Over 75s in a Venice gondola

Travel insurance for over 75s

Are you over 75 and looking for travel insurance? Compare your options today and protect yourself from medical costs and more

You’re only as old as you feel. Just because you’re over 75 doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get out there and enjoy what the world has to offer.

But as we get older and become more prone to chronic complaints, insurers consider us to be more of a risk, and the cost of travel insurance increases accordingly. It’s important to have travel insurance whatever your age. While it may be slightly more expensive for seniors, it’s still worth having, even though you may need to undergo a medical assessment to qualify.

With that in mind, this guide looks at the types of travel insurance available for over 75s, along with some of the problems you may encounter when trying to find cover. It also discusses ways to reduce the cost of your policy and why cruise travel insurance is also important to have.

What are the age restrictions of different brands?

1-cover-new11Cover provide cover regardless of age. However, anyone 80 years or over is required to submit a medical declaration form.Get quote
AMEX Travel InsuranceAmex Travel insurance has various age limits:

  • Comprehensive: 89 years
  • Essential: 79 years
  • Basic: 30 years
  • Domestic: 79 years
Get quote
AIGThe AIG 70+ Traveller policy provides international and domestic travel insurance cover for travellers aged between 70 and 84.Get quote
Budget Direct Travel InsuranceBudget Direct Travel Insurance is available to permanent residents of Australia, up to 100 years of age.Get quote
Citibank Travel InsuranceIn order to purchase the CitiBank Seniors Frequent Traveller Insurance policy you must:

  • Be at least be seventy (70) years old when you apply
  • Not be over eighty-nine (89) years of age
Get quote
Columbus DirectTo buy a Columbus Direct policy you must be under 85 years of age at the date of issue of the insurance.Get quote
CoverMoreCover-More offers seniors travel insurance for people up to 84 years of age.Get quote
DownunderDUInsure policies are available to those available to those aged 79 and younger.Get quote
Easy Travel InsuranceEasy Travel Insurance is available to residents of Australia regardless of age. However, anyone 70 years or over is required to submit a medical declaration form.Get quote
Fast CoverTravellers 90 years of age and over can take out cover subject to certain conditions.Get quote
InsureandGoIf you are aged 100 or under you may purchase your travel insurance from InsureandGo.Get quote
MultiTrip Travel InsuranceThe maximum age is 79 years of age for a multitrip.com.au single policy.Get quote
No Worries Travel InsuranceTo buy a No Worries Travel Insurance policy you must be under 85 years of age at the date of issue of the insurance.Get quote
Simply Travel InsuranceSimply Travel Insurance has a maximum age of 110 years of age to get cover.Get quote
Southern CrossTo buy an SCTI policy, travellers cannot be more than 101 years of age.
STA Travel InsuranceThe maximum age is 79 years of age for STA Travel Insurance.Get quote
Tick Travel InsuranceTick Travel Insurance only provide online quotes for travellers under the age of 100.Get quote
Travel Insurance DirectThe international and domestic plans are available to travellers aged under 81 years of age.Get quote
Travel Insurance Saver LogoTravel Insurance Saver is available to residents of Australia regardless of age. However, anyone 70 years or over is required to submit a medical declaration form.Get quote
Virgin MoneyThere is no maximum age for Virgin Travel insurance policy.Get quote
Woolworths Travel InsuranceWoolworths Travel Insurance policies are available to travellers under 80 years old.Get quote
Worldcare Travel InsuranceWorldCare Travel Insurance are unable to cover travellers who are aged 86 years and over at the date the policy is issued.Get quote
youGoYouGo offers travel insurance for people up to 84 years of age.Get quote

What about pre-existing medical conditions?

A pre-existing medical condition is defined by insurers as a medical condition that:

  • You are aware of prior to applying for insurance
  • You are having or have had treatment for in the past
  • You are treating with prescribed medication
  • You previously had surgery for

Most insurers provide automatic cover for a range of minor pre-existing conditions as well as cover for more serious conditions subject to further assessment such as a medical examination. The product disclosure statement (PDS) will list the conditions that are not covered under any circumstances, such as serious illnesses, heart disease and cancer.

It’s important that you declare any pre-existing medical conditions to your insurer at the time of applying for cover. If you don’t, any medical treatment you receive overseas in relation to that condition won’t be covered.

If you’re over 75, some insurers may also require you to fill out a medical questionnaire, and it’s important to declare any pre-existing conditions here as well. The golden rule is if it’s not mentioned, it’s not covered.

I have a pre-existing condition ... where does that leave me?

If you have a pre-existing condition, you may be able to get travel insurance by following these steps:

  • Read the PDS to see if your condition is automatically covered.
  • If your condition is not listed, tell your insurer about it. You will either be declined cover or you may be required to submit further medical evidence such as a doctor’s report.
  • If the insurer agrees to cover you after further assessment, you may need to pay an additional fee or you  may be offered cover at a lower limit or with a higher excess.
  • If your application for cover is refused, look around and see what other insurers are offering. Each insurer is different and some even specialise in covering pre-existing medical conditions, so shop around.
  • In the worst-case scenario, if you can’t find cover anywhere, don’t let it put you off going on holidays. You can still obtain travel insurance that covers everything except your pre-existing condition.

