It is pretty surprising to hear that people can still be refused travel insurance and other financial products just on account of their age.
What is even more surprising is that some providers are turning people away as young as 50.
What happened to age discrimination laws?
It turns out insurance companies get special dispensation because older people present more of a risk of making a claim.
So does that mean that, as you get older, travel insurance becomes increasingly expensive and harder to find?
Well, yes and no.
Yes, because providers do have the choice whether or not to sell policies to older people. Many operate an age cap, with 70 being a popular cut off point.
And even if they do continue to offer policies for older travellers, general providers have a tendency to increase the surcharges they apply incrementally by age.
If these start at 50, by the time you reach 70 the extra premiums can add up to considerably more than the original policy itself, and be so high as to make you question whether it is worth bothering.
Travelling without insurance is far from a good idea, however. The potential costs of needing medical attention abroad without insurance could be catastrophic.
So does that mean you should forget about travelling at all after 70?
Not at all. While all of the above applies to generic travel insurance provision, fortunately, a niche sub-sector of the industry has grown up looking specifically to the needs of older travellers.
If you need travel insurance for over 70s, the best advice is to ignore your mainstream providers altogether and search for a dedicated policy for older travellers.
The companies which sell these offer a bespoke service, shaping the policy to what you actually need rather than just applying a crude surcharge on top.
That way, you can still get appropriate cover for as long as you wish to travel, without having to break the bank.