Cheap Travel Insurance For Children
Mature travellers -- those aged over 65 -- often have trouble finding good-value travel insurance. However, the same problem applies at the other end of the age band...
She found that travel-insurance premiums tend to rise steeply for the over-65s, and many policies won't cover holidaymakers who are 75+. Frankly, I think that these firms are missing a trick. After all, with around 11.7 million people of retirement age in the UK, senior Brits account for almost a quarter (24%) of the adult population. What's more, one in nine of these folk (11%) still works and, thanks to improved lifestyle and medical care, many are fit and healthy.
Recently, I've also had trouble finding travel insurance, although my challenge is at the other end of the age scale. Earlier this year, my parents kindly invited my young son to accompany them to Disneyland Paris. Of course, he eagerly accepted and is having a whale of a time right now!
At 60 and 57 respectively, my mother and father had no trouble arranging travel insurance. In the end, as they needed medical screening for pre-existing medical conditions, my parents bought a single-trip policy from over-fifties specialist SAGA. However, they didn't include my boy on their policy, so he needed his own protection.
Having worked in the insurance industry for over fifteen years, I know that most insurers are unwilling to insure the under-18s without having an adult covered by the same policy. Furthermore, I know that many policies for couples will throw in free cover for dependent children. Nevertheless, it still came as a surprise to discover just how few child-only travel-insurance policies there are.
Let's hear it for the kids!
As always, I began my search by turning to the Fool's own travel insurance service. For a single-trip policy covering six days in Europe for a child, premiums ranged from £7.88 to £29. Of course, being a `wiser miser', my search didn't stop there. Disappointingly, none of the Fool's major financial-comparison rivals would provide quotes, as they all insisted on at least one adult being insured.
So, at this point, I used my inside knowledge of the insurance industry to throw my net a bit wider. I know that well-known insurer Endsleigh used to sell child-only policies; alas, this is no longer the case. Having done some consulting for the insurance arm of the Post Office, I know it has a child-only policy. The Post Office's quote came to £10, which was pretty competitive.
Eventually, I turned to my trusty friend Google, searching for "travel insurance for children". My hunt led me to online provider Insuremore, which was happy to cough up a quote. Its single-trip policy cost £4.26 for `standard' (budget) cover, or £4.57 for `deluxe' (more comprehensive) cover. So, being a generous parent, I paid the extra 31p for the pricey policy!
In summary, if you need travel insurance purely for a child (perhaps because you have `free' cover via a `packaged' bank account or another existing policy), then do shop around online for quotes. Otherwise, you might well end up paying over the odds.
Three more travel-insurance tips
1. Some policies will cover children until they reach 18; others will cover students up to the age of 21 or even 23.
2. If you're a frequent traveller, then annual cover will work out cheaper than buying several single-trip policies.
3. When travelling in the European Economic Area or Switzerland, be sure to take a European Health Insurance Card with you.
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