Explore Travel Insurance

Seniors shouldn’t be limited to short local trips or even domestic trips around Australia. What’s more, it’s a fairly easy process for travellers of all ages, even over-65s, to compare travel insurance plans to look for a plan that suits their holiday and circumstances.

Being over 65 means you should now have wisdom in spades, and remembering to get travel insurance before you pack your suitcase, no matter how old you are is a wise decision.

Over-65s with travel insurance drinking wine by the sea

Why should over-65s consider travel insurance?

Your holiday can be planned down to the last detail, but most of the time, you can’t plan for accidents happening or for something going wrong. The unfortunate reality is that you may have a higher chance of getting sick or injured as you get older. You don’t want to be stuck asking yourself the question: ‘What if something goes wrong on my holiday and I don’t have travel insurance?’

In the 2018-19 financial year, the Australian Consular Emergency Centre responded to 48,000 overseas calls for assistance.1 In the same period, the Australian Consular helped 1,506 Aussies who were hospitalised abroad and assisted with lost passports and emergency evacuations that happen on a regular basis.

Having appropriate travel insurance cover can cost a fraction of what you might pay upfront in hospital fees overseas.

Taking out travel insurance is not only good for your health, but it’s also good for your wallet’s health if you need to claim overseas. Travel insurance might be more expensive for seniors, but finding the right cover for you doesn’t have to be complicated just because you’re over 65. It can be as easy as enjoying a glass of wine with a beautiful view.

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

Getting travel insurance when you’re over 65 usually covers most things that standard travel insurance covers for under-65s and generally gives you protection to reduce travel-related stress. However, some travel insurance providers will limit certain policies or product offerings to people over certain ages, which might make it harder to find a suitable travel insurance policy as you get older.

Depending on your policy, travel insurance can help cover the costs for health-related incidents and the necessary medical treatment or hospital care needed if you get sick or injured while on holiday.

When you travel overseas, you usually pack your nicest clothes and accessories, and travel insurance can also cover the costs of your luggage being stolen or lost. It may also insure your property and its content/value like wallets (and the credit cards or money inside), cameras, phones or even passport or travel documents if they are stolen, lost, or damaged during your travels. It can also cover you for many minor or major flight cancellations or delays that impact your holiday.

Some travel insurance providers may also include these features in their policies as extras to purchase separately:

  • 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;
  • personal liability cover: up to a certain amount if you accidentally injure someone else or damage/lose their property;
  • cover for rental car excess: if you hire a rental car and have a car accident, this extra will cover the excess you may be charged; and
  • cover for some pre-existing medical conditions: not all conditions will be covered for all ages, and you will need to provide your insurer with health status details.

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

Older couple taking selfie in New York City

How old is too old for seniors purchasing travel insurance?

While age limits can vary between providers, there are many providers that offer basic, medium and comprehensive cover for people up to 100 years old. Read the PDS before deciding on a policy and product, as policies may have certain limitations, such as maximum duration limits on holidays.

Read more about seniors travel insurance.

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

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

  • single trip policy (which can cover you for short trips of one or two days, or for a trip lasting up to 12 months)
  • annual multi-trip policy (for those travelling many times each year, this is the better option, but these policies will always include a maximum trip length, normally 30 days, 45 days or 60 days. Trips with durations that are longer than the defined maximum trip length are not covered.). Annual multi-trip policies may have lower age limits, generally under 80 years old.

Most insurers provide three or more levels of cover within their policies.  Within these levels of cover the benefits and their limits can vary.  Below are examples of how the cover can vary between the different levels of cover.

Basic cover

This low-level cover is generally the cheapest or 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)
  • some providers may even include personal liability cover (if something goes wrong and it’s your fault).

Standard cover

This mid-level cover may feature things found in basic cover and more. However, standard cover may still have certain limits, conditions, or excess payments.

Standard policies generally include:

  • cover for 24/7 emergency assistance
  • cover for overseas medical and hospital expenses (in case of illness or accident)
  • possible personal liability cover
  • 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 cover levels are normally higher, however, all policies will have conditions, limits and sub-limits, and an excess will apply to most claims. Comprehensive cover will generally include:

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

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

The price you pay for travel insurance as a person over 65 can vary between providers and your personal circumstances, 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 claims and due to the size of those claims. Insurers set premiums based on historical claims trends and their forecasts of future claims.

Premiums will also be higher for travellers who include cover for pre-existing medical conditions. and this could increase the price you pay for cover. Travel insurance for over 65s may cost a bit, but it’s well worth the money to have peace of mind that you have cover while on holiday.

Frequently asked questions

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 over the age of 65, there may be a higher likelihood of having a previous injury or a pre-existing medical condition. Taking out cover for your pre-existing medical condition can cost a bit extra, however, extending the medical cover to your pre-existing medical conditions could be a good investment and provide additional peace of mind.

It’s important to check with your insurance provider if your specific condition is covered and to disclose any conditions to your provider.

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

Can I get travel insurance when I’m overseas?

Most travel insurance providers won’t allow you to purchase travel insurance once you’ve left the country. Generally, it’s best to take out travel insurance as soon as you have booked your tickets and planned your travel.

If I’m over 65, can I take out more than one travel insurance policy at a time?

While you can take out more than one travel insurance policy for the same holiday, you can only be compensated once for a loss. For example, your credit card provider might make travel insurance cover available to you, but this may only provide limited cover. If you need more cover you might consider purchasing another policy.

Final boarding call for getting travel insurance

Comparing travel insurance isn’t as hard as it seems and getting travel insurance for your holiday when you’re over 65 is something you shouldn’t forget before you leave. By using our free comparison tool, you can compare prices, benefits, inclusions and more to help you make a decision.

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

Sources

  1. Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade – ‘Consular State of Play 2018–19’ – Accessed 05/11/2020

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