HomeBlogAmaWaterways Travel Insurance - 2022 Review

AmaWaterways Travel Insurance - 2022 Review

AmaWaterways Travel Insurance - Company Review

AmaWaterways Travel Insurance - Company Review
7
Insurance Partner
8/10
Coverage Options
6/10
Price
6/10

Strengths

  • Excellent Travel Insurance Partner
  • Good Medical and Evacuation Coverage

Weaknesses

  • Difficult to Buy
  • Cancel For Any Reason – Cruise Credit Only
  • High Cost

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Founded in 2002 and with headquarters in California, AmaWaterways is an award-winning cruise line that boasts farm-to-table dining, fine wines, modern cabins and ship decor, and focuses on river cruises. Although most of their cruises sail through Europe’s rivers, they also offer cruises to Asia, Africa, Egypt, and Colombia.

To determine whether Amawaterways offer good value for money when it comes to their travel insurance, we need to take a trip on one of Amawaterway's ships and look at the price, coverage levels and benefits of the Amawaterways travel insurance plan.

Germany

Our AmaWaterways Cruise

Our sample couple are 55 and 60 years of age and for their trip we selected the Europe’s Rivers and Castles 7-night river cruise which comes in at a cost of $6,198. After port fees, the total price of the cruise comes to $6,618.

The cruise begins in Luxembourg and travels down the Rhine River to Nuremberg, Germany. Along the way, the ship stops for a variety of activities, including castle tours, walking tours, and wine tasting.

Route

AmaWaterways Cancellation and Travel Insurance Policy

Like most cruise lines, AmaWaterways uses a tiered cancellation fee schedule. As a result, the cancellation fees increase as the departure date approaches. To offset the fees, AmaWaterways upsells a cruise insurance program called Cruise Protection Plan.

AIG Travel Guard underwrites the Cruise Protection Plan. AIG Travel Guard is a trusted insurance partner and TripInsure101 offers several levels of AIG Travel Guard coverage. The AmaWaterways policy mirrors the benefits and coverage of the AIG Travel Guard Plus plan which is available at TripInsure101.

In addition to the Cruise Protection Plan, AmaWaterways offers a separate Cancel For Any Reason benefit called Travel Waiver Plus. Purchasing the Travel Waiver Plus allows you to cancel for any reason that is not covered by the Cruise Protection Plan, and allows you to do this up to 24 hours prior to the start of the cruise and receive a future cruise credit to be used within 24 months of the cancellation date. Whilst we are not a fan of future cruise credit rather than cash, some cruise lines only offer cruise credit for a 12 month period, so Amawaterways offering 24 months is an improvement over many cruise lines, albeit it is still not a cash refund.

How to Buy AmaWaterways Cruise Protection Plan

On most cruise line websites, you can easily book a reservation and pay a deposit immediately. Inconveniently, AmaWaterways does not allow shoppers to make a deposit directly on the website. You must either submit the contact form to get a quote and wait for a call back or call AmaWaterways directly and speak to a representative.

Usually, we can get a quote at checkout, but no such checkout exists. We called AmaWaterways for a quote on the cruise fare, port fees and insurance. They charge a flat 13% of the combined price of cruise fare and port fees for their Cruise Protection Program.

In this case, the cruise and port fees came to $6,618 for both travelers. The cruise insurance is an extra $860.34. Then, AmaWaterways charges an extra $80 per traveler to add the Travel Waiver Plus, bringing the grand total to $7,638.34.

For those who prefer to take care of all their booking requirements online, this convoluted process could be very frustrating.

Comparison Quotes

Now that we have our cruise insurance quote from AmaWaterways, let’s compare it with travel insurance policies available at TripInsure101. Using a $6,618 trip cost for our sample couple, the same traveler agoes of 55 and 60 years, we received 27 travel insurance options. We’ll review three of the options we found.

First, we contrast it to Trawick First Class. We selected this policy because it’s the least expensive insurance plan for this trip with at least $100,000 of Medical Insurance, $250,000 of Emergency Evacuation coverage, and which contains a Pre-Existing Condition Waiver. These are the minimum levels of coverage we recommend at TripInsure101 for those traveling outside of the United States.

Trawick First Class

Then, we compared it to IMG Travel SE because the Travel SE plan offers Cancel For Work Reason. Cancel For Work Reason is a great benefit that covers cancellation and reimburses your trip cost in cash, (not cruise credit), if your employer revokes your previously granted time-off and requires you to work during your trip.

IMG Travel SE

Lastly, we looked at John Hancock Silver (CFAR 75%), for travelers who are looking for the added piece of mind that comes with a Cancel For Any Reason plan.

JH Silver CFAR

The easiest way to see how AmaWaterways Cruise Protection Plan measures up against other plans available in the travel insurance marketplace is by putting the benefit levels, limits and prices together in a side-by-side comparison table. From this we can see how Amawaterways plan measure up against the most affordable option and a Cancel For Any Reason policy.

