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Tips for Buying Travel Insurance Over 75

senior travelers
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Whether you’re a cruiser or an RVer, a museumgoer or a fine-dining fan, you know that the freedom to travel is the best thing about retirement. As you get older, you learn to appreciate the joys of travel even more, but you may notice one downside: Travel insurance costs keep going up.

Why is travel insurance more expensive for over-75 travelers? As with any other kind of insurance, the price is calculated based on risk. Because older travelers, as a group, are at a higher risk of health problems, the cost of travel insurance rises with age. You might be surprised by the quoted cost when you’re trying to insure an upcoming trip, especially if you and your spouse or travel companion are over 75.

It is possible to find affordable travel insurance for seniors over 70 or 80, however! We’ll explain the best way to get a deal. If you’ve got a trip coming up and you want to see all your options, start by getting a quote.

Do I really need travel insurance if I’m over 75? 

In a word: Yes. Even if you’re an experienced traveler and you’re in fantastic shape, you never know what can happen. Travel insurance is designed to protect your health, your finances and your peace of mind in situations that can potentially be catastrophic.

Let’s consider a hypothetical traveler: Anna, 76, lives in Phoenix and is planning an eight-day cruise to Jamaica, Belize and Cozumel. When she looks at her quotes for cruise insurance, she frowns at the cost. Instead of spending hundreds to insure her cruise, she uses the money to upgrade to a specialty dining plan.

Then, while strolling the streets of Kingston, Anna begins to feel short of breath. The next thing she knows, she’s in a Jamaican hospital, being treated for a heart attack. Because medical care in Jamaica doesn’t generally meet U.S. standards, she opts to be airlifted to a hospital in Miami. But medical evacuations to the United States from Jamaica may cost more than $20,000.i 

It’s just not worth risking your finances or your life to travel uninsured, especially when you’re over 75. Allianz Global Assistance receives more than 4,000 calls each year from American travelers who are experiencing a medical emergency during their trip. The most common emergencies we see in travelers are fractures from falls; cardiovascular conditions; trauma (particularly injuries from vehicle accidents); and pulmonary/respiratory problems.ii

Depending on the plan you choose, insurance can include emergency medical and dental benefits, emergency medical transportation benefits, trip cancellation and trip interruption benefits, travel delay benefits, baggage delay benefits and more.

How do I find affordable travel insurance for over-75 travelers?

Don’t assume travel insurance is out of reach! First, get a quote. We’ll show you the cost and benefits for multiple plans, so you can pick the best one for your trip and your budget.

The first plans you see may be OneTrip Prime and OneTrip Premier. These plans are popular for good reasons: They offer extensive benefits and high benefit limits, and they cover children 17 and under for free when they’re traveling with a parent or a grandparent (not available on policies issued to Pennsylvania residents). If you’re planning a grand vacation overseas, these plans will give you the best protection.

But what if they’re just too expensive? Consider the OneTrip Basic plan instead. An economical choice for domestic and international travelers, OneTrip Basic includes all the benefits you need for less. There’s a $10,000 limit for emergency medical benefits and a $50,000 limit on emergency medical transportation.

If you’re not worried about losing your pre-paid trip expenses, we recommend the OneTrip Emergency Medical plan. This plan includes substantial post-departure benefits — up to $50,000 in emergency medical benefits and up to $250,000 for emergency medical transportation — but does not have trip cancellation/interruption benefits. As a result, it’s really affordable, even for senior travelers. 

Here’s the best-kept secret of all: annual travel insurance. For travelers over 75, the most cost-effective travel insurance option may be an AllTrips plan, which protects all your travel in a 365-day period. When you’re getting a quote for annual insurance, age doesn’t matter! Your cost is the same whether you’re 25, 75 or 95 years old. Seriously: Get a quote for an annual plan and see for yourself .

One word of caution: If you’re heading overseas, do not skip emergency medical benefits just to save money on your travel insurance. If you should fall seriously ill or suffer a serious injury while traveling, the cost of treatment and transportation can be staggeringly expensive — as we saw in Anna’s case. As the U.S. State Department notes, “many foreign medical facilities and providers require cash payment up front and do not accept U.S. insurance plans. Medicare does not provide coverage outside of the United States.”iii

Can I get travel insurance if I’m over 75 and have health problems?

Here’s the good news: Medical history and/or chronic medical conditions do not affect the cost of travel insurance. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, however, you need to understand how travel insurance may or may not cover it.

We define a pre-existing medical condition as an injury, illness, or medical condition that, within the 120 days prior to and including the insurance purchase date:

  1. Caused a person to seek medical examination, diagnosis, care, or treatment by a doctor;
  2. Presented symptoms; or
  3. Required a person to take medication prescribed by a doctor (unless the condition or symptoms are controlled by that prescription, and the prescription has not changed). 

If you have a pre-existing medical condition, opt for a policy that includes the Pre-Existing Medical Condition Exclusion Waiver. With this waiver, you can still be covered for losses due to a pre-existing medical condition if you meet all of the following requirements:

  1. Your policy was purchased within 14 days of the date of the first trip payment or deposit;
  2. You were a U.S. resident when the policy was purchased;
  3. You were medically able to travel when the policy was purchased;
  4. On the policy purchase date, you insured the full non-refundable cost of your trip with us. If you incur additional non-refundable trip expenses after you purchase this policy, you must insure them with us within 14 days of their purchase. (If you do not, those expenses will still be subject to the pre-existing medical condition exclusion.)

If you have questions about what any of this means, or if you’d like advice on choosing the best travel insurance plan, please contact us! Insurance advisers are available to talk you through all available options for travel insurance over 75, or at any age.

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