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Published: Jan 08, 2024 23 min read

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The best travel insurance for seniors — much like the best travel insurance companies overall — offers comprehensive trip protection, medical expenses and emergency evacuation coverage, and baggage protection if your luggage is stolen or lost.

Senior travelers may need more extensive medical coverage, especially for preexisting conditions, and our selection of travel insurance options for older people reflects this priority. Check out our top picks below.

Our Top Picks for Best Travel Insurance for Seniors

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Pros
  • Plans tailored to cruise travel
  • 24-hour emergency assistance
  • Trip cancellation coverage in case of bankruptcy or default of the travel supplier
Cons
  • Cancel for any reason only available with Luxury Cruise plan
  • No add-on coverage options

Why we chose it: We chose Nationwide because it offers travel insurance plans with exclusive benefits for cruise travel.

Nationwide stands out for offering three cruise travel insurance plans: Universal, Choice and Luxury. In addition to trip cancellation and medical coverage, all three plans include cruise-exclusive benefits such as missed connection coverage, shipboard service disruption coverage and prepaid excursion reimbursement.

The top-of-the-line Luxury plan provides the best coverage and benefit limits, including:

  • Up to $150,000 for medical expenses
  • $1 million maximum for emergency medical evacuation
  • Preexisting medical conditions waiver when you purchase insurance within 14 days of trip payment

The Choice plan includes:

  • A maximum of $100,000 for medical expenses
  • 100% trip cancellation coverage
  • 150% trip interruption coverage of non-refundable trip costs

The most basic plan – Universal – offers:

  • 100% trip cancellation coverage
  • 125% trip interruption coverage of non-refundable trip costs
  • $75,000 for accident or medical expenses

If you're concerned about unexpected incidents causing you to miss a prepaid excursion after your departure, Nationwide provides a prepaid excursion reimbursement of $250, $500 or $1,000, depending on the plan tier. This coverage applies to missed excursions due to fire, mechanical failures or other covered issues.

You may claim your trip cancellation or interruption coverage if inclement weather prevents you from reaching the cruise's point of departure or if you must work during the trip.

Pros
  • Easy enrollment for groups of 10 or more
  • 24/7 multilingual travel support
  • Optional sports and golf equipment rental up to $5,000
Cons
  • Preexisting conditions waiver only available with the Choice Trip Protection plan
  • Medical benefit maximum of $10,000 for people 80 and older

Why we chose it: We picked Seven Corners as the best option for group travel insurance because it offers both trip protection and medical-only insurance plans for groups of 10 or more.

Seven Corners offers comprehensive travel insurance for groups of 10 people or more. The Basic and Choice group plans make enrollment easier by allowing one group member to buy the insurance, rather than have each traveler enroll individually. You can choose between comprehensive trip protection plans or just medical coverage, with the option to customize one or more traveler’s coverage based on their individual needs. The comprehensive Basic and Choice plans include trip cancellation, bag delay and medical coverage.

The Basic plan provides a maximum medical coverage of $100,000, while Choice’s maximum is $500,000. These plans also offer trip cancellation, interruption and delay coverage, but where Seven Corner stands out is its add-ons. Specifically, the optional “cancellation for any reason” and “interruption for any reason” add-ons, which cover up to 75% of non-refundable trip costs.

Seven Corners’ travel medical plans are also called Basic and Choice. Both plans include trip interruption coverage up to $5,000. Older adults between the ages of 65 and 79 can choose between $50,000 or $100,000 for their maximum medical benefits. However, for people 80 or older, the medical benefit maximum is limited to $10,000.

With the medical plans, you can choose a deductible between $0 to $5,000. Seven Corners’ travel medical plans also offer coverage of adventure activities such as jet skiing, kayaking and surfing as an add-on.

Pros
  • Single trip or annual multi-trip plans
  • $500 pet kennel coverage maximum
  • Optional interruption for any reason coverage of up to 75% of trip costs
Cons
  • Annual plan not available for residents of Missouri, Montana, New York, Pennsylvania or Washington
  • Natural disaster evacuation coverage only available with the premium plan

Why we chose it: We selected Travel Insured International as the best multi-trip travel insurance for seniors because it offers frequent travelers an annual plan that includes trip protection and medical coverage that is valid on multiple trips.

If you plan on making several trips in the coming year, Travel Insured International’s annual multi-trip plan offers trip protection and medical coverage, saving you the hassle of having to purchase insurance for each trip.

