AMAC Travel Insurance - 2023 Review
AMAC Travel Insurance
- Travel Insurance Not Offered To Members
- Customers Free To Choose Best Travel Insurance Option In Marketplace
- Recommendations For Coverage Not Offered
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The Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC) is a membership organization for people aged 50 and over.
AMAC is rapidly becoming one of the largest member organizations in the USA. It offers fantastic rewards and benefits to its member base. Though they provide other types of insurance such as home and auto to their members, you cannot buy specific AMAC travel insurance.
Instead, AMAC members have travel insurance services provided by Insurance Consultants International via SquareMouth, a travel insurance marketplace broker. Licensed agents shop the open marketplace to find the best travel insurance for AMAC members. Many of the same companies that TravelDefenders offers are also available to AMAC members through this service.
AMAC Travel Insurance Quote Process
The quoting process is quite straightforward and for each screen (3 in all) there is an accompanying video explaining the trip details to be provided.
Screen 1: Dates and destination:
Screen 2: Residence and ages of travelers:
Screen 3: Trip Cost and First Payment Date:
Once the trip details are entered, the system will provide quotes from the various insurers that they use.
For our sample quote, we had two travelers from Texas traveling to the Bahamas on 12/11 – 12/31 with a $4000 trip cost. After entering the trip details, we were presented with 104 insurance quotes!
To narrow our choices, we can filter by items that are important for the insurance to cover:
For example, if we want a Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) policy, we can add this as a filter. This drops the quote list down to 25 choices.
By adding various filters, we can eliminate the policies not covering our concerns and concentrate on the ones that do.
But even 25 is a lot to choose from, so how do we decide when option is our best choice?
TravelDefenders recommends having a minimum of $100,000 of medical coverage and $250,000 of medical evacuation coverage. A waiver for any pre-existing medical conditions is also recommended if needed.
The least expensive policy with adequate coverage is the Tin Leg Gold plan for $296, which is the total cost for both travelers combined. If we opt for the Cancel For Any Reason version of this policy, it is $444.
The policy provides a generous $500,000 per traveler for medical coverage and $500,000 for medical evacuation per traveler.
When looking at the full policy details, the layout is easy-to-read at a glance, but if more details on a specific benefit are desired, a link is provided to access a fuller definition.
When quoting on AMAC or on the open marketplace, we are going to need to know the trip cost. It is so easy to get this wrong and pay too much for coverage that is not needed.
We should only insure 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. For example: if we have a $1,000 non-refundable flight followed by $1,000 in hotel bookings for a trip, we may not need to cover $2000 in trip costs. If the flight is non-refundable then we should definitely include this amount when looking for travel insurance rates but if the hotel will allow us to cancel up to 24 hours prior to arrival with no penalty, then we probably don’t need to insure the hotel costs. The travel insurance carrier will only refund your losses.
If all of your trip costs are refundable, essentially you have NO trip costs. In this situation you can state your trip cost as $0 – your travel insurance will still cover medical and other critical benefits, even though you have a $0 trip cost.
Do I Need to Insure My Entire Trip?
If you don’t want to insure your entire trip, you don’t need to. Just insure the costs you want to recover. As mentioned in our prior example – if you have non-refundable airline tickets but the hotels you’ve booked will allow you to cancel with no penalty, then you only need to cover the airline tickets and not the hotel costs.
However, there are a few circumstances where it is essential for a traveler to insure their entire trip to benefit from additional coverage. If you want or need maximum cancellation flexibility, a ‘Cancel for Any Reason’ policy is a great option, and all trip costs must be included in the trip cost for these policies.
Also, some policies that offer a Pre-Existing Medical Coverage Exclusion Waiver will require all trip costs to be included.
We’ll cover both of these benefits shortly.
AMAC Travel Insurance customers can be presented with a bewildering array of options and cover levels when they run a trip insurance quote. Filtering based on primary concerns can help reduce the number of options, but often there are still too many to choose from. Similar to AMAC’s quoting system, at TravelDefenders we display a quick summary of the main policy benefits and present them in an at-a-glance format. The full policy can be displayed by clicking on the ‘Policy Document’ link underneath the policy name. When you run a travel insurance quote, you will see around a dozen different travel protection policies, with price and coverage 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 policy, you will find Travel Cancellation. This is designed to offer financial compensation if a trip needs to be cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.
This Trip Cancellation Protection can be divided into three main groups of coverage – Basic Cancellation; Cancel for Work Reasons; Cancel for Any Reason.
Let’s look at each of these.
Basic Travel Cancellation Protection
Those looking to buy AMAC travel insurance want 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. While the language may differ slightly, all should provide coverage 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 surprising.
Cancel for Work Reasons Travel Insurance
Some of us wish to be protected if our company cancels our pre-arranged vacation. Others want coverage in case of a layoff. A policy that provides a Cancel For Work Reason can be very helpful in these circumstances. Some policies that offer the Cancel for Work Reasons benefit have a time-sensitive purchase requirement where the policy must be purchased within a specific time period after the initial trip payment or deposit date.
Time-Sensitive Benefits in Travel Insurance
It is critical to book travel insurance early 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 short time after an initial trip payment or deposit.
