found a really interesting article :

Older people ripped off by insurance

Jessica Bown
Jun 18th 2010 at 5:00AM
Filed under: Travel, Insurance
Britons over the age of 65 find it difficult to track down reasonably priced car and travel insurance, with many insurers refusing to provide quotes at all, according to new research from Which? Money magazine.

It found that consumers in this age bracket usually have to pay much more for cover, while those over 75 or 85 years old can often only get insurance from specialists in this market, such as Saga.

Insurers are unwilling to cover older travellers because of the increased risk of health conditions while they are away.

But with people living longer and many healthy, adventurous older Britons taking advantage of the freedom of their retirement years to travel, this can make it very hard for them to take out all-important insurance without paying through the nose for it.

And the problem gets worse the older you get.

For example, a 74-year-old would pay 383 for an annual worldwide travel policy with insurer Rias.

This is way over the odds when compared with the premiums available to younger travellers, but seems cheap in comparison to the company's quote for someone aged 75 at 707 a price hike of 324.

Meanwhile, of the 98 annual worldwide policies Which? looked at, only five covered people aged 80 plus.

Single-trip policies also revealed big differences. While a 69-year-old would pay 57 for a 15-day European single-trip policy with Bupa Premier, the same traveller would have to fork out 86 if they turned 70 before the departure date.

Worse still, the story is the same when it comes to car insurance.

Some 60% of the policies available on the market at the moment are closed to those aged 81 and over, and the insurers offering cover of this kind also hike their prices considerably as people get older.

The Which? researchers found that an annual policy with Saga for a 75-year-old woman would cost 702, but would soar by 74% to 1,224 once the lady driver hit 85 years old.

One thing the research definitely indicates, however, is that it is even more worthwhile shopping around for the best quote if you are an older traveller or driver in need of insurance.

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

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

"So it is vital to shop around to get the best rate due to the considerable differences between quotes over the phone and online, and always ensure you get sufficient cover for your needs."

There were also considerable differences between online and telephone quotes with the same companies, showing that it pays to buy online - whatever your age.

Older people ripped off by insurance - Walletpop UK