Gate 1 Travel Insurance - 2021 Review
Gate 1 Travel supplies guided experiences all over the world, from tours to river cruises.
Tours may involve several modes of transportation like a flight, train, bus, or boat. Regardless of the carrier, your travel insurance should recognize Trip Cancellation, Interruption, Travel Delay, and Missed Connection benefits.
Also, pay close attention to the amount of Medical Insurance and Emergency Evacuation in the policy. When you venture outside the US, most health insurance plans do not cover you. So, it is critical to take adequate Medical protection in case of an emergency.
Gate 1 Travel Insurance is comprehensive but has low Medical limits and a high price. Although it offers a Cancel For Any Reason waiver, it is constrained and only provides future credit.
Gate 1 sells travel insurance at checkout on their website. Unfortunately, they only provide a take-it or leave-it plan. They do not give you other options to customize your coverage.
Arch Insurance underwrites and administers Gate 1 trip insurance. Arch is rated A+ for financial strength, but do not let this fool you. The Gate 1 travel plan has many coverage gaps.
This article examines Gate 1 insurance coverage and compares it to comprehensive policies on the travel insurance marketplace.
Sample Cruise: 9-Day Tulip Time River Cruise
For this review, our sample cruise is a river cruise roundtrip from Amsterdam on the Monarch Princess. The trip cost is $4,258 for two travelers, ages 55 and 60.
Gate 1 Comparison Quotes
You have dozens of travel insurance options on the marketplace, so take time to shop around before buying the first policy offered.
AARDY always recommends travelers take adequate medical protection when leaving the US. We suggest buying at least $100,000 Medical insurance, $250,000 Medical Evacuation, and a Pre-existing Condition Waiver.
The two Medical limits help protect you from excessive treatment and transportation charges, significantly more than what you spent on the trip. The Pre-existing Condition Waiver closes a coverage gap, so all Pre-existing Conditions are covered. Typically, travel insurance excludes them.
Out of 30 policy options, the least expensive plan that met our standards was the Trawick First Class at $231 for both travelers. The least expensive program that offers Cancel For Any Reason is the Seven Corners RoundTrip Choice (CFAR 75%) at $350.
Let's take a look at how Gate 1 compares to Trawick and Seven Corners:
Seven Corners RoundTrip Choice with CFAR 75%
Cover Pre-existing Condition
Yes, when purchased within 21 days of initial trip payment
Yes, when purchased within 14 days of initial trip payment
Yes, when purchased within 20 days of initial trip payment
Cancel For Work Reason
Cancel For Any Reason
Future credit only*
Yes, 75% Cash refund when purchased within 20 days of initial trip payment
Accidental Death & Dismemberment
air or water common carrier
common carrier except air
common carrier except air
Cost of Policy
$338 without CFAR
$537 with CFAR
*Gate 1 CFAR Waiver restricts which programs qualify for CFAR
A Word About Price and Value
First, look at the prices. Gate 1 insurance price is only $12 less than AARDY's least expensive Cancel For Any Reason policy. However, it costs about 50% more than Trawick, which is a more robust policy. Gate 1 travel insurance charges a flat 8% on top of the trip cost. That is much higher than most travel insurance plans.
Second, Gate 1 trip insurance does not protect you if they go bankrupt.
Third, Gate 1 travel insurance only reimburses a maximum of 100% trip cost for Trip Interruption. Most similar policies offer 150% trip cost refunds.
Third, Gate 1 cruise insurance is critically deficient in medical protection. It only includes $25,000 Medical Insurance and $100,000 Medical Evacuation. Those levels are adequate for domestic travel within the US, but not overseas.
Finally, Gate 1 insurance has a very limited but expensive Cancel For Any Reason option. This is problematic if you need more flexibility or want a cash refund.
Trip Cancellation Protects Your Investment
Trip Cancellation reimburses 100% of your trip costs if you cancel the trip for any of the policy's covered reasons.
Suppose an elderly family suddenly dies 3 days before your trip. You must stay to plan a funeral and will miss out on your carefully planned vacation. Because family member deaths are covered cancellation reasons, the policy would reimburse you for the full trip cost.
Fortunately, Gate 1 Insurance includes common cancellation reasons we would expect to see in any travel insurance plan.
- Unforeseen illness, accidental injury, or death
- Inclement weather
- Mechanical breakdown of the aircraft
- Traffic accident en route to the destination
- Hijacking, quarantine, jury duty
- Fire, flood, vandalism, or natural disaster at your residence or destination
- Involuntary layoff
- Required to work because of a natural disaster at your work
- Theft of passports or visas
- Death or hospitalization of your host at destination
- Mandatory evacuation due to adverse weather or natural disasters
- Called to military service due to natural disaster
Some cruise lines and tour companies we reviewed honor an anemic 3-4 cancellation reasons. We are happy to see Gate 1 travel insurance do better.
However, it is not quite as robust as Trawick First Class. This policy also protects you for:
- Employer transfer
- Bankruptcy or default of your travel supplier
What If Gate 1 Goes Bankrupt?
