Living until age 90 and beyond was unheard of a few generations ago, never mind thriving at this age. However, that is exactly what many people over 90 are doing. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, more than 4,250 of the country’s population has even reached triple digits. Some of the reasons for the increased longevity in Australia include:
- Health advancements
- Improved control of sewer systems
- Better control of long-term and communicable diseases
- Access to clean water
- Better understanding of the impact of lifestyle choices
- Safer prescription drugs
In even better news, the Australian Bureau of Statistics predicts that the number of people reaching the century mark will increase by nine times by the year 2050. With improved health in the ninth decade of life and more disposable income than they had earlier, people in this age group are prepared to go on holiday both here and abroad. Having a trip to look forward to allows the oldest of Australians to retain a positive outlook on life, a necessary ingredient for longevity.
Why Travel Insurance for Over 90’s is a Good Idea
Despite enjoying better health overall than the senior population of a generation ago, things can and do go wrong for travellers above age 90. They may fall and break a leg, rendering them unable to walk normally for months. Illnesses, emergencies in the family, and even a change of heart about going on holiday can cause Australian travellers to lose a lot of money. That is because many hotels, airlines, cruises, bus tours, and other travel-related businesses require money upfront to hold the traveller’s spot. Unfortunately, these deposits are often non-refundable.
People who buy travel insurance for over 90’s have protection against such things as severe weather postponing a trip, a health crisis, or missing a connecting flight. However, finding a travel insurance organisation willing to sell a policy to someone aged 90 to 99 isn’t always easy. Some agencies deny older travellers based only on their age category or charge such high rates that the 90-something individual can no longer afford the trip.
Common Health Conditions Travel Insurance Underwriters Look for in the Elderly
When a travel underwriter reviews an application for seniors travel insurance for the over 90’s, he or she looks for health issues that make it more likely the applicant would file a claim. For example, evidence of memory impairment could manifest itself in several ways. The traveller could lose an airline ticket or forget the dates of the trip, thereby missing going on holiday altogether. Cognitive decline could also present problems while travelling, such as forgetting to take necessary precautions to stay safe in an unfamiliar environment.
Some other possible conditions that may cause an underwriter to take notice include:
- Vision disturbances: Common vision-related problems at age 90 and above include macular degeneration and cataracts, both of which can make it challenging to remain safe while on holiday.
- Heart disease: Nine out of 10 people who die of cardiovascular disease across the world are over age 65. As with other serious health conditions, age only increases the likelihood that a person will succumb to it. A heart attack while travelling would be quite costly for an insurance company to cover.
- Cancer: Elderly individuals have a much higher incidence of breast, prostate, and colon cancer. Those who are actively receiving chemotherapy and other treatments may pose a higher risk to insurers.
These are just a handful of potential health problems that could make it challenging for people over age 90 to get affordable travel insurance. However, many organisations go out of the way to work with applicants to help them get approved.