Travel can be a risky venture for those over 65, over 70, and even over 75, because they are slightly more fragile than your average healthy 20-year-old. Seniors with medical conditions – and even those with no health conditions – need the right senior travel insurance coverage to protect them from financial losses.
What are the risks for travelers over 65?
Some of the things that can go wrong for senior travelers include the following:
- A pre-existing condition reoccurs – simply by living longer, you are more likely to have a pre-existing medical condition. Should your condition reoccur while you are traveling, your medical coverage will be invalid unless you have informed the travel insurance company of the condition and purchased the pre-existing condition waiver.
- You experience a medical emergency – travel involves all kinds of new experiences: strange foods, foreign climates, and different surroundings. If you get ill or are injured on your trip, how will you arrange for emergency medical transportation in an unfamiliar region?
- Your tour is canceled – travel suppliers – including cruises, tours, and rentals – may have financial problems you don’t know about ahead of time. If they cease operations, how will you recover the money you paid them?
- You have to be evacuated – medical evacuations are highly expensive. If you are traveling in a region where the local medical facilities cannot adequately treat your condition, how will you arrange and pay for an emergency evacuation to a qualified medical hospital? After you are treated, how will you then get back home?
- Your luggage is stolen – thieves are highly resourceful and can steal luggage right out from under your nose. If you have important items – even those medications packed in your carry-on bag – how will you replace them and continue your trip?
- You need help or advice – anytime you are traveling in a new place, you could be in a situation where you need travel advice or emergency assistance. You may even need help communicating in a foreign language. If you need travel advice, legal advice, or foreign language assistance, who can you call?
What coverage do you need as a senior traveler?
While the following is not an exhaustive list of all the coverages available with travel insurance plans, it describes those that are most useful to senior travelers.
- Medical coverage provides for emergency medical and dental care in the case of a sudden illness or injury on your trip. (Review the details of medical/dental coverage.)
- Pre-existing medical condition coverage provides protection against high medical costs that result from a recurring condition. (Review the details of pre-existing condition coverage.)
- Evacuation coverage arranges and pays for medically necessary evacuations or for the repatriation of a traveler’s remains. This coverage can also help a patient get home after they have been treated. (Review the details for evacuation and repatriation coverage.)
- Baggage coverage provides replacement value for items that are lost, stolen, or destroyed on your trip, including the bag itself. (Review the details for baggage coverage.)
- Financial default coverage provides reimbursement for payments made to a travel supplier that completely ceases operations due to financial default or bankruptcy. (Review the details of financial default coverage.)
When should you buy your senior travel insurance?
When you purchase your travel insurance may be just as important as why you purchase it.
- When should I buy my travel insurance?
- What is the buying process?
- How much does travel insurance cost?
- What information do I need to buy it?
Remember that all travel insurance companies offer a free look period with a refund if you decide the plan is not what you need.
Where should you buy your senior travel insurance?
We recommend purchasing your travel insurance directly from a third-party company for a number of reasons.
- Buying Travel Insurance from a 3rd party company vs. through a travel agent
- Why buying Travel Insurance from a 3rd party company is better than buying from a Cruise Line
- Buying Travel Insurance Directly from the Company vs. Using a Comparison Site
Very briefly, you’ll have more choices and options in your travel insurance plan if you purchase from a third-party company using a comparison tool.
How can you be sure your travel insurance coverage is adequate?
These tips will help you determine whether you have enough coverage.
- 4 Steps to 100% confidence in your travel insurance plan
- Entering $0 Trip Cost is too risky
- Is ‘Cancel for any reason’ worth it?
What are the best senior travel insurance plans?
We’ve done the research into which plans are best and our recommendations include:
- The important coverages for senior travelers
- Our analysis of each plan
- Sample quotes
- 10 Tips for Seniors Traveling with Health Concerns
- Senior Travel Discount Guide from Cheapflights