All policies at AARDY cover the bankruptcy or default of your travel supplier.
Bankruptcy protection is essential for every traveler. You do not want to lose your money because the supplier goes out of business. With Gate 1 insurance, you lose money twice.
First, your trip expenses are lost. Second, you wasted your money on travel insurance that did not protect you from its own bankruptcy. Problematically, Gate 1 insurance excludes this protection.
Finally, suppose you bought Gate 1 Cancel For Any Reason insurance, and Gate 1 goes into default. Your trip was canceled, but Gate 1 kept your money. Gate 1 issues you a future credit which you will never get to use. They create a grim situation where you can only lose.
Trip Interruption Helps You Get Home
Like Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption protects your travel investment once the trip begins. Typically, travel insurance policies provide the same covered circumstances for Trip Interruption as they do for Trip Cancellation.
Suppose you are on a four-week vacation in Germany and Austria. Your sister calls to tell you that you have a court order to appear as a witness before your scheduled return date. You contact your attorney, but the trial cannot be postponed. In this situation, you need to cut your vacation short and return home early.
Trip Interruption coverage reimburses the trip's unused arrangements and the additional expense for an earlier flight home. Trip Interruption benefits every person named on the policy. You can return home alone, or your traveling companions can interrupt their trip and fly home early with you.
AARDY's Trawick and Seven Corners travel insurance policies protect your Trip Interruption expenses up to 150% of your total trip cost. This is a helpful perk since last-minute airfare might have a higher price than when you originally planned the trip.
As we typically see with stingy cruise line policies, Gate 1 travel insurance only reimburses 100% of your Trip Interruption costs. This limit is inadequately low, particularly for the high premium.
Medical Insurance Pays Your Hospital Bills
At AARDY, our staff has personal experience receiving and paying for medical care abroad. Consequently, we recommend that travelers take at least $100,000 Medical Insurance when going overseas. Most private health insurance pays for little or no medical treatment outside the US.
Medicare is no exception. Medicare will not pay any providers overseas, even in a life or death situation. However, some Medicare supplements cover up to $50,000 of emergency care. Still, it is a lifetime limit, subject to a deductible, and you must pay 20% (up to $10,000) out of pocket. Once the policy reaches the limit, it stops paying altogether. Then, you write a check for all additional medical charges.
Suppose you are at the airport ready to board a coach transfer to the cruise ship. But your foot catches the curb, you tumble down, and hear a crack. Your ankle is in agony, and your knees do not feel good either. An ambulance takes you to a local hospital where you receive X-rays and an MRI. The orthopedic surgeon comes in with bad news. It is a break, and you will need surgery to correct it. Your trip is over before it began.
As disappointing as that sounds, the medical bill is worse news. Since you are outside the US, the ambulance took you to a private hospital, where Americans receive treatment. It will cost $85,000 for treatment before you can travel back to the US.
If you have Gate 1 Medical Insurance, you will pay for $60,000 for medical treatment yourself. Worrisome, Gate 1 insurance only covers up to $25,000 for Medical services. A $4,300 trip cost pales in comparison to a $60,000 hospital bill.
This illustration shows why AARDY recommends at least $100,000 Travel Medical Insurance. It does not make sense to travel without adequate coverage, especially when it is so inexpensive.
Trawick First Class covers up to $150,000 Medical Insurance, while Seven Corners RoundTrip Choice pays up to $100,000. Recall that Trawick costs $100 less than Gate 1 trip insurance, and Seven Corners only costs $12 more and adds Cancel For Any Reason.
Emergency Medical Evacuation Takes You For Treatment
Using the previous accidental injury scenario, a ground ambulance would take you to the nearest hospital.
If you required special arrangements to return home, Medical Evacuation insurance schedules it for you. It could be a first-class commercial airline ticket because your leg is in a cast, and you cannot bend it. Or, it might be a medical jet equipped as an ICU if it is medically necessary.
Emergency medical evacuation can be the most significant travel expense if something goes wrong.
Ambulance care is costly, so AARDY recommends at least $250,000 for Medical Evacuation outside the US.
Again, Medicare and private health insurance do not cover Medical Evacuations to bring you back to the US. A private medical plane costs $15,000 to $25,000 per flight hour. An unexpected medical flight from Europe could cost the price of a new home. Consider that next time you review a travel insurance plan.
Gate 1 medical evacuation limits your return trip home at $100,000. That is sufficient if you stay within the US, but it is not enough to bring you home from Europe, much less Asia or Africa.
Trawick First Class includes $1,000,000 for Medical Evacuation. Similarly, Seven Corners RoundTrip Choice has $500,000 Emergency Evacuation.
Pre-existing Medical Condition Exclusion
All travel insurance plans exclude protection for Pre-existing Medical Conditions.
They define a Pre-existing Condition as a new or worsened medical condition within 60 to 180 days immediately before buying travel insurance. It can include treatment, test, new medication, medication change, or doctor-recommended treatment or test not yet completed.
This exclusion applies to Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, and Medical Insurance.
