As one grows older, it is the hope that the best days are still ahead. Responsibilities may slow down as retirement nears, but seniors don’t need to lose that youthful playfulness and sense of adventure. It’s time to plan a trip of a lifetime, and to make the most out of it there are certain pieces of advice for the traveler. Plan ahead to understand options for lodging, transportation, laws of the place you’re visiting, and general costs based on dates of travel. Choose to be a well-informed visitor. Be knowledgeable about any special services one might need, the availability of those services, and how to arrange for them in advance of the trip. Make sure to have all documentation in order, including passport, tickets, and receipts for prearranged items like hotels. Pack well for a more enjoyable experience. Comfort, however, is no more important than being safe and secure. Remember to use money belts instead of purses to minimize the ability of thieves to steal money and ruin a trip. Set up a plan for medical needs as applicable. And, on that note, consider the importance of purchasing travel insurance for seniors, ages 55 and older. Below are some frequently asked questions and answers concerning travel insurance for seniors.
The Important Questions About Travel Insurance
1. How much does senior travel insurance cost?
A. Travelers insurance can cost anywhere between 4 to 12 percent of the total cost of the trip. It depends on several things including the type of plan purchased. Package plans consider the total cost and length of the trip, plus the age of the persons traveling. Medical plans consider age, length of trip and pre-existing conditions. There is also a menu of options that can be added to plans depending on the needs of the traveler. Other factors that affect the cost of the plan include coverage for cancellations, protection from identity theft, and non-medical evacuation.
2. What types of coverage are available?
A. The first type of coverage is call “basic”. It covers medical needs and to some degree, luggage loss. It should be noted that the percentage of medical costs covered vary depending on the policy. The next level of coverage is called “standard”. It is referred to as mid-range and differentiates itself from basic in that it provides greater coverage for medical costs, luggage loss and damage, and often covers trip cancellations. “Comprehensive” plans offer the highest protection for medical costs that include pre-existing conditions, dental, liability and trip cancellations. Coverage for trip cancellation can include cruises, tours and rental arrangements.
3. What health-related items are covered through travel insurance for seniors?
A. A major concern for seniors will be pre-existing conditions. If there are any issues involving occurrences of a pre-existing condition, the insured will be covered. Just as important, should one become sick or suffer an injury, any required treatment and transportation via an ambulance to a medical facility or, return home if the care needed cannot be met locally is also covered. This can include dental as well as medical care. In general, a plan that includes evacuation costs will cover all transportation needs. It is important to note that Medicare does not offer coverage outside the United States unless the circumstances are extreme.
4. Does travel insurance for seniors cover personal belongings?
A. Purchasing travel insurance provides one with coverage for personal luggage and its contents as well as sporting equipment should it be lost, stolen or damaged on a trip. The policy should include full replacement of the item in most cases. It is important to note that no policy covers everything in its entirety. Look for the notation “cancel for any reason” to confirm coverage. When securing coverage, understand the difference between “exceptions” meaning not covered, versus “exclusions” that limit coverage depending on the situation. For example, the policy would not cover an injury if it was the result of participating in a criminal act or abusing substances like alcohol. Additionally, for travelers with pets who are delayed in their return home, many insurance plans will cover the additional cost for boarding a pet for more days.
5. What other types of services are covered by travelers insurance?
A. It is impossible to predict any and every possible emergency. If one requires professional travelers’ advice, there are plans that will cover the service. It Is possible one may need legal advice or help through the use of a translator (called “foreign language assistance”). Those items may also be covered. In addition, a travel-related company you are using may go out of business. If payment has been made to any business that stops its service due to bankruptcy, the insured can be reimbursed.
Every avid traveler understands the importance of peace of mind to make a trip enjoyable. It is a wise decision to ensure one is safe and secure while on vacation. In the event the worst happens, travelers insurance will protect you from the associated costs and in some cases, the consequences. It is the intent of this article to aid the traveler in making a fully informed decision to buy insurance, and travel worry free.