One of the benefits of reaching your later years is having more time to travel. However, those trips outside of Canada come with certain considerations, like a financial safety net in case you need medical attention and security in case you need to cancel your trip altogether.
But things are a bit different for older travellers. You may not have the same access to coverage as younger travellers, or your premium may be more expensive. Before you take off for your next adventure, here are some things to think about when it comes to travel insurance.
Credit card limitations
Some travellers might assume they have adequate protection from their credit card company. But that coverage is likely limited. You may only be covered up to a certain amount and in very limited circumstances. Before relying on your credit card’s travel insurance, check the details of what's included.
Coverage for pre-existing conditions
Some travellers may have a medical issue that they live with on a daily basis. Your insurance provider may want assurances this condition is stable before you can get coverage for medical treatment outside the country. The exact amount of time varies from policy to policy, but the company may want to see 90 or 180 days with no changes to your treatment plan before approving coverage.
High cost of medical treatment
If you do require medical attention while travelling outside of Canada, the bill can be very high. Even if it is a one-day hospital stay and a prompt discharge, your bill can run into thousands of dollars. While some provincial plans may cover partial costs, the reimbursement is often minimal. That means getting private travel insurance is almost a necessity.
Direct payment to providers
With private travel insurance, you often don't have to wait for reimbursement. A travel insurance policy may often provide direct payment at the time of treatment. That means you don't have to pay out of pocket during a time of medical distress. Direct billing is an option not usually offered by government plans, which is why travel insurance offers you additional financial security.
Different plan options for older travellers
Some travel insurance providers offer special policies for those over the age of 60 or 65. These plans are tailored to the specific needs of snowbirds, those who spend several months outside of Canada during the year, and others who are just taking a quick trip outside of the country.
Some of these providers give you the option of filling out a medical questionnaire. You can also choose single trip or multi-trip coverage, where you can save money on insurance even if you travel in and out of Canada several times within a short period of time. In other words, senior travellers should not assume they can't get comprehensive coverage for their time away; many insurance providers have such products available.
Research your options online
For senior travellers who want peace of mind for their next trip, it's a good idea to review several different travel insurance policies.
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