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  • Is Senior Citizen Travel Insurance a necessity?

    What is Senior Citizen Travel Insurance?

    Travelling is something that excites people over the age of 60. A lot of older people are embarking on overseas and domestic tours after retirement. Senior citizens also look forward to spending quality time with their children and one of the best ways for family bonding is going on a trip together. Nonetheless, some senior citizens do not have the physical and mental ability to face travel related contingencies. Some people may also not be able to adapt to the weather in foreign countries. The cost of medical treatment abroad is almost prohibitive and it is always a good idea to get travel insurance before starting a trip to avoid mental distress. Senior citizen travel insurance schemes are exclusively designed for older people and covers unexpected losses when travelling like medical costs and other exigencies like lost baggage and trip cancellation expenses.

    Read on to find more about senior citizen travel insurance plans in India.

    Key Features of Senior Citizen Travel Insurance

    Below are some of the key benefits offered by a senior citizens travel insurance plan.

    • Many insurers offer facilities like cashless hospitalization for medical emergencies. This feature can prove to be a great advantage for senior citizens.
    • A senior citizen travel insurance will also cover the costs incurred for lost passports and lost baggages.
    • Costs of medical evacuation to India, dental treatment costs, costs for transporting the insured’s mortal remains back to India will be covered.
    • Many insurance companies also offer medical concierge services for senior citizens.
    • In case the insured is hospitalized for more than a specified period, the charges of a family member visiting will be covered under compassionate benefits.
    • In case of an accident causing death or permanent disability, adequate compensation will be offered.
    • If the luggage is missing for more than a certain period of time, the expenses incurred for purchase of medication will be covered.
    • Senior citizens will also be offered emergency funds in case of a theft.
    • If the plane is hijacked, special distress allowance will be provided.

    What are the Benefits of Senior Citizen Travel Insurance?

    The following benefits that accompanies a scti makes it a must-buy for any sc travelling abroad.

    • Costs of Medical Treatment will be covered - The cost of medical treatment abroad averages around $2000, that is around Rs.1,20,000 at Rs.60 per dollar. Think about having to pay for a sudden illness? That would completely disrupt the trip budget and also cause chaos in the itinerary. Senior citizens who are not monetarily prepared will not be able to afford a treatment overseas.
    • Coverage in Foreign Currency - One the best benefits that accompany a senior citizen travel insurance is that you will be paying the premium in Rupees but the coverage will be provided in corresponding foreign currency. On an average, Indian insurers offer a cover of $1,00,000 for a premium of less than Rs.1000. With fluctuation in the rupee value, don’t you think a senior citizen travel insurance will really benefit the older members in your family?
    • Face the Emergency - Most of the senior citizens have some pre-existing medical condition that might aggravate in foreign surroundings. Also, some simply do not have the ability to endure the demands of travelling - physically and mentally. A travel insurance policy will help them face emergency situations with confidence.
    • Overseas Assistance - Imagine the distress that a person over 60 years will face if their baggage is lost in a foreign airport? Where would they go in case of a minor sprain if they do not know the language? A comprehensive travel insurance scheme would definitely come to their assistance in such cases.

    What does a Senior Citizen Travel Insurance Cover?

    A senior citizen travel insurance will offer a cover against the following exigencies.

    • Costs of medical treatment including sudden medical evacuation costs
    • Costs of repatriation of remains
    • Delay or loss of checked-in baggage
    • Loss of passport and other travel related documents
    • personal accident and personal liability coverage
    • Distress allowance for hijack
    • Expenses incurred due to a missed connecting flight and trip delay
    • Emergency cash advances in case of theft of personal baggage
    • Loss incurred due to trip cancellation and interruption

    The coverage may vary depending on the policy and the insurance provider. Do read the policy wordings carefully before applying for a travel insurance.

    What are the Common Exclusions in a Senior Citizen Travel Insurance Policy?

    Below are some of the common exclusions in a senior citizen travel insurance policy.

    • Pre-existing medical conditions will not be covered unless it is life threatening.
    • Costs incurred due to conditions like mental disorder, venereal diseases, self-inflicted injury, anxiety, stress, alcohol use, drug abuse, depression and suicide will not be covered.
    • If the senior citizen is travelling against the advice of a doctor and if the insured is on the waiting list or receiving a specified medical treatment, the expenses incurred will not be covered.
    • If the insured has been given a terminal prognosis for a specified medical condition and travelling to receive treatment abroad, it will not be covered under a senior citizen travel insurance scheme.
    • If the country that you are travelling to faces a nuclear or war threat, your policy will not cover the related risks.
    • Theft or loss of unattended baggage, passport and if the loss is unreported to police, the losses will not be covered.

    Why do You Need Senior Citizen Travel Insurance?

    • Considering the probability that senior citizens are more prone to medical emergencies, it becomes absolutely essential for them to secure a travel insurance before an overseas trip.
    • Most of the people over 65 years have an pre-existing medical condition and if they fall sick or meets with an accident in a foreign country, that would make the health condition of that person rather frail than someone aged under 40 years.
    • Foreign climate and food might put extra stress on older people and worsen the health. Given the fact that the cost of medical treatment abroad is unaffordable, it would be a good idea to get a travel insurance plan .
    • Other features like cashless claim, medical concierge services and cover for missed flights and baggage will be of immense help to senior citizens who would otherwise feel lost in case of a sudden unforeseen event.

    How to Compare Senior Citizen Travel Insurance?

    Here are a few points that will help you compare and shortlist the best travel insurance schemes for senior citizens.

    • Sum Assured - Senior citizens must always opt for travel insurance policy with higher sum assurance as most of the medical treatments are very expensive abroad.
    • Medical Conditions - If you are a person over 65 years suffering from a pre-existing medical condition like diabetes, ortho problems and heart diseases, find a travel insurance plan that will offer pre-existing coverage. When you are comparing travel insurance plans, see if they offer coverage for pre-existing medical conditions if you are suffering from any or only for life threatening diseases.
    • Premium Costs - The cost of travel insurance premium is based on your travel destination, age of insured, coverage amount and other benefits that it offers. Compare travel insurance based on what features are available for the most affordable premium cost.
    • Other Benefits - See if your insurer is offering you facilities like cashless claims and hospitalization, overseas medical assistance, easy claims process, online renewal and automatic policy extensions. Such features will save you a lot of hassles.

    How to file a Claim for Senior Citizen Travel Insurance?

    The general claims process is as follows.

    • Contact your insurer by mail, fax or toll-free number to know more about how to file a claim for your incident that you have faced.
    • Your insurer will forward you a claims form and depending on your exigency, related documents will be asked for along with a duly filled claims form.
    • You will be required to send all documents through email or mail to your insurer. A surveyor will be appointed and your claims form will be processed accordingly.
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