In the midst of an unpredictable global landscape, countries are enforcing a number of safety precautions in order to reopen their borders in a responsible manner. For some countries (and also for some cruise lines), this means mandatory quarantines or even providing proof of vaccinations. For many others, they’re requiring travelers to purchase travel medical insurance with specific coverage for COVID-19 costs, quarantine, etc.
Even if countries aren’t requiring insurance, many individuals are still opting to purchase travel insurance for coverage related to trip cancellation and lost baggage, medical evacuation, coverage against natural disasters, and other medical benefits. This is especially true of travelers who are 50 years and older or for those with medical conditions. For older travelers, the peace of mind and security that travel medical insurance provides is one of the biggest benefits that comes along with an insurance policy.
However, senior travelers often wonder where they can find the best policies to fit their needs. One place many travelers turn to is AARP.
What is AARP?
AARP (the American Association of Retired Persons) is a paid membership group that offers benefits ranging from discounts, insurance products and low insurance rates, healthcare options, education, and a number of learning resources. The organization is also known for its numerous AARP travel discounts, such as discounts on hotels, car rentals, flights, cruises and more.
Although the membership is intended for those over 50 years old, an often overlooked fact is that anybody (regardless of age) is able to join the organization. This means anybody can take advantage of AARP discounts.
Does AARP Have Travel Insurance?
Although AARP offers certain types of insurance (domestic health insurance, home insurance, car insurance and life insurance), they don’t actually offer AARP travel insurance. Instead, they aim to offer their customers a number of resources to help them find the right policy for their needs.
This ranges from destination guides, travel tips, and general advice for choosing a travel insurance policy. Many travel advice articles encourage travelers to compare policies from a number of providers to see how well those policies cover an individual’s specific needs.
For example, if a traveler wants to participate in high-risk activities, they should consider a plan with an Adventure Sports add-on. Travelers who have more flexible travel dates might not need to add additional cancellation coverage to their policy, while those with less flexibility might benefit from a Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) add-on. Those who enjoy going on cruises for vacation should consider cruise insurance. Likewise, AARP encourages travelers to consider things like Covid coverage and emergency evacuation coverage.
What are the Benefits of Travel Insurance?
Travel insurance policies that offer Covid coverage generally won’t cover you in the event of a mandatory quarantine issued by a destination in the absence of a positive PCR test. If you’re visiting somewhere that requires a mandatory quarantine regardless of vaccination status or test result, you'll be required to pay for those costs on your own. If you happen to test positive for Covid while you’re traveling, your travel insurance will apply, but will only cover the costs related to Covid.
Which Travel Medical Plans Cover Quarantine?
No matter where you are and how old you are, unexpected incidents can happen out of the blue, which is why it’s so important to be prepared. Travel medical insurance offers coverage for high medical bills in the event of an unexpected injury, illness or accident outside of your home country. Specifically, travel insurance covers:
- Illnesses (including Covid)
- Injuries on foreign soil
- Accidents requiring medical attention
- Trip cancellation or interruption
- Loss of passport or wallet
- Lost luggage
- Emergency evacuation
This coverage is especially important for seniors. In general, the older a person gets, the higher their risk of injury or illness. Not only that, but many insurance companies are reluctant to give higher policy maximums and flexible benefits to older individuals, especially those over 70. However, excellent travel medical insurance options for older people do exist. Utilizing a company like VisitorsCoverage, travelers are able to compare plans side by side and customize plans based on individual needs, which is the best way for seniors to purchase a plan tailored to them.
What are the Best Travel Insurance Plans for Seniors?
For senior travelers, GlobeHopper Senior is an excellent solution for travel insurance. GlobeHopper Senior is a comprehensive insurance policy, meaning that it will pay 100% of in-network expenses after the deductible is met. This insurance plan offers coverage for acute onset of pre-existing conditions. However, this plan excludes Covid specific benefits.
Patriot International is also a great option. Patriot International provides comprehensive coverage, includes acute onset of preexisting conditions coverage for travelers, and also offers Covid coverage.
Although AARP doesn’t offer their own travel insurance policies, they do provide resources and recommendations to help their customers select plans that are the best fit for their individual needs. Traveling can be incredibly rewarding, but it also comes with an element of risk. Travelers can become ill or injured at any time, no matter where they are. Because of this, purchasing travel insurance helps provide the security and peace of mind that will allow travelers to have the trip of a lifetime no matter where they’re going.