Apart from my age, what else impacts the cost of my cover?

While age and pre-existing medical conditions are the main determinants in how much over 75s pay for travel insurance, there are other factors that influence price as well:

  • Your trip. You will pay more or less for your insurance depending on the type of trip you are taking (such as a backpacker’s holiday or a guided tour), the duration of your trip, where you are travelling (some destinations are considered more dangerous than others) and what you will be doing while you are there (such as driving, riding a motorcycle or participating in risky sports or activities).
  • Your policy. The level of cover you opt for will also determine the price you pay, as will the benefit limits you select (the higher the limit the more expensive the policy) and the options you choose to include (cover for expensive items will cost you an additional fee).
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Tips on getting cheaper travel insurance for over 75s

It’s likely that you will pay more for travel insurance because you are over 75, so it’s important to save money on your policy wherever you can, without compromising your cover. Here are some ways you can achieve this:

  • Buy online rather than through a travel agent or airline, as you’ll probably get a discount and you won’t have to pay the hefty commission that agents add to the price.
  • If you’re planning to take more than one trip in a year, consider an annual multi-trip policy rather than taking out a separate policy each time you travel.
  • If you’re travelling in a group, such as with family members, consider taking out a joint policy and ask your insurer about a group discount.
  • If you already have home and contents insurance and credit card insurance, use them to supplement your travel insurance needs.
  • Shop around on comparison websites for the best deal and get quotes from different insurers before settling on the best policy (not necessarily the cheapest, but the one offering the best value for money).

What types of cover are available?

There are a variety of travel insurance options available to over 75s. First, decide between three levels of cover:

  • Basic (or medical cover only). This no-frills level of cover provides 24/7 emergency assistance and covers overseas medical and hospital expenses.
  • Essentials cover. This is a mid-range level of cover that includes 24/7 emergency assistance, medical and hospital cover, trip cancellations and delays, and lost, stolen or damaged luggage and personal belongings.
  • Comprehensive cover. This is the highest level of cover for maximum peace of mind. As well as everything in Essentials cover, it includes cover for loss and damage to travel documents, luggage delay, theft of cash, rental vehicle excess, hospital cash allowance, personal liability, accidental death and more.

As well as three levels of cover, over 75s can choose from two types of travel insurance policies:

  • Single-trip. The most common type of cover, which covers you from the time you take out your policy to the time you return home.
  • Annual multi-trip. An annual policy offering cover for multiple trips within a year, providing a cost-effective alternative for those who travel frequently.

You can also choose between domestic and overseas cover, depending on your destination. Not everyone feels the need to take out domestic travel insurance when travelling within Australia, partially because health issues are usually covered by Medicare. But your trip could still be cancelled and your bags lost or stolen, so some people consider it worth the price, which is usually a lot less than overseas travel insurance.

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What about travel insurance companies for seniors?

Some over 75s look for cover with an insurer who specialises in travel insurance for seniors. Unfortunately, the policies on offer will usually have the same age restrictions as those offered by most regular insurers,and the underwriting is the same, which means medical examinations may still be required.

The main advantage of seniors-specific travel insurance companies is that their application processes may be smoother, their criteria for pre-existing conditions may be a little more flexible and their offerings will be tailored to your age demographic (so the policies will usually exclude cover for high-risk activities like whitewater rafting and bungee jumping).

I’m over 75 and heading on a cruise. What do I need to know?

Many seniors consider cruises an ideal holiday getaway, but make sure you have travel insurance that fully covers you. As soon as you leave Australian waters, you are no longer covered by Medicare.

That means if you get sick and must be treated in the ship’s sick bay, you will be charged full private health care rates, which can be up to $5,000 a day. If you have to be airlifted to the nearest hospital on land, you could be up for thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars.

If you’re travelling in Australian waters between two Australian ports and the ship has a Medicare-eligible doctor on board, you will be covered by Medicare. But make sure you check with the cruise operator, as many ships employ foreign doctors.

Many international travel insurance policies include cruise insurance automatically, but you should consider purchasing standalone cover if you want to take advantage of the unique benefits offered by a cruise-specific insurance policy.

As well as overseas medical cover, trip cancellations and lost or stolen baggage, the benefits of cruise-specific insurance can include:

  • Cover for additional expenses if you miss your cruise due to circumstances beyond your control
  • Reimbursement for cancelled prepaid shore excursions
  • A daily allowance if you are confined to your cabin for medical reasons
  • Cover for replacement or hire costs if your onboard formal wear is lost, stolen or damaged
  • Cover for flights to your cruise departure destination
  • Cover for the days leading up to your cruise departure and the days following your return

Compare policies that cover over 75 travellers

Doin Oakenhelm / Shutterstock.com

Richard Laycock

Richard is the senior insurance writer at finder.com.au and is on a mission to make insurance easier to understand.

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