No matter your age or pre-existing conditions, you can still get travel insurance for a worry-free holiday. Join thousands of Kiwi seniors who have found travel insurance on Finder.
How is seniors travel insurance different?
Most travel insurance companies charge differently for policies or change the coverage limits once the traveller has reached 65 years old. We can help you find one that will get you the right amount of cover for you.
Annual policies often have a different age cut-off than single trip policies. We’ve laid out which ones you can get if you’re a senior.
Some pre-existing conditions are more common in seniors, like arthritis, heart disease and diabetes. We can help you find the right cover for your needs if you have any condition.
Seniors are more likely to need medical screenings. We’ll explain how that process works.
Why compare seniors travel insurance with Finder?
We’ve helped thousands of seniors aged 65 years or older compare travel insurance policies.
The most popular policies we’ve referred seniors to are comprehensive plans.
40% of seniors book just one or two weeks before departure, leaving any time between trip booking and policy purchasing at risk to unexpected events that could ruin their plans.
What else should I know about seniors travel insurance?
We compare seniors-friendly travel insurance policies from trusted New Zealand brands to help you find the right policy for you. And here are just a few more reasons to trust us.
Our travel insurance engine is 100% free to use. We don’t mark up prices and there are no hidden fees.
Cover for all ages
We compare lots of policies for travellers from the age of 65 to 120. Some policies have no age limits at all!
Compare quotes from some of New Zealand’s most popular travel insurers. We compare quotes from over 20 travel insurance brands.
Simply enter a couple of trip details and away you go – you can get quotes from our panel of leading insurers within seconds.
Get covered instantly for high blood pressure, osteoporosis and many more pre-existing medical conditions.
Grandchildren travel free
Most insurers will cover your grandchildren for free as long as they’re under 21, named on your policy and not working full time.
No spam or annoying phone calls
We don’t ask you for your private details like your email address and phone number just to get a quote.
An unbiased comparison
Unlike many other sites, finder is not owned by a bank or an insurance company.
Why would I need seniors travel insurance?
Whether exploring the world or your own backyard, travelling can be beautifully unpredictable.
That’s great most of the time, but when it comes to delayed or missed flights, injuries at a bucket-list attraction, lost luggage along the way or an emergency back home, you’ll want to make sure that you’re covered for any possibility. What happens if:
You slip and fall climbing the Eiffel Tower steps. If you have to go to the hospital for a broken bone, the out-of-pocket expenses could sting if you don’t have overseas medical cover to help you out.
You’re needed back home for an emergency. The right policy will get you home immediately if there’s an emergency (e.g. if your house gets flooded or a loved one dies). You’ll also get some money back for the missed part of your trip and transportation costs, so you can pick up your trip where you left off later. This will save you a ton whether you’re in Barcelona and need to get back to Auckland or whether you’re in London and need to get back to Christchurch.
You’re hospitalised and need someone for support. If you’re hospitalised, your policy can pay for a family member to fly out to be near you. It can also pay for you to be with your travelling partner if they’re hospitalised.
Your flight is delayed and you miss the next day’s activities. If you have to miss out on activities you’ve planned or accommodations you’ve booked and it’s not your fault, your policy will give you back some of that wasted cash.
You’re injured skiing in Japan and need to be life-flighted out. There’s not always a hospital around every corner. If you need emergency air transport, most policies will cover it – potentially saving you thousands, if not hundreds of thousands.
You realise an hour later that you’ve been pick-pocketed. Your policy will pay for and/or help you replace lost or stolen cash, lost or stolen goods (like your wallet) and lost or stolen documents (like your passport). They’ll even cover dodgy credit card charges if your bank doesn’t for whatever reason.
Someone smashes out the window of your rental car. Many people don’t know this, but the excess for a rental car can be upwards of $3,000 – which means that’s the least you’ll be out of pocket if your hire car is stolen or in an accident. The right travel insurance policy will reduce this to a much more reasonable level. This is especially useful on domestic trips where you’re more likely to be renting a car.
You get sick a week before the trip. If you’re hospitalised or come down with an illness that keeps you from travelling, you can get your money back for everything you’ve already spent. This also applies to other emergencies like a death in the family or disaster striking your home.
The airline loses your luggage. No dramas! Your policy will help you get the supplies you need until you get your luggage back. And if you never get it back? Many policies will offer replacement cover up to a certain dollar amount.
You pass away while on your dream trip. If you happen to pass away while travelling, your insurance will take some of the burden off your family and pay to send your remains back home or for the costs to be buried overseas.
Here’s how to find the best seniors travel insurance
We recommend getting a policy that offers comprehensive coverage and includes the following as part of your travel insurance plan when you’re elderly.
Unlimited medical assistance: For if something happens to you while you’re away requiring you to go to local doctors or hospitals.
Unlimited cancellation: For if something happens to you or a family member before you leave requiring you to cancel your trip.
Coverage for delays: For if you require an additional night’s hotel, for example, if you have change in your schedule.
Compare seniors travel insurance
Can I get seniors travel insurance if I have pre-existing conditions?
