What is pensioners travel insurance?
Retirement should be an enjoyable part of life. After all the years you’ve spent working, why not take some time to enjoy yourself? An increasing number of older Australians are choosing to get out and see the world. But when you’re heading out to see the world, you need to protect yourself with travel insurance.
However, if you’re a pensioner looking for insurance cover, a typical travel insurance policy might not meet your needs. Many insurers offer a maximum age limit they cover, while others might not provide the right type of protection for someone in your circumstances.
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This is why it’s a good idea to look for a travel insurance policy designed for pensioners. These policies are available for people up to a much higher age limit (the exact limit will depend on your insurer), while it’s also often possible to take out cover for a much wider range of pre-existing medical conditions.
Coverage for overseas medical emergencies and treatment is an essential part of pensioners travel insurance, while you can also find protection against a range of other common travel risks. Pensioners travel insurance policies are also designed to be affordable for those who are no longer working full time.
Why should pensioners take out travel insurance?
Travel insurance is all about allowing you to travel with confidence. The last thing you want to be doing when travelling is worrying about how you’ll survive financially if something happens to go wrong. Travel insurance gives you the peace of mind you need to get out and explore the world.
One of the key worries for many travellers, particularly those who are getting a bit long in the tooth, is the potential cost of an overseas medical emergency. Of course, pensioners travel insurance provides all the coverage you need for the cost of such emergencies. In addition, it also offers protection against a range of other common travel risks including cancellation fees and lost deposits, flight delays, lost or stolen luggage and much more.
And with affordable options and increased age limits for cover, pensioners travel insurance is cover designed with your specific needs in mind.Back to top
How to Compare Travel Insurance for Pensioners
When you’re shopping around for cover, don’t simply sign up for the first pensioners travel insurance policy you come across. It’s a good idea to compare a range of policies to see how they stack up against one another.
First things first, it’s generally a cheaper option to buy travel insurance direct from an insurance company online than it is to buy through a travel agent. Agents often charge hefty commissions on top of the price of the policies they offer, so this can end up costing you a great deal more than it needs to.
The next factor you should take into consideration when applying for cover is the age limit of each policy. The age limit for a policy differs from one insurance provider to the next, so look for one that won’t exclude you or your spouse from coverage.
Next, look at the level of medical coverage offered by competing policies. This is the most important aspect of pensioners travel insurance as overseas medical bills can be simply astronomical, so check the limit of cover. Also check if your policy covers emergency evacuation, medical repatriation and things like hospital cash allowances.
You’ll also need to consider certain aspects of your trip, such as where you’re travelling, how long you’ll be going for and the activities and experiences you plan on participating in. Once you know the type of trip you’ll be taking, you can better know what you have to look for in a policy.
Finally, make sure you take out cover with a trusted insurance provider. You can seek advice from friends and family, plus do plenty of online research. You should also make sure to read all product disclosure statements closely. Obtain quotes from multiple providers and compare these with the cover offered to ensure that you determine the true value of each policy available.Back to top
Travel Insurance for Pensioners with Pre-existing Conditions
Some pensioners travel insurance policies allow you to take out cover for a wide range of pre-existing medical conditions. This is an important feature of travel insurance for seniors.
However, some policies will exclude you from taking out cover for pre-existing conditions if you’re older than a certain age, for example 75 years old. Though definitions can vary between insurance providers, a pre-existing condition is generally defined as:
- an ongoing medical condition you are aware of
- a condition that is currently being treated or has been treated by a medical practitioner
- a condition you are treating with prescribed medication
- a condition you have had surgery on in the past.
Under a seniors travel insurance policy, you will typically not be able to take out cover for:
- any type of cancer
- any complications or conditions arising from recent surgery
- anything related to brain or spinal surgery
- chronic or recurring pain, if you have consulted a medical practitioner about it
- mental illness
- non-insulin-dependent diabetes
- hiatus hernia
- high blood pressure
- hip replacement
- peptic ulcer
- cardiovascular disease
- organ transplants
- any conditions where you have been given a terminal prognosis and life expectancy is less than two years.
However, depending on the condition and the insurer, you may be able to receive cover after undergoing further medical tests. Contact your insurance provider for more information.Back to top
Pensioners Travel Insurance Tips
- Buy insurance direct. This will help you save a great deal of money.
- Check policy limits. Read policy documents closely to determine exactly how much cover is provided in certain circumstances. The difference between $500,000 of cover and unlimited cover can be very important.
- Know what’s excluded. The last thing you want is to get a nasty surprise in the future, so make sure you know exactly what is and isn’t covered under your policy.
- Check the treatment of pre-existing medical conditions. Can you take out cover for your condition?
- Know your excess. Examine what excess you will have to pay if you make a claim and if you can reduce this by paying a higher premium.
- Keep records and receipts. If your policy has cover for your belongings and personal effects, keep records of what those items are and how much you paid for them. This will be a great help if you have to make a claim.
- Check for warnings. You will not be covered if you travel to a destination which the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has issued an advisory warning against visiting.
- Photocopy important documents. It’s a good idea to keep photocopies of important documents including your passport, itinerary and travel insurance policy.
- Know how to make a claim. Familiarise yourself with the claims process so you know what to do and who to call if you need emergency assistance.
- Look for bargains.This can take many forms be it online offers, bundled policies or coupon codes.
Pensioners Travel Insurance General Exclusions
Cover differs between pensioners travel insurance policies, but typically your claim will not be paid if:
- it relates to an act of war
- it relates to air travel of any kind other than as a passenger on a commercial aircraft
- it is a result of an intentional self-inflicted act
- you suffer a loss or damage caused by detention, confiscation or destruction by customs or other relevant authorities
- you act unlawfully or fail to disclose any relevant information to your insurer
- you travel against the advice of a doctor
- you visit a region which the Australian Government has issued an advisory warning against visiting
- you fail to take reasonable care to minimise your loss or injury
- it relates to a pre-existing medical condition for which you are not covered
- it results from suicide or attempted suicide
- it relates to nervous, anxiety or stress disorders
- you participate in certain sports or adventure activities
- you ride a motorcycle (except in certain circumstances)
- it relates to the insolvency of a travel provider.
If you’re a pensioner planning your dream overseas getaway, make sure you remember to find a travel insurance policy that suits your needs. Doing so will ensure that you have the right level of financial protection in place and will give you the peace of mind you need to go and see what the rest of the world has to offer.Back to top