August 2 2014 Latest news:

It’s important to shop around for the best deals.

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Top tips for getting the best deal

• Declare any pre-existing medical conditions – they may increase your premium, but if you withhold information your cover won’t be worth the paper it’s printed on should you need to claim.

• Check the key facts – are you comfortable with the excesses? Are there any exclusions? Do the minimum levels of cover seem adequate?

• Don’t buy the wrong type of cover – if you are planning only one holiday this year, it may be better to opt for a single-trip policy rather than annual cover

• Pay only for the cover you need – don’t pay extra for things such as dangerous activities if you just intend to go on excursions and relax on the beach. Likewise, if you aren’t taking lots of expensive things with you, you may want to consider excluding baggage cover from your policy.

Older people are being hit with higher travel insurance premiums – and many of them are being refused any cover at all.

Recent research by consumer champion Which? uncovered a huge range in the price of products for over-65s, with steep increases as customers get older.

For example, the Which? study found that a 74-year-old would pay £383 for an annual worldwide policy with Rias. Yet someone a year older would be charged £707 – a hike of £324 – by Rias, which specialises in providing cover for older people.

Of the near-100 annual worldwide policies covered in the survey, only five were available for travellers aged over 80.

Single-trip policies also revealed big differences. A 69-year-old would pay £57 for a 15-day European single-trip policy with Bupa Premier but someone a year older would have to fork out £86.

“Our research shows that many over-65s are getting a raw deal when it comes to arranging insurance simply because of their age,” said Which? chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith.

“Restrictions imposed by insurers leave many people struggling to pay increased premiums just when they may need cover the most.”

He added: “It’s vital to shop around to get the best rates due to the considerable differences between quotes, and always ensure you get sufficient cover for your needs.”

Mark Greening, of Gocompare.com, an insurance price-comparison website, agreed that shopping around was the key to finding the best deal.

“Many insurance providers are offering cover that is better suited to holidaymakers over 65, so the best thing you can do to make sure that you find the right travel insurance policy is to shop around,” he said.

“For example, when we looked for single-trip cover for a 65-year-old couple going on holiday to the US for a week in July, the cheapest policy we found was £35.16 and the most expensive was £180.94.

“This shows that getting quotes from several travel insurance companies could save you a lot of money.”

A number of insurers cater specifically for older travellers. Fit2travel, for example, can provide cover for people aged up to 90.

“If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, be prepared to speak to the underwriters to explain the details as they may need to know if you are currently being treated, or whether you have fully recovered,” said Mr Greening.

And it’s important to embrace technology if you want to find the best prices.

“The internet has made searching for travel insurance quick and easy, so if you’re not confident using the web it’s worth asking a friend or family member to help you,” Mr Greening said.

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