Americans over the age of 60 are some of the busiest travellers year round. Whether it’s travelling to visit their family or taking a well-deserved vacation, seniors find themselves with the time, money and the desire to travel and see the world. The downside for seniors is that as they grow older they are at greater risk of falling ill or injuring themselves while travelling. For this reason, specific travel insurance products are available for seniors and they are an absolute must for any travel hungry senior. Be sure to take care of yourself while travelling. Here is what you need to know.
Travel Risks for Seniors
When you are over 65 years, and you want to travel, it’s important to remember you are at a greater risk of needing medical treatment than you were in your younger years. Some of the risks you will face include;
- An incident involving your pre-existing medical condition – As is standard practice in the medical insurance industry, medical emergencies caused by pre-existing conditions may not be covered unless you take the proper steps before you travel. Your health coverage will be valid if you informed your travel agency of your condition, and you purchase the pre-existing condition waiver.
- Any medical emergency – any travel includes a risk of medical emergencies and these are often nothing to do with your age – problems from exotic food, different climates, and accidents during excursions that require medical attention could occur at any time. Depending on where you are travelling to, the medical set up may seem very different from what you’d expect back home and language barriers can exacerbate your discomfort. The last thing you need to worry about on top of all of this is the cost of treatment and this is why travel insurance is so vital. One less thing to worry about will allow you to focus on recuperating.
- Medical evacuations – if you do get hospitalized and you need to be evacuated back home or to another part of the country your visiting, your travel insurance can help cover the costs of this. If you are in a country with a less developed medical system, they may not be able to treat your condition properly and in these circumstances, you can contact your travel insurance company and ask for help.
- Cancelled Flights, Hotels, Tours or Excursions – if you have paid for tours, cruises, flights, hotels or rentals, and these companies shut down, or they cannot fulfil your booking for any reason, your travel insurance will help you recoup your lost money.
- Stolen luggage – travelling also comes with the risk of losing your things, either through human error or pesky thieves. if you lose your luggage, cell phone, wallet or camera you will be thankful you are covered by your travel insurance policy.
- Travel advice – your travel insurance provider, can offer you assistance if you find yourself in a situation where you need help during your travels.
Coverage for Traveling Seniors
- Medical Coverage – your insurance plan will provide you with emergency medical and dental assistance in the event of a sudden illness or if you get injured while travelling.
- Pre-Existing Medical Condition Coverage – as mentioned earlier, this additional coverage plan will protect you from the likely high amount you will need to cover your hospital fees.
- Evacuation Coverage – this will pay for any medically necessary transfer, and evacuation for you after you have been treated. This will also cover the repatriation of your body should something fatal happen to you while travelling.
- Baggage Coverage – this will replace the value of the items that were destroyed, lost, or stolen while travelling.
- Financial Loss – you will be reimbursed for payments made to a company that completely stops its operations due to bankruptcy or financial default. (hotels, cruises, etc.)
When and Where Should I Buy Travel Insurance For Seniors?
Before you purchase travel insurance, make sure you have your itinerary complete. Do thorough research, and ask about the places, you will be going to so you can determine what type of coverage you will need. Travel to developed countries may be different from developing countries, so your coverage needs may vary.
When you book flights, cruises, or tours, these companies may offer travel insurance for an additional fee. You can also buy from travel sites, and your travel agencies as well as insurance companies. You will find different prices, as well as coverage, so you will need to read the fine print and make sure that you are getting exactly what you need, no more, no less.
Once you have figured out your final travel plans, consult your travel agent or your insurance agent for your options. Also look at your credit card companies, or your chosen hotels or airlines to see if they offer plans as well. Buy your travel insurance, and enjoy the worry-free vacation that you deserve.
We recommend buying travel insurance as soon as practical, even if its months before you travel. If for any reason your holiday is cancelled, either by the provider or because of your own ill-health, your insurance plan should cover you for some or all of the losses (depending of course on the plan you have taken out).