Travel Insurance for Older Travelers

Travel Insurance for Older Travellers

Young people seeking to purchase travel insurance do not worry about increased premiums that face many older travelers. Unfortunately, it is an unavoidable fact of life that many older travelers have pre-existing medical conditions, and consequently have to pay more for travel insurance.

The need for higher premiums is not because insurers have anything against older people, but because the reality is that older travelers are more likely to make claims on their travel insurance for health-related problems.

There are several factors at work:

Older people tend to have more disposable income and free time and, therefore, can afford to take more trips and holidays. Unfortunately, this translates to more claims for emergency medical care for accidents and illnesses abroad.

A more significant number of older people than ever before are traveling long distances. They are statistically more likely to claim on their travel insurance for emergency medical care – and the costs can be astronomical. This is particularly true if medical problems arise in destinations like the United States, where medical treatment is costly. Consequently, insurers have to make up for the losses, and it inevitably means higher premiums for everyone – but especially for older people traveling to the U.S.

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The cost of repatriating someone by air ambulance from far-flung destinations such as Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Canada, and the United States is extremely costly (up to £50,000 or more).

Travel Insurance for Older Travellers

In remote destinations of the world, the medical facilities may not be adequate to treat serious illnesses or injuries, making it necessary to transport the patient to a neighboring country for treatment before repatriation. Again, all very costly.

Frequent travelers who faithfully renew their travel insurance policy with the same company each year may find there is a sudden jump in the premium. They may have crossed an age threshold that they were not aware of was imminent and have to decide whether to stay loyal to their

trusted company or shop around elsewhere to find a better deal.

Insurance premiums for older travelers vary from company to company, as far as age ranges and bonuses. If pre-existing medical conditions are an issue, there may be an additional charge to cover a specific situation, or the insurance may be issued to exclude any claims related to that condition. Some may have specific cut-off ages for any travel insurance, and some may increase the premium and excess for particular age groups.

Comparison sites may be a way for an older traveler to search for a cheaper quote, but remember that not all insurers choose to be listed on the comparison sites, and you may find a more competitive price by checking elsewhere. If you do opt for a standard policy on one of these sites, always check the levels of cover – especially for medical care. A very cheap quote may mean that the levels of protection have been cut, or the excess (the amount you pay towards a claim) has been raised to compensate for the low price.

Travel Insurance for Older Travellers

If you are one out of the five people in the U.K. that does not purchase travel insurance, consider whether you are in denial about the potential financial ruin you – or your family – could face. This is especially true if injury or illness should strike when you are halfway around the world. Contrary to the mistaken belief held by many, your consulate or embassy does not cover these costs, and, without insurance, it is up to the affected person or their nearest and dearest to come up with the money!

Many travelers are under the impression that insurers try to wriggle out of paying claims, and so it is not worth having insurance. This is a very unwise attitude as insurance policies need to have sensible terms and conditions. Ultimately it is up to the purchaser to ensure they purchase the right insurance for their needs and also understand what is and is not covered. The truth is that insurers pay out vast amounts in claims – and the higher the demands, the more the premiums are inevitably pushed up for travelers in all age groups.Travel Insurance for Older Travellers

Parents with grown children leaving on round-the-world trips or gap year adventures could save themselves a headache by purchasing travel insurance as a leaving gift, to ensure that these vulnerable young people are covered. A Backpacker or long-stay policy is very affordable for a young person, and most provide essential cover for the significant medical, liability, and legal costs. Check that cover is included for all their planned Action. If there is any possibility they may participate in skiing or snowboarding or other winter sports, why not pay a bit extra to have this added to the policy, just in case.

(For those who think that inexpensive Backpacker policies are only available to teenagers or those in their 20, it may be an unlocking to know that many companies offer systems).

For travelers within the E.U., it is essential to obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), as this will pick up most of the cost of emergency medical care in participating countries. However, it is essential also to have travel insurance to pick up costs that are not covered under the EHIC – including very expensive medical repatriation, if this becomes necessary.

When purchasing insurance, it is vital to check that the policy includes adequate cover for emergency medical care and medical repatriation. It is widely believed that the minimum should be £2,000,000, but higher levels are better – especially for Worldwide travel. Medical cover up to £5,000,000 or even £10,000,000 would be preferable – especially for Worldwide protection – and should be enough to cover just about any serious medical problem.

Paying a higher premium for travel insurance because you are in an older age group is an unfortunate fact of life. However, the extra cost is worth it for the peace of mind it provides. No matter what age you are, the significant thing is that you feel free to enjoy foreign travel for as long as you want to and can!

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