The government is coming under pressure to examine the high price of travel insurance among older cruisers after a series of complaints from Cruise Passenger readers.

Cruise Passenger has sent stories to Age Discrimination Minister Kay Petterson after consumer advocate Adam Glezer of commented:  “This is an area that ought to be looked at.  People over the age of 55 are being priced out of being able to cruise due to the cost of insurance.”

A stream of reader comments have been arriving on the Cruise Passenger website complaining about the difficulty of getting insurance – and the high price.

“John” – not his real name – is typical.  A seasoned cruiser with 60 journeys under his belt, John and his wife are 76.

“Have spent some time this morning on the phone with Allianz who phoned back and have , I believe , cleared up all my questions  – but still have doubts. Cover More are $3,052 for a 28 day cruise around Australia & for the same itinerary Allianz are $1074…”

“I have several cruises now with Princess.  Our next one in October , a 28 days circumnavigation , will be a trial to see if we can continue cruising .

John said he had also been given a quote by Seniors Travel Insurance which came out at around $1800.

Sandy Dunlop also joined our debate, telling our readers she found  “Either no cover or ridiculous premium for 77 year old with no medical issues”

She told us she had searched for insurance and found “Some didn’t offer any cover for over 75, others ranged $400-800 for a 3 night domestic cruise”.

She says she is now going on a P&O cruise in November with insurance cover from Auspost she found on P&O’s Facebook page.

The issue was raised earlier this month when Cruise Passenger reader 76-year-old Steve Snell told us:  “At the moment I’m booked for a cruise on the Majestic (Princess), November 25, which has been cancelled and pushed back twice. I started looking into cruise COVID insurance and 1Cover which came up as $1062 for a 13-day trip to New Zealand.”

Interestingly, insurance companies can claim they are exempt from anti-discrimination laws if they can show that they would be unfair.

The ADA contains an exemption which provides that insurers may discriminate on the grounds of age in offering an insurance policy, or the terms or conditions upon which such a policy is offered, if certain conditions are satisfied. The conditions are satisfied if the discrimination is:

  • based upon actuarial or statistical data on which it is reasonable for the discriminator to rely; and
  • reasonable having regard to the matter of the data and other relevant factors; or
  • in a case where no such actuarial or statistical data is available, and cannot reasonably be obtained, reasonable having regard to any other relevant factors.[71]

So how much should you pay?

We compared the prices for a 60, 70 and 80-year-old; and also what the difference in cost would be if you chose to pay zero excess. The travel dates we chose were from September 25 to October 9, 2022.

Medibank Travel Insurance

Medibank International Comprehensive Single Trip travel insurance for a 60-year-old will cost $336.60 with the 15 per cent member discount applied and an excess of $100. You will be covered for unlimited overseas medical and hospital expenses, dental expenses up to $2,000, cancellation and amendment fees, luggage, loss of income, permanent disability and much more. The price decreases to $277.95. If you want an excess of zero then the premium goes up to $396.10.

The insurance premium for a 70-year-old increase to $584.80 with the same inclusions as above. If you choose an excess of $250 you will pay $476.85 for the policy. A policy with a zero excess will cost $674.90.

An 80-year-old can expect to pay $1,063.35 for the same policy. Selecting an excess of $250 drops the cost to $862.75. The price jumps to $1,229.95 if you don’t want to pay any excess if you make a claim.


A 60-year-old looking for comprehensive coverage through 1Cover will pay $167.06 for an insurance plan with an excess of $200. The policy includes unlimited overseas medical assistance and up to $1,000 for dental expenses, accidental death, hospital cash allowance, loss of income, luggage, cancellation and much more.

The premium for a 70-year-old goes up to $283.14 and jumps to $725.83 for an 80-year-old.

Southern Cross Travel Insurance

Southern Cross Travel Insurance sells a cruise policy to a 60-year-old with an excess of $100 for $313.89. You will be covered for medical and evacuation expenses, cancelling or changing your journey before departure, baggage and personal items, personal accident, cash and other important documents plus much more. The policy is available for $282.50 with an excess of $250 or $339 with no excess.

A 70-year-old will pay $436 with a $100 excess, $470.88 with no excess and $392.40 with an excess of $250.

Flight Centre

Flight Centre charges 60-year-old travellers $249 for a two-week comprehensive policy that will cover all your overseas medical expenses, up to $2,000 worth of overseas dental expenses, cancellation costs, luggage and travel documents, cash and much more. The premium drops to $204 if you opt for an excess of $100 and goes down even further to $186 if your excess is $250.

A 70-year-old will pay a premium of $336 with a zero excess, $274 for a $100 excess and $247 for a $250 excess.

Insurance costs much more for an 80-year-old. The premium prices jumps to $854 with an excess of zero, $688 with an excess of $100 and $615 with a $250 excess.

Zoom Travel Insurance

Unlike some of the other insurance providers, you’ll need to select the cruise option when you choose a plan from Zoom Travel Insurance.

Comprehensive cover for a 60-year-old, with an excess of $200 will cost $149.89 and includes unlimited medical and cancellation cover, luggage up to $7,500 and personal liability up to $5 million. You can buy add-ons such as a ski and snow sports pack, golf pack, high-value items and much more. If you do that will increase the cost of the insurance.

The premium for a 70-year-old increases to $206.54 and $642.46 for an 80-year-old.

Nib Travel Insurance

Comprehensive insurance through Nib will cost $422 for a 60-year-old with an excess if $250. The premium increases to $441.58 with an excess of $150. If you don’t want to pay any excess the premium is $513.39. Emergency travel arrangements and accommodation expenses, post-hospital accommodation, overseas medical expenses (including dental), hospital compensation, travel delay, luggage, replacement documents and much more are covered.

A 70-year-old will pay $799.95 with no excess, $700.20 with $150 excess or $673 with $250 excess.

Insurance for an 80-year-old is quite expensive. It will cost $1,444 with an excess of $250, $1495 with an excess of $150 or $1681.98 with no excess.

RACV Travel Insurance

When you get a quote from RACV Travel Insurance on their website you will need to select the cruise option. Comprehensive insurance for a 60-year-old will cost $254.11 with an excess of $250. The cost increases to $292.71 if you opt for a $100 excess and $346.09 if you don’t want to pay anything when you make a claim. You will be covered for unlimited overseas medical and dental expenses plus cancellation, luggage and limited COVID cover.

A 70-year-old will pay $630.74 with no out of pocket expenses, $571.45 for $100 excess and $528.72 with a $250 excess.

The price for an 80-year-old climbs to $860.56 with an excess of $250, $903.29 with a $100 excess and $$962.56 for no excess.