What to know before buying travel insurance for senior citizens?

With globalization, several young Indian citizens are moving abroad in search of a better lifestyle, income, and facilities. However, the older generation is keen to stay back in the country, sticking to their roots. According to a UN report on International migrant numbers, India’s population living abroad is the largest in the world with an estimated 16 million people living outside India in 2015. Looking at these figures, one can estimate the increased number of senior-citizen parents who must be visiting their loved ones abroad. Moreover, those who are travel enthusiasts will not be deterred by age! They would wish to visit their dream destinations after retirement if they did not find time during young age.
But, imagine a 70-year old man who accidentally lost his passport while travelling. He would be clueless and after such a long journey, would not have the strength to fulfill the enquiry procedure. In order to secure your parents from all such unfavourable situations, it is better to avail a travel insurance policy that is specially designed for them considering their special needs.
  
The premium of such policies depends on the duration and place of stay of the concerned individual.  Also, the age limit of such plans starts from a higher age (60-70 years) than a normal travel insurance policy. The coverage for senior citizen travel insurance plans is unique and before one chooses any such policy, here are some of the features one should be aware of:
1   1.     Common coverage:
Like a normal travel insurance plan, a senior-citizen travel insurance policy also covers the costs of:
·         Lost baggage
·         Medical evacuation
·         Trip cancellation/delay
·         Lost personal belongings like passport
All the above situations can be stressful for a senior citizen. It can be difficult for him to manage things in such situations in the absence of a travel insurance policy or assistance. Also, people who have retired might not have sufficient amount of money to bear the loss of a huge amount of money that was spent for a trip which was cancelled at the last minute due to personal reasons. 

2   2.     Medical coverage:
Medical coverage can be of critical importance for senior citizens. Firstly, they are more vulnerable to illnesses due to their age. Secondly, most people in higher age bracket might be suffering from pre-existing diseases like heart problems which might aggravate in a different climate or due to different diet.
For senior citizens, medical illnesses might aggravate in a different climate so, one must consider taking insurance for the same. The insurance cover includes cashless hospitalisation which can make the process less hectic for the concerned person. It should also be noted that medical coverage in such plans is offered in foreign currency and the premium paid is in the Indian currency. For example, a travel insurance plan might cover loss or medical emergency worth USD 50,000, but the premium will be lower as it is in the Indian currency.

3   3.     Transfer of repatriation remains:
Although this can be very unfortunate, in the case of an accident in a foreign nation, a senior citizen is likely to suffer more and might even face death. The decrease in immunity of the body in old age also aggravates such cases. In the case of death, a travel insurance policy offers the facility of transferring the remains to the home country of a senior citizen.

4   4.     Covers the travel expenses of a family member:
In case a senior citizen is hospitalized for a considerable period of time, the travel insurance will also cover the travel expenses of a close one who is coming to take care of the policyholder.

5   5.     Exclusions:
A senior-citizen travel insurance plan might also have certain exclusions which must be kept in mind:
ü  Some pre-existing illnesses might not be covered in the plan. So, one should check the policy document and opt for a policy that offers the coverage of the required illness
ü  Diseases that are related to mental disorder, suicide attempt or anxiety and depression are not covered under the policy
ü  There might be certain sub-limits and waiting period clauses attached. For example, one must avoid taking a policy that has a per illness limit. If the limit is Rs 10,000 per illness, expenses up to this limit will only be covered. Rest need to be borne personally
ü  Theft or loss of unattended baggage will not be covered

Thus, before availing a travel insurance plan for your parents  and loved ones, check what is covered and not covered in the policy in detail to select the best policy suited to your requirements.

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