Seniors travel insurance

Here’s everything you need to know about getting the correct level of cover for senior citizens who love to travel.

seniors taking a selfie during their trip

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What is the maximum age I can get travel insurance?

Age may seem a restrictive factor when it comes to travel insurance, but the truth is, you just have to search a little harder. There are a handful of providers that simply refuse to offer travel insurance to people over the age of 65, more follow suit for travellers over 75, and again more refuse to insure customers over 80 and so on.

The good news is that many travel insurance providers out there don’t have an age limit at all. Need help finding cover? Let finder steer you in the right direction.

How will seniors travel insurance help me?

Travelling is full of excitement, adventure and unpredictability. That’s great for the most part, but insurance can be a saving grace when unpredictable events take a turn for the worse.

If you’re trying to decide whether or not it’s worth you investing in seniors travel insurance, think about these scenarios:

  • You take a tumble whilst adventuring. If you need to go to a local hospital for a broken bone, the out-of-pocket expenses could be extortionate without overseas medical cover to help you out.
  • You’re needed back home for an emergency. Invest in the right policy and it will get you home immediately in the case of an emergency as well as reimburse you for the missed part of your trip and transportation costs.
  • You’re hospitalised and need someone for support. If unforeseen circumstances leave you hospitalised, the correct cover will pay for a family member to fly out to be at your side. It will also cover the costs of you joining your travelling companion if they’ve been hospitalised.
  • Your flight is delayed and you miss out on prepaid activities. When you miss out on panned activities or accommodations you’ve booked and it’s not your fault, it can be extremely frustrating. A travel insurance policy can reimburse you for some of those wasted pennies.
  • You’re injured in the middle of nowhere and need to be airlifted to the nearest hospital. Hospitals aren’t always around every corner. What happens if you need emergency air transport? Save yourself from potentially having to shell out thousands with a travel insurance policy that covers the cost.
  • You discover you’ve been the target of pick pocketing. The correct policy can cover help you to replace lost or stolen cash, goods and documents. Your provider will even cover dodgy credit card charges if your bank refuses to, for whatever reason.
  • You fall ill before the trip. If you’re too ill to travel, insurance can help you get your money back for all those prepaid bookings. The same applies in other emergencies too including a death in the family.
  • The airline loses your luggage. Don’t panic. With the correct policy you’ll be able to get the basic supplies you need until you get your luggage back. And if you don’t get it back, the majority of policies provide cover for replacement up to a certain amount.
  • You pass away during your dream escape. In the event that you pass away during your travels, insurance helps to take some of the burden off your family and can cover the cost of sending your remains back home or the costs to be buried overseas.

Is there a difference between a seniors policy and a ‘regular’ one?

There’s not really much difference in terms of what’s covered by a pensioners travel insurance policy and ‘regular’ policies. The main differences you’ll notice between the two are the amount you’ll have to pay for your premium, the amount of excess you have to pay, the upper limit of coverage, and the restrictions. When applying for insurance, these are based on an applicant’s individual circumstances. Seniors have a different set of circumstances when compared side by side with younger travellers.

Here are some of the circumstances that, as a senior, may impact your policy:

  • Pre-existing conditions. This is age irrelevant. Many insurers will charge an additional fee for certain pre-existing conditions, place an age limit on them or refuse to cover them at all, no matter what your age. Unfortunately, seniors are probably more likely to be affected by this than others, which is down to a longer medical history.
  • Price. You’ll have to pay more for your policy as a senior. This is because insurance providers take into account the likelihood that you’ll have to make a claim and even if you don’t have any pre-existing conditions, older travellers are considered at higher risk of submitting a medical based claim.
  • Multi-trip policies. The majority of insurers have an upper age restriction on annual multi-trip policies. The limits can vary and some are as low as 60 whilst others are as high as 120. This ultimately depends on the individual insurer and the policy you choose.
  • Benefit amounts. Many insurers will offer younger travellers higher benefit limits (such as unlimited medical expenses overseas). The costs you’ll be covered for reduces for older travellers. Ensure you look at the benefit limitations when selecting a policy – and pay particular attention to the medical benefits.

How much does seniors travel insurance cost?

There are a great number of factors that impact the cost of a premium for a senior, including:

  • Age. The general rule goes the older you are, the more you’ll have to fork out for a policy.
  • Pre-existing conditions. If you have a pre-existing condition that isn’t automatically covered under your policy, your insurer may agree to cover if you provide additional medical information and pay an added fee.
  • Your travel plans. The destination and length of your trip can impact the cost of your premium. And bare in mind, if you’re going on a cruise or playing golf, there are different travel insurance policies out there to offer you the correct level of protection.
  • The level of cover you choose. As with most insurance, comprehensive cover costs more than policies that cover only the essentials, but it also provides cover for many more scenarios.
  • Any discounts that apply. Plenty of insurers will offer discounted cover to seniors customers. In addition to this, you may be able to access discounts for buying online, for using special promo codes and discounts, or for holding multiple policies (e.g. car insurance, home and contents insurance and travel insurance) with the same provider.

How can I save on my policy?

Cost is always a predominant consideration when choosing which travel insurance policy to go for. But it’s important that you don’t allow it to be the only factor you consider. You need to look at what a policy covers and consider your own personal circumstances before deciding whether it’s the right one for you.

