The amount claimed from travel insurance policies has increased almost 400% in the last few years, with insurers claiming the increase in older people indulging in exotic foreign holidays and those taking a 'gap year for grown ups' are responsible. The outgoings for overseas illness had increased to £275m in 2010, up from just £74m in 2004.
With travellers over 65 three times as likely to claim as those under 35, and those over 85 8 times more likely, the increased average age of travellers is being held responsible for the increase in claims. With UK travellers venturing beyond the EU the European Health Insurance Card fails to bear the brunt of the cost of care, leaving insurers with the bill.
Given the nature of the industry it's hard to imagine this increase in outgoings won't be mirrored by an increase in profits. The underwriters in the industry are more than aware of the risks in insuring older travellers and will no doubt have their figures correct. The advice to travellers is to make sure not to just select the cheapest health insurance quote, but to ensure you pick one which covers all your needs should you require to claim.