As we get older, it gets harder and more expensive to buy things like car or travel insurance. Thankfully, most of us can get what we need, if we know where to look
It’s one of life’s little ironies that the more you need insurance, the more difficult and expensive it is to buy. This is particularly true when you reach your 70s.
Many insurers apply an upper age limit on standard policies, while others will simply charge you more. This is because they believe the older you get, the more likely you are to make a claim.
You’re more likely to suffer from health issues as you get older, meaning you could need medical treatment while abroad. You could also suffer a health problem that causes you to cancel your holiday.
Although buying insurance cover can feel very expensive compared to the price of your holiday, it’s one thing you can’t afford to skimp on when you travel. The cost of medical treatment abroad can run into the hundreds of thousands. Choosing a cheaper policy could mean missing out on vital cover for medical conditions.
It’s important to tell insurers about any illnesses or conditions you’ve suffered or still suffer from, as well as any hospital consultations or inpatient treatments you’ve received in the last 12 months. If you don’t provide this information, your policy could be cancelled and any claims could be rejected.
But don’t despair! Some specialist insurers don’t apply age limits, while others are willing to provide cover for people with certain medical conditions. An insurance broker can help you find a policy to suit your individual circumstances. You can find a broker by contacting the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) on 0370 950 1790 or visiting www.biba.org.uk/find-insurance.
Once you hit your 70s, you may find that your car insurance starts to rise significantly. This is partly because you’re likely to be out and about more in your car than when you were working. Insurers’ claims experience also shows you’re more likely to be involved in an accident.
The good news is there are several ways to keep the cost down. The first and easiest way is to shop around. General insurers rarely reward loyalty. So even if you stay with the same one, you’re likely to pay more than you would if you switched to a new one – even if you haven’t made any claims. There are lots of comparison sites around to help you compare policies from a range of insurers, such as MoneySuperMarket, Go Compare and Compare the Market.
If you have more than one car, buying a multi-car policy could also save you money. And buying car, house and contents insurance from the same insurer could also earn you a discount.
The type of car you drive also has an impact. For example, it costs less to insure a car with a smaller engine. You should make sure you don’t buy more mileage than you need, and if you keep your car in a garage overnight, make sure you tell the insurer.
If you stop driving for two years or more, you could lose your no claims discount. So if you’re able to, you should try to drive regularly. You should also consider paying a little extra to protect your no claims discount in the event of an accident.
You can find more information about the different types of insurance by visiting the Citizens Advice website at www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/insurance/insurance.
If you’re struggling to find a policy to suit your needs, an insurer specialising in over-70s policies may be able to help. You can also find an insurance broker through the BIBA.
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