Why is holiday insurance for medical conditions so expensive?
It's an unfortunate, statistical fact that those with pre-existing medical conditions will claim more often on their travel insurance. When you approach an insurer, seeking cover for a pre-existing condition, they will treat you as one of that population who is statistically more likely to cost them money. They then charge you more to make sure they can maintain a profit.
For many people however, it is the amount extra they are charged that is astounding. Or in some cases, the fact that they can't get cover at all. These are both the result of how each insurer has chosen to approach the travel insurance with pre-existing medical conditions market.
For your particular condition, some insurers will have done their homework. They will accurately understand the risks involved. They might not charge you more if the condition is mild, but they may charge something to cover their costs. Either way, it should be a fair quote.
Some insurers however will have done no homework. They will not understand your condition. For them, you are someone who is in that category of "likely to cost us more" but they simply do not know how much more. The safest thing for them to do is to refuse to cover. The less fair thing to do is to quote an amount so high, they are very unlikely to lose money no matter what. Both are frustrating.
For the over 75s, this is made worse as the situation is the same for elderly travellers. They have maximum ages that they will insure up to. This is brought about in the same way as for medical conditions - some insurers understand the risks of an older traveller and make a fair offer, some do not. So, if you are seeking holiday insurance for medical conditions and you are over 75, the issue is finding the right insurer who is an expert in both your age bracket and your condition.
Getting travel insurance for an over 75 with an existing medical condition
Since the difficulty lies in that each insurer has different rules for how they treat each age and condition, the hard part is finding an insurer that will have rules that allow you to get cover at a reasonable price. Here are one or two ways you can get deal with this problem and find travel insurance for over 75s with pre-existing medical conditions:
- Join our Bought by Many Travel Insurance for Over 75s group. Our purpose is to deal with this exact problem - linking those with specific insurance needs to the insurers that understand them. By joining our group you get access to a members-only 12.5% discount from a specialist provider of travel insurance for older travellers with expertise in many medical conditions. We've also tried to help by comparing prices across several popular providers, shown in the best buy tables of the group.
- Go to a comparison site such as Confused.com where you can enter your medical condition at the start of the quote. These are a great time-saver but beware that they may not scan as wide a set of providers as you think. For older travellers, particularly with medical conditions, they can sometimes only have one or two insurers that they get a price from, so in actual fact you aren't really comparing the market at all. In addition, insurers may move their policies up the results tables by cutting cover to make them cheaper (e.g. less medical, baggage or cancellation cover). Whilst the comparison sites may have the best option for you, it pays to shop around rather than putting your full faith into these sites straight away.
- Whenever possible, state your destination at country-level rather region-level. Travel insurance policies are often provided for travel to regions such as 'Europe' or 'Worldwide' - large areas with wildly different destinations. For example, going to Turkey and falling ill can mean vastly different costs to the same event in France. Insurers know this and some price accordingly, so if you are only travelling to France, take the time to enter or state that information rather than being lazy and sticking to 'Europe' or larger areas. If you don't, you'll be charged as if you are visiting the highest-cost area in that region.
- Refer to our further hints and tips in our article Finding Travel Insurance for the Over 70s, 80s and 90s and our list of insurers for older travellers, together with the maximum ages they will insure. Both should be useful if you are looking to compare travel insurance with medical conditions.
About Bought by Many
Bought by Many groups together individuals who have similar insurance needs. Using the collective buying power of the group, we then negotiate better insurance on behalf of our members. You join the group, you get access to an exclusive quote, you can buy the better insurance - it's that simple. Groups range from Travel to Gadget and Pet insurance - you can browse them all here.
Finally, wherever you choose to travel, we wish you a safe and happy break