Senior Citizen Travel Insurance

Senior citizen travel insurance is becoming more and more popular among older travellers who wish to explore the world. Considering their different risk factors, there are specific plans curated to meet their needs, including pre-existing diseases, travel assistance etc. while they’re abroad. However, as with every insurance policy, it is essential to know the details about senior citizen travel insurance policies before they buy a policy for themselves.

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What is Senior Citizen Travel Insurance?

Senior citizen travel insurance plans generally refer to individual travel insurance plans that are available for elderly travellers aged 71 years and beyond. The age limit varies depending on the insurer and different companies may have different age limits for similar plans. For instance, some may offer plans that start at 61, while some may provide insurance even up to 99 years and beyond.

Senior Citizen Travel Insurance

These plans are specifically created by insurance companies to cater to the elderly and take into account various age and health-related risk factors that are not covered under the standard individual travel insurance policies. These policies cover pre-existing ailments and provide various hospitalisation and medical benefits including intensive care treatment, doctor visits, ambulance services, surgical care, and many more in addition to the standard covers for baggage loss, flight delays cancellations, among others.

Why Choose Senior Citizen Travel Insurance?

When talking about senior citizens, one imagines them restricted to their homes after retirement with not much to do. People are also apprehensive about letting their old parents travel alone, fearing uncertain situations that they may find themselves in. But things are changing now, with the emergence of modern technology, comfortable airlines and reliable travel insurance plans for senior citizens that will keep them safe.

These plans cover their specific needs as well as common age-related health concerns that are not covered by standard travel insurance policies. These policies can be purchased by seniors as old as 95 years, depending on the insurer. Since the coronavirus, there have also been senior citizen travel insurance plans with COVID-19 coverage so that nothing stops them from living their lives.

Features of Senior Citizen Travel Insurance

Made for those who won't let their age stop them from exploring the world, take a look at some of the best features of senior citizen travel insurance:

  • Travel Assistance: Exploring a new place can get tricky sometimes, especially for senior travellers. Many insurers offer travel assistance to the insured so that they can easily navigate their way during an emergency.
  • Affordable Policies: Travel insurance plans for senior citizens are available in several variants so that there is no compromise with the safety and comfort of the insured. There are also several optionals available to find the most affordable plan!
  • Cover for Accidents & Illnesses: Falling sick abroad is terrible and expensive. International travel insurance for senior citizens covers all medical emergencies including pre-existing illnesses. The insurer will take care of every health-related emergency including hospitalisation, dental emergencies, evacuation and repatriation if the situation worsens.
  • Personal Liability: In case the senior citizen is involved in an accident resulting in a loss in another person's property or causing them bodily harm then the insurer will take care of the required expenses including repairs.
  • Baggage Delay or Loss:In case your bag is misplaced, delayed or stolen, your senior citizen travel insurance plan will help reimburse you for the cost of your luggage along with the purchase of necessary personal items.
  • Worldwide Assistance: For your unrestricted travel, your insurer will be available no matter which country you decide to visit. Most insurers offer a helpline number or several means to contact them, including email, phone and social media.

Fast Facts: Senior Citizen Travel Insurance

Categories Specification
Eligibility 61 years and above, varies with insurer
Coverage Worldwide
Features Medical and Hospitalisation Expenses, Travel Assistance, Luggage Delay and Loss, Passport Loss, Flight Delay and Cancellation
Optional Add-Ons Home Burglary Insurance, Pre-existing Diseases Cover

Senior Citizen Travel Insurance Eligibility Criteria

Most travel insurance companies in India only require the senior citizen to be an Indian citizen and fit their eligibility bracket. While many plans require the person to be above 71 years of age, some plans are being offered to those 61 years and above. The upper limit varies from insurer to insurer where some companies offer travel insurance for senior citizens as old as 91.

Things to Consider before buying Senior Citizen Travel Insurance

Now that we know what are the primary covers provided by insurance companies in senior citizen travel insurance plans, let’s look at certain important criteria to decide which plan to buy.

Sum assured

This is the most important criteria to decide which plan to buy. Most insurance companies provide a break-up of the sum assured for specific covers. For instance, they will have a limit for medical expenses, another limit for dental care, yet another for baggage loss and so on. Senior citizens must consider these ‘sub limits’ when they buy a policy.

Medical tests

Some insurers do not need senior citizens to undergo medical checkups if they are below a certain age. Nonetheless, the traveller should ensure that all necessary tests, if required, are complete. This will ensure that there are no chances of the claim being rejected on the grounds of necessary tests not being done. Also, plans that need mandatory medical tests are better as the insurers are more likely to honour the claims and reimburse the insured senior citizen more promptly.

Pre-existing conditions

Senior citizen insurance buyers must ensure that all their existing illnesses are covered under the plan. Certain travel plans may not cover all the pre-existing ailments in which case they are unlikely to reimburse any expenses incurred for these illnesses in the foreign country. Also, some plans provide very limited cover for serious ailments. As such, they must ensure that the limit for such illnesses is adequate to cover any medical treatment abroad if the need arises.

Renewal

Some insurers do not renew the policy if a claim is made during the policy period. One way to get around this hurdle is to apply for the maximum policy period so that the same policy can continue without the senior citizen losing the claim to additional covers as and when the need arises.

Exclusions

The senior citizen or their family members should check this and make sure there are no exclusions or limitations on covers that are necessary for him or her. Calling the insurer and asking specific questions on the list of exclusions and limitations, if any, on the covers provided will shed more light on these specifics and will help decide the best plan to buy.

