The investigation also found that the number of offers that travellers got fell as they got older. For example, those aged 80 had a 10th of the quotes as those aged 55.
Those aged 55 on average got 76 quotes, but it fell to 69 for those aged 60 and more than a third – to 42 – at the age of 70 or over. It fell further to 26 for those aged 75 and over, and just seven for those aged 80 or over.
One in three of Which? members who had difficulties getting insurance said it was due to their age, while a further third said it was due to medical conditions.
One Which? member said that declaring his wife’s irregular heartbeat resulted in “either a refusal to insure or astronomical premiums” for the couple’s annual worldwide cover – with one insurer quoting as much as £3,200.
Car insurance problems
There was evidence of similar problems with car insurance. One Which? member, aged 78, was surprised at being offered quotes ranging from £450 to an eye-watering £2,134 for car insurance.
They said: “I still run, jump in rivers and chase salmon, and run stables and horses. It’s annoying to discover that at this age you’re deemed incapable of even driving.”
Jenny Ross, editor of Which? Money, said: “If there’s relevant context to your history or circumstances that you can’t communicate on an online form – or you’re unsure how to accurately fill one out – contact the insurer directly by phone or email to speak with a human being.”
Caroline Abrahams, Age UK charity director, said: “There are hundreds of thousands of men and women in their 80s and beyond who remain extremely hale and hearty, and who are seriously disadvantaged by an age-based approach to measuring risk.
“This demonstrates that it’s time to consign hard and fast age limits of all kinds to the past and move to an approach that is more in keeping with the reality and diversity of later life today.”