At CIS, we understand that seniors travelling to the U.S. for business or pleasure, are primarily concerned about their health and well-being. Travel insurance for seniors visiting the U.S. needs to have strong coverage for medical costs in case of an emergency alongside the usual travel coverages for trip interruption, lost baggage, and trip cancellation. CIS brokers are knowledgable about the needs of a senior travelling abroad. They can work with you to ensure that your policy takes care of all the things that matter, so you can focus on enjoying your time away from home. When you compare travel insurance policies, there are a few key questions you need to consider.

Compare Travel Insurance: Overall, how is your health?

Before you travel, you should consider the overall state of your health. One of the primary coverage concerns when you compare travel insurance is to consider the options for health coverage. The U.S. healthcare system is extremely expensive. A single hospital visit can leave you with a bill that costs hundreds or even thousands of dollars. If you have a serious emergency that requires complex or intensive care, then your hospital bill in the U.S. can cost you tens of thousands of dollars.   

For seniors travelling to the U.S., pre-existing medical conditions must be disclosed to your insurance company prior to travel. For insurance companies to cover a pre-existing medical condition, they will include a stability clause in the policy. This means that for a specified period of time (usually 15+ days) prior to travel, you cannot have any changes to your medical condition, begin regularly taking often prescribed medication, or have any new symptoms or conditions that affect your health. When you compare travel insurance policies, make sure that your policy includes compassion and change of health clauses. A compassion clause states that anything said inaccurately may not void the entire policy. 

If you are seeking the best Canadian travel insurance for seniors, then your policy should also include emergency repatriation coverage, and coverages for taking care of things that you cannot handle in an emergency. Emergency repatriation will cover the expenses of bringing you back to Canada when necessary in the event of an emergency medical situation. One thing you might need covered is the travel and out-of-pocket expenses for a relative to get to your bedside if you are in a U.S. hospital for more than seven days. You should check if your insurance plan also covers meals and accommodation if your return to Canada is delayed by a medical emergency Or, if you were travelling in a vehicle that you own and you are sent back to Canada, then having coverage for a driver service to bring the vehicle back to you would be a great help.

What is the best travel insurance for your trip itinerary?

When looking for the best travel insurance for your needs, you must know what you plan to do in the U.S. Are you a snowbird, going down south for an extended stay? Will you be staying in one state, or travelling around the country? If you are travelling, will you be renting a vehicle, flying, or moving around in an RV?

The best travel insurance not only covers your emergency medical care, but takes into account the risks that travelling can bring, including the sudden interruption or cancellation of a trip due to unforeseen issues, or the potential loss of your luggage while moving around. When you speak to a broker about your travel insurance and you know you will be moving frequently, then it is also a good idea to talk to them about coverage in case you rent a vehicle, or if you plan on using a vehicle that you own. A trip from Toronto, Richmond Hill, Brampton, or elsewhere in the GTA or Ontario, to anywhere in the U.S. can be long, and many things can happen on the way. Often, travel insurance will not cover vehicles or vehicle-related risks, so it is best to know what you plan to do and check your auto insurance coverage before you make your trip. 

If you are someone who plans to make frequent trips to the U.S. or is planning to stay for more than 30 days, then there are policies available to fit your needs. For multi-trip or extended stay travellers, the best travel insurance plans can offer coverages that make sense for your travel needs, and can be more affordable than making repeated purchases of a single-trip plan. Depending on the plan, annual multi-trip plans usually provide coverage over the whole year with specified time limits for each trip (30, 45, 60, or 60+days).

Access to Funds outside of Ontario

No matter how long you are in the U.S. for, you will need access to your funds. A senior travelling to the U.S. should consider their options for cross-border banking, foreign exchange rates, and travel credit cards. The U.S. dollar is valued higher than the Canadian dollar which means you will need to spend more Canadian dollars to buy less American dollars. When travelling you will need to account for the expense of exchanging your currency, and consider whether the card or bank services that you use are charging fair transaction rates for currency exchanges.  

Is my home protected while I’m gone?

Travel insurance only covers the needs of a traveller taking a trip. Before you leave on your trip, you need to take care of a few things. If you are a snowbird living somewhere like Toronto, Brampton, Mississauga, Richmond Hill, or elsewhere in Ontario, then you should check to make sure that your home is protected for the winter without you. Have you turned off water flow to outside pipes? Does your home insurance policy include contents coverage in case of theft or accidents? Have you unplugged appliances or electronics that aren’t going to be used? You should even consider changing the timing on your thermostats – if you are not home, then you can save some money on your energy bill by setting your furnace to come on less frequently, or even by setting the temperature lower.

Even if your trip is for a short time, you should have a friend or family member drop by your home every few days to check on things, to water your plants, or to shovel your sidewalks after snowfall. If you are not taking your pets with you, you need to find care for them as well.    

The best Canadian travel insurance for seniors

A trip can be eventful, satisfying, and fun. Travel should be as stress-free as possible. The best Canadian travel insurance for seniors is a plan that covers a variety of needs and includes strong emergency health care coverage. It is always important to take care of the things you leave behind when you go abroad. For seniors travelling to the U.S., your travel insurance must put your health first.When you speak to a CIS travel insurance broker, you can best plan for the coverage that you need during your trip to the U.S.