What happens if you had a heart attack 30 days ago? Then, you need a Waiver of Pre-existing Conditions.
Some policies include a Waiver allowing the plan to cover Pre-existing Conditions, even if they occurred yesterday. The Waiver does not cost extra. However, you can only get it if you buy the policy shortly after your Initial Deposit or Payment.
Gate 1 travel insurance includes a Waiver when you buy it within 21 days of the Initial Payment. It also requires that you insure all travel arrangements subject to cancellation penalties or restrictions. Finally, you must be fit to travel when you buy the policy.
Trawick and Seven Corners are similar. Trawick includes a Waiver when you buy the plan within 14 days of your Initial Deposit. Seven Corners gives you up to 20 days. Both require that you cover all prepaid, non-refundable travel arrangements and are fit to travel.
AARDY recommends anyone traveling outside the US get a Waiver of Pre-existing Conditions whenever possible.
We are delighted to see Gate 1 cruise insurance offer a Waiver of Pre-existing Conditions. Not all cruise and tour companies do. Make sure you get your policy early in the planning process, so you have full protection.
Gate 1 Cancel For Any Reason – No Cash Refund
Gate 1 Travel offers a Cancel For Any Reason waiver, but it is unnecessarily complicated, limited, has exclusions, and is expensive.
CFAR protects your investment if you cancel for a reason not covered by travel insurance. It is a lifesaver for mental illness, canceled weddings, pandemics, sick pets, or fear of travel.
Standard Cancel For Any Reason programs, like those offered through AARDY, provide a 50-75% cash refund, depending on which policy you choose. It covers all of your travel arrangements, not just those for your tour, flight, or cruise.
By contrast, Gate 1 Travel insurance gives you a voucher for a future trip, which must be consumed within 12 months of your original departure date. Cruise lines are notorious for selling credit-only CFAR programs, but none are this limited.
Gate 1 Cancel For Any Reason in summary:
- Cancel up to 72 hours before scheduled departure
- Receive 100% future credit, less deposit, fees, insurance premium cost
- Credit valid only for 12 months after the original departure date
- No protection for sea or river cruises, Oberammergau, Israel, or groups
- Airfare credit only valid for 12 months after the purchase date
- Voucher only be used for a future trip to the original destination, same carrier, same hotels, and same tour package
- Must purchase Waiver within 21 days of booking date and at the same time as the Gate 1 insurance plan
To add the CFAR Waiver to the Gate 1 insurance plan, it costs:
- $69 per person for tours costing between $0 and $1,999 per person
- $99 per person for tours costing between $2,000 and $3,999 per person
- $149 per person for tours costing between $4,000 and over per person
We would not recommend the Gate 1 CFAR Waiver. Our sample trip is a Gate 1 river cruise, so the trip would not be eligible for protection.
Cancel For Any Reason with 75% Cash Refund
By contrast, all CFAR plans at AARDY can cover cruises, tours, flights, and accommodations.
They let you cancel the trip for any or no reason at all and receive a 75% cash refund on all prepaid travel arrangements.
In the comparison earlier, the least expensive program offering Cancel For Any Reason is Seven Corners RoundTrip Choice (CFAR 75%). The price was $350 for both travelers. By comparison, Gate 1 travel insurance has a base cost of $338 before adding the CFAR waiver.
If this trip qualified for Gate 1 Cancel For Any Reason, it would cost an extra $99 per person, for a total cost of $537. That price is exceptionally high for basic insurance. You do not get much for your money with Gate 1 travel insurance.
Cancel For Any Reason plans have a few rules. You must:
- Buy the plan within 14-21 days of the initial deposit or payment
- Cover all prepaid, non-refundable travel costs
- Be fit to travel when you buy the plan
- Cancel the trip 2 days or more before the departure date.
Gate 1 Travel Insurance Is Inadequate and Expensive
Gate 1 travel insurance has few good points, but some incredibly detrimental bad points. Do not buy the first policy someone offers you. Take time to shop around.
You will pay top dollar for Gate 1 insurance but receive scant coverage. At a minimum, they charge 8% of the total trip cost for insurance. But then, the price is brutal if you add the virtually worthless CFAR waiver. Gate 1 trip insurance also deviates from the norm, offering a low 100% Trip Interruption benefit, while most plans include 150%.
Most concerning is Gate 1 travel's anemic medical insurance coverage. If you travel overseas with only $25,000 Medical Insurance, you do not have adequate protection. The same goes for Gate 1's low $100,000 Medical Evacuation.
Regrettably, Gate 1 travel insurance fails to protect your financial interests. It only creates a profit for the company.
Find the Lowest Prices on the Travel Insurance Marketplace
Did you know travel insurance is highly regulated? Therefore, the price must be the same everywhere, even from the insurance company.
AARDY always shows the lowest possible price for every policy. You can shop around 30 plans to find the best fit for your travel needs.
It only takes a minute to shop with AARDY. Compare prices and coverage in one place. If you have any questions, our licensed agents are happy to help.
Safe travels!### **Recent AARDY Travel Insurance Customer Reviews**