Thousands of older Brits could face huge medical bills when on holiday if something goes wrong because they lack insurance cover, new research has claimed.
Those aged over 50 with existing medical conditions were those deemed most at risk, either because they don’t have travel insurance or because their policy does not cover their health issues.
In many countries, health costs can spiral and Saga Travel Insurance estimates there are around 16 million people aged over 50 with ongoing medical conditions.
These can include diabetes, asthma or osteoarthritis and around half a million people have become ill on holiday in the past three years.
Protection from huge medical bills
This highlights the need for adequate insurance protection in order to ensure that any costs can be covered.
One in ten people had no travel insurance to claim on though, while one in every 30 people found out their policy did not cover them when they needed to make a claim.
Around a third of those over 50 revealed they were more interested in the price of travel insurance rather than if it actually covered their conditions.
More over 50s still take out travel policies compared to the younger population though – highlighted by Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) data that shows that 48% of 15-24 year olds travel without cover.
Despite this, one in seven over 50s does not take travel insurance, although they are more likely to have pre-existing medical issues.
Covering all conditions
A key problem area surrounding travel insurance cover is those that take it out without realising if all of their needs are covered.
Around a quarter of those questioned said they use insurance that comes with their bank accounts, but many of these policies do not cover existing conditions.
Others can also have upper age limits, so some people could believe they are covered without actually being insured – making it vital to check before travelling.
People are therefore urged to take as much care with their travel policies as they would with their finances when abroad or with their bank accounts back home.
Medical costs can be incredibly expensive should cover not exist and it could easily cause financial woe for some families.
Avoiding financial woe
Travel insurance often also covers any finances that someone has with them when travelling, while they can be further protected by using a prepaid card rather than using cash.
Travelling with a prepaid travel card can provide money to spend without the need to carry lots of travellers’ cheques or foreign currency.
With a prepaid card you can only spend the amount which is on it at any given time, making budget management possible, although it can be topped up if you so wish.
Additional security exists on these cards, while the exchange rate seen will be the one when the original transaction took place – providing protection should the exchange rate vary dramatically during a trip.