Barbados Traveler Information – Travel Advice

Travel Advice with a Travel Advisory overview from the US State Department. Here we cover Visa, Safety & Security, local Laws and Insurance in our Barbados Traveler Information guide.

At AardvarkCompare we can’t recommend travel insurance enough. Whether you are just traveling a few hundred miles from home to see family, or traveling to the other side of the world, travel insurance should be considered an essential part of your holiday packing. The hope is that you won’t have to use your travel insurance, and that you’ll have a fun and enjoyable trip. The following Barbados Traveler Information should help you make the most of your trip to Barbados.

Note: Always check that your destination country is one approved for travel by your travel insurance provider.

Barbados-Travel-Health-Insurance
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Bangladesh Traveler Information – Travel Advice

Travel Advice with a Travel Advisory overview from the US State Department. Here we cover Visa, Safety & Security, local Laws and Insurance in our Bangladesh Traveler Information guide.

At AardvarkCompare we can’t recommend travel insurance enough. Whether you are just traveling a few hundred miles from home to see family, or traveling to the other side of the world, travel insurance should be considered an essential part of your holiday packing. The hope is that you won’t have to use your travel insurance, and that you’ll have a fun and enjoyable trip. The following Bangladesh Traveler Information should help you make the most of your trip to Bangladesh.

Note: Always check that your destination country is one approved for travel by your travel insurance provider.

Bangladesh-Travel-Health-Insurance
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Bahrain Traveler Information – Travel Advice

Travel Advice with a Travel Advisory overview from the US State Department. Here we cover Visa, Safety & Security, local Laws and Insurance in our Bahrain Traveler Information guide.

At AardvarkCompare we can’t recommend travel insurance enough. Whether you are just traveling a few hundred miles from home to see family, or traveling to the other side of the world, travel insurance should be considered an essential part of your holiday packing. The hope is that you won’t have to use your travel insurance, and that you’ll have a fun and enjoyable trip. The following Bahrain Traveler Information should help you make the most of your trip to Bahrain.

Note: Always check that your destination country is one approved for travel by your travel insurance provider.

 Bahrain-Travel-Health-Insurance
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Aurora Expeditions Travel Insurance – Review

Aurora Expeditions is an Australian cruise line with a passion for adventure travel. Greg Mortimer, world-renowned explorer and mountain climber, founded Aurora Expeditions to share incredible experiences with others. Cruises visit exotic and remote places like Antarctica, the Arctic, Greenland, Scotland, Iceland, Patagonia, Panama, Costa Rica, and Nepal.

Aurora-Expeditions-GregMortimer | AardvarkCompare.com

Regardless of where you buy travel insurance, Aurora Expeditions requires all travelers going to the Arctic or Antarctic own travel insurance, especially Medical Evacuation. You must provide the details about your travel insurance plan before embarkation. Aurora Expeditions offers a single “take-it or leave-it” option and refers US customers to a third-party insurer.

Although Aurora Expeditions’ travel insurance plan offers adequate Medical Insurance, Medical Evacuation, and the option to add extra benefits to their plan, it comes with a high price tag. Bottom line: it’s a poor value for your money. 

Aurora Expeditions Travel Insurance Plan

Although you can book your Aurora Expeditions cruise on their website, you cannot buy trip insurance directly from them. Rather, they refer you to a third-party travel insurance website, Ripcord Rescue. Fortunately, their website is user-friendly.

Aurora Expeditions travel insurance is not your typical cruise insurance plan. It’s a mashup of different companies offering evacuation services and travel insurance. It is a comprehensive plan that emphasizes Emergency Evacuation.

First, the Redpoint Resolutions membership service provides Medical Evacuation. However, it is not a one-time purchase; it automatically renews each year. Consequently, you must cancel Redpoint before it renews on the anniversary of your purchase. Worth noting, Evacuation membership is not an insurance benefit in this policy.

Second, Redpoint excludes all other benefits except Evacuation. So, State National Insurance Company underwrites the medical insurance, cancellation, interruption, and baggage portions of the plan. They are “A” rated for financial strength by AM Best, an independent insurance rating organization.

Third, Aurora Expeditions cruise insurance offers an optional Cancel For Any Reason and Non-Medical Emergency Evacuation benefits.

Cancel For Any Reason gives you more cancellation flexibility than the limited reasons listed in the policy. Non-Medical Evacuation transports you somewhere safe in an emergency, not caused by a medical condition.

Examples of Non-Medical Evacuation include natural disaster, military, civil, or political unrest, or being declared an expelled/persona non-grata.

In this insurance review, we include Cancel For Any Reason and Non-Medical Evacuation in the price because similar policies include them.

Aurora-Expeditions-Toucan | AardvarkCompare.com

Our Cruise: Costa Rica and the Panama Canal

Our example cruise begins in Costa Rica and travels south along the Pacific coast to the Panama Canal, into the Caribbean Sea, ending in Cartagena, Colombia.

This 12-day expedition costs $14,400 for 2 travelers, ages 55 and 60, staying in a balcony stateroom.

Aurora-Expeditions-Map | AardvarkCompare.com
Aurora-Expeditions-Trip | AardvarkCompare.com

Price of Aurora Expeditions Travel Insurance

Aurora Expeditions offers a single travel insurance option with two elective benefits. In our review, we include Non-Medical Evacuation and Cancel For Any Reason because they come standard with several policies available at AardvarkCompare.

