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Older people face sky-high surcharges when going on holiday

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The travel industry is penalising older holidaymakers by charging sky-high premiums for essential costs such as insurance and car hire, a Which? investigation reveals.

People over 65 are most likely to take foreign holidays but despite age discrimination laws, different rules around financial products and holidays mean that older people pay through the nose for even bog-standard travel insurance as well as a host of other common holiday essentials, the consumer group said.

It found a typical 15-day travel insurance premium leaps from £30 for a 64-year-old to more than £60 for someone aged 70 – even if they have no health issues to declare.

When Which? looked at European annual policies, it found travellers over 80 paid more than six times what those aged between 50 and 54 do (£355 compared with £54).

Alarmingly, policies from specialist providers were found to be more expensive for customers in their late 60s and 70s than other providers.

Which? researchers also found older holidaymakers were penalised by car hire firms, with some companies not allowing them to rent a car because they were too old.

Some firms allow healthy older drivers to hire a car but charge a surcharge of as much as €20 a day for anyone over 70.

This is despite the fact that statistically, a 70-year-old is nowhere near as likely to have an accident as a 20-year old.

The investigation also revealed more subtle forms of discrimination exist for older people such as surcharges for people who book over the phone rather than online.

Rory Boland, Which? Travel, editor said: “While many 70-year-olds might accept they would have to pay more for their travel insurance than someone who is 25, perfectly healthy older people are missing out on travelling in their golden years due to spiralling premiums.

“The travel industry must urgently address this problem and stop penalising older generations who are more active and more determined than ever before.

“If you’re struggling to find travel insurance or the quotes you are getting are too high, you can try using an insurance broker. They will offer advice and search the market to find the right policy for you at the most competitive price available.”

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