The company offers $100,000 for accident and sickness expenses per trip and $100,000 for medical evacuations. The plan also allocates $2,500 per trip for bag loss or theft and has a trip delay benefit of $5,000 per trip ($200 per day) for delays of 12 hours or longer.

The cost of the base annual multi-trip plan is $94 a year and increases with any upgrades you add on. These can include:

  • Trip interruption - 150% of trip cost
  • Trip cancellation - 100% of trip cost
  • Cancel for any reason - 75% of trip cost
  • Medical evacuation benefit - $400,000
  • Rental car coverage - $50,000 per vehicle

If you’re looking for single-trip insurance, Travel Insurance International has two plans — Worldwide Trip Protector and Worldwide Trip Protector Edge. The lower-tier Edge plan has a maximum medical and sickness benefit of $10,000, while the higher tier offers $100,000.

In addition to offering the same coverage as the Edge plan, the top-tier Trip Protector plan offers an itinerary change benefit, a pet kennel benefit (in case of delays) and a natural disaster evacuation benefit of up to $150,000.

Pros
  • Worldwide access to health services via the mPassport app
  • 24/7 global medical assistance
  • Trip interruption coverage of up to 200% of tour cost
Cons
  • Some plans require travelers to have an existing primary health plan
  • Dental care benefit of $500 is lower than the industry average
  • Cancel for any reason not available to New York or Washington residents

Why we chose it: We picked HTH Travel Insurance as the best medical coverage travel insurance because it includes full coverage for doctor visits, diagnostics labs and X-rays.

HTH Travel Insurance offers two travel medical insurance plans — one for travelers with a primary health insurance plan and one for travelers who don’t have health insurance. Both plans allow customers to choose between four medical benefit options ($50,000, $100,000, $500,000 or $1,000,000) and four deductible options ($0, $100, $250 or $500).

The plan for travelers with primary health insurance includes:

  • 100% coverage for medical services such as doctor visits, labs and X-rays
  • 100% in-patient services such as prescription drugs and ambulatory surgery
  • Up to $500 for dental care
  • $500,000 maximum for medical evacuations

For travelers who don’t have primary health insurance, the plan covers:

  • 100% coverage for medical services such as doctor visits, labs and X-rays
  • 100% in-patient services such as ambulatory surgery
  • Up to $300 for dental care
  • 50% coverage for prescription drugs
  • $500,000 maximum for medical evacuations

A highlight of this plan is that it includes a benefit of up to $25,000 for hazardous activities, which covers skiing or scuba diving accidents.

Besides travel medical coverage, HTH Travel Insurance offers three trip protection plans — TripProtector Economy, TripProtector Classic and TripProtector Preferred. All three plans include trip cancellation, trip delay and trip interruption coverage. The trip interruption coverage covers up to 200% of trip costs, the highest percentage out of all the companies on our list. These plans also offer emergency medical coverage up to $75,000 in the Economy plan, $250,000 in the Classic plan and $500,000 in the Preferred plan.

Pros
  • Dental coverage limit of up to $1,000
  • Plans for airline and cruise travel
  • Up to $500,000 in primary medical coverage available
Cons
  • Budget plan offers secondary medical coverage
  • "Cancel for any reason" add-on is only available on one plan
  • Limited add-on options

Why we chose it: IMG Travel Insurance offers comprehensive travel insurance and excellent health care benefits that include $1,000 in dental coverage with every plan. This dental limit is somewhat of a rarity, as most of the plans we surveyed cap dental coverage at $750.

IMG Travel Insurance sells plans for both airline and cruise travel, as well as plans tailored to adventure sports enthusiasts and budget-conscious travelers who just need the essentials.

All of its travel insurance plans cover up to $1,000 for dental injuries abroad (like infections or broken teeth) as well as take-home prescriptions and supplies.

IMG's most popular plan, iTravel Insured SE, is a great for senior travelers who want comprehensive coverage through benefits such as:

  • A $250,000 per person maximum for medical expenses
  • A $500,000 per person maximum for emergency evacuation and repatriation
  • Up to $1,500 in baggage and personal effects coverage with a per-item maximum of $250
  • Rental car damage and theft coverage at no extra cost

On the other hand, those looking for added peace of mind may consider the iTravel Insured LX plan. It features IMG's highest possible coverage for each category: $500,000 per person for medical expenses, $1,000,000 for expatriation and emergency evacuation and $500,000 per person for baggage and personal effects, with a per-item maximum of $250.

