Seniors looking for travel insurance don't need to feel limited by their age since there are plenty of brands that cover people over 80 and a few that don't have an age limit at all. Get peace of mind knowing that you can travel without worrying about overseas medical expenses, accidents or theft. Just make sure you declare any pre-existing medical conditions and any activities you plan to do, such as cruising or hot air ballooning, to make sure you're protected.
Seniors travel insurance is a regular policy that has benefits more suited to senior travellers, including the following:
Cover for pre-existing medical conditions
Increased age limits
Cover for health care and accidents overseas
Cover for your grandkids if they’re travelling with you
Travel insurance for seniors with pre-existing conditions
A pre-existing condition is an ongoing medical condition that you are aware of, even if you're only aware of the symptoms. If you've been treated by a doctor, had surgery or have taken medication for any conditions or symptoms in the six months leading up to your policy's start date, you will need to declare your condition to the insurer if you want to be covered.
If you have a less serious condition, it's possible to get automatic cover (sometimes at no extra cost) for your pre-existing medical condition. If you have a more complicated medical problem, here are some brands that consider all pre-existing medical conditions through an online assessment.
Maximum trip duration is determined by your specific age and destination
Here are a few key points you should be aware of when searching for the right policy for seniors:
Cover costs more for seniors. Unfortunately, the risk of illness and injury is higher as you age, so the cost of cover also increases as you grow older. Once you reach 60 years of age, many insurers will start applying an age loading to your policy.
Fewer pre-existing conditions covered. Some pre-existing conditions that are automatically covered for younger travellers may not be covered for travellers 60 years or older. For example, some insurers won't cover seniors for claims that arise due to asthma.
Terms and conditions differ between insurers. Different insurers impose different restrictions and exclusions on cover for seniors with pre-existing conditions. For example, if you've previously suffered a stroke, some insurers will not cover you if you've had any incidents in the past five years, while others only require you to not have had any incidents in the past two years.
Age limits apply. Insurers impose maximum age limits on their policies, so you'll need to check the fine print to make sure you're eligible for cover. While some providers set this limit as low as 65 years of age, others will cover you up to 100 years or even older.
Disclose everything. Don't be tempted to save on the cost of cover by withholding information from your insurer. Disclose all the details of your pre-existing conditions when you apply for a policy.
How does medical screening for travel insurance work?
The easiest way to declare a pre-existing medical condition is to do an online medical assessment, which is the same thing as medical screening. This is usually done just before you confirm your policy to make sure you're getting the right level of cover. Depending on your condition, you might be asked a few simple questions, but questions can get more detailed. If you don't have access to the Internet, most insurers can conduct medical screening over the phone as well.
If your condition is more serious, your insurer may require you to obtain a doctor's report, undergo a medical examination or fill out a detailed medical assessment form. Critical information required in such a document can include the following:
Personal details such as height, weight, age and smoking status
General health questions such as how mobile you are and the amount of exercise you do
Medical information such as pre-existing conditions (including date of diagnosis and medications prescribed) and details of recent health treatment or hospitalisation (if any)
Your insurer may also require you to have your doctor sign your assessment form before you submit it and to declare in writing whether you are considered to be fit to travel.
When declaring a pre-existing medical condition...
Be upfront. Tell your insurer about any condition you have or think you may have. If you make a medical claim and it's not related to a condition you've told them about, they will investigate to find out if it was pre-existing or not. If it can be proven that you've experienced symptoms, they might consider it to be a pre-existing condition.
Take the assessment. If the insurer isn't sure how serious the condition is, they may want you to take an assessment before they can approve you. Sometimes this is as easy as answering a few questions online. In other cases, you may need to provide medical certificates and/or do a short physical.
Keep your options open. Each insurer has different rules for different pre-existing medical conditions. For example, some insurers will not cover you for stroke if you had one within the last two years, while others say five years. If one insurer doesn't want to cover you, there's a good chance that another one does.
Want more information on pre-existing medical conditions?
From researching over 20 brands, we have found a few ways that travel insurance changes based on your age. Major differences include reduced cover limits, reduced trip durations and less cover for pre-existing medical conditions.
I'm in my 50s
There's not much of a difference when it comes to travel insurance for those over 50, but we did find the following:
Diabetes mellitus (Type 1 and 2) is no longer automatically covered by some insurers if you're over 50
A slight increase in premiums
I'm in my 60s
While travel insurance premiums increase as you get older, you will also notice that some insurers may start to exclude cover for more pre-existing conditions than if you were travelling in your 50s. After looking at a few policies, we noticed that a few insurers such as Budget Direct, 1Cover, Fast Cover, Travel with Kit and Cover-More have exclusions for cover of asthma if you are over 60 years old.
I'm turning 65
After you turn 65, insurers start to get a bit picky with their inclusions and policies. This is when a price difference in premiums starts to become noticeable.
We researched a few policies and found a few restrictions and exclusions for travellers over 65.
You may no longer be eligible to purchase annual or frequent traveller policies with some brands. Here are a couple of brands that will still offer annual or frequent traveller policies for travellers over 65:
You may notice that insurers will only cover you for trips up to 90 days. You can still search on our comparison tool and you'll see the brands that still offer more long-term cover.
Some benefits might be lessened.
I'm in my 70s
According to our research, travel insurance doesn't change so much in your 70s except for the following:
The price of your premium may increase
Some inclusions may decrease
I'm turning 75
Here are some considerations if you're 75 and over while travelling. As we age, we become more at risk of health-related issues and injuries. Because of this added risk to insurers, premiums can increase. Along with increased premiums, be mindful of the following:
Some insurers will require you to take out comprehensive cover (which is never a bad idea no matter what age you are), which means that essential or basic policies are no longer an option. Don't worry, this won't make your search harder. Simply add your details into our search tool and only your eligible policies will appear.
