SAVE ON TRAVEL INSURANCE: BUY BEFORE YOUR BIRTHDAY

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Getting old ain’t what it used to be, with travellers now visiting the farthest corners of the globe well into their 70s and 80s. With age playing a big part in determining the cost of travel insurance, seniors can often be startled by high premiums and excesses, trip duration limits, lower levels of coverage or not being able to find cover at all.

However, there is hope for grey nomads after all: buy your travel insurance before your birthday to bag yourself a bargain.

As it’s the age you are when you buy your travel insurance, not the age when you travel that determines your cover, getting in before your birthday can give you all the perks of younger age brackets – qualifying for cover, longer trips and very significant savings. Booking your cover early also means you get the most benefit from the cancellation cover built into your policy.

Natalie Ball, director of Travelinsurance.co.nz says,

“This little-known travel hack can often save travellers hundreds, regardless of which travel insurer they choose to go with. Insurance premiums can vary dramatically for those around the 65–70-year mark. If you are on the cusp of a big birthday, it pays to get in quick with your cover.”

“While we recommend all travellers organise their travel insurance as soon as they’ve booked flights, the more grey you have in your hair, the more you stand to save by getting your policy early.”

TIME TO MAKE SAVINGS

While both age and health come into play when factoring price, premiums also consider your destination, trip duration and any pre-existing condition/s.  Insurers typically price policies based on age brackets. Even if you’re just one year older than your fellow travellers, you may find yourself having to pay more as you've fallen into a riskier category. 

The good news is that travel insurers let you purchase your travel insurance policy up to a year before you’re due to depart. Ball says savvy travellers – particularly seniors – can exploit this to get a better price on their policy.

“While people in their 30s, 40s and 50s may be able to save a little, it’s seniors who can save a lot by getting in before their birthday.”

Want proof? Check out our modelling (current at 18/04/18 - prices may vary)

Case 1: Comprehensive Plus - 10 days in Fiji

Cost for 69-year-old

Cost for 70-year-old

Savings

$65

$98

$33

 


Case 2: Comprehensive Plus - 6 months in the USA

Cost for 69-year-old

Cost for 70-year-old

Savings

$1142

$1969

$827

 


 

Shave two years off your age

If you are 69 now, have a birthday approaching soon, and book your travel insurance a year in advance of your trip, you could be 71 years old on your holiday but pay the premium of someone two years younger. Wisdom really does come with age! 

Take the stress out of cancellation

There are more benefits to buying early than just saving your pennies. Buying your policy as soon you’ve booked your holiday means you are immediately covered for trip cancellation from that point, notes Ball.

“Booking early means that if you or a family member unexpectedly falls ill before your trip and you can no longer go, you’d have cancellation coverage for any flights or accommodation that won’t be refunded. If you try to book your travel insurance after something happens, you might end up out of pocket!”

Stay in it for the long haul

With TINZ, 69-year-olds can purchase a policy for up to 18 months, while people 70 and older can only travel for six, and no coverage is offered for people 75 and older – a very common age limit amongst travel insurance companies. Ball says that most insurers have age cut-offs, which can prove a challenge to adventurous seniors.

“Travel insurers price for risk, which can mean that senior travellers planning a long-awaited gap year can find extended cover hard to find. If you’re planning to travel, buying your insurance before your birthday can allow you to travel for longer, with the added bonus of extra spending money."

BE WARY OF LIMITS AND EXCESSES

Ball warns seniors to watch out for the excesses and any benefit limits that apply. Most insurers have a higher excess payable on medical claims for senior travellers, as well as reduced medical benefits.  However, this increased excess will usually only apply to medical events and not relate to luggage or travel delay claims.

ALWAYS READ THE FINE PRINT

"The devil really is in the detail when it comes to travel insurance, and the only way to stay on the right side of it is to know what you’re paying for. To understand seniors age restrictions, duration limits and excess increases, read the PDS and if you need anything clarified, call the insurer for complete peace of mind.”

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