Benefit

AmaWaterways Cruise Protection Plan

Trawick First Class

IMG Travel SE

John Hancock Silver (CFAR 75%)

Trip Cancellation

100% of trip cost

100% of trip cost

100% of trip cost

100% of trip cost

Trip Interruption

100% of trip cost

150% of trip cost

150% of trip cost

150% of trip cost

Medical Insurance

$100,000

$150,000

$250,000

$100,000

Medical Evacuation

$500,000

$1,000,000

$500,000

$500,000

Baggage Loss/Damage

$1,000

$500/article, up to $2,000

$250/article, up to $1,500

$250/article, up to $1,000

Baggage Delay

$1,000

$400

$250

$500

Travel Delay

(Incl quarantine)

$600 ($200/day)

$1,000

$2,000 ($125/day)

$750 ($150/day)

Missed Connection

$250

$1,000

$500

$750

Cover Pre-existing Medical Conditions

Yes, if purchased within 21 days of deposit

Yes, if purchased within 14 days of deposit

Yes, if purchased within 20 days of deposit

Yes, if purchased within 14 days of deposit

Cancel For Work Reason

Yes, if terminated or vacation rescinded

Yes, if terminated

Yes, if terminated or vacation rescinded

Yes, if terminated

Interrupt For Any Reason

No

No

No

No

Cancel For Any Reason

 

Yes, if Travel Waiver Plus is purchased (future cruise credit)

No

No

75% of trip cost

Accidental Death & Dismemberment

$100,000 (24 hour, other than air flight)

$10,000 (24 hour)

$25,000 (common carrier)

$25,000 (common carrier)

$100,000 (24 hour)

Cost of Policy

$860.34

(13% of trip cost)

$337.83

(5.1% of trip cost)

$411.54

(6.2% of trip cost)

 

$567

(8.5% of trip cost)

Price and Value

What is immediately clear is the large price difference between AmaWaterways Cruise Protection Plan and the three plans we reviewed at TripInsure101.  

While the AmaWaterways Cruise Protection Plan does certainly provide sufficient Medical Insurance and Medical Evacuation coverage, (as we would expect from AIG), Trawick First Class offers even higher limits, at $150,000 for Medical Insurance and $1,000,000 in Medical Evacuation coverage for $523.51 LESS than the AmaWaterways Cruise Protection Plan.

IMG Travel SE provides a significantly higher Medical Insurance limit, at $250,000, with the same Medical Evacuation limit as the AmaWaterways plan, $500,000. It also includes 39 covered reasons for cancellation, including if there is a new level 4 (do not travel) advisory issued in your destination after the policy is purchased and within 30 days of departure. This is a great coverage to have, especially with Covid-19, and is not something that is covered by many other travel insurance policies. It comes in at a cost of $448.80 LESS than the AmaWaterways Cruise Protection Plan.

John Hancock Silver (CFAR 75%) offers the same levels of coverage as the AmaWaterways plan for Medical Insurance and Medical Evacuation but will also allow you to cancel for any reason and still receive a 75% reimbursement of your trip cost in cash, rather than a future cruise credit. Coming in at $567, it costs $293.34 LESS than the Cruise Protection Plan offered by AmaWaterways even with these additonal benefits included. These savings could instead be used towards expenses during your trip, like shopping, dining, tours, etc.

You will always find the best value for your money at TripInsure101.

There is nothing fundamentally wrong with AmaWaterways Cruise Protection Plan. Compared to many of the cruise line travel insurance plans we review, we are actually very impressed with the coverage levels that it offers, however, as we see whenever we review travel insurance policies sold directly by cruise lines, there always seems to be better travel insurance options at lower prices when we compare them to plans available in the wider travel insurance marketplace.

Trip Cancellation

We’re pleased to see the AmaWaterways Cruise Protection Plan covers a satisfactory list of cancellation reasons.

If you, your traveling companion, or a non-traveling immediate family member suffered an unexpected illness, injury or death before departure, Trip Cancellation reimburses 100% of your pre-paid, non-refundable trip costs. Personal or family medical emergency is the most common reason travelers cancel their trips.

Covered cancellations under the Cruise Protection Plan include:

  • The unforeseen illness, injury, or death of the traveler, traveling companion, business partner or non-traveling family member
  • Your home or destination rendered uninhabitable or inaccessible by natural disaster, vandalism, burglary
  • You are hijacked, quarantined, subpoenaed, jury duty
  • Revocation of previously granted military leave
  • A terrorist incident occurs in a city listed on your itinerary
  • Complications of pregnancy or childbirth
  • Involuntarily termination or layoff
  • An employer-initiated transfer 250 miles or more, requiring relocation
  • Your previously granted time off is revoked and you are required to work during the scheduled trip
  • You are involved in or delayed by a traffic accident en route to destination
  • A documented theft of passports or visas
  • Equipment failure/mechanical breakdown of a Common Carrier
  • Inclement weather
  • Strike

It’s important to note, the Cruise Protection Plan only covers bookings made through AmaWaterways. If you purchase airfare, accommodations, or any other travel arrangements elsewhere, AmaWaterways won’t cover those costs if you cancel your trip.