This plan is great for pet owners as well — you'll qualify for trip cancellation or trip interruption if your pet gets sick or injured and you need to delay the trip or return home early. The policy also covers up to $500 for additional pet kennel expenses if your return is delayed.

All of IMG's insurance plans offer round-the-clock non-insurance services, including but not limited to:

  • Emergency cash transfers
  • Medical referrals
  • Help with lost passports or travel documents
  • Emergency translation services
  • Embassy or consulate referrals

Pros
  • Fully digital claims process
  • Mobile app delivers travel updates regarding flight delays, gate changes and baggage claim
  • Add-ons for pet care and adventure sports
Cons
  • Some benefits aren't available in every state
  • Doesn't sell policies through popular insurance marketplaces

Why we chose it: Faye travel insurance offers a highly customizable travel insurance product with a fully digital claims and reimbursement process, supported by a user-friendly webpage and a mobile app to manage your policy on the go.

Faye Travel Insurance streamlines the process of buying travel insurance through its digital platforms. Older travelers comfortable with technology can purchase and manage their policy and file claims through the mobile app, with the option to chat with a live representative 24/7.

Another standout feature is Faye Wallet, a digital wallet within the Faye app that connects to your Google Pay or Apple Pay accounts for a faster reimbursement.

Faye's international travel insurance covers health-related expenses, trip cancellation (up to 100% of trip costs), trip interruption (up to 150% of trip costs) and baggage loss or damage (up to $2,000 with $150 per-item limit). Trip protection also includes coverage for inconveniences such as delays at security check-in or expenses incurred if you arrive late to the hotel due to an eligible reason.

Medical benefits include up to $250,000 for medical expenses and $500,000 if you must be transported to another medical facility or back to your home country. Non-medical emergency evacuations are also covered up to $100,000 in the event of political unrest or an unforeseen natural disaster.

You can further customize this travel plan with the following add-ons:

  • Veterinary expenses and kennel costs for companion or service pets traveling with you
  • Rental car damage and theft
  • Coverage for travel inconveniences such as closed attractions or inclement weather
  • Cancel for any reason add-on up to two days prior to departure
  • Adventure and extreme sports, regardless of age
  • Repairs and replacement costs if you accidentally damage a rental you're staying in

Pros
  • Travel delays are eligible for coverage after just three hours
  • Preexisting conditions waiver on all plans
  • "Cancel for any reason" add-on available on all plans
Cons
  • Baggage delay benefit requires a 12-hour delay
  • No mobile app support
  • No concierge services for non-emergency travel needs

Why we chose it: We selected John Hancock Travel as the best travel insurance for trip delays because policyholders can file a trip delay claim if their travels are delayed for as little as three to six hours.

While most insurers require that you wait 12 hours or more for trip delay coverage — especially if you purchase a budget plan — all three of John Hancock's travel insurance options offer solid trip delay coverage for short delays.

The Gold plan can reimburse you up to $1,000 ($200 per day) if your travels are delayed for three hours or more. The Silver plan, on the other hand, can reimburse up to $750 ($150 per day) with the same time requirements. Lastly, the Bronze plan offers the lowest coverage limit ($500) and has a slightly longer minimum delay requirement of six hours.

John Hancock's trip protection includes trip cancellation insurance, trip interruption, missed connections and airline ticket change fees. There's also coverage for expenses incurred if your traveling companion delays, interrupts or cancels their travel plans and you still go through with the trip. Benefits for luggage and personal property range from $750 to $2,500, depending on your chosen plan.

The insurer offers competitive medical expenses coverage as well, as you can see below:

  • Bronze: $50,000 for medical expenses/ $250,000 for emergency medical evacuation
  • Silver: $100,000 for medical expenses/ $500,000 for emergency medical evacuation
  • Gold: $250,000 for medical expenses/ $1,000,000 for emergency medical evacuation

Finally, policyholders can upgrade any of John Hancock's travel insurance plans with these add-ons:

  • "Cancel for any reason"
  • Rental car collision
  • In-flight accidental death & dismemberment

Pros
  • Option to increase baggage coverage to $4,000
  • Travel delay coverage after just five hours
  • Choice of 75% or 50% "cancel for any reason" coverage
Cons
  • No primary medical coverage in budget plan
  • Trip interruption for any reason covers only 50% of expenses

Why we chose it: WorldTrips stands out for its supplemental coverage options. Policyholders can upgrade the basic travel insurance plan with over 10 add-ons and add new covered events to boost their coverage.