If you want your pre-existing conditions to be covered in your policy, you’ll need to disclose them during the application process, as this could affect whether or not you can get cover and the price of your premium.
If you don’t claim it at the beginning and something does happen while you’re travelling, you may not be covered.
When it comes to pre-existing conditions for pensioners travel insurance, there are a few important things to remember:
Some conditions are automatically covered.
Certain conditions that are covered have an age limit (For example, they may only cover asthma if you’re younger than 70)
You can choose not to get covered for your condition if you don’t want to pay a premium (Just remember that it’s not going to be covered if something happens!)
Which conditions are usually excluded for the elderly?
There are some very serious medical conditions that are more challenging to cover, and many policies will exclude them outright (but still cover you for everything else), while others will decline your insurance application altogether.
It’s not impossible to find cover for the following conditions, but they will make your search a bit more challenging:
It’s a terminal illness
It requires an organ transplant
Serious lung conditions (such as those that require oxygen therapy)
Kidney failure that requires dialysis
HIV or AIDS
You require a full-time carer
Serious heart conditions like congestive heart failure
You may also find that insurers may not explicitly say whether a medication is covered, so make sure you declare the condition you’re taking it for rather than just the actual medication.
Can seniors get annual travel insurance?
Yes, however the policies may change slightly depending on your age – including an upper age limit with most brands.
Can I get annual travel insurance if I have a pre-existing condition?
One of the possible drawbacks of annual multi-trip policies is that many insurers do not cover the same pre-existing medical conditions that they often do in single-trip policies, regardless of age.
Insurers may be reluctant to cover pre-existing medical conditions in their annual policies due to the additional risk. The likelihood of you suffering an illness or injury due to a pre-existing condition increases the longer you have cover and the more trips you take, so they may deem a 12-month period of unlimited trips to be an unacceptable risk when compared with providing cover for a single one-off trip.
On-board treatment and medical evacuations at sea are two of the most costly and, unfortunately, most claimed expenses. If you don’t have the right cruise cover they could end up costing you your life savings. Some travel insurance plans automatically cover cruise with their policies, while other companies offer cruise protection as an additional premium and may charge slightly more for the cover.
Some travel insurance plans automatically cover cruise with their policies, while other companies offer cruise protection as an additional premium and may charge slightly more for the cover. We’ve highlighted which brands offer cruise cover and noted whether there are any upper age restrictions for cover when sailing.
What does cruise travel insurance for pensioners cover?
A typical policy will also protect you from trip cancellations, baggage losses, additional expenses, hire car excess and personal liability, and special cruise travel insurance for seniors offers additional benefits such as:
Medical treatment and/or evacuation at sea
Cruise cancellation or curtailment due to bad weather or engine trouble
Cruise cancellation due to illness, injury or emergency at home
Missed departure due to circumstances beyond your control and transportation costs to your first port of call
Cabin confinement due to illness during the cruise
Due to the variety of risks senior travellers are exposed to and their increased risk of making a claim, travel insurance is important to have, especially if you’re going on a cruise.
What doesn’t cruise travel insurance cover?
Like all insurance policies, there are some circumstances in which a travel insurance claim will not be paid. Exclusions relating specifically to cruise travel policies can include:
Claims while your cruise ship is docked in a New Zealand port
Medical claims while you are cruising in New Zealand waters between two New Zealand ports (normally covered by private healthcare, provided there is an approved doctor onboard)
Changes to the cruise itinerary
Cruise cancellation due to inclement weather – only severe weather conditions are covered (cyclones, storms)
General exclusions that apply to all types of cruise travel insurance for seniors include:
Reckless behaviour or being under the influence of alcohol or non-prescription drugs
Travelling to countries where travel warnings have been issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)
Participating in adventure activities or extreme sports not covered under your policy
Pre-existing medical conditions, unless they are covered automatically or the insurer has agreed to provide cover in writing
Loss or theft of luggage and personal items due to your own personal negligence, such as leaving your bags unattended
Acts of civil unrest, war or terrorism
What risks do cruise travellers face that normal travellers don’t?
Cruise travellers are exposed to a number of risks that don’t apply to regular travellers.
No private healthcare cover in New Zealand waters. As soon as the ship sets sail for a foreign port, even though it might still be in New Zealand waters, private healthcare is generally not available to cruise passengers. Medical treatment in a ship’s sick bay could cost up to $5,000 a day, so not having cruise cover could quickly become an expensive nightmare.
Medivac is prohibitively expensive. If you have to be evacuated to the nearest land-based hospital, Medivac fees can be horrendously expensive, and accommodation fees in a foreign hospital often require an upfront guarantee of payment. It’s hard to imagine not having cruise cover in these situations. Let’s not forget, as a senior, this is statistically more likely to happen to you.
Cost of a ticket. Cruises are also typically more expensive than airfares, so you’re going to be out of pocket far more than someone who has booked an airline flight if you’re forced to cancel your prepaid cruise. It’s yet another good reason to make sure you have cruise cover.
