Travel insurance from banks fails older people, says SAGA

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SAGA has warned that many older people are not able to get sufficient insurance cover when they opt to buy a policy from a high-street bank. Their research shows that the over 70s can’t get any cover with HSBC, Halifax and Barclays, and the over 79s can’t get cover from Alliance & Leicester and Lloyds TSB.

Furthermore, many people over 50 are buying insurance from banks and ending up with insufficient cover should they become ill or have an accident whilst on holiday.

As a result, SAGA is advising any over 50s who have purchased travel insurance from a high-street bank to check the cover in detail to see what it provides. Most of the banks don’t have an option to cover pre-existing medical conditions unless customers specifically declare the condition and get the bank to agree to it. The problem with this is that it puts the burden on the customer, which can put them in danger of paying large medical fees if they forget to inform their insurance provider.

Many people shop for their insurance on the price of the premium alone, but this doesn’t always provide the best deal. If something goes wrong then it can lead to thousands of pounds in expenses.

The information was backed up in a separate report by Age Concern Insurance. The charity said that if older people don’t get the insurance cover they need then they are putting themselves at risk. The highest reported case was that of someone who experienced heart failure whilst in the US and had to pay £117,000 in fees.

SAGA claims to make buying insurance easier by providing a medical screening process during the application. It is also able to provide cover for most pre-existing conditions, preventing the need to pay out thousands of pounds in medical fees should something go wrong.


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