Travel Insurance for the Over 50s is not always easy

Getting older comes with many perks, one of which is more freedom and the time to travel and explore. However, travel insurance for the over 50’s can make jetting-off a complex experience.

Before you set out on an adventure, be it by air, on a cruise or a road trip, it is important to find the right cover for you. Unfortunately, cheap cover is rare for grey nomads to find. Some insurers may not even cover you at all if you are over 75, or if you have any specific, pre-existing health and wellness issues.

And let’s face it at 75 who doesn’t? This means that you should be shopping around and asking questions. Finding the best cover for you means you first have to look for the best cover. If you are lucky, you may be entitled to discounts if you are in good health with no previous medical conditions that might influence your travel.

Be aware that if you do encounter troubles on your travels, many of the associated costs will have to first be paid for by you before being claimed back as reimbursements from your insurer. This includes hospital stays and theft cover. Ask your provider what their policy on this is, and be sure to check reviews on travel insurance policies to make sure you get the best turnaround if something goes awry.

In general, there are three main levels of cover. These are Basic, Mid-Range, and Comprehensive. You need to consider which type of cover suits you best. You must also bear in mind that your private health insurance in Australia, as well as Medicare cover, may not be applicable when you are abroad. This means that the Australian health system is not obligated to assist you with any troubles you encounter overseas. As a consequence, it is paramount to consider what could go wrong and how to counter it. This means looking into where you are going and what activities you plan to do.

One thing to look out for when shopping for travel insurance is whether or not your insurer is Australian based. If you are purchasing off the internet, then check the country of origin for the company as any health related repatriation could go via a third country. If you are a travelling Australian, then be sure to buy insurance which in an emergency will bring you back to Australia, not a third country e.g. the UK or Singapore.

Being over 50 is a pretty wide age demographic and travel insurance companies recognize this. They will often separate their cover into age groups for ‘seniors’. The first group is usually for 50+ while others may cater to 60+, and even 75+. Each age comes with its own health risks. It is just a fact that we are influenced by new health concerns as we age. You’ve been using your body for 50+ years, so it makes sense that some signs of wear and tear are apparent.

When looking for travel insurance it is important that you acknowledge any health concerns you have. Many insurance agencies may require you to undergo a medical check before they insure you, and others will ask for medical certificates from your general practitioner and/or appropriate specialists. If you have no issues then you may get a better policy price, but if you have had any concerns in the past such as stroke, heart conditions, high blood pressure…etc then your insurer may raise the total cost.

Also keep in mind that if a certificate is needed, it will take time and you must factor this into your travel preparation timetable. Remember also that if a certificate is needed it will usually be at your own cost and is unlikely to be reimbursed even if you don’t get the insurance you are seeking. Something else to consider seriously is how your destination will affect the cost of your insurance.

Travelling to countries with lower levels of sanitation and food hygiene, as well as destinations with extreme weather and higher than normal crime rates will influence the price of your policy. You need to consider events such as food poisoning, pickpockets, robbery, insectborne illness…etc.

On top of your age, the destination does play a huge role in determining the final price of your travel insurance policy. Keep in mind that many policies will not cover travel to the USA and that you may have to pay a separate premium for this. It is recommended that you take all precautions possible to ensure that you are safe from any unexpected events. This means packing the right medical supplies and having a safe and secure place to store your valuables. You should also pay attention to what you eat and where.

To summarize, travel insurance is important and is something that no traveller should go without – grey nomads included. Being over 50 does mean that you will likely have to pay more for insurance, but shopping around will help you find the best deal and most suitable cover for you. You should also be aware of any health conditions that you may have and acknowledge that your age and health will influence your insurance.

Do your research into what your private and public healthcare may cover, and whether or not Australia will assist you if you get into trouble overseas. Your destination does play a role in the final policy so be sure that you go prepared with all the right equipment, as well as insurance that covers anything that may happen. The key to having a great time abroad is ensuring that you have great cover before you leave. Look into travel insurance and don’t head off without it. Be prepared; never leave without your passport, your plane ticket, and your travel insurance policy.