WorldTrips travel insurance offers travelers of all ages three plan options, Premier, Preferred and Economy. Customers can enhance any plan with upgrades such as:

  • "Cancel for any reason"
  • Adventure sports coverage
  • Rental car coverage
  • Pet care and destination weddings coverage
  • Increased stolen and lost baggage protection
  • Rental accommodations coverage if you encounter inconveniences at the place you originally booked

We found that the best plan for older travelers is the Premier plan due to its high medical expenses and emergency medical evacuation coverage:

  • $150,000 for medical expenses
  • $1,000,000 for emergency evacuation and repatriation

The Preferred plan offers secondary medical coverage up to $100,000 and $1,000,000 for emergency evacuation and repatriation. You can, however, pay an additional $7 to make this coverage your primary health insurance plan while traveling.

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Other insurance companies we considered

Our top picks feature companies that combine great trip protection benefits with high medical coverage to suit the needs of older travelers. Many companies met this criteria, yet some fell short in other aspects, such as trip and baggage delay coverage and the number of add-ons and upgrades available.

The following companies didn't make it to our top picks, but they are still worth considering if the coverage and benefits suit your traveling needs. Read our full reviews to learn more:

Company

Trip cancellation coverage

Trip interruption coverage

Primary medical coverage

"Cancel for any reason" coverage

Waiver for preexisting health conditions

Baggage maximum/per item limit

100%

125 to 150%

$75,000

N/A

Yes

$2,000 per insured

N/A

$1,000 per trip period

$1,000,000

N/A

Yes

$500/ $100

100%

100 to 150%

$50,000

75% 

Yes

$2,000/ $250

100%

100 to 175%

$250,000

60%

Yes

$2,000 per person

100%

150%

$500,000

75%

Yes

$500/$100

100%

100 to 150%

$500,000

75%

Yes

$200/ $100

100%

100%

$100,000

75%

Yes

$2,500/$300

100%

100%

$50,000

75%

Yes

$1,000/$250

100%

100 to 150%

$250,000

50%

Yes

$2,5000/$250 

100%

100 to 150%

$250,000

75%

Yes

$3,000/$500

Travel Insurance for Seniors Guide

What is senior travel insurance?

Travel insurance for seniors is the same as travel insurance for any other age group, but there are some considerations for individuals aged 65 and above. Older adults should make sure their travel insurance includes a minimum of $100,000 in medical coverage and provides a waiver of preexisting conditions. The policy should also include trip interruption and cancellation benefits that cover 100% of trip costs.

Additionally, an ideal travel insurance plan for seniors includes a $500 bag delay benefit in case your airline misplaces your bag or puts it on a later flight to your destination. Seniors should also consider the policy's baggage loss benefit. An acceptable minimum benefit is $500.

Is there an age limit for travel insurance?

While travel insurance doesn’t have an age limit, some providers might impose restrictions or limits on medical coverage and other benefits based on the traveler’s age.

Seniors should note there’s a time limit for when one can get a preexisting conditions waiver. Insurance providers often require individuals to select the waiver (and purchase their policy) within 14 days of making their initial trip deposit.

How to get travel insurance as a senior

Before purchasing travel insurance, it’s important you take stock of your coverage needs. If you’re interested in a preexisting conditions waiver, make sure you follow the steps below before or within 14 days of your initial trip deposit, because insurers only offer it during this short window.

Read on for a breakdown of the steps to get travel insurance.

1. Assess your travel insurance coverage needs

Take into account any health conditions or specific needs you may have, as well as activities and plans you intend to engage in during your trip. You should also evaluate what coverage you think you may need given where you’re going.

For example, international travelers should look for a plan with medical coverage, as domestic health insurance doesn’t cover you when traveling abroad. Domestic travelers, in turn, can focus their search for coverage that reimburses any prepaid trip costs (airfare, hotel, excursions, etc.) if an emergency forces you to cancel or interrupt your trip.

