Buying Travel Insurance - A guide for seniors

Buying Travel Insurance - A guide for seniors

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Like many active seniors, you might have decided to make the most of your retirement by travelling, either in Australia or further afield. As a Retirement Communities Australia village resident, you have the security of knowing your home is being looked after while you are away. Make sure you also look after yourself and buy travel insurance, especially if you are going overseas – just in case something goes wrong. Medical expenses can add up to tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars overseas, and you can’t claim overseas medical expenses on Medicare or private health insurance.As well as covering medical expenses, travel insurance can protect you against theft or damage to your valuables, and in some cases, allow you to get a refund on your ticket if something unforseen happens and you can’t use it.

What should I look for in a travel insurance policy?

When you are shopping around for the right travel insurance, there are a number of factors you need to take into consideration. As everyone has different needs, there is no one-size-fits-all travel insurance policy. Here are a few questions you might want to ask yourself and any insurance provider when looking for travel insurance: • Do you have any pre-existing medical conditions and if so are they covered by the insurance policy? • What do you plan to do while you are away? Do you plan to partake in any action sports such as skiing, and if so, will they be covered? • Do you need cover for valuables such as cameras, jewellery and laptop computers? What level of cover will you need and what is the excess? • What happens if you have to cancel your trip due to accident or illness? Will you be able to recover your costs? • Where will you be travelling? If you are heading to multiple countries, you may need a different level of cover, depending on the region. Most travel insurance policies have exclusions for specific situations. When you are choosing the right travel insurance policy for you, make sure you read the fine print and you are aware what is and what isn’t included, so you don’t get any surprises. Always ask what paperwork you will need to bring with you, and how you can make a claim if the need should arise while you are overseas.

Will I be covered by my credit card insurance?

A number of credit card providers offer free travel insurance when you use your credit card to buy tickets. These travel insurance policies are generally fairly comprehensive and can offer attractively high limits. It’s important that you read the fine print on your credit card insurance if you plan to use it to cover an overseas trip. Some credit cards have a minimum requirement that you will need to pay on your credit card for the cost of your travel before the insurance can be activated, for example, and there are often lengthy exclusions on credit card travel insurance. If you are planning to go away for an extended period, credit card travel insurance may not be sufficient to cover you as it often has a limit of three months. If you are considering using your credit card travel insurance option, make sure you speak to your bank to ensure that you will be covered and that you understand what is and isn’t included in your policy. Buying travel insurance that is appropriate for your particular trip and circumstances is essential. Knowing your insurance is in place and that you are covered when you head off on your next adventure can also give you valuable peace of mind, so you can just get on with enjoying yourself!

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