Hi folks! I received a Guest Post submission from Fast Cover (insurance company) that I thought gave great advice on a really important topic: finding travel insurance for an aging parent. I find insurance (of any kind) confusing, and the article breaks it down into manageable chunks which are easily followed.

As Mom has gotten older, I’m more inclined to purchase insurance as she has gotten sick, forcing us to cancel vacation. The last time this happened was a trip to Disney World over Christmas 2013. Everything was paid up-front and I foolishly didn’t purchase insurance. When Mom got sick and ended up in the hospital, we lost thousands of dollars. So now, I always take airline insurance for her flights and at a minimum, I’ll price out insurance for high dollar vacations with penalties and/or non-refundable purchases. This article gives some great tips on what to ask for. Thanks to Fast Cover for their submission and happy trails to all our TWAP followers!

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Finding the right travel insurance for an aging parent can involve taking some time scouring and comparing policy benefits. But when it comes to purchasing a travel insurance policy for an aging parent, you can find yourself contending with age restrictions and more expensive premiums, amongst other things. Of course it is highly likely that you can find a senior travel insurance policy, but whether you’re getting the best deal on the premium and whether it provides all the benefits you need are other questions.

As stated by Dean Van Es, the CEO of Fast Cover travel insurance:

Finding the right travel insurance policy for your parent can take time, but it becomes a lot simpler when you understand the key benefits and exclusions you should be looking for.

Here is a breakdown of some of the important components of travel insurance so that you are better equipped to choose a policy for your mom or dad.

  1. Age restrictions

Various travel insurance companies will impose age restrictions on their policies. For example some travel insurers won’t offer cover to seniors over a certain age at all, while other companies may only impose an age restriction on Annual or Multi-Trip policies. You should also be aware that age restrictions can apply to pre-existing medical conditions; for example, a company may provide coverage for asthma but only for travelers up to a particular age. Check the pre-existing medical conditions that are covered by a travel insurance policy to better understand any restrictions that may apply.

 

  1. Pre-existing medical conditions

A travel insurance company may provide coverage for a range of pre-existing medical conditions. A pre-existing medical condition may include anything your parent is diagnosed with, taking medication for or has symptoms of. High cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes, while common and often well-managed, can still be considered pre-existing medical conditions. The pre-existing medical conditions which may be covered can be found in the product disclosure statement. Cover can vary significantly between different insurers, as can what they consider to be pre-existing medical conditions. You should always read the PDS carefully to ensure it provides the cover you are after. If a condition isn’t listed, then there’s a good chance it won’t be covered. In some cases, you can pay an additional premium to cover the condition.

Some pre-existing medical conditions can be excluded under a travel insurance company’s policy benefits completely. For example, various companies do not provide medical cover to travelers for any claims arising from their prescribed blood thinning medication. Make sure you have a detailed understanding of your parents’ pre-existing medical conditions before you approach travel insurance.

 

  1. Activities your aging parent will be covered for

    Travel insurance for an aging parent

    I’m not sure all of our activities would be covered – you know Mom is a Wild Woman!

Like the case with pre-existing medical conditions, travel insurance may automatically cover a range of activities such as snorkelling or kayaking. Other activities may not be automatically covered so if you plan on a more adventurous holiday with your parent where you will be doing activities such as scuba diving past certain depths or deep sea fishing, check whether they will be covered. Cover for activities such as skiing and snowboarding may also be subject to an age restriction.

 

  1. Coverage for valuables

Hearing aids, wheelchairs, and other valuables such as jewellery may not be covered by a travel insurance policy automatically. You can check to see if you can add cover for this onto your travel insurance policy, or check whether it is covered already in their home and contents insurance.

 

  1. Excess

The excess is the amount of any claim a policy holder will be responsible for. For example, if your parent needs to make a claim for $2,000 and there’s a $500 excess applying to that section of the policy, the $500 excess would be deducted from the amount paid under the claim. Excess on a travel insurance policy can alter between age groups. Check the excess before you purchase a policy.

 

  1. Getting the best deal

There’s a few steps you can take to make sure you get the best deal on a travel insurance policy. First of all, take the time to compare a few policies before deciding on one. Comparison websites are a great way to compare many options in a short period of time. When you’ve found a policy, see if your parent can get a discount as a senior. It never hurts to ask! Remember that policies are generally cheaper for younger travelers. That means purchasing a policy before your parent’s next birthday can make a difference! Some travel insurance companies will also offer discounts for loyal customers, so it can be of benefit to find out if there’s a loyalty discount for a travel insurance company that covers your parent.

Also remember that cancellation cover generally begins as soon as a policy with this benefit is issued. You can often purchase travel insurance up to a year in advance, which means you can have cover for months before you and your parent actually go travelling. If your parent becomes sick or injured before the trip, they may be able to claim for lost expenses if they have their policy already in place.

 

The fine print:

Fast Cover Pty Ltd ABN 98 143 196 098 AR No.381399 (“Fast Cover”) arranges this insurance as an authorized representative of AGA Assistance Australia Pty Ltd, ABN 52 097 227 177, AFSL 245631 trading as Allianz Global Assistance. This insurance is issued and managed by Allianz Global Assistance as agent of the insurer Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFSL 234708. Terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply. We do not provide any advice on this insurance based on any consideration of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before buying this product, you should consider the Combined Financial Services Guide and Product Disclosure Statement (including policy wording) available on the Fast Cover website www.fastcover.com.au to decide if this product is right for you. If you purchase a policy, Fast Cover receives a commission which is a percentage of your premium – ask us for more information before we provide you with any services on this product.