2. Research travel insurance companies

Browse providers and the coverage offered. In particular, look into the provider’s benefits for medical expenses, bag delay or loss, trip cancellation or interruption and medical evacuation. These benefits focus on protecting yourself in case of an emergency and your belongings in case of loss or damage.

3. Request and compare travel insurance quotes

Once you've researched companies, request a quote from each that meets your needs and review the plan documents, paying close attention to the policy's fine print. Then, compare each coverage option to learn if the policies include the specific benefits and limits you want.

4. Declare any preexisting conditions during the application process

Next, disclose any preexisting condition to the provider to make sure that you’ll be covered if you experience flare-ups or an emergency related to the condition. Companies don’t consider a stable condition or illness like asthma as preexisting.

For travel insurance providers, a preexisting condition is an injury, illness or condition that led you to seek a medical diagnosis or treatment during what companies call a lookback period. This period is often between 60 to 90 days prior to the policy's effective date, but can go back six months.

5. Carefully read policy details and understand conditions and exclusions

Read the plan documents closely to ensure the policy aligns with your needs. As companies have strict definitions of coverage, you’ll want to make sure that you understand exactly what’s covered and how to properly use benefits when needed. Learning about the policy will also help you make a well-informed decision.

6. Purchase the travel insurance policy that works for you

Once you’ve done your research and selected the policy that’s best for you, proceed to purchase it. Don’t forget to select the preexisting conditions waiver add-on if it’s something you want.

Travel Insurance for Seniors FAQs

How much does travel insurance cost for seniors?

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Travel insurance costs can vary widely. We surveyed 20 travel insurance companies and found that premiums for two seniors traveling to Spain for two weeks ranged from $150 to $630. Costs vary based on the plan you chose and what it covers. The plans with the highest coverage limits for medical expenses, personal property and trip protection had the highest price tag.

Does Medicare cover me when I travel overseas?

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Medicare typically doesn't cover medical treatment outside the U.S., except in very specific situations. It may cover inpatient hospital, doctor and ambulance services abroad if immediate medical care is needed and the nearest hospital equipped to offer adequate treatment is a foreign facility.

Does travel insurance cover preexisting medical conditions?

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Travel insurance covers preexisting medical issues, if you meet the requirements. You'll need to purchase the policy within 14 to 21 days (the actual number varies per insurer) after you make the first deposit towards your trip — this typically refers to flight reservations. A handful of companies require you to purchase coverage even sooner — up to 24 hours after the initial trip purchase.

Travel insurance will exclude preexisting conditions if you don't purchase the policy within the stipulated time frame. This means that any medical conditions present anywhere from 60 to 180 days before the policy's activation are excluded.

How We Chose the Best Travel Insurance for Seniors

We gathered sample quotes from 20 travel insurance companies using the following profile:

  • Two travelers aged 65 and 70
  • State of residence: Florida
  • Destination: Spain
  • Trip length: Two weeks
  • Combined trip cost: $4,225

We then reviewed the benefits of each plan option and selected the best insurance providers based on the following metrics:

  • Age restrictions: Our top picks insure travelers up to 99 years of age.
  • Medical expenses coverage: Our top picks offer at least one plan option that covers $100,000+ for medical expenses and $500,000+ for emergency evacuation and repatriation of remains.
  • Travel delay coverage: Delays are common in air travel, and waiting hours to file a claim is highly inconvenient. We prioritized insurers with low minimum delay times and excluded those requiring that the delay be at least 12 hours before accepting a claim.
  • Baggage delay coverage: Luggage delay is another common mishap during air travel. When this happens, you want to be able to file a claim as soon as possible. We included providers that didn't make you wait any longer than 12 hours to file a baggage delay claim and skipped those that required travelers to wait as long as 24 hours to file for remuneration.
  • Baggage loss or theft: Our top picks offer at least one plan option or upgrade that covers baggage loss or theft for up to $1,000 or higher.
  • Trip cancellation and trip interruption: Our top picks cover 100% of prepaid, non-refundable travel expenses in case you need to cancel your trip as well as 100% to 175% of these expenses if your trip is cut short.
  • Add-ons: We took special note of add-ons such as CFAR (cancel for any reason), adventure sports and car rental collision coverage as well as upgrades to existing coverage levels.
  • Non-insurance services: We favored insurers that offer additional services and travel assistance for inconveniences and emergencies that can take place during a trip, including multilingual translation and concierge services.

Summary of Money's Best Travel Insurance for Seniors