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Why Seniors Should Buy Travel Insurance

Whether you’re going on a European cruise to celebrate your retirement, visiting a childhood friend in another country, or heading off on a family vacation, you should consider getting travel insurance. While travel insurance offers all travelers peace of mind, it’s particularly important for seniors whose domestic medical insurance plan generally will not cover any unexpected healthcare costs when traveling abroad.

Senior Travel Insurance

The U.S. Department of State recommends that everyone purchase insurance before overseas travel. The international travel section of its website points out that Medicaid and Medicare don’t generally cover medical costs overseas, although some Medigap and Medicare Advantage plans do. Even if you have private insurance, your policy might not cover any medical care that you receive in another country.

Travel insurance can offer additional benefits as well. Depending on the policy, other things that might be covered include trip interruption or cancellation, lost or stolen luggage, rental car damage, or even legal assistance. For these reasons, travel insurance can be helpful even if you are traveling within the United States.

What Kinds of Travel Insurance Are Available?

There are several principal kinds of travel insurance. The one that is most important for seniors to consider purchasing is travel medical insurance. This type of insurance covers emergency medical services while you’re in another country.

Another type of travel insurance is medical evacuation insurance. This covers you if you have a medical emergency and need to be evacuated from your location. You should consider purchasing this type of insurance if you will be traveling to a remote location or to a developing country where medical care might be inadequate or even unavailable.

The third type of travel insurance does not cover medical care or evacuation, but it does offer protection for unexpected circumstances. In case your flight gets canceled, someone in your family falls ill, or a natural disaster occurs, trip cancellation insurance can cover any financial losses associated with the trip.

How Do I Buy Travel Insurance?

In some cases, your credit card may offer limited trip protection coverage, but it is usually vastly inferior to a standalone travel insurance plan. Many issuers offer some type of travel insurance when you pay for the trip with your credit card, although most have been removing or trimming down benefits in the past few years. They might reimburse you if your luggage gets lost or damaged, if your rental car gets scratched, or if your flight is delayed. However, most do not cover medical care or emergencies.

senior travel insurance

Your renters or homeowners policy might cover you if something is stolen from you while you’re traveling. These types of policies often offer liability coverage if you cause an accident on your vacation. If you’re traveling overseas, however, make sure that the coverage applies when you’re out of the country.

You also might be offered trip cancellation insurance through your travel agent or the booking agency, but customizing it to your specific needs is usually not an option.

The best way to buy travel insurance is to visit a travel insurance comparison site like Comparison sites let you compare the features of policies from different companies and customize a policy that meets all of your needs.

The type and amount of insurance you need depends on your individual situation. Are you in good health, or do you have a medical condition? Will you be traveling domestically or to a far-flung destination around the world? How much financial risk are you willing to take in case your trip gets cancelled? Does your auto insurance cover damage to rental cars? These are the kinds of questions you need to consider before choosing a policy.

Comparison sites like help you find the best policy for your needs by asking you a series of questions about your trip. After you answer the questions, you’ll be shown a list of insurance companies and the coverage they offer. Be sure to review the plan limits and deductibles when making your choice.

What’s Not Covered by Travel Insurance?

No matter which policy you choose, it won’t cover every situation that might arise. Exclusions typically include things like medical treatment for a pre-existing condition, injuries from participating in extreme sports, accidents that happen when you are drunk or under the influence of drugs, incidents that occur while you are participating in an illegal activity, and cancellations due to war or international conflicts. Some of these possible situations can be covered by purchasing a waiver or extended coverage for an additional cost. Read your policy carefully before making your final decision.

When Do I Need to Buy Travel Insurance?

You should purchase travel insurance as soon as you pay for your trip. If you’re paying for your trip in installments, you should buy insurance when you make your first payment. Just like other kinds of insurance, it’s too late to purchase a policy after something happens that causes you to change or cancel your plans.

How Much Does Travel Insurance Cost?

The amount you’ll pay for a travel insurance policy depends on a number of factors. The price of the policy will depend on the coverage and type of insurance you choose. Your age, destination, and price of your trip are also factored into the cost.

Do I Need to Buy Travel Insurance for Every Trip?

Not necessarily. You’ll need to decide for yourself if the price of the policy is worth the peace of mind it will give you. If you’re taking an international flight that cost thousands of dollars or staying at an expensive resort, the cost of travel insurance is quite reasonable compared to the financial loss you would suffer if you had to cancel your trip. On the other hand, it probably doesn’t make sense to buy travel insurance for a short trip on a budget airline.

Why Should I Buy Insurance from makes comparing policies easy with its one-stop shopping approach. It offers quotes from some of the top insurance companies in the United States and an unbeatable best-price guarantee. The company is rated by MONEY as one of “The 6 Best Travel Insurance Options of 2020″ and has over 80,000 verified customer reviews from happy customers who regularly save time and money with

What’s the Bottom Line?

Before buying travel insurance, see what’s covered by policies you already have. Check coverage offered by your health, auto, and renters/homeowners insurance policies.

Most people who buy travel insurance choose trip cancellation insurance, but seniors with health conditions should consider purchasing travel medical insurance, and possibly medical evacuation insurance, even if they opt not to buy coverage for trip cancellation.

Finally, weigh the cost of travel insurance against the benefits. Getting a quote from can help you make an informed decision, but the bottom line is that travel insurance gives you peace of mind while protecting you against possible financial loss.

Type of Travel InsuranceWhat It Covers
Travel Health InsuranceIllness or injury not covered by your regular health insurance plan.
Medical Evacuation InsuranceTransportation to the nearest hospital or your home country, if it becomes necessary, in the event of a medical emergency.
Trip Cancellation InsuranceFull or partial reimbursement of travel expenses if you cancel your trip for a covered reason under the policy.

The Basics of Travel Insurance

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