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Silver skiers could be forced out in the cold this season due to the cost of cover

21 January 2015

New research from Travel Insurance has revealed that older skiers face an uphill struggle to get covered on the slopes.

In a study into the affordability and availability of winter sports cover for the older generation, has found that mature skiers face significantly higher insurance premiums, regardless of whether they have any pre-existing medical conditions or not.

The comparison site found that a 65 year old skier with no pre-existing medical conditions could, on average, expect to pay 65% more for their cover than a 30 year old traveller. For those over the age of 65, the price gap widens more dramatically, found that a 66 year old traveller’s premium was nearly triple (171%) that of somebody aged 65, despite being just a year older.

However, it’s skiers aged 70 and above who face the biggest climb to get affordable travel insurance. The research revealed that a 75 year old traveller can expect to pay more than four times (324%) more for their cover than a 65 year old and an eye watering seven times (633%) more than a 30 year old skier**.

In 2012, nine out of 10 (87%) policies offered cover to those aged 65 or over. However in 2015, this has fallen to eight out of 10 (82%). The proportion of insurers willing to provide cover is even smaller for more senior travellers, with only around a quarter (28%) willing to cover skiers over the age of 75.

Caroline Lloyd, travel insurance spokesperson at, said: “Most people of retirement age don’t consider themselves to be particularly old, with many considering more adventurous holidays in addition to relaxing getaways. This research highlights the challenges that older travellers face in getting cover, which could act as a financial roadblock for people looking to enjoy retirement.

“Insurers set the price of their premiums based on the likelihood and cost of a potential claim. Unfortunately for older travellers, providers will typically take the view that older skiers are more likely to have an accident or cancel their trip, and as a result will often charge older travellers more for their insurance.

“While it’s essential to have appropriate travel insurance before any holiday, older skiers shouldn’t just resign themselves to a future of expensive policies. It’s important to remember that there are still a large proportion of insurers that will cover more experienced skiers, which makes it well worth comparing prices from lots of providers to ensure you’re getting the right cover at the best possible price.

“Another way to help cut the cost of your travel insurance is to ensure you have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) when holidaying in Europe. A valid EHIC entitles the holder to the same level of emergency medical care as a resident in the country that they are travelling in. In a study of 463 winter sports policies, we found that eight of ten (83%) would waive the medical excess on the policy, if an EHIC has been successfully used, which could save travellers hundreds of pounds, should they need to make a medical claim.***”

To help mature travellers find the right cover for them, has created a guide, available here;


Notes to editors:

*Source; Defaqto matrix of 804 single trip travel insurance policies in which winter sports cover was available – 344 policies correct as of 9/01/2012 and 463 correct as of 09/01/2015.

**Average of the top five cheapest quotes returned for a week’s holiday in Europe with winter sports cover for a male traveller with no pre-existing medical conditions. In each instance the only difference was the age of the traveller; 30, 65, 66 and 75 years old, respectively.

***Source; Defaqto matrix of 463 single trip travel insurance policies in which winter sports cover was available. Correct as of 13/01/2015.