Viral outbreaks. Another risk specific to cruises is the threat of epidemic. The media has been full of stories about cruise liners that have been forced to quarantine hundreds of passengers after outbreaks of gastroenteritis. While a daily allowance (usually up to $100) for being confined to your cabin doesn’t make up for a spoiled holiday, it will at least compensate you for your loss.
Is cruise travel insurance worth it?
In a nutshell, the answer to this question is ‘yes’. Cruise insurance claims can be astronomical, and the cost of insurance is worth the peace of mind. Cruise-specific policies can provide invaluable benefits such as:
Unlimited emergency medical treatment, hospitalisation and evacuation at sea
Unlimited cancellation fees and lost deposits
Missed cruise departure cover up to $50,000
Missed port connections benefit covering additional accommodation and travel expenses to re-join your cruise
Personal belongings and lost luggage cover up to $8,000
Missed or cancelled prepaid excursions cover up to $2,500
Cabin confinement cover up to $2,500
Emergency benefit if your formal attire is lost, stolen or damaged during your trip
While cruise cover is also available through many cruise companies, it’s often more restrictive in what it covers and benefit limits can be lower. For example, rather than a cash payout, tokens for future travel may be issued as compensation for cancellations and delays.
Can I get cruise travel insurance for pre-existing medical conditions?
As with all travel insurance, cover for pre-existing medical conditions will depend on the type of condition you have, how old you are (some conditions have age limitations), how severe your condition is and whether it’s being successfully controlled by medication or other means.
All insurers have a list of conditions they will cover automatically. If your condition is not listed in the product disclosure statement (PDS), you may need to undergo a medical assessment and pay a higher premium to obtain cover.
There are also some conditions that insurers will not cover under any circumstances, such as cancers and terminal illnesses. If you fall into this category, you may have to consider purchasing cruise travel insurance for seniors that excludes cover for your pre-existing medical condition.
How much does travel insurance for the elderly cost?
There are many factors that affect the cost of a travel insurance policy for elderly people, including:
Your age. As a general rule, the older you are, the more you’ll have to pay for a policy.
Your pre-existing conditions. If you have a pre-existing condition that isn’t automatically covered, the insurer may agree to cover it if you provide further medical information and pay an additional fee.
Your travel plans. Where you’re travelling and how long you’ll be going for can influence the cost of cover. You may also need to purchase additional cover for your specific trip, for example if you want golf travel insurance or cruise travel insurance.
The level of cover you choose. Comprehensive cover costs more than policies that only cover the essentials, but it also covers a lot more.
Any discounts that apply. Many insurers offer discounted cover to seniors. You may also be able to access discounts for buying online, for using special promo codes and coupons, or for holding multiple policies (e.g. car insurance, home and contents insurance and travel insurance) with the same provider.
Cheapest seniors travel insurance
While the cheapest policy may save you in the short term, it might end up costing you more in the long term if you need to make a claim.
If finding a cheap policy is important to you, make sure it provides you with at least a high level of cover for overseas medical and some cover for the other items outlined in the best section.
Seniors Travel FAQs
Yes, many insurers will automatically include cover for grandkids travelling with you provided that they’re under the age of 21, are listed on your policy and are not working full-time.
You can access a full range of policies including international and domestic travel insurance, comprehensive or basic cover, and single-trip or annual multi-trip cover. However, you should be aware that stricter age caps apply to some policies, for example annual multi-trip travel insurance.
Specialist seniors insurance providers are specifically set up to meet the needs of older travellers, so you may find the application process with these providers runs more smoothly than with other companies. Just remember that these brands have the same underwriters and the same terms and conditions as other travel insurance brands, so there will often be no real difference in the cover provided.
Many insurers add a loading to your premium based on your age bracket, so living an active and healthy lifestyle won’t necessarily lower your premium with these insurers.
We recommend that you buy cover as soon as you book your trip, as this way you can take advantage of trip cancellation cover from the moment you purchase your policy.
Yes. Most comprehensive travel insurance policies include car rental excess cover.
Yes. Cover is available for trip cancellation costs and non-refundable deposits in these circumstances.
An expensive set of golf clubs can cost more than your policy’s “lost, stolen or damaged items” cover will allow for. In this situation, you’d have two choices:
Take out high-value items cover. This is an additional add-on that allows you to cover specific items that have a value higher than you policy’s standard benefit limits. It will cover lost, stolen or damaged golf clubs or anything else you decide to have covered.
Take out a golf trip add-on. This covers your clubs in the same way the high-value items cover would, but it also covers missed greens fees and lost or stolen hire equipment. It may even have “hole-in-one” cover. This entitles you to a round of drinks if you sink your first shot.
Similar packages exist for cruises, ski trips and adventure trips (like skydiving); however, the last two will probably have some age limits on them.
Richard Laycock is Finder's insurance editor and has been wrangling insurance product disclosure statements for over five years. His musings on insurance can be found across the web including on MoneyMag, Yahoo Finance and Travel Weekly. When he’s not helping people make sense of insurance fine print, he is testing the quality of cocktails in his newfound home of New York. Richard studied Media at Macquarie University and The Missouri School of Journalism and has a Tier 1 Certification in General Advice for Life Insurance.
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