Coverage Under Senior Citizen Travel Insurance

Most senior citizens need certain specific covers in addition to the standard travel protections. Some types of cover provided by senior citizen travel insurance policies in India include:

  • Pre-existing Illnesses Cover: This protects against any medical treatment expenses incurred due to pre-existing conditions that the traveller was already suffering from before going on his or her holiday.
  • Emergency Medical Expenses: Guards against any medical expenses incurred by the traveller while on a holiday due to an unforeseen emergency. This may include minor or major medical emergencies and cover risks from injuries, illnesses and even death.
  • Medical Evacuation Expenses: In certain instances, the senior citizen may have to travel back to India due to medical reasons. This benefit will allow the traveller to be reimbursed for the expenses incurred (generally up to a specific limit) during the evacuation.
  • Dental Treatment: This helps the senior citizen to get reimbursement for costs incurred on visiting a dentist in a foreign country. Some insurance companies may provide it as an optional cover instead of a regular part of a senior citizen travel plan.
  • Flight Cancellation/Delay/Missed flights: Similar to covers in individual travel plans, these help the senior citizen to get reimbursement for any additional costs incurred due to cancelled or delayed flights or in the event of a missed flight.
  • Baggage Loss: While a baggage loss is quite problematic for the normal traveller, it can be quite traumatic for the senior citizen as the baggage may contain medications and other healthcare and wellness aids, the absence of which would affect their daily lives. Most insurance providers in India recognise this problem and provide reimbursement for any baggage losses suffered by a senior citizen.
  • Trip Cancellation/Interruption/Delay: Most senior citizen insurance plans provide some sort of reimbursement for any cancellations, interruptions or delays in the trip.
  • Personal Liability and Financial Emergency Assistance: Most senior travel insurance policies provide reimbursement for personal liabilities that may arise during the trip, as well as for any financial emergency assistance that may be required by the senior individual on a foreign trip.
  • Home Burglary Cover: Many insurance companies provide some sort of cover against any burglaries that may occur at home while the person is away. In most cases, this is provided as an optional rider instead of a mandatory cover.

What's not Covered in Senior Citizen Travel Insurance?

Like other travel insurance plans, there are some cases where your senior citizen travel insurance policy won't provide any coverage benefits:

  • Most insurers don't cover life-threatening conditions that aren't due to the disclosed pre-existing diseases
  • If the insured person commits suicide or intentionally causes harm to themselves then no claims will be entertained
  • If travelling against the advice of your physician
  • Routine checkups abroad will not be covered
  • If the insured has been given a terminal prognosis for their medical condition
  • Injuries and loss caused due to influence of drugs, alcohol and other intoxicants won't be covered
  • Loss caused due to involvement in illegal activities, theft, felony etc. will not be covered
  • Complications due to a congenital anomaly won't be covered

Senior Citizen Travel Insurance Claim Process

Unfortunately, if you are in a situation where you need to raise a claim then the process is pretty simple. Most insurers have a dedicated customer support helpline or a claim helpline that exclusively deals with claim-related queries. Senior citizens can also get additional support overseas as the insurers understand that not all of them may be tech-savvy or in a condition to filing a claim. Keep these in mind if you ever need to file a claim.

As soon as you're in a situation, inform the local authorities and your insurer through their emergency helpline. Don't forget to keep all the relevant documents with you when you contact the insurer.

If claims are to be settled abroad, then the insured may contact their insurer and they will contact their partner networks to help settle your claims once all the documents have been assessed.

If you're filing for a claim through reimbursements, then this can be done when you're back in India. All you need to do is to submit the relevant documents which will be processed by the insurer's administration team. Once these are accepted, you will be reimbursed for your claim.

How to Choose/Buy Senior Citizen Travel Insurance?

All insurance providers give detailed information on their websites as mandated by the Insurance Regulatory Authority of India (IRDAI). However, most of this information is in technical terms and generally not very easy to understand. Senior citizens must ensure that they:

  • Compare and review at least 3 to 4 policies before finalising one. They can use a comparison website and also call up the insurance agents or the companies’ customer care number to get specific details that make it easy for them to compare the plans.
  • Get all the necessary information including covers, sub-limits, exclusions, cashless hospitalisation, etc. on the policies they have shortlisted.
  • Ask the relevant questions on how the process will work in case a claim is to be filed. Also, ask for ways in which the insurer can help when the citizen is abroad. Some companies provide various benefits such as concierge services, cashless hospitalisation, international SIM card to make calls, etc.
  • Get all the specific details on documents, reports, etc. that will be required to file a claim. This will ensure that all documents – if the person is hospitalised or treated in a foreign hospital – are not left behind when returning to India.

Because most elderly citizens are not very net-savvy, it will be good if their family member helps them in the process of selecting the right plan.

Why Buy from Policybazaar?

The world has moved on to online shopping for the most basic of things such as groceries and clothes; so why not policies? In fact, instead of visiting separate insurers individually you can simply browse different plans online at Policybazaar.com and find the most affordable senior travel insurance for your aged parents.

Take a look at some other reasons as to why you should buy from Policybazaar:

  • Variety of Plans: There are several travel insurance companies in India offering some of the best senior citizen travel insurance plans, which means that it will be hard to choose one unless they can be compared at one place.
  • Cheaper than Offline: Since the extra costs can be omitted, buying a plan online will cost less money than buying in person, not to forget the cost of commuting as well.
  • Unbiased Facts: When talking about any plan, all the features are presented as it is and no insurer is preferred to another. This lets the buyer know that they’re free to pick the plan most suited to them.
  • Additional Benefits: Other than easy comparison, you can save a lot of time by using Policybazaar.com thanks to its different features; you can get an approximate quote of your plan using a travel insurance premium calculator and get automated emails regarding renewals and ongoing offers.

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