Senior Travel Insurance
Everyone over the age of 65 should buy
senior travel insurance, In fact, anyone of any age should carry the
coverage, yet almost no one does. If you've managed to get by
without it, consider yourself lucky. But you should also consider
There are many reasons why people don't buy travel insurance.
First of all, as you're planning your trip, you probably aren't
dwelling on all the things that could go wrong. You may also think
that good planning mitigates the need for insurance, and to some
extent, this is true.
You may already be stretching those vacation dollars and
purchasing insurance may require you to forgo other much more
agreeable things, such as an extra night in the hotel or a better
cabin on the cruise.
I've done the same thing many times: I don't think about the
downside. I don't do things that are risky, and I hope for the best.
But when it comes to senior travel insurance, it really should be
a no-brainer. We have to admit that the likelihood of some sort of
medical misadventure increases with age, and it's likely to take
longer for seniors to bounce back from either the physical or
financial consequences of a trip gone bad.
There is a good side to purchasing senior travel insurance even
if you never need it: with a good policy and adequate coverage in
place, you'll be able to relax and enjoy your trip with
greater peace of mind. That's got to be worth something!
OK, so if were going to buy travel insurance where do we start.
There are different types of plans available, and choices to be made
about which services to include and how much coverage to purchase.
Let's look at these one by one.
The Different Types of Travel Insurance
There are basically two types: an annual set it and forget it
plan and short term, single-trip plans you take out as
For those who love to
travel and are constantly on the move, the annual plan is a good,
safe and cost-effective option. These are not intended for a
specific trip or time of year, and the services included don't
change unless you specifically instruct the carrier to do so.
The advantage to such a plan is that once you set it up and
incorporate the monthly fee into your budget, you can basically
forget about it. Should you decide to pack up and head off the
Mongolia on a moment's notice, you're covered.
The disadvantage, of course, is that you may be buying a lot more
insurance than you will ever need, especially if circumstances or
preferences change and you cut back on your travel activities.
Single Trip Plans
If you are less peripatetic
and only travel occasionally, then a simple plan that provides
coverage just for the time you are away make more sense. Be careful,
however. If you stay past
your original return date, or you begin to travel throughout
the year, extend your coverage or change to an annual plan.
Choosing the Right Services
offer a basic plan with fairly standard coverage, but it's important
to read the fine print. For a truly worry-free vacation, make sure
your plan includes the following:
Trip Cancellation Insurance. This kicks
in if the airline of hotel cancels your reservation through no
fault of your own.
This occurred last season when a sizable Canadian tour company
suddenly went belly-up. Hundreds of tourists, many of them in
Cancun, whose packages were bought and paid for found themselves
turned out of their hotels, because the company had not paid the
bill. Many of these stranded travelers were forced to pick up the
tab themselves, and those without insurance needed to wait some
time before the Mexican government stepped in and provided
Theft. Sad but true: throughout the
world gringo travelers are very often the victims of choice for
pickpockets and thieves (though my only serious loss occurred
after returning to the states when someone lifted my Nikon at
JFK!). Take out enough insurance to cover the replacement value of
the items you take with you.
Loss of Baggage. Another huge potential
headache, which can be effectively medicated with good insurance
coverage. Again, take out enough insurance to pay for replacing
clothing and other valuable should the need arise. Bear in mind
that if you have to buy under duress you aren't going to be
bargain hunting, and if you're in a resort area, prices are
probably higher than where you shop at home.
Medical / Health Insurance. Very often travel
insurance for seniors is actually lower because seniors are less
likely to engage in risky behavior than, say, spring breakers on a
week-long bacchanal. This is not going to be true, generally, with
medical coverage. IT pays to shop around for the best policy.
Also, be forthcoming about prior conditions, prescription drugs,
etc. If there's bad news, you want to hear it before leaving home.
There really should be no question about whether or not to
purchase senior travel insurance if you're heading away from home
and especially if you plan to leave the country. But there are
plenty of questions to consider about the type of policy and the
kinds of coverage to include. So, put aside an afternoon sometime
before heading out and get it done. It's a small investment in your
own peace of mind on the road.