Travel with the right senior coverage

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An ideal travel insurance policy for seniors should cover them sufficiently on all fronts. Therefore, it is essential to carefully consider the inclusions and exclusions of the plan

An ideal travel insurance policy for seniors should cover them sufficiently on all fronts. Therefore, it is essential to carefully consider the inclusions and exclusions of the plan

As the skies open up after the pandemic, travelers are heading back to their favorite destinations to catch up on time spent in isolation.

While the travel industry has returned to pre-pandemic levels in no time, travelers are now familiar with safety measures that go beyond masks and sanitizers. More and more people now consider travel insurance as an integral part of their trip to ensure absolute protection in case they encounter an unforeseen event during their trip. This includes the elderly who had to exercise extra caution, especially during the height of the pandemic.

Here’s everything you need to know before choosing a travel plan for seniors:

Pre-existing illnesses

While a regular travel plan can protect travelers from standard hospital bills, it often doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions or PEDs. Therefore, for seniors, it is always advisable to opt for a plan that provides coverage in case of life-threatening conditions resulting from PED.

Usually, coverage is up to $10,000, which adequately protects a person in the event of a medical emergency due to an existing condition. Other than that, there are plans available that offer $2,500 and $1,500 coverage, depending on your needs and budget.

Generally available to anyone aged 61 to 99 and over, these policies take into account both age and pre-existing conditions. In addition, they offer many benefits such as hospitalization, intensive care costs, doctor’s visits and surgeries, except for lost luggage, flight delays, cancellations, etc.

Longer stay

It is not uncommon for young people to go abroad for better opportunities. Often, most of them find stability there and even settle permanently outside India. In such cases, their parents may need to visit them and often stay longer.

Travel plans for seniors come to their rescue in these situations. There are plans that cover seniors for 180 days. As needed, these plans can be extended for up to an additional 180 days. This gives them a full year in case they need to be part of important milestones in their children’s lives like marriage or childbirth.

Plans without sublimits

Similar to health insurance, travel insurance plans also come with sub-limits. And just like health insurance, it is also advisable not to have sub-limits in your travel plans. Especially when dealing with the elderly, these restrictions can limit coverage.

Essentially, sub-limits mean capping the sum insured or the benefits included. This could mean the exclusion of a certain type of medical expense or the reduction of benefits. To avoid such a situation, it is better to opt for packages without sub-limits. In this case, for a small premium, the insured can waive any sub-limit and protect themselves against any unfortunate situation.

Since older people are more prone to health risks, it’s best to prevent unpredictable financial adversity by purchasing a plan with no sub-limits.

Full coverage

Comprehensive coverage is a non-negotiable factor in senior travel plans. This means an adequate sum insured and a wide range of networked hospitals to keep you safe at all times. Your premium may vary depending on your risk profile. For example, when you travel to countries like USA and Canada or Schengen countries, the premium will be higher because the medical cost in these countries is higher compared to India or other Asian countries . However, there are plans that require no medical exams, cover PEDs and cashless hospitalization which are ideal for seniors.

Travel benefits

An ideal travel insurance policy for seniors should cover them sufficiently on all fronts. Therefore, it is essential to carefully consider the plan’s inclusions and exclusions. The policy must cover everything from pre-existing illnesses and intensive care expenses to trip delays and cancellations and lost passports.

Transparency

Traveling abroad without insurance involves high health and financial risks. Additionally, disclosing every piece of information to your insurer is as important as purchasing the policy. Whatever your state of health, be open to your insurer to avoid the rejection of your file afterwards.

This phase of life is often free from responsibility and is considered the best time to explore the world. So don’t forget to cover yourself adequately to make the most of this period. Also, read the documents carefully and check the exclusions.

Finally, compare the benefits and prices of different policies online to make an informed decision.

(The author is Head, Health and Travel Insurance, Policybazaar.com)

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