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Travel insurance can come in very handy for seniors who travel frequently. It provides a financial safety net that lets you recoup your money if a trip doesn’t go as planned. Policies cover various expenses, like doctor visits, ambulance services, medical attention, lost baggage, and more.
Here’s what you need to know about the best travel insurance for seniors.
What is travel insurance?
Travel insurance covers unexpected events that occur while traveling, including illnesses, injuries, lost luggage, damaged electronics, and canceled flights due to inclement weather or natural disasters. With affordable travel insurance, you can protect against financial losses and risks while away from home. It allows you to book trips in confidence during your senior years.
How to find the best travel insurance
Here are some tips to help you zero in on the best senior travel insurance policy for you:
Shop around. It’s important to research and compare policies from multiple insurers before buying one since every insurer weighs risk factors differently. Consider the type of coverage and premiums of various plans.
Read the fine print. While it may be tempting to buy travel insurance as soon as you find a policy that meets your budget and needs, doing so can be risky. Take the time to understand the details so you can avoid hidden expenses and disappointments.
Check out reviews. Before you sign on the dotted line, read reviews about the insurance company. Make sure it’s reputable and offers good customer service.
Time it right. Try to buy your travel insurance right after you book your trip. The sooner you invest in it, the better. The price may increase if you wait too close to the departure date.
Factors to consider when choosing travel insurance
Make sure to consider the below factors before purchasing a travel insurance policy.
Pre-existing medical conditions
If you have a pre-existing health condition like diabetes or arthritis, search for a travel insurance policy that covers it. Some plans come with a pre-existing condition waiver, which pays for medical bills tied to your condition during a trip. Without a waiver, your travel insurance company may exclude coverage for your condition.
Duration of the trip
Travel insurance coverage will cost you more if you’re going on a two-month trip rather than a trip for only a few days or weeks. Single-trip insurance plans are ideal for one-off trips, but if you travel frequently throughout the year, an annual travel insurance plan may make more sense.
It’s important to consider whether your destination is domestic or international when buying a travel insurance policy. If you’re traveling to a different country instead of staying in the United States, robust healthcare coverage is essential, as Medicare and other medical insurance plans may not cover your medical services.
Also, if you’re visiting a remote or high-risk destination, a travel insurance policy with high coverage amounts for emergency medical evacuation to the nearest hospital and medical costs is a must-have.
How to buy travel insurance
Many insurance companies offer travel insurance for older travelers, though some specialize in travel policies. Travel insurance comparison sites, airlines, credit cards, travel agents, and travel reservation sites may also offer coverage. Policies can protect you from medical emergencies, lost luggage, trip cancellation, and trip interruption.
You should buy a travel insurance plan shortly after you book your flights, lodging, and activities. Be prepared to share basic information about your trip, such as the travelers’ names, destination, travel dates, non-refundable trip costs, and whether anyone in your party has a pre-existing condition.
Once you receive your policy, you’ll likely have a review period of 10 to 15 days to review the benefits, maximum limit, fine print, and exclusions. In most cases, you can return the travel insurance for a full refund if you determine it’s not a good fit for your unique situation.
Senior travel insurance FAQs
Below are answers to a few commonly asked questions about travel insurance for seniors.
Do you need travel insurance if you have Medicare?
Medicare doesn’t provide health insurance for international travel. Travel insurance can be a smart investment if you’re traveling to a different country and want medical coverage and evacuation coverage.
Can you get travel insurance with a pre-existing condition?
It’s possible. You may be able to secure a travel insurance policy that covers your pre-existing medical condition, but you’ll likely have to add a pre-existing condition waiver.
Is travel insurance more expensive for seniors?
Usually, yes. Travel insurance typically comes with a higher cost for senior citizens because they present a higher risk for health-related issues than children and younger adults.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Travel Insurance." Accessed September 19, 2023
Anna Baluch is a Cleveland-based personal finance and insurance expert. With an MBA from Roosevelt University, she enjoys writing educational content that helps people make smart financial decisions. Her work can be seen across the internet on many publications, including Freedom Debt Relief, Credit Karma, RateGenius, and the Balance. Connect with Anna on LinkedIn.