Steps to find travel insurance for seniors
Many people find that the perfect time for them to travel and see more of the world is when they retire, as this is when they have more freedom and do not have to worry about the 9-5 lifestyle any longer. Travelling is something that a huge number of people plan to do when they are older, with many travelling not only to other places within Australia but to exciting destinations all around the world.
Some seniors travel because they want to explore the world and see places that they have always dreamed of visiting but never had a chance to in the past. Others travel because they want to spend time visiting friends and relations who may live much further afield. No matter what your reasons for travel as a senior, one thing that you need to ensure is that you have suitable travel insurance cover in place before you head off on your journey, as this can protect you in case of a myriad of events.
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Cover for different types of trips
There are a number of different providers that offer travel insurance cover that caters for the needs of senior travellers – for example, some insurance plans include city tours and cruises, which many seniors are fond of. It is worth bearing in mind that the cost of travel insurance for seniors can be higher than normal because of the increased risk of injury or illness that can come with age, but you can still get some very good deals on travel insurance for seniors if you compare providers and plans.
What types of Seniors Travel Insurance is available in Australia?
There are different types of travel insurance cover available for seniors, so all you need to do is check and see which one is going to offer the right protection for your travel needs. It is important to choose a travel insurance plan that is going to suit both your needs and your budget and some of the choices available for seniors include:
- Bronze, silver or gold travel insurance: With many providers you will be able to choose from bronze, silver or gold travel insurance. The bronze cover is the more basic level of travel insurance for seniors, which provides standard cover to a specified list of destinations. The silver cover is more flexible as it provides cover for additional destinations as well as those on the bronze cover. The gold cover is the most comprehensive cover, which not only provides cover for additional destinations but also covers some pre-existing medical conditions.
- Multi-trip insurance cover: Some seniors enjoy travelling on a frequent basis because they have the time to do this once they retire from work. If you intend to travel on a more regular basis, then you could benefit from multi-trip insurance cover, which can save you a lot of money compared to buying insurance each time you travel.
Seniors Travel Insurance comparison tips
For travel insurance providers, seniors pose an increased risk because the chances of an injury or illness resulting in a claim are statistically higher than for younger people. With this in mind, some providers apply a premium loading on policies to account for the additional risk. This makes it even more important for seniors to take the time to compare different options available to help them find affordable cover.
Tips to seeking out the right cover for you:
Although the cost of travel insurance for seniors tends to be considerably higher than the cost of travel insurance for younger people, it is still possible to get some reasonable deals on this cover with a little research, particularly if you are a relatively fit and healthy senior. Some of the tips that can help you to seek out right travel insurance at a decent price include:
- Go online to find cover: Many seniors are very loyal and may think it best to try and get cover through the insurance firm or financial institution that they use for other services. Unfortunately this tactic will place greater restrictions on your options for finding affordable cover. Instead, use the Internet to compare travel insurance deals from a variety of providers, as you can then quickly work out which ones offer the best value for money and which will match your requirements. With a wide choice of plans and providers online, you can boost your chances of finding the right deal at the right price.
- Look at specialist providers: Although some providers may go out of their way to try and avoid offering cover to seniors due to the higher risk of a claim, there are others that specialise in travel insurance for seniors. It is well worth checking these providers out so that you can look at the various deals that they have available and work out whether you can get affordable cover. This will also ensure that you do not waste your time looking at providers who do not offer cover to those over a certain age.
- Consider what features you really need: It is worth reviewing the different policy benefits on the plan to see if it is worth switching to a more basic option that provides a reduced level of cover at a more affordable price.
- Consider how much cover is required: Different providers will offer different levels of cover on the policy features. It is worth assessing what an appropriate amount is as you may decide to take out a policy with a reduced amount of cover for a lower premium rate.
- Age Restrictions: Different policies may have different age restrictions applied for cover. It is critical to be aware of different age restrictions on policies. When it comes to senior travellers, some insurance firms have a cut off age limit of around 74 years. However, others offer cover to people much older than this, so make sure you check this when you are looking for cover.
- Compare as many quotes as possible: The more you limit yourself when it comes to getting travel insurance quotes, the less chance you will have of finding the right level of coverage at the right price. With this in mind, you should take the time to compare quotes from as many providers as possible.
- Eligibility: It is especially important to check the eligibility on travel insurance for seniors before you spend time checking coverage levels etc. as you may be over the provider's maximum age limit. So, when you compare travel insurance for seniors, check the maximum age limit before you spend time checking the plan for suitability.
- The cost of the cover: The cost of travel insurance can be higher for seniors because they represent a higher risk to insurance firms due to the increased likelihood of illness or injury. You should therefore make sure you compare the cost of cover so that you can get the best deal possible with low cost cover that will cater for your needs. However, do not focus purely on the cost of the cover, as you also need to ensure suitability of the plan.
- What sort of plan you are getting? You also need to look at whether you will be getting a single trip insurance plan or an annual one. As a senior traveller who plans a few different trips over a period of time, you may find that getting an annual plan is the most cost effective option.
- Additional extras: Most providers will offer a range of additional options that can be added to the policy to give a more comprehensive range of cover.
Can I get Senior Travel Insurance if I have pre-existing medical conditions?
