Best Travel Insurance for Seniors: Embarking on a Journey as a senior is an exciting experience. Many older individuals have less commitments and time after years of hard work and can thus enjoy global travel. The experience can be exciting whether traveling for leisure or company. However, seniors need to schedule their journey, and in most cases travel insurance needs to be personalized to them.
While the majority of senior travelers hardly use their travel insurance, the majority of insurers can hesitate to sell them. And, considering that older people might be more likely than younger people to have more health problems, it is understandable.
Why Senior Travel Insurance is Essential
1. Seniors are at a higher risk of getting ill
With old age comes a myriad of health issues, some of which need hospitalizations and even evacuations. These can occur whether you are travelling or relaxing at home. Imagine getting a heart attack or a serious injury in the middle of nowhere. Travel insurance tailored for a senior will cater to hospitalizations and even evacuations. Also, with overseas vacations, seniors are exposed to new weather, foreign diseases, new food and travel mishaps. These carry a higher risk to seniors as opposed to younger travelers.
2. Insurance for seniors is a travel requirement in most countries
Most countries need to know that a senior will cover expenses in case accidents occur. In most instances, providers for travel insurance for seniors issue visa letters that show that a traveler can cater for unexpected expenses while in the country.
3. Your regular health insurance may not cover expenses incurred outside the home country
Most regular health insurance providers only cover expenses incurred in the home country. This necessitates the need for travel insurance that will cover perils while on travel.
4. Seniors are a risk of experiencing fatal falls
Seniors are more prone to fatal falls, causing injuries that may even require hospitalization. According to data from the Centres for Disease and Prevention (CDC), seniors experience approximately three million falls annually that require hospitalization. Travel insurance for seniors should cater to these, whether the falls are fatal or not.
Choosing travel insurance for seniors without considering what is covered can be an inconvenience when making a claim.
What should be covered in travel insurance for seniors?
Medical emergencies– Since seniors are more prone to medical conditions that require medical attention, travel insurance should cater for full medical coverage while on transit.
Pre-existing conditions– Insurance for seniors should cover pre-existing medical conditions.
Emergency assistance/ Travel advice– In most instances, language barrier is a problem in international travel. Emergency assistance should help seniors to make toll-free calls. This is essential if they need medical assistance in their native language.
Medical evacuations- A basic medical policy does not automatically cater to medical evacuations. Since older people are more prone to medical emergencies, senior’s travel insurance should cover medical evacuations including emergency trips back home.
Trip cancellations– A trip can be cancelled due to bad weather, personal reasons as well as other unforeseen circumstances. Travel insurance for seniors should cover this, ensuring that travelers are not left with financial burdens resulting from the cancellations.
Stolen luggage– Luggage containing valuables can be lost. This is not only inconveniencing but is also a financial burden given the replacement costs.
Are there any fine prints when choosing travel insurance for seniors?
Exclusions– Exclusions in any insurance policy limits you from coverage in certain situations. Be sure to check the fine prints for exclusions such as losses incurred due to criminal activities, intoxication and extreme sports activities. In some instances, some exclusions can be quite limiting especially in travel insurance.
Exceptions– Most insurance companies do not cover all expenses. It is important to understand what is covered in your travel insurance and be ready to cater to the exceptions.
Incomplete or unclear documentation– Inaccurate paperwork can cause the cancellation or a delay of your travel insurance. For instance, inaccuracies in your pre-existing conditions will not be taken lightly by your insurer.
What other factors should be considered when getting the best travel insurance for seniors?
Ease-of-use– Seniors do not need complicated travel insurance plans. As such, the best travel insurance for seniors should be easy to use. It should be extendable after purchase, easy to cancel not forgetting ease of documentation.
Flexible– A travel insurance for seniors should be flexible in what it can cover as well as the zones under which it can be used. A policy that is limiting may not be of much help especially if you change your travel plans.
Customizable– A good travel insurance for seniors should offer the option of customizing coverage as per the needs of the insured. A senior should have the option of selecting the deductible amount they can comfortably pay, the coverage maximum, period of coverage as well as the option to upgrade the coverage amounts where needed.
While getting a seniors travel insurance policy is paramount, you may want to keep the costs low. However, this does not mean that you should compromise on what you get covered.
To keep the insurance costs low, always:
1. Consider getting an annual travel insurance policy
If you are a regular traveler, getting a policy each time you want to travel will be expensive. While an annual policy may seem expensive at first given the premiums, it will be cheaper compared to a single-use travel policy. And with an annual travel insurance plan, you can take as many trips as you want within 12 months. If you purchase an annual travel policy, you can use the less or no claims made in the past to bargain your way to lower premiums.
2. Do not cover for what you do not need
A broad travel insurance policy is recommended due to the uncertainties involved when travelling. However, covering for what you will not need can be expensive. For instance, if you do not plan on travelling with your valuables, then insuring them will only raise the cost of the policy.
3. Compare quotes with different providers
Make sure you purchase a travel insurance package for elderly people from various insurance firms. While you can be tempted to choose the cheapest plan, as we have said, you always take the exclusions and exceptions into account.