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Nationwide overhauls packaged account terms for older travellers

Paloma Kubiak
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Paloma Kubiak

Nationwide Building Society is to lower the maximum age of traveller it will insure as part of its packaged bank account offering, with older holidaymakers having to pay more for cover.

Currently, the packaged bank account – FlexPlus, which costs £13 a month – includes a number of benefits for customers.

These include 3% in-credit interest, commission-free cash withdrawals abroad and worldwide family travel insurance for those aged up to 75.

If any member of the travelling party is aged 75 and over, an annual age extension must be bought, costing £50.

But Nationwide has confirmed that the age limit will be reduced to 70, so standard cover stops at the age of 69. Further, the age extension cost for over 70s wishing to be insured will rise from £50 to £65.

Both changes come into effect on Thursday 3 January 2019 and the move comes as Nationwide said it’s aligning to competitors’ offerings, and because the model was “unsustainable”.

Travel insurance age limits for packaged bank account holders

Research from business information site Defaqto revealed that Coutts & Co has no upper age limit as part of its travel insurance offering, while many others have a maximum age for travel insurance cover of 79.

However, it’s vital customers check their policy wording carefully and always declare any pre-existing medical conditions as the upper age limits for travel cover may not apply. In the worst case, customers may not be covered.

Defaqto also noted that customers of NatWest, RBS, and Nationwide who are above the age limit can choose to be medically screened, then quoted a premium for cover. Cover may be extended to older travellers, but there are no guarantees, and it it likely to cost extra.

For customers with a FlexAccount meeting the eligibility criteria (paying in £750 a month), they also receive free European travel insurance. Nationwide confirms the changes apply to these customers too.

A Nationwide spokesperson, said: “Nationwide was an outlier offering travel insurance cover up to age 75 as standard and we have had to reduce the maximum age to 70 in line with our competitors as it had become unsustainable. Most of our competitors that offer travel insurance as part of a package current account will cease cover at age 70 and do not offer an upgrade to extend cover into later life.

“FlexPlus is regularly rated as the most comprehensive packaged current account on the market. Following increases in the cost of insurance, the amount the Society charges for the age upgrade no longer covers the cost of providing the cover. The Society has absorbed these costs for as long as possible, but this is unsustainable, so we need to reflect the cost of providing the cover in the pricing.”

They added that from the end of the month, it will start notifying all customers about the change and will update its website accordingly.