HL Deb 31 July 1997 vol 582 cc96-7WA
Lord Alderdice

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether a travel insurance policy provided in conjunction with the Post Office imposes a 100 per cent. increase in premium on elderly people, even when travel is confined to the EU and despite the mutual recognition which entitles United Kingdom citizens to healthcare in other EU countries; and whether they consider this to be reasonable.

The Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Clinton-Davis)

Post Office Counters Ltd (POCL) offer travel insurance in partnership with General Accident at post offices. This is a commercial matter for the Post Office who advise that the premiums are based on the intended destination and the duration of the visit. The premium is doubled in the case of people aged 65 to 79 reflecting the increased underwriting risk. I understand that it is standard practice within the travel insurance industry to increase premiums for over 65s in view of the claims history of this age group.

The medical cover for Untied Kingdom citizens in other EU countries under the E111 scheme is only for the standard free health cover in the country visited and varies widely from country to country. The POCL policy offers comprehensive medical cover including repatriation costs.