This is an important issue for many travelers. And whilst we are discussing cancellation coverage here, please note that Medical Insurance and Medical Evacuation coverage would also be missing for the days of travel before and after the cruise. Given how many of our customers add to a cruise, this lack of door-to-door coverage can be critical.

Moreover, traditional travel insurance policies typically do not charge for additional days of coverage if the trip length is 30 days or less. Yet another reason to compare travel insurance options for your cruise.

By comparison, Trawick First Class covers 14 cancellation reasons, while IMG Travel SE offers a staggering 39 covered reasons. John Hancock Silver (CFAR 75%) has 14 covered reasons, like Trawick First Class, however, the plan also allows you to cancel for any other reason for a 75% reimbursement of your trip cost. Of course, cancelling for a covered reason would result in a 100% reimbursement.

Luxembourg

Cancel For Any Reason

AmaWaterways offers a Cancel For Any Reason option called Travel Waiver Plus.

If you purchase the Travel Waiver Plus and cancel your trip for a reason not listed under covered cancellation, AmaWaterways provides you with a future cruise credit to be used within 24 months of the cancellation date, rather than a cash refund.

Alternatively, the least expensive Cancel For Any Reason plan we offer that meets our recommended Medical Insurance and Medical Evacuation limits for travel outside of the US, and includes a Pre-Existing Condition Exclusion Waiver, is the John Hancock Silver (CFAR 75%) for $567. When cancelling for any reason not otherwise covered by the policy, you’ll receive a 75% reimbursement of your trip cost in cash, instead of a future cruise credit.

If you agree “Cash is King”, you’ll prefer a Cancel For Any Reason policy that refunds your money. Most Cancel For Any Reason policies available through TripInsure101 refund 75% of trip cost in cash when:

  1. You purchase the policy within 10-21 days (depending on policy) from the date you place your initial payment or deposit towards the trip
  2. You insure 100% of your pre-paid and non-refundable trip costs
  3. You cancel your trip no later than 48 hours prior to departure
  4. You are medically fit to travel at the time of purchase

Trip Interruption

When your trip is interrupted for a covered reason, travel insurance reimburses the unused portion of your trip and helps cover the added cost for you to catch up to your trip, if able, or return home early.

The most common situation we see is an unexpected illness, injury, or death of a traveler or non-traveling family member. In such an event, most of us would understandably wish to interrupt our trip and head home.

AmaWaterways’ Trip Interruption benefit shares the same list of covered reasons as the cancellation benefit. The policy reimburses you up to 100% of the cancellation penalties for unused travel arrangements, plus additional transportation expenses to catch up the cruise or return home.

At the same time, the three policies we reviewed at TripInsure101 offer up to 150% trip cost reimbursement for in the event of a Trip Interruption. Trip Interruption coverage that exceeds 100% is especially helpful if the interruption occurs at the beginning of a trip. A traveler would wish to claim for the entire trip and have the cost of getting home early covered.

As such, the more comprehensive travel insurance policies tend to have Trip Interruption coverage of 150%.

Picture1

Photo by AmaWaterways

Medical Insurance

It only takes one medical emergency to wipe out your retirement savings. Surprise doctor’s bills can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Therefore, proper Medical Insurance during your trip is one of the most critical elements of a travel insurance policy.

Unfortunately, many seniors don’t realize that Medicare doesn’t provide coverage outside the US. Some Medicare supplement plans pay a small emergency benefit of $50k, but it’s a lifetime maximum limit and only covers 80% of the bill. In addition, you must pay the bill up front, then get reimbursed. If you had a heart attack outside of the country, you’d likely end up with bills exceeding that limit.

Even countries with universal health care won’t pay for your treatment. Citizens pay taxes for that privilege, whereas Americans must seek treatment at private medical centers, rather than public, and pay full price. Just one night’s stay could cost you $3,000-$4,000. If you had a heart attack, you could expect the bill to hit $100,000.

That’s why TripInsure101 recommends each traveler have at least $100,000 of Medical Insurance when leaving the United States. Any less than $100,000 and you could be left with a massive bill for medical treatment in a foreign country if the worst were to happen.

Aptly, AmaWaterways travel insurance pays up to $100,000k for medical treatment on your trip. We are pleased to see they offer this suitable level of medical coverage. AmaWaterways is one of the few cruise lines that we have reviewed with $100,000 of Medical Insurance, so credit must be given here.

