Seniors are making changes to what their travel insurance covers. Here's what you should know

Photo (c) Anchiy - Getty Images

Airline delay coverage is getting a lot of attention

Don’t expect to see grandma and gramps much this year. After dropping from nearly 50% of all travelers in 2019 to 16% in COVID-ridden 2020, people aged 60-plus seem to be buying up all the trips they can.

According to statistics from travel insurance marketplace, the share of seniors hitting the road has risen by 125% and now account for the largest travel demographic for the first time since the start of the pandemic – double those 50-59 and nearly double those 35-49.

And with that, what those consumers want from a travel insurance policy is changing, too. Not only do the insurance companies have to address health issues that COVID-19 may have created, but older travelers are looking for assurances that their trip insurance will cover everything that’s especially important to them. 

Topping the list these days are more searches by seniors for policies with medical coverage. Seniors remain the most concerned demographic when it comes to contracting COVID-19 while traveling, despite a 21% drop in searches for COVID-related coverage over the past year.

What things are other seniors looking for in their travel insurance?

ConsumerAffairs asked Squaremouth’s analysts to dig into its study a little deeper to find out specifically what seniors are looking for in travel insurance so their demographic peers could have a better idea of what to look for.

The biggest increase in the types of searches is for Cruise insurance – up 76% year over year. Logging a 45% uptick from 2022 are popular medical-related benefits – Emergency Medical, Medical Evac, Pre-Existing Condition and Primary Medical. Next on the checklist of coverages is a 20% increase in searches for Travel Delays -- which, in a situation like Southwest's recent cancellation downfall, may have covered some parts of a person's trip.

Overall, Squaremouth’s total searches break out like this for seniors:

  • Contracting COVID-19: 30.18%
  • Emergency Medical: 17.50%
  • Medical Evacuation: 13.90%
  • Trip Interruption: 13.73%
  • Cancel for Any Reason: 11.36%
  • Pre-Existing Condition Coverage: 8.92%
  • Primary Medical: 8.55%
  • Travel Delay: 8.32%
  • Quarantine Coverage: 6.29%
  • Cruise: 6.28%

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