Whether traveling overseas or a few states away, travel insurance can protect a traveler against the unexpected. Some insurance companies have travel insurance policies designed specifically for senior citizens while others offer policies that are appropriate for older travelers but are suitable for other travelers as well.
Travel Insurance Explained
Travel insurance policies cover financial losses, medical expenses, and other losses incurred from traveling abroad or within the United States, whether for business or pleasure. There are three main types of coverage provided by these policies:
- Financial losses: This includes losses resulting from trip cancelations, such as the loss of reservation fees, and trip changes, such as losses incurred from needing to change the dates of a trip. This may be referred to as cancelation coverage, trip interruption protection, or delay coverage, depending on the type
- Medical expenses: Travel medical insurance pays for injuries sustained while traveling. It includes the expenses of medically necessary evacuations and hospital fees. Some policies even provide coverage for dental expenses.
- Other covered losses: This includes those expenses resulting from theft, legal expenses, loss of equipment, or damage to property.
Travel insurance policies are purchased prior to the trip occurring and typically only last for the specific dates of travel. Coverage amounts and types can usually be specified to meet the traveler's needs. Most policies reimburse the policyholder for any losses incurred during the trip. Depending on the policy, medical expenses may be either reimbursed to the policyholder or paid directly to the healthcare provider.
Policies Designed for Senior Citizens
Very few insurance companies offer insurance policies specifically designed for seniors. Companies offering these policies include:
- Atlas Insurance: This company offers a Seniors Travel Insurance policy that provides medical coverage for health issues that arise during a trip. In addition to medical expenses, the policy's coverage includes reimbursement for eligible medication expenses and physical therapy. The policy pays by providing reimbursement to the policyholder. Several reviews of this company on InsureMyTrip.com give its medical insurance five stars.
- Roam Right: This company offers a policy specifically designed for seniors. It provides coverage for trip delays or cancelations, baggage delays, and medical expenses. This company received positive reviews as offering easy-to-understand policies, competitive pricing, and good coverage.
Other Suitable Policies
Other companies offer travel insurance policies to all travelers. The important aspect with these policies, however, is the age range for individuals that the company will insure. For example, some companies do not insure travelers over age 70.
Companies offering travel policies with high age maximums include:
- Travel Guard: This company's My Travel Guard policy has no age maximum. The policy can be customized to meet each traveler's needs. Available coverage includes trip cancelation, trip interruption, baggage delay, and medical expenses. Reviews of this company state that the company's large number of policies and helpful comprehensive list of non-travel services that are included with each policy are beneficial to customers.
- Travel Safe: This company offers three levels of protection - Basic, Classic, and Classic Plus - that are available to all travelers regardless of age. Policy coverage differs at each level, but may include trip cancelation, medical expenses, and emergency dental expenses. Travel Safe is reviewed as offering trustworthy products with optional coverages that can be customized to each traveler's needs; other benefits include its offer of "cancel for any reason" policies and non-medical evacuation coverage.
- Allianz Travel Insurance: This insurer's policies do not have a maximum age limit. Its policies differ depending on the policyholder's state of residence, but typically provide coverage for trip delays, baggage delays, and medical expenses. The company also offers an annual travel insurance policy that provides year-long coverage under one policy. Reviews of this company list its easy-to-understand website and simple policies as major pluses.
- CSA Travel Protection: This company's two policies are available to all policyholders, regardless of age. The policy provides coverage for missed connections, travel delays, emergency medical assistance, and medical or dental expenses. This company is reviewed as having excellent customer service and simple-to-understand plans that offer adequate coverage.
How to Purchase Travel Insurance
- Identifying offered coverage: Consider what types of coverage the policy offers. Does it offer trip cancelation and delay? What about baggage coverage? Knowing exactly what a policy offers and what you can add to the policy coverage will help you determine whether you should keep the policy in the running as an option.
- Determining the types of coverage you need: If your medical insurance provides coverage worldwide, you may not need medical coverage. Additionally, if the trip is unlikely to be canceled, you might not need a policy with trip cancelation coverage. Only purchase the coverage you need.
- Considering your trip: The number of flights, length, your health, and other specifics of your trip are the real determinant of the type of coverage you need. Prior to choosing coverage, consider the exact elements of your trip and identify areas of possible upheaval or loss.
There are other considerations when purchasing travel insurance:
- The policy's age limits: What is the maximum age of traveler that the policy covers? If you are or will be over this age at the time of travel, consider another policy.
- The total cost of the policy: Does the cost of obtaining the coverage you need outweigh any losses you might incur? If so, you might not need to purchase that much coverage.
- Whether the policy covers your medications: Most policies don't cover pre-existing conditions. However, policies usually cover prescription medicine; make sure that the replacement cost of any necessary medicine you take will be covered by the policy.
- Does the policy offer cancelation coverage: Some policies don't reimburse you if you decide to cancel your trip or cut it short. Find a policy that provides this coverage if this is a possibility for your trip.
Also consider the coverage offered by your credit card and homeowner's insurance policy. Often, credit cards and homeowner's insurance policies provide coverage for losses or damage, regardless of where they occur. Don't double-up on coverage by purchasing a policy that protects you in the same way as do these other two options.
Purchasing Your Policy
When purchasing a travel policy, the first consideration should be the age maximum for travelers. Subsequently, ensure that the coverage options available or that you choose meet your needs, so that you are not purchasing too much or too little coverage.