Likewise, the Trawick First Class plan provides $150,000 in Medical Insurance, while the IMG Travel SE provides $250,000. The John Hancock Silver (CFAR 75%) also provides $100,000 in coverage. Moreover, both the IMG and John Hancock plans offer Primary Medical Insurance, meaning they would pay ahead of any other coverage you have in place.

Emergency Medical Evacuation

If you have a critical illness or injury, you may need an emergency medical evacuation.

A short flight on an air ambulance can easily cost $25k. A transatlantic or transpacific private medical jet may charge $250k. No one wants to spend their hard-earned emergency or retirement savings on a medical flight. That’s why you need good Emergency Medical Evacuation coverage.

For this reason, TripInsure101 recommends all travelers leaving the United States get at least $250,000 Emergency Medical Evacuation protection. Travelers who venture even further from home, to destinations such as Africa, Asia, or beyond, should carry at least $500k in Medical Evacuation coverage.

Fortunately, AmaWaterways Cruise Protection Plan pays up to $500,000 for a Medical Evacuation. Another thumbs-up to AmaWaterways for offering such strong Medical Evacuation coverage.

The three scenarios it covers are:

  1. Transportation from location of injury or sickness to the nearest hospital
  2. Transportation from a local medical facility to the nearest adequate licensed medical facility for appropriate medical treatment
  3. Transportation to a medical facility nearest the insured’s home to obtain further medical treatment or to recover

Correspondingly, IMG Travel SE and John Hancock Silver (CFAR 75%) also include $500k in Medical Evacuation coverage, while Trawick First Class includes $1m in coverage.

Germany2

What if You Have Pre-Existing Medical Conditions?

Pre-Existing Condition refers to an injury, illness, or disease of an insured, traveling companion, business partner, or family member, for which care, testing or treatment was given or recommended by a physician, within the 60 day period immediately preceding, and including the purchase date, of the plan.

AmaWaterways Cruise Protection Plan automatically covers your condition if it is stable, older than 60 days, and controlled with medication.

Travel insurance does not pay benefits for Pre-Existing Conditions. It’s a standard, industry-wide exclusion. However, many policies offer a waiver that adds coverage for Pre-Existing Conditions back into the policy. These policies typically must be purchased within 14-21 days (depending on policy) of the date you place your initial payment or deposit towards the trip. This timeframe is called the Time Sensitive Period.

AmaWaterways Cruise Protection Plan offers a waiver for Pre-Existing Conditions when:

  • You purchase policy within 21 days of initial trip payment
  • You insure 100% of trip costs and insure additional trip costs on policy within 21 days of the date subsequent arrangements made
  • You are medically fit to travel at time of purchase


The waiver is limited to the first $100,000 of trip costs. If your trip costs are greater than $100,000, the waiver will still apply, as long as you insure $100k.

Likewise, TripInsure101 recommends travelers, especially seniors, purchase a travel insurance plan that covers Pre-Existing Conditions whenever possible.

Equally, Trawick First Class and John Hancock Silver (CFAR 75%) also include a Waiver of Pre-Existing Conditions when you purchase the policy within the 14-day Time Sensitive Period. The IMG Travel SE has a slightly longer Time Sensitive Period of 20 days.

There is no additional fee for the waiver, but you must ensure you purchased within the Time Sensitive Period. If you wait too long to buy travel insurance, you lose out on the peace of mind that comes with the Pre-Existing Condition Waiver.

Conclusion

AmaWaterways have built a quality travel insurance product for their customers. It is underwritten and administered by AIG Travel Guard who are a highly reputable travel insurer, and the Cruise Protection Plan’s coverage meets our minimum standards for a trustworthy cruise insurance policy. Congratulations to AmaWaterways!

At the same time, AmaWaterways’ travel insurance charges an massively overpriced. Similar policies on the TripInsure101 Travel Insurance Marketplace give the same or higher benefits for a much lower cost.

The AmaWaterways Cruise Protection Plan has only a single “take it or leave it option.” It features a solid list of cancellation reasons, and offers Cancel For Any Reason, but charges a very high price to incorporate this benefit, and only pays in future credit instead of cash. Overall, we rate it 7 out of 10.

If you already have the AmaWaterways Cruise Protection Plan, not to worry. You have a great policy you can count on in case of catastrophe.

Next time you cruise, run a comparison quote with us and see how much money you can save on a similar or better policy. You can even run a sample quote before you book your cruise.

  • We can guarantee you won’t find the same policy at a lower price
  • You can compare and contrast travel insurance policies and value
  • All the plans are listed lowest to highest cost with clear benefit summaries
  • We can recommend a best-fit policy for your needs

Whatever the case, visit TripInsure101 first to shop around before committing to the first travel insurance policy you’re offered. Stop by and have a chat, send an email, or give us a call at +1(650) 397-6592.

Safe travels!

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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