You may also find that there are age limits to some of the optional add-ons to your policy, such as adventure and motorcycle packs.
I'm in my 80s and over
There are still plenty of brands that insure travellers over 80. We even have insurers that can cover those over 100 years of age. Obviously, extra premiums will be payable, and you'll need to pay close attention to make sure you disclose any pre-existing medical conditions for cover. Here are some other considerations:
Some insurers may charge an increased excess for medical-related claims
Limits for cover of accidental death and cancellations may not be included or reduced
Travelling in Australia is hugely popular for seniors. For most insurers, you can take out a domestic policy if you're travelling at least 250km away from home.
Since medical cover is not included in domestic travel insurance, it's easier for seniors to qualify for this type of policy. Handy benefits for seniors when travelling within Australia include the following:
Cancellation cover for accommodation and ticketed events
Rental car excess insurance if you're hiring a car
Luggage cover for theft and damage to your belongings
Yes, most seniors are mainly concerned with on-board medical cover and emergency evacuation, which is automatically included in a lot of travel insurance policies. Always check directly with your chosen insurer for specific details. If you need to declare that you're going on a cruise, you will be able to do so during the online application process.
If you prefer to have the most comprehensive cover for peace of mind, many insurers offer add-on cruise packs that can provide cover for the following:
While there's no best policy that fits everybody, we've based this selection on the most popular brands that seniors visit from this site. Learn about their conditions for seniors and get a quote if you think they have the right policy for you.
Single trip age limit
Cover for pre-existing conditions?
Included cover for cruises?
No age limit
Automatic cover for 35 existing conditions
Online medical screening available if your condition is not listed
Up to 100 yrs old
Cover for 27 existing medical conditions
Cover cannot be provided if your condition is not listed
Here's the difference between the cheapest policy, the most comprehensive and the most expensive. You'll notice that the most comprehensive policy is not necessarily the most expensive. This is why it pays to compare.
Price based on a 75-year-old individual travelling to Europe for 30 days. Quote made in November 2019.
Cheapest travel insurance for seniors
While we all love a bargain, finding the cheapest travel insurance might not be the best option as a senior. You might find that you're saving money today, but you need to consider exactly how much coverage you will have when you travel.
Cover does get more expensive as you get older but it doesn't always have to break the bank, with cover starting from as little as $2.50 a day. Here are some ways to save:
Consider a specialist insurer. Some insurance providers specialise in offering cover to senior travellers. With features and benefits designed to suit older Australians, these insurers may be able to offer affordable policies to suit you.
Travel sooner. Once you reach the age of 60, the older you get, the more your travel insurance premiums will cost. This is merely a reflection of the increased risk of injury and illness for older travellers, so travelling sooner rather than later can help you save money.
Free cover for dependants. If you're planning on travelling with your grandkids, it could be worth searching for a policy that provides free cover for your dependants up to a certain age, usually up to 18-21.
Research and compare. No matter how old you are, the most important thing you can do when choosing travel insurance is to compare multiple policies. Look at the features, exclusions, limits and cost of a range of policies to decide which one is right for you.
Use discounts and coupons. Some insurers will offer you a discount if you hold multiple policies with the same provider (e.g. car insurance, home and contents insurance, etc). You can also take advantage of online discounts to save some extra money.
Our comparison tool can also help you find a cheap policy. After you add your details and search for a quote, you'll have the option to sort through the results by price. By clicking on this button, your policy options can be sorted from cheapest to most expensive.
What to look for in seniors travel insurance reviews
When you're looking at travel insurance reviews, it's good to be mindful of a few things to help you make a well-rounded choice.
Be critical. Remember that these reviews are usually written by the general public who will base their review on their experience. Those who write negative reviews usually have had their claims denied, but they may not fully disclose the reasons why.
Try to use third-party sites for reviews. Reviews posted on the insurer's website about themselves are likely to only be positive.
Read a few reviews. This will give you a more complete view of an insurer.
Be aware of reviews written by disgruntled customers. People are more inclined to write a negative review than a positive one. Read through it and take information that is helpful to your decision.
Watch: What you need to know about travel insurance for seniors
How have other seniors used Finder?
We've helped more than 59,000 seniors aged 65 years or older compare travel insurance policies.
The most popular choice of policy for seniors are comprehensive plans.
Seniors tend to choose 1Cover more than any other brand, but we work with more than 20 if you want to compare options.
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.
Yes, brands such as 1Cover and AllClear don't have an age limit on their policies, but you might be restricted to a maximum trip duration. You'll also have to declare any pre-existing medical conditions.
Yes. Most insurers will cover dependents (children) for free as long as they are travelling with you. Depending on your chosen insurer, they'll usually provide cover if they're under 21 and not working full-time, but there are some brands that cover grandkids up to 25 years old.
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. This way, you can take advantage of trip cancellation cover from the moment you purchase your policy.
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 your 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 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. But remember... no mulligans!
Similar packages exist for cruises, ski trips and adventure trips (like skydiving); however, the last two will probably have some age limits on them.
As Group Publisher for Insurance and Utilities, Zahra Campbell-Avenell leads a team of over 15 experts to deliver on Finder’s mission to help Australians make better financial decisions. Zahra has a Bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University in Washington DC, with a double major in Anthropology and English. She has worked for companies such as Booking.com and Bank of America, as well as a number of non-profit organisations.
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