Truths and Myths about Travel Insurance for over 50s


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Myth 1: Can I travel without seeing a doctor first?
If you’re fit and healthy and travelling in Western Europe you can go on holiday without seeing a doctor. However, if you have a pre-existing medical condition, are unfit, have had a major illness or had major surgery in the last 2 years you should see your doctor before travelling. Some countries recommend extra vaccinations for certain ages as well. It is staggering and shocking how many people in later life choose to go on strenuous holidays without consulting a doctor first. Be safe and book a consultation before your trip.

Myth 2: I don’t need travel insurance because my bank covers it
It is true that some banks will offer free travel coverage as an incentive to take out a savings plan or some other product. But the cover they offer is usually the most very basic available and is often totally inadequate; especially for older travelers and anyone with a pre-existing medical conditions. Avoid the common trap of thinking this insurance covers you.

Myth 3: I have travel cover with my tour group/holiday operator
Many tour operators “travel insurance” is really only “trip insurance”. It covers your loss if anything stops the holiday occurring, if there are any unscheduled delays or if the trip has to be postponed or rescheduled. This kind of cover is not the same as actual travel insurance and should not be treated as such.

Myth 4: I can’t get travel insurance because I have a pre-existing health condition
If this were the case then insurance companies would never be able to offer travel insurance to nearly everybody over 50. Pre-existing conditions do not mean you cannot have insurance, they also do not automatically mean that you will have to pay a higher premium. This depends on the severity of your pre-existing condition, but if the insurance company considers it is a greater risk to insure you to travel and therefore charge a little extra, then you really not take the chance of going on holiday without proper medical coverage. If they think it is a risk so should you.

Myth 5: I am holidaying in the UK so there is no need for insurance
If you get sick no matter what the circumstances you can go to an NHS hospital. But travel insurance is not just about health, it also protects you if you have to cancel the holiday, if your camera is stolen or if your partner falls sick and you have to cut your holiday short and so much more. 

THE ETERNAL MYTH - You can travel abroad without adequate travel insurance
You of course CAN travel without adequate cover but the truth is you’d be crazy to do so. The costs of medical care around the world can be astronomical and there is no substitute for peace of mind and the knowledge that, should the need arise, you are adequately covered and protected.

For more information on travel insurance for the over 50s and tailored policies for those with pre-existing medical conditions why not visit Columbus Direct.

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Other Members' Thoughts - 1 Comment(s)

  • barnwood
    over 7 years ago
    This is a very informative and useful article. I have several friends who have fallen into the pitfalls that you highlight. Good luck and " more please"