We see this frequently, particularly with those who book cruise vacations sometimes years in advance. If the traveler does not buy travel insurance within 14 - 21 days of their initial trip deposit (depending on the policy), then these advanced benefits, such as Cancel for Work Reasons, will not be provided.
You do not need to wait until the entire trip has been paid for before purchasing travel insurance. Just buy the travel insurance to cover the non-refundable costs you have incurred to that point, then increase the trip cost as you add additional costs to the vacation. You will pay the difference in the premium as these costs are added.
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%.
It allows maximum cancellation flexibility. Often, Cancel for Any Reason Trip Protection is used by travelers looking to gain significant advantage over airline booking rules.
Airlines charge a substantial premium to buy refundable tickets. 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 – refundable benefits with non-refundable tickets.
Cancel for Any Reason policies are time sensitive. You must purchase these policies within 10-21 days (depending on the particular policy) from the initial trip payment or deposit date. After 21 days, all cancel for any reason policies will no longer be available so you will need to ensure that you have your policy in place within the appropriate time frame.
Also, 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. However, many US medical insurance policies do not adequately cover illness or accidents overseas or even in a different state.
Domestic travelers should, check to see what the changes to co-pay and deductibles will be when out-of-state or out-of-network. Travel Medical Insurance can be very helpful for domestic travel in that it covers out-of-pocket expenses, or even the entire medical cost.
Primary vs Secondary Medical Coverage
When buying Travel Medical Insurance it is important to note whether the coverage 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.
We like Primary coverage 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. These policies will pay AFTER any primary insurance has paid. The secondary policy will then take over and continue to pay up to the limit of the policy. Claims process can be more cumbersome as two insurance companies with potentially two claim forms can be involved.
Many travelers, even those with excellent US medical coverage, still prefer Primary policies for a simpler claims process.
Pre-Existing Medical Condition Exclusion and Waiver
Many travelers need coverage for a pre-existing medical condition. A policy with a Pre-Existing Condition Exclusion and Waiver is needed. These policies will provide a waiver to cover pre-existing medical conditions if the policy is purchased within a time-sensitive period between 14 – 21 days (depending on the policy).
If you miss this window of opportunity to purchase the policy to get the pre-existing medical condition waiver, then the insurer will need to determine whether the traveler has a pre-existing condition that will not be covered.
Insurers ‘Look Back’ for a period of time – 60-180 days (depending on policy) – in order to assess if you have a ‘Pre-Existing Condition’.
From their perspective you do NOT have a Pre-Existing Medical Condition if:
- There have been no changes in medication
- There have been no changes in the severity of the condition
- There have been no new conditions
- There have been no procedures done
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.
However, 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 listed in the policy, then our pre-existing medical condition would be excluded from coverage. A claim filed in relation to a pre-existing condition for which there is no coverage could be denied by the insurer.
If you know you have a pre-existing medical condition, then book your travel insurance early – within 21 days of your initial trip payment or deposit date to qualify for the waiver. Many policies also require that you fully insure the total trip cost.
How Does TravelDefenders Compare With AMAC?
We looked at the quoting system with AMAC and determined that the Tin Leg policy was the least expensive of the options that provided adequate medical coverage and medical evacuation coverage as well as providing a waiver for pre-existing medical conditions. Total cost was $296 for their standard policy and $444 for a cancel for any reason version. How does TravelDefenders compare? Let’s look.
Inputting the trip details into the TravelDefenders quote system, we’re presented with 25 options. The least expensive in our quote from TravelDefenders that provided adequate medical coverage and medical evacuation coverage and included a waiver for pre-existing medical conditions is the Trawick First Class for $231.18, which is almost $65 LESS than the Tin Leg policy provided by AMAC.
The Trawick policy provides $150,000 of medical coverage per traveler and $1 million of medical evacuation per traveler along with a waiver to cover pre-existing medical conditions if the policy is purchased within 14 days of the initial trip payment or deposit date.
If we opt for a Cancel For Any Reason policy, the least expensive is the Trawick First Class (CFAR 75%) for $393.01, which is about $51 LESS than the Tin Leg CFAR policy.
This policy provides the same benefits as the standard Trawick First Class but adds the Cancel For Any Reason benefit if we purchase the policy within 10 days of the initial trip payment or deposit date.
Cancelling for a standard reason listed in the policy, such as illness or injury, will refund 100% or our trip costs while cancelling for a NON-listed reason will refund us 75%.
AMAC travel insurance provides AMAC members with many options for travel insurance in the same way that TravelDefenders does. We were happy to see that AMAC now offers a travel insurance marketplace where their members can search for travel insurance that suits their specific travel needs at an affordable price.
AMAC travel insurance available through SquareMouth uses many of the same insurers that can be found at TravelDefenders so the traveler can be assured that the insurers are reputable.
Travelers are best served by shopping the open marketplace for travel insurance though sites like AMAC Travel Insurance or TravelDefenders.
So next time you travel, don’t forget to pack travel insurance.
This article has been written for review purposes only and does not suggest sponsorship or endorsement of AARDY by the trademark owner.
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