others, such as Nationwide, Natwest and RBS, allow customers to keep their packaged insurance policy for an additional annual fee of between £65 and £75.
Which? also recently opposed planned reforms by the UK government to flight compensation rules, arguing that the changes could ‘weaken a vital deterrent against delays and cancellations’.