Older people may find it easier to obtain car and travel insurance under an agreement between the industry and the Government, though prices may still be high.

From today, if an insurer or insurance broker is unable to offer cover to an older motorist or traveller due to an upper age limit, they will be referred to an alternative provider who can help.

Insurers often either don't offer cover to older people or charge high premiums as they are viewed as a higher risk group, usually due to poor health.

The agreement has been struck by the Association of British Insurers, the Government and the British Insurance Brokers' Association (Biba).

If a provider doesn't know of an obvious place to send the customer, they will be referred to Biba's 'find a broker' service.

Financial Secretary to the Treasury Mark Hoban says: "We will keep a close eye on this to make sure the insurance industry meets its commitments."

Analysts say the move will give older people who have struggled to find affordable cover better access, although prices are unlikely to fall significantly.

Clare Francis, from comparison website MoneySupermarket.com, says: "We are unlikely to see prices fall significantly on the back of the announcement but it should have some impact.

"I would expect it to become easier for older travellers to find affordable cover and make the most of their retirement."

A spokesman for over-50s group Saga says: "A signposting service will ensure that no-one will be refused cover without knowing where they can go for a quote, and that has to be a good thing."