Can I Buy AMAC Travel Insurance? - Review
AMAC is rapidly becoming one of the largest member organizations in the USA. It offers fantastic rewards and benefits to its member base. And yet, you cannot buy AMAC Travel Insurance. This may seem strange, but AMAC has done a fantastic job in encouraging its members to search for Travel Insurance from multiple Trip Insurance Carriers so as to maximize the value for the AMAC member.
Now, it may seem logical that a Member Organization would look to serve the interests of its Members, but many do not. AAA is a well-known organization that serves a Member Base very similar to AMAC. Indeed many AMAC Members will also carry AAA cards.
Yet, AAA actively promotes only one, high-priced travel insurance carrier in order, it seems, to maximize AAA profitability. AMAC Members, on the other hand, are encouraged to shop in a Travel Insurance Marketplace, like AARDY, so as to get best value.
Prices for Travel Insurance will vary, but we should expect to pay around 4% - 8% of our trip costs. Factors that impact the cost of Travel Insurance are:
- Trip Length
- Passenger Age
- Trip Cost
- Coverage Levels
In the course of this article we will provide an overview of each of these factors so as to ensure that the best Travel Insurance cover is selected at the best price. An AMAC Travel Insurance, if we could build it correctly, would offer best value for money for our Member.
Trip Insurance – Trip Length
Travel Insurance can be thought of as an extension of the types of insurance that we have at home. Most AMAC Members will have cover that protects their possessions, some life insurance, and medical insurance. Clearly, when on the road, we would like Trip Protection Cover to offer similar benefits to that which we have at home.
The longer we are away on our trip, the more expensive the trip insurance will be. Please remember to always state your dates of travel as door-to-door. As in, the date you leave your home, to the date you return.
Frequently, cruise travelers state their travel dates with reference to their dates of embarkation and disembarkation. This is wrong – please include the time it takes to get from your home and back again as well.
As we get older, our Travel Insurance rates increase. We are interested in the age of travelers when they book their travel insurance policy, rather than when they are actually going on the trip. Sometimes this is helpful – particularly if the Travel Insurance is being booked a long time in advance.
If looking for a quote for AMAC Travel Insurance, we are going to need to know the trip cost. It is so easy to get this wrong, and pay too much for cover that is not needed.
We should only insure those trip costs that are non-refundable. This may seem obvious, but far too often travelers state the entire cost a trip when looking for a Travel Insurance quote. By way of example – a $1,000 non-refundable flight followed by $1,000 in hotel bookings. Well, the flight is non-refundable, so we should definitely include this amount when looking for Travel Insurance rates.
But the hotel costs of $1,000? Probably not – almost all hotels will allow you to cancel your hotel reservation up to the day before, without penalty. In which case, you should not insure those costs. The Travel Insurance Carrier will only refund your losses.
There is no point taking too much Trip Insurance Cover.
Indeed, if a traveler does not wish to insure their entire trip, they do not need to. Just insure the costs you would wish to recover. Example – you are flying to meet up with family serving in Germany. You do not wish to insure your flight and you have no costs when you arrive in Frankfurt. Just state your trip cost as $0 – your Travel Insurance quote will cover medical and other critical benefits, even though you have a $0 trip cost.
I Don’t Need to Insure My Entire Trip?
There are a few circumstances where it is critically important for an AMAC Traveler to insure their entire trip so as to benefit from additional cover.
If you wish to get ‘Cancel for Any Reason’ cover for AMAC Travel Insurance, then you must insure the entire trip costs to activate this protection.
Also, some policies will insist that in order to benefit from a Pre-Existing Medical Cover Exclusion Waiver, then, again, all trip costs must be included.
We will cover both of these within their respective sections as we continue through the article.
Some places are more expensive for trip insurance, based on underwriting experience and claims history. Luckily for Americans, there should not be any ‘sticker-shock’ when it comes to foreign-travel trip insurance.
Many travelers will visit more than one country on a trip. When it comes to selecting your destination when looking for a trip insurance quote, please choose the country that you will be spending most time in.
AMAC Travel Insurance customers can be presented with a bewildering array of options and cover levels when they run a trip insurance quote. At AARDY we have done our best to take all of these different policy options, and condense them into comparison tables. We are always looking to improve the way in which we illustrate travel insurance plans, and welcome feedback. Hopefully, when you run a Travel Insurance quote, you will see around a dozen different travel protection policies, with price and cover overview.
Ultimately, there are only two primary benefits that we really care about when we choose Travel Insurance – Cancellation and Medical.
Travel Cancellation Insurance
Within each comprehensive Travel Insurance you will find Travel Cancellation. This is designed to offer financial compensation in the event that a trip needs to be cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.
This Trip Cancellation Protection can be divided into three main groups of cover – Basic Cancellation; Cancel for Work Reasons; Cancel for Any Reason.
Let’s take a look at each of these, briefly.
Basic Travel Cancellation Protection
Those looking to buy AMAC Travel Insurance will wish to ensure that there is coverage in place should a cancellation be necessary due to unusual events outside of their control. Every policy will have these benefits. Whilst the language may differ slightly, all could provide cover in the event of:
- Accident, illness, or death of you, a traveling partner, business partner, or family member
- Jury duty
- Legal appearance
- Traffic accident en route to airport
- Death or hospitalization of your host at your travel destination
- Bankruptcy of your travel provider
Note that the final coverage item – bankruptcy of your travel provider – is not included when travel insurance is sold by cruise lines. We find that a little concerning – this is a basic cancellation protection in every policy we have ever seen. Why the cruise lines would wish to remove this critical protection is bewildering.
