Travel insurance from Age UK is nearly double the cost of a comparable policy from PayingTooMuch.com, potentially leaving customers feeling ripped off and perhaps even putting them off going on holiday.
A two week single-trip policy for a 78 year old male, with pre-existing medical conditions*, to the Canary Islands was £158.16 from Age UK, whereas the same level of cover from PayingTooMuch.com was £79.94.
If you are prepared to reduce cancellation cover from £5k to £3k (more than enough for most travellers) and baggage cover from £2k to £1k, PayingTooMuch.com can provide a policy for only £49.49, which is 31% of the price of Age UK’s policy, whilst still retaining the same level of medical cover (£10m).
Age UK has been under pressure recently due to their energy partnership with E.ON. Regulators are investigating Age UK as their recommended energy tariffs appear to be more expensive than shopping direct with E.ON. and much more than if customers shopped around.
According to Age UK’s annual report they provided home, car and travel insurance products through Ageas to nearly half a million customers, generating commissions of £18.8m (net) for themselves.
In a statement Age UK answered some of the criticism levelled at them, replying that they never claim to be the cheapest, but provide “competitively priced, quality products and services but we never claim to be cheapest at all times. …. the products are designed to be relied on by older people in an ever changing marketplace.”
Michael Ward, managing director of PayingTooMuch.com, comments:
“Age UK has admitted that they are targeting their products at ‘older people’. Often elderly people do not have access to the Internet and rely on telephone sales, where they are given only one price. Our elderly customers much prefer using PayingTooMuch.com’s telephone quote service, where they get a range of prices and discuss the options available.
“Age UK has taken advantage of their trusted brand status and is potentially overcharging customers for their energy and insurance premiums. My best advice is to shop around to find the best price for your circumstances. Sometimes you can be ripped off by the brands you ought to be able to trust the most, which shouldn’t be allowed.”