Explore Travel Insurance

Just because you’re getting older, it doesn’t mean the adventures have to come to an end – or that you have to limit yourself to short local trips or domestic holidays around Australia. While it can be a little more difficult to find travel insurance for over-65s, rest assured that it’s still possible to find a travel insurance plan that suits your holiday plans and needs.

Whether you’re a frequent traveller, wanting to visit your old favourites or only now finding the time to explore all the corners of the world, seniors travel insurance can help keep your trip smooth sailing.

Why should over-65s consider travel insurance?

You can plan your holiday down to the last detail, but that won’t stop things going wrong when you least expect it. The unfortunate reality is that you may have a higher chance of getting sick or injured as you get older, but if you prepare for the possibility, you can continue to travel without worry and enjoy your holiday to the fullest.

Having appropriate travel insurance cover can cost a fraction of what you might pay upfront in medical costs overseas, so taking out a policy might be a good idea not only for your health during your trip, but also for your wallet.

Travel insurance premiums might be a little more expensive for seniors, but finding the right cover for you doesn’t have to be complicated just because you’re over 65. In fact, it can be as easy as enjoying a glass of wine with a beautiful view!

Couple over 65 on a ferris wheel

If I’m over 65, what does travel insurance cover?

The good news is that travel insurance when you’re over 65 usually covers most things that standard travel insurance covers for under-65s. Although you might find that some travel insurance providers limit certain policies or product offerings to people over particular ages, you’ll generally be able to get cover for:

Medical treatment

Depending on your policy, travel insurance can help cover the costs of necessary medical treatment or hospital care if you get sick or injured while overseas. You may also be covered for medical evacuation and repatriation. Australia has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) with eleven different countries, which can help cover or alleviate some costs of medical emergencies overseas. However, RHCA coverage is still limited, and outside of those countries, you may need to pay up-front to receive medical treatment – unless you have travel insurance with medical cover!

Theft, loss or damage

There’s nothing worse than losing  your nicest clothes and accessories while on holiday; luckily, travel insurance can also cover the costs of your luggage being stolen or lost. It may also insure your valuables, such as wallets,  the credit cards or money inside, cameras, phones or even passport or travel documents if they are stolen, lost or damaged during your travels. In case this occurs, it’s a good idea to know the approximate value of everything you plan to take with you overseas.

Travel delay and cancellation

Travel insurance can also cover you for flight cancellations or delays that impact your holiday. This means that if something happens that causes you to miss flights, bookings or activities, your cover may be able to reimburse some or all of the costs.

Optional extras

Some travel insurance providers may also offer these features which you can add to your policy for extra cover:

  • Cruise cover. Cruising is a popular holiday option for seniors. Cruise cover usually includes cancellations due to weather, a sudden medical condition or an unforeseen circumstance that would limit your travel, and medical expenses while you’re out at sea. It’s vital that you take out this cover if you’re embarking on a cruise, as standard travel insurance generally doesn’t cover cruise-related claims.
  • Valuables cover. While your standard travel insurance will cover loss or damage to your personal belongings, sub-limits apply. If you are travelling with highly valuable belongings, you should consider a valuables add-on for a higher sub-limit should you have to make a claim.
  • Rental car excess. If you hire a rental car and have a car accident, this extra will cover the excess you may be charged.
  • Pre-existing medical conditions. While some pre-existing conditions may be automatically covered, you might need to purchase additional cover for others. You should always declare any medical conditions you have to your provider when applying for travel insurance.

Each insurance provider and policy will differ in what they do and don’t cover. It’s important you read your policy’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) before completing the purchase to make sure it has everything you need before you begin your travels.

Different types of over-65s travel insurance and what they cover

There are generally two types of travel insurance policy options, which are:

  • Single trip policy. Whether you’re looking for cover for short trips of one or two days or a single extended trip lasting up to 12 months, single trip travel insurance is likely the better option.
  • Annual multi-trip policy. This policy may have lower age limits, generally under 80 years old. However, it’s usually the better option for those who travel many times throughout the year. Just keep in mind that these policies will apply a maximum trip length (e.g. 30, 45 or 60 days) and trip durations that are longer than the defined maximum trip length are not covered.

Most providers typically offer three or more levels of cover within their travel policies, each of which offers varying benefits and limits.

Basic cover

This low-level cover is generally the cheapest and most affordable. In most cases, these cheaper policies still offer comprehensive medical cover.

