Tonight I’m spending the evening engrossed in the thankless task of digging out a reasonable price for single journey travel insurance for the folks. A task which I have been deliberately putting off as long as humanly possible as I knew how frustrated I would become the longer it took me to arrange. And, given that this is sliding into my third hour working at it, you can probably gauge the current state of my patience!
But – even more than the time wasted in this research is the deepening recognition of the hidden cost to an elderly person (or, indeed, a young person whose health is not good) of having a holiday! My folks are not unhealthy, are active/mobile, have not had surgery over this past thirty years, they live alone (and come to ‘do’ our garden) and yet the cost of their insurance is virtually that of the holiday! Should I just allow them to go without any insurance? The worry of that probably would turn father into a shaking wreck! They cling to the belief that their ‘E111’ forms are protection from the bureaucratic black hole of the European Union health care protocols and medical charges chasms.
Aaannnd yet… I am of the belief that holidays are a real boost to everyone. So that, alongside the assessment of risk of injury or further deterioration of specific health conditions, some positive weighting should be factored into all insurance costings of the life affirming value of a week in the sun for those of every age!! Indeed, there should be recognition that those who are motivated and active enough to be planning – and going – on holiday are actually those diligent enough to be taking care of themselves and making fewer calls upon the insurance anyway!
Which brings us neatly to the conclusion that travel insurance policies are unjustifiably skewed toward younger people, who are much more likely to engage spontanoeusly in risky sports, to abuse their bodies with too much alcohol or illegal substances, to ride the ubiquitous holiday motor-scooter dangerously, risking accidents. Clearly there is a human rights argument here and evidence of ageist discrimination??? I feel that investigation of this should be progressed ASAP. Before I have quite crossed that sixtieth/seventyth threshold!!!