The Basics of Travel Insurance for Seniors
One of the beauties of ageing is the freedom you have to travel and explore the world. With this freedom also comes responsibility. One such responsibility is to ensure that you are covered against risk by having travel insurance for seniors. Huge bills and a potential refusal of service at the local hospital because you lacked insurance is not the best way to end a trip.
Do I Really Need Travel Insurance as a Senior?
The short answer, YES~! We all know accidents happen. Even if you’re the most careful, risk adverse person incidents still occur. As a Canadian I never really understood the need for travel insurance. Our government health care took care of the costs and I never knew what kind of money I would have to pay for similar things in other countries. Five years ago a friend fell in florida and broke her leg. She had no travel insurance. One X-Ray, A Cast and a day in the hospital and she was left with a bill for nearly $20,000~!! Don’t make the same mistake. Travel insurance for seniors is a must!
Does age really matter?
As you may already know, there are numerous travel insurance packages but none of them are friendly to the older generation. The thing is, old age doesn’t necessarily translate to friendlier insurance coverage especially in travel. Matter of fact, travel insurance gets more expensive once you hit 60 and some insurers may even refuse to cover you if you are older. That however, is not a reason to worry. You have options. There are seniors travel insurance providers that have products tailored specifically to ensure that seniors can still get covered. You can get travel coverage without having to break the bank!
So, What Travel Insurance is Right for You?
It is very important that you make informed decisions when deciding on a policy. The right policy for you depends entirely on where you are traveling, what you are doing and what kind of coverage you feel comfortable with. There are generally three levels of insurance coverage that you can choose from:
- Basic Coverage: this insurance covers for your health; which is a very important thing in your travel experience. The policy offers 24/7 assistance for medical emergency issues and cover for expenses you may incur oversees as you seek medication and medical attention. If you’re still on the fence about insurance have a look at the graphic below to see what kind of cost’s you could be liable for if you dont have any.
- Midrange Coverage: This offers the basic health coverage as above but also offers coverage for the essentials in travel. You’ll get medical coverage, cancellation insurance and a proper coverage for the loss or theft of your belongings and luggage.
- Comprehensive coverage: is the highest level of coverage for those who want the maximum convenience and peace of mind. With comprehensive coverage you’re adding features like: Medical evacuation to bring you home to Canada for medical treatment, Trip Delay coverage which will pay for meals and accommodation if for any reason your planned trip is delayed Etc…
There are also different types of policy options. These include:
- Single trip policy which will cover a single planned trip. The single trip can be anything from a day to a year long. Be prepared to show the insurance agent your itinerary’s and know what countries you’ll be visiting for how long. Single trip insurance is the least costly option IF you’re only taking one trip in the year. If you plan on more than one vacation in the year a annual policy is the better deal.
- Annual multi-trip policies offer coverage on every domestic or international trip you make within the year. You dont have to plan and present each one to the agent, simply buy your ticket and travel. Be sure you know where your policy will cover you, many will restrict travel coverage in certain countries.
Included and Optional Travel Insurance Extras
You can always choose to pay an additional premium fee to cover extras like hiring golf equipment, cars or a jet ski. For some insurers, this may come automatically while for others this may be something you have to choose.
Does comparing work?
While it is always good to compare different insurance companies it isn’t always the way to establish the reliability a company. It is also true that just because you haven’t heard about a company doesn’t mean that the company is not reliable or reputable. You need to realize that many large insurers trade under various names or even channel their policies through partners. You may find that a smaller company is under-written by a much much larger company.
Your best bet is to ask around for friends and family that have has to use their travel insurance. Understand what they claimed, how the process went and whether or not they would purchase the same policies again.
Our Favorite Travel Insurance for Seniors
Senior specific insurance companies are no different from other insurance companies. Senior specific companies have similar age restrictions and subscribe to the same working principles with the non-senior specific ones. Where senior specific policies do differ in in the way and value they insure you. Many of the policies that insure seniors do so at a lower dollar amount then younger people. This is how they limit their risk.
Some of our favorite travel insurance for seniors is offered by the following companies. I have no affiliation with any of the companies below, these are simply companies myself, friends and family have had dealing with.
TourMed – Tourmed has a great s great coverage plan for potential snowbirds.
Blue Cross – Decent travel insurance but the request of a physicians checkup and report makes it a pain to acquire.
Medipac (Canadian Snowbird Association) – A long (about 15 minute) and extensive medical questionnaire was required to get these quotes. While the Medipac rates were just slightly higher than those quoted through other services, the amount of emergency medical coverage was only $2 million/person, and the quote process was long.
We strongly encourage you to read Medipac’s carefully worded policy and discussion of pre-existing conditions before purchasing insurance through them.
World Nomads – one of the best known travel insurance companies in the world. They’re recommended by Lonely Planet, and have a good reputation for making travel insurance hassle free, and offer good value. World Nomads is the only travel insurance company that we know of that will allow Canadians to purchase travel insurance if you’ve already left on your trip. However, World Nomads only offers travel insurance to people aged 66 or under.
The Travel Insurance for Seniors Take away
Travel insurance for seniors doesn’t have to cost the world for you to explore it. Your favorite destination is only a flight away, why wait? Get covered and go see the world! It is also wise to ensure you have your policy as soon as you have paid your trip.