One of the major barriers facing seniors looking to take out travel insurance is whether or not they have any pre-existing health conditions. Many insurers will provide cover for health conditions up to a certain age but they will be excluded for applicants over that age regardless of whether or not they meet the criteria of the conditions. As an example, many insurers in Australia will exclude applicants over the age of 75 from receiving cover for pre-existing conditions.
What is a pre-existing condition?
A pre-existing condition is generally defined as:
- An ongoing medical condition that the applicant is aware of, has a related complication of the condition, or the symptoms of which they are aware
- Medical or dental condition that is currently being treated or has been treated by a certified medical professional
- Conditions that the policyholder treats with prescribed medication
- Conditions that the policyholder has had surgery on in the past
Over the Age of cover:
If I am a senior buyer over the age of cover for pre-existing conditions, can I still take out cover?
Yes though most insurers will require the applicant to fill out a medical declaration form. The insurer may exclude conditions from their cover or impose a premium loading.
What types of conditions are usually excluded?
The following conditions are generally excluded from cover on senior travel insurance policies:
- Any type of cancer or secondary cancer the applicant has been previously diagnosed with
- Condition related to recent surgery that the applicant has had
- Conditions related to brain or spinal surgery
- Chronic or recurring pain that the insured has consulted a medical practitioner for
- Mental Illness (Conditions on mental illness varies greatly between insurers, critical to have a clear understanding on the terms and conditions of this exclusion)
- Cardiovascular or cerebrovascular disease
- Organ transplantation. Past and future transplantations
- Conditions where there has been a terminal prognosis given with life expectancy of 2 years or less
Conditions that are covered and excluded on senior travel insurance policies can vary greatly between different insurance companies. It is important to always be sure of what you are covered for prior to submitting your policy application.
Medical tips for senior travellers
- Check with your doctor: Check to see if you have any unknown medical conditions before travelling. It might be worth having a complete medical exam to check for any unknown medical conditions.
- Changes to medication: It is worth checking with your doctor to see is any need to adjust your medication based on the destinations you are travelling to. Diabetics should check to see if they would need to adjust their insulin dosage to account for different time zones.
- Doctors statements: If you are taking medication for a pre-existing condition, you may require a written referral from your doctor to remove any chance of difficulty with customs officials as some medication may be illegal in different countries.
- Buying medication overseas: Beware of purchasing prescription medication from different countries overseas as they may be quite different in terms of strength compared to what you are usually prescribed.
- Vaccinations: Check to see what (if any) vaccinations you will need to have before your trip. Older travellers should consider taking medication for pneumococcal disease and influenza.
These are just a few of the medical tips that senior travellers should consider and they may vary considerably for people in different situations. If unsure, always check with your general practitioner before travelling.
What is the age limit for Seniors Travel Insurance?
Age limits on Seniors Travel Insurance policies will vary between different insurers and will depend on the policy that they choose. Most insurers will have a number different policy options and cover is generally reduced for older travellers. Below is an example of how different ages may be dealt with by insurers;
|Age||General Policy Access|
|Under 60||Able to purchase any policy|
|Aged 60 and older||Able to purchase any policy though an age loading may apply|
|Aged under 75 years of age||Able to purchase policy with reduced cover and benefits|
|Aged under 80 years of age||Able to purchase policy with reduced cover and benefits|
|Aged 80 years and over||May be required to submit medical declaration to be able to purchase policy with reduced benefits|
Travel Insurance Senior tips: Before you travel
There are a number of key steps all travellers should take before leaving for their trip. While not all of these are directly related to insurance, they are worth considering all the same:
- Always read the Product Disclosure Statement: It is crucial that you know exactly what you are and are not travelled for before applying for the policy.
- Keep records of personal effects and belongings: Before you travel it is worth making a record of all of the belongings you are taking with you on your journey. If possible, take photos and make photocopies of the receipts, as you may need them if you need to make a claim.
- Check if there are any warnings for traveller warnings for your destination: Smarttraveller.gov.au is the best source for Australian travellers looking to check up on any traveller warnings for particular destinations they are visiting. It is worth seeing if there has been any particular unrest in your destination.
- Make a second copy of your travel insurance policy: Keep one copy with a family member or close friend at home and keep the other with you in a separate location.
- Tell someone about your itinerary: It is always worth telling a family member or close friend about your travel itinerary before leaving. If possible, email through a day-to-day itinerary so they know where you are going to be and when. It is also worth registering your travel and contact details online before you travel at smarttraveller.gov.au
- Check your passport: It is crucial to ensure your passport is valid before travelling. Your passport must be valid for at least another 6 months from your date of return to Australia. It is worth making photocopies of your passport and carrying extra passport photos just in case it is lost or stolen.
- When to take out cover: Apply for travel insurance as soon as you make any bookings for your trip so that you are covered for cancellations.
- Organise money: Decide on the best travel money option for your trip whether it be travel money cards, travellers' cheques or credit cards.
Apply for Senior Travel Insurance online
If you are a senior traveller planning your next adventure, you can compare policy options from different Australian insurance providers online. You can benefit from having the ability to compare multiple policies at once and receive cheaper premiums than if you were to go through your travel agent or airline. Always remember to check through the conditions of your insurance policy before submitting your application to ensure you have an adequate level of cover overseas.Compare senior travel insurance policies today