As can be seen from the list, the circumstances in which Basic Cancellation can be used tend to happen rarely.
Cancel for Work Reasons Travel Insurance
Some of us wish to be protected in the event that our company cancels our pre-arranged vacation. Others wish for cover in the event of a redundancy or lay-off. Many AMAC Members are still gainfully employed, so this type of Work Travel Protection can be very helpful.
Note, though, that Cancel for Work Reasons Travel Insurance is a Time-Sensitive Benefit.
Time-Sensitive Benefits in Travel Insurance
It is critical to book Travel Insurance early in order to take advantage of all the various benefits that exist in the policy.
Many of the more useful benefits are only activated if the Travel Insurance Policy is purchased within a very short period of time after an Initial Trip Payment.
We see this frequently, particularly with those who book cruise vacations sometimes years in advance. If the traveler does not buy Travel Insurance within 20 days of their initial trip deposit, then these advanced benefits, such as Cancel for Work Reasons, will not be unlocked.
It does not matter that the full trip cost has not been paid for. Just buy the Travel Insurance to cover the non-refundable costs you have, then top up the Travel Insurance Premium with the Insurance Carrier as you add additional costs to the vacation.
Cancel for Any Reason Travel Insurance
Cancel for Any Reason Trip Insurance does exactly what it sounds like. A traveler who has this benefit within their policy may cancel their trip anytime up to 48 hours before departure, and receive a substantial refund – typically 75%.
Now, this is not a complete refund, but still, the benefit is significant.
It allows for almost complete booking flexibility. Often, Cancel for Any Reason Trip Protection is used by travelers looking to gain significant advantage on airline booking rules.
Airlines charge a substantial premium to buy Refundable Seats. In fact, 3-4 times the price of Non-Refundable is typical. Those travelers who want booking flexibility can take advantage of the relatively low cost of Cancel for Any Reason Travel Insurance and book a Non-Refundable ticket instead.
We called this process the Airline Ticket Hack – it is certainly becoming more popular with those who travel domestically in the USA.
Two points to note. First is that Cancel for Any Reason Travel Protection is Time-Sensitive. So, you will need to ensure that you have your policy in place within 20 days.
The second is that in order to qualify for this benefit it is essential that your entire non-refundable trip costs are insured.
Travel Medical Protection Insurance
Almost all of us have some form of Medical Insurance at home. Invariably this Medical Insurance does a poor job for us when we travel.
Domestic Travelers should, at the very least, have their In-State Medical Insurance work when they travel around the USA. It is always worth checking to see what changes to Co-Pay and Deductibles will be when out-of-state. Travel Medical Insurance can be very helpful for Domestic Travel in that it covers out-of-pocket expenses, or even the entire medical cost.
When buying Travel Medical Insurance it is important to note if the cover is Primary or Secondary.
Primary Travel Medical Insurance will pick up the entire cost of your Travel Medical Expenses, up to the plan limit, without you needing to rely upon your home health insurance. Inexpensive plans, such as the iTI Travel Lite, have $100k of Primary Medical Cover that can be used when traveling in the USA or overseas.
We like Primary cover because the Insurance Carrier can immediately take over responsibility for direct payment to the hospital. This means no up-front costs for a traveler, and a much simpler claim process.
Secondary Travel Medical Insurance is not quite as user-friendly, but it can have the same level of financial protection. The only challenge is that we need to pay up front, then claim back from the insurer. If at all possible, we much prefer Primary Medical Cover.
Pre-Existing Medical Condition Exclusion and Waiver
An AMAC Travel Insurance customer will probably be interested in Pre-Existing Condition Exclusion and Waiver.
Travel Insurers ‘Look Back’ for a period of time – 60-180 days – in order to assess if you have a ‘Pre-Existing Condition’.
From their perspective you do NOT have a Pre-Existing Medical Condition if:
- The Medical Condition has been stable over the Look-Back Period
- There have been no changes in Medication
- There have been no changes in the severity of the Condition
- There has been no new Condition
So, just because you have been taking the same medication for 10 years doesn’t mean that you have a Pre-Existing Medical Condition, as far as the Travel Insurer is concerned. You are stable, nothing has changed – your condition is therefore covered.
But, of course, this is not the case for all of us. Some of us will have a new condition, or a worsening of symptoms, or new medication. If this has taken place within the 60-180 day Look-Back Period, then our Pre-Existing Medical Condition would be excluded from cover. Clearly this is not something that any of us wants.
The solution is to have a Waiver granted. The Travel Insurance Carrier can grant a Waiver to your Exclusion. Now, your Pre-Existing Condition is brought back into cover.
How to get a Pre-Existing Medical Condition Exclusion Waiver for Travel Insurance?
Book your Travel Insurance early. Yet again, this is the case where we see a critical Travel Insurance benefit that is Time-Sensitive. You must have your policy in place within 20 days of your Initial Trip Deposit. Many policies also require that you fully insure the total trip cost as well.
AARDY Travel Insurance Marketplace
AMAC Travel Insurance customers would do well to follow AMAC advice. Use a Travel Insurance Marketplace to compare different policy options and prices.
You will always get best value. The price of a Travel Insurance Policy through the AARDY Marketplace is identical to that which you would see by going to each and every Insurance Carrier directly. This price protection is defined under law.
All of our Carriers hold at least an ‘A’ Rating from A.M. Best. The policies we showcase are the best that are available in the market.
Take a minute to run your quote, completely anonymously. Your personal information will not be shared with the insurance carrier unless you choose to purchase a policy.