A great travel insurance policy can give you the confidence to attempt to book a trip you might otherwise be afraid to plan. For older travelers, that might mean travel insurance that can get you emergency healthcare at your destination or get you home quickly to your own doctors. You’ll also want a plan that limits your financial loss if you have to cancel or cut short your trip for health or other reasons.
Our insurance experts reviewed 42 aspects of 53 travel insurance plans to determine the best travel insurance for seniors. We’ve excluded any plan that didn’t offer an optional “cancel for any reason” upgrade. Then we heavily weighted the costs, based on quotes for 65- and 70-year-old travelers. Other factors considered include each plan’s level of medical expenses, emergency medical evacuation and trip interruption coverage and whether the plans cover pre-existing conditions and COVID-19.
According to our analysis, these companies offer the best travel insurance plans for seniors.
Best senior travel insurance plans of 2023
Compare the best travel insurance for seniors
What to look for when choosing senior travel insurance
Senior travelers buying travel insurance should look for plans that offer these benefits:
- Coverage of emergency medical expenses of at least $250,000. This pays for emergency medical expenses you incur during your trip and includes medical coverage for COVID-19.
- Emergency medical evacuation coverage of at least $500,000. It pays to transport you to the nearest adequate medical facility to receive the care you need when a doctor says your illness or injury is serious enough to warrant it. It may also be beneficial to fly a loved one with you and fly you home for later treatment or recovery.
- Coverage of pre-existing conditions. Some plans include a pre-existing condition waiver as long as you purchase travel insurance within a certain number of days after making your first trip deposit, insure the full value of your trip, and are medically fit to travel at the time of travel. departure. Having a waiver will give you coverage for medical conditions documented in your medical history within 60-180 days of purchasing your plan, with certain exclusions.
- 150% trip interruption coverage. Trip Interruption Insurance reimburses you for unused, prepaid, non-refundable travel expenses if your trip is unexpectedly interrupted while you are in transit or at your destination. It can also cover travel costs related to changing your plans, such as buying a last-minute economy class ticket for a one-way flight. Purchasing an additional ticket can push your claim to more than 100% of your original travel expenses, so it’s wise to look for a plan that reimburses up to 150%.
- “Cancel for any reason” (CFAR) upgrade available. For an additional fee, you can sometimes add “cancellation for any reason” coverage to your travel insurance plan. This typically reimburses up to 75% of non-refundable travel costs if you decide not to travel for a reason not covered by your policy, provided you cancel at least two days before your scheduled travel date.
How much does senior travel insurance cost?
THE the average cost for senior travel insurance is $434 per trip, based on our rate analysis. The average cost of travel insurance for seniors who add CFAR coverage is $629.
Travel insurance for seniors typically costs between 7% and 9% of your total prepaid, non-refundable travel expenses. Adding CFAR coverage can add 40% or more to this cost.
The amount you pay for travel insurance will depend on your age and that of your traveling companions, the length of your trip and your total non-refundable travel expenses.
Average cost of senior travel insurance
Is CFAR worth it for senior travellers?
CFAR coverage increases the cost of your plan, but older travelers may want to consider a travel insurance policy with both trip cancellation insurance and “cancellation for any reason” coverage, says James Clark, spokesperson for travel insurance comparison site Squaremouth, the company behind Cat 70 and Tin Leg travel insurance.
CFAR benefits provide maximum flexibility to cancel your plans due to illness, injury or any other reason and reimburse a percentage of your non-refundable travel expenses, usually 50% or 75%. The only caveat is that you will need to cancel at least two days before planning your trip.
When buying travel insurance, look for the fine print related to CFAR. You often have to buy CFAR within a certain number of days after making your first travel deposit, such as 14 days. You are also generally required to insure the full value of your non-refundable travel expenses.
Our insurance experts analyzed data from travel insurance comparison website Squaremouth to find the best travel insurance plans for seniors. For this rating, we’ve only rated travel insurance plans that offer an optional “cancel for any reason” (CFAR) upgrade.
The benefits we scored out of a possible 100 points include:
Cost: 50 points. We’ve noted the average cost of each travel insurance policy for a variety of trips and traveler profiles:
- Couple, 65, for a 17-day trip to Italy costing $6,000.
- Couple, 70, for an 8-day trip to Mexico costing $3,000.
- Couple, 65, for a 17-day trip to Italy costing $6,000, with CFAR coverage.
- Couple, 70, for an 8-day trip to Mexico costing $3,000, with CFAR coverage.
Medical expenses: 10 points. Travel insurance plans that provide travel medical benefits of $250,000 or more per person received the highest number of points.
Medical evacuation: 10 points. Travel insurance plans with emergency medical evacuation benefits of $500,000 or more per person received the highest number of points.
Covers COVID: 10 points. Travel insurance plans that cover COVID-related medical issues as part of medical expense coverage gained points.
Trip interruption: 10 points. Travel insurance plans with trip interruption reimbursement of 150% or more received points.
Pre-Existing Medical Condition Exclusion Exemption: 10 points. Travel insurance plans that cover pre-existing medical conditions if the policy is purchased within a required timeframe received points.
Why some companies were not selected
Travel insurance plans that do not offer a “cancel for any reason” (CFAR) upgrade were not considered. Of the 21 plans we rated, those with above-average senior travel insurance pricing didn’t make a difference unless they balanced the extra cost with exceptional medical benefits.
Why you can trust us
Our insurance experts follow strict editorial guidelines to ensure fair and impartial reviews. We reviewed 53 policies, analyzed quotes from two international trips for senior travelers, and rated 21 policies to find the best travel insurance for seniors.
For companies with more than one travel insurance plan offering CFAR, we’ve shared information about the top-rated plan. Some companies may offer plans with additional benefits or lower prices than the top-scoring plans, so be sure to get travel insurance quotes to see your full range of options.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
“Travel, whether domestic or international, carries more health risks for older adults,” Clark said.
“Since Medicare does not provide coverage abroad, it is important that older travelers pay close attention to the policies medical benefits, including emergency medical care, medical evacuation and pre-existing conditions” , said Clark.
More: Best COVID Travel Insurance Companies
Travel insurance companies generally do not offer discounts. But if you can get a senior discount on any of your trips, you’ll have a lower trip cost to insure. This will reduce the cost of your travel insurance.
Getting quotes from multiple travel insurance providers is also a great way to save money. Each policy offers more coverage in some areas and less in others. Depending on which coverage is most important to you, some policies will give you more value than others.
More: What does travel insurance cover?
If you’re a senior who relies on Medicare for health insurance and you’re traveling internationally, getting travel insurance with excellent emergency medical coverage and medical evacuation benefits is a good idea.
“One of the most important considerations for travelers with existing health conditions is finding a plan that offers a waiver of the pre-existing condition exclusion,” said Stan Sandberg, co-founder and CEO of TravelInsurance.com.
To qualify for the waiver, you will generally need to purchase your travel insurance policy within seven to 14 days of your initial trip payment. Some premium policies can extend that coverage if you buy them before or within 24 hours of paying for your last trip, he said.
Even with a waiver, medical expenses for certain excluded conditions such as dementia or depression may not be covered, so read the policy carefully to see if your pre-existing conditions qualify.
More: Is travel insurance worth it?