Basic policies generally include:

  • Cover for 24/7 emergency assistance
  • Cover for overseas medical and hospital expenses (in case of illness or accident)
  • Personal liability cover (if something goes wrong and it’s your fault)

Standard cover

This mid-level cover usually features all the things found in basic cover as well as further benefits. However, standard cover may still have certain limits, conditions, or excess payments. Some things you might find in a standard policy include:

  • Cover for 24/7 emergency assistance
  • Cover for overseas medical and hospital expenses (in case of illness or injury)
  • Personal liability cover
  • Trip cancellation cover if you need to cancel flights
  • Some cover for luggage and personal belongings

Comprehensive cover

This high-level cover may cost a bit more, but it’s great for those travellers who want the peace of mind of not worrying about anything while on holiday. The benefit limits of comprehensive cover are normally higher; however, all policies will have conditions, sub-limits and an excess that will usually apply to most claims. A comprehensive travel insurance policy will generally include:

  • Cover for 24/7 emergency assistance
  • Unlimited cover for overseas medical and hospital expenses (in case of illness or accident)
  • High limit of cancellation cover
  • High limit of personal liability cover
  • A higher limit of cover for luggage
  • High amounts of coverage for unexpected or emergency travel expenses and more
  • Cover for additional travel and accommodation expenses
  • Other benefits such as rental vehicle excess or travel delay expenses.

No matter what level of cover you decide best suits your individual circumstances, make sure you understand exactly what is covered. The best way to do this is to read the policy wording, which outlines the full details of your travel insurance.

Over 65 couple taking a selfie in New York City

How much will over-65s pay for travel insurance?

The price you pay for travel insurance as a senior can vary between providers and is usually based on your individual travel plans, so it’s not easy to give an approximate cost for all people. The cost of travel insurance is normally higher for older travellers due to the higher likelihood of making a claim and the size of those claims. Providers also set premiums based on historical claims trends and their forecasts of future claims.

Premiums will likely also be higher for travellers who include cover for pre-existing medical conditions. Travel insurance for over-65s may cost a bit, but it’s well worth the money to have peace of mind while on holidaying knowing you have travel cover.

Frequently asked questions

Do insurance providers have age limits for purchasing travel insurance?

While upper age limits can vary between providers, there are still many that offer basic, mid-range and comprehensive cover for people up to 99 years old. Seniors travel insurance can often be more expensive than what younger people may pay, but think of it as an investment in your health and safety while you’re overseas. If you’re concerned about possible age-based exclusions, read the PDS to check for limitations before deciding on a policy and product.

Do I have to pay more for travel insurance if I’m over 65 and have a pre-existing medical condition?

Unfortunately, when you get older, there tends to be a higher likelihood of having a previous injury, illness or other pre-existing medical condition. Taking out cover for your pre-existing condition can cost a bit extra; however, extending your medical cover in your travel policy to include your pre-existing medical conditions is a very smart idea should something go wrong while you’re overseas.

It’s important to check with your insurance provider if your specific condition is covered and to disclose these conditions when signing up for your policy.

If you haven’t added any cover for your pre-existing conditions to your policy (perhaps because you want to save some money), you won’t be able to claim any medical expenses that relate to this condition. However, even if your policy doesn’t cover your pre-existing medical condition, you’ll generally still be covered for any other medical expenses unrelated to your condition.

Can I be compensated more than once?

When it comes to travel insurance, you’re only able to be compensated once per loss. For example, in the event your flight is cancelled, your airline may compensate you for some, or all, of your loss / additional expenses. In this case, you are only entitled to claim what is remaining; if your try to claim more than once, your claim will be rejected.

Stephen Zeller, General Manager

Top travel insurance tips for over-65s from our expert, Stephen Zeller

  • Consider the cover you might require for medical expenses, cancellation and delay fees and luggage. You should also consider whether you need cover for any rental vehicle excess or cover for a cruise holiday. It’s important you purchase the trip cover that best suits your individual needs.
  • Ensure you are aware of the entry conditions for each country you are visiting, especially in relation to medication that can be taken across the border.
  • It is always a good idea to keep copies of your prescription with your medication in case you’re asked when entering countries. Also, it is recommended you split your medication between two or more suitcases in case one is lost.
  • Do not leave your possessions unattended in a public place, as any claims for these may not be accepted if they’re lost or stolen. All policies have limits, sub-limits, conditions and exclusions, and you need to understand these to ensure you have the cover you need.
  • To get even more value from travel insurance, if you’re planning to travel more than twice a year, an annual policy could be a good option (but be sure to check the maximum travel days that are covered per trip, in the policy documents). And if you’re wanting to reduce your premium, consider opting for a higher excess.

Final boarding call for getting travel insurance

Comparing travel insurance isn’t as hard as it seems, so getting travel insurance for your holiday when you’re over 65 isn’t something you should forget before you leave. Using our free comparison tool, you can compare prices, benefits, inclusions and more to help you decide on the policy you want.

It pays to compare, so what are you waiting for?

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