Once you’ve pinpointed the benefits you need, take note of the following tips to ensure you get the best possible price for you:

  • Don’t buy through a travel agent. Buying travel insurance policies through travel agents and airlines is a sure fire way to get ripped off. These can cost two or three times more than policies bought direct from the provider. Compare the options on offer and buy your cover straight from the provider.
  • Buy online. The best discounts out there are available online. Some insurers will offer exclusive online discounts that don’t apply when buying over the phone. If you’re not tech savvy, don’t panic. Enlist the help of a friend or family member.
  • Shop around. Don’t just settle for the first quote you come across. Compare and contrast seniors travel insurance quotes across as many insurers as you can to ensure you get the best value for money.
  • Make the most of discounts. There are insurers out there that will offer seniors discounts to customers over the age of 55. It could also be worth your while looking down the route of a multi-policy discounts. If you hold insurance policies for contents, home or car, check whether your existing provider offers travel insurance, and see whether they can offer a discount for being a multiple policy holder.
  • Use promo codes. Search for online promotion, discount and coupon codes that you can apply at checkout to enjoy discounted travel insurance costs.
  • Opt for a higher excess. Some policies come with a flexible excess. If yours does you can notch your excess higher which will grant you a lower premium in return.
  • Don’t shell out for cover you don’t need. If you’re paying a higher premium for optional cover, like adventure sports cover or cover for high value items, consider whether you actually need it. If not, don’t buy it.
  • Consider multi-trip cover. If you’re one of those lucky, frequent travellers and you’ll definitely be taking more than one trip in the next 12 months, think about annual travel insurance. Annual policies offer you cover for all your trips for a whole year, and it usually works out cheaper (and less of a hassle) than buying separate cover for each one.

Can I get cover for my pre-existing conditions?

Won’t allow your pre-existing condition hold you back from travelling? Then why allow it to stop you getting the policy you need?

The most important thing to bear in mind is: you have a duty to disclose any pre-existing conditions to the insurance provider during the application process. This could ultimately influence their decision of whether or not to offer cover, as well as help them calculate how much your premium will be. If you don’t, the insurer can refuse to cover you in the event that you need to make a claim.

If you have a pre-existing condition, the best way to find out how insurers react to common conditions is to check out their policy documents. Here’s some of the things you can find out by comparing policies:

  • What conditions an insurer will cover automatically. The majority of insurance providers offer a list of conditions that they will cover at no additional fee, and you won’t even need to inform them of as long as you haven’t had any major complications recently. In general these are usually minor and easy to manage conditions like cataracts, glaucoma, osteoporosis and high blood pressure.
  • Which policies won’t cover any pre-existing conditions past a certain age. Some policies simply will not cover any pre-existing condition once you’re over a certain age even if the condition is listed on the aforementioned “automatically covered” list. You can still be covered for all other medical and non-medical claims. Don’t panic though. There are plenty of providers out there do not have an age ban on pre-existing conditions.
  • Which policies have age limits on specific pre-existing conditions. You’re usually OK if your condition features on the “automatically covered” list, but it’s not uncommon for policies to have age restrictions for certain conditions. For example, asthma.

Even if an insurer won’t cover your pre-existing condition, in most cases they’ll still offer adequate cover for everything else.

What about pre-existing conditions that aren’t listed?

There are many medical conditions that fall into what’s considered to be middle ground, and insurance providers won’t always list these publicly. If your condition is not listed you have a responsibility to disclose it to your insurer.

Providers consider pre-existing conditions on a case-by-case basis and you may be required to take a medical exam. Their decision will have one of three outcomes. They could:

  • Agree to cover at no additional cost. They’d essentially be treating the pre-existing condition as they would the ones on the “automatically covered” list outlined above.
  • Agree to cover it, but charge a higher premium. In this case you’ll have the option to pay the premium and have the condition covered, or decline the increased premium and be covered for all medical and non-medical claims excluding those related to that condition.
  • Decline to cover it, but cover you for everything else. If this happens, you’ll be covered for all medical and non-medical claims excluding any related to that condition.

Travel tips for older travellers

If you’re jetting off into the sun, keep the following things in mind to ensure you enjoy a safe, healthy and happy holiday.

  • Check in with your doctor. Book into your local GP for a check-up to make sure it’s safe for you to travel. Your doctor will be able to check you over for any health risks that could cause issues to arise during your trip, as well as offer some handy tips and advice on safe travel.
  • Make sure your vaccinations are up to date. Check to see whether vaccinations are necessary prior to your trip. Your GP is the best person to offer accurate advice on this.
    Ask about changes to your medication. Ask your doctor whether you need to adjust any of your usual medications based on your destination. For example, some medications that are legal within the UK may not be accessible overseas. Diabetics should also query whether they need to adjust their insulin dosage in accordance with varying time zones.
  • Bring doctor’s statements. If you need to take medication for a pre-existing condition with you on holiday, you may be asked to present a written referral from your doctor to avoid any difficulty with customs officials. Better to be safe than sorry.
  • Be careful buying medication overseas. Be cautious when buying prescription medication in foreign countries. The strength of the available medications and the recommended dosages could differ from your usual prescription. Try to make sure you have enough medication to cover the duration of the whole trip, plus a bit extra in the case of unexpected delays.
  • Avoid deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT can result in potentially life-threatening complications. To avoid this, when flying it’s advisable to stroll up and down the aeroplane aisles whenever possible, perform foot and leg stretches while seated, keep well hydrated and avoid consuming alcohol.
  • Take care of yourself. Whilst it can be tempting, resist planning a wall-to-wall itinerary of excursions and activities. Don’t push yourself too hard and make sure you grant yourself some feet-up time.

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