Altogether, Aurora Expeditions travel insurance costs a whopping $2,448 for 2 travelers. Without Cancel For Any Reason and Non-Medical Evacuation, the price of Aurora Expeditions cruise insurance is $1,432. That would be a reasonable price if it included Cancel For Any Reason and Non-Medical Evacuation, but it’s distressing that Aurora Expeditions’ travel insurance charges an additional $1,000 for only two extra benefits.

Aurora-Expeditions-Quote | AardvarkCompare.com

Alternatives to Aurora Expeditions Travel Insurance

Now, we compare Aurora Expeditions cruise insurance to other trip insurance programs available on the wider market.

AardvarkCompare recommends travelers buy at least $100,000 Medical Insurance, $250,000 Medical Evacuation, and a Pre-existing Condition Waiver for trips outside the US. However, since Aurora Expeditions frequently travels to remote areas, we recommend $500,000 Medical Evacuation for those places.

When we ran a quote at AardvarkCompare, the least expensive plan that has the minimum recommended coverage is iTravelInsured Travel SE, which costs $896 for both travelers.

Aurora-Expeditions-SE | AardvarkCompare.com

Notice that iTravelInsured costs 75% less than Aurora Expeditions cruise insurance.

Next, the least expensive plan that includes Cancel For Any Reason is iTravelInsured Travel LX. It costs $1,285 for two people, which is about half the price of Aurora Expeditions trip insurance.

Aurora-Expeditions-LX | AardvarkCompare.com

Let’s look at all three plans, side-by-side. 

Aurora-Expeditions-Comparison | AardvarkCompare.com

Trip Cancellation

If you cancel your trip for a reason named in the policy, Trip Cancellation pays you back 100% of the trip costs.

Aurora Expeditions cruise insurance offers a generous list of covered cancellation reasons:

  • Accidental injury, sickness, or death of a traveler, your traveling companion, your family member, or your business partner
  • The death or hospitalization of the person you are staying with during your trip
  • Inclement weather, natural disaster, or terrorist attack which results in the complete cessation of services for at least 24 hours
  • A mandatory evacuation due to hurricane or other natural disaster
  • Named hurricane causing your destination to be uninhabitable for 4 days or 50% of your trip
  • Natural disaster or documented man-made disaster that makes your destination uninhabitable
  • Strike that causes complete cessation of services of your common carrier for at least 24 hours
  • Mechanical breakdown of your common carrier
  • A transfer by your employer that requires you to relocate
  • You are terminated or laid off from your place of work
  • Your company is involved in a merger, and you are directly involved in the merger
  • Within 30 days before you leave, a politically motivated terrorist attack occurs within 100 miles to any place you are visiting
  • A bankruptcy and/or default of your travel supplier occurs 14+ days after you buy the plan
  • A documented theft of passports or visas
  • Your equipment is delayed by a common carrier/customs, and that keeps you from being able to do a scheduled hunting, fishing, or sport expedition
  • You and/or a traveling companion are hijacked; quarantined; required to serve jury duty; subpoenaed; required to appear as a witness; the victim of a felonious assault; have a fire, flood, or other natural disaster in your home; or burglary of your home within 10 days of your departure date
  • Traffic accident on the way to the airport or cruise port substantiated by a police report
  • You, a traveling companion, or family member (who are military personnel) are called to emergency duty due to a natural disaster other than war, military due within 30 days of departure, or your leave is revoked, or you are redeployed
  • The US government or authorities prohibit the activities you were planning to do
  • A trip cancellation if a travel delay causes you to lose more than 50% of your trip

Notably, Aurora Expedition trip insurance excludes Cancel For Work Reason. If your boss granted you or your traveling companion time off but later required you to work due to a job emergency, both iTravelInsured policies refund the cost of the trip.

Worth noting, both iTravelInsured plans include Cancel For Work Reason when you purchase the plan within 20 days of your Initial Trip Payment. To make a claim, submit a written statement from an unrelated company official or HR department that confirms the change.

Also, both Travel SE and Travel LX reimburse your trip cost if the NOAA National Hurricane Center issues a hurricane warning for your destination. Unfortunately, Aurora Expeditions travel insurance does not cover cancellation unless a hurricane makes your destination uninhabitable.

Aurora-Expeditions-Ship2 | AardvarkCompare.com

Trip Interruption

If you must return home early from your trip, Trip Interruption reimburses you for the unused portion of your trip. You can see which Trip Interruptions the policy covers by checking the list of Cancellation reasons.

For example, if you are injured and you can’t finish the rest of your trip, Trip Interruption helps you recover the prepaid travel arrangements you would otherwise lose. You receive full reimbursement for your insured trip cost plus the added cost of coming home early.

Medical Insurance

Private health insurance covers medical emergencies within the US, but health insurance provides little or no help while outside of the US. A medical emergency that occurs overseas can cost you a lot of money.

Senior travelers worry about Medical treatment while outside the US. Before you travel abroad, consider that Medicare does not pay non-US providers. Also, supplemental plans limit Medical Insurance to a $50,000 lifetime limit in an emergency.

Universal healthcare in other countries typically does not cover Americans. US travelers must pay full price at a private hospital. Therefore, we suggest you travel with enough Medical Insurance in case something happens.

AardvarkCompare always recommends traveling with a minimum of $100,000 in Medical Insurance when heading outside the US. If you travel with lower limits, you risk paying out of pocket for medical bills.

With $100,000 Medical Insurance, the Aurora Expeditions travel insurance plan satisfies this recommendation. Of course, both iTravelInsured plans exceed the minimum recommended amount. Travel SE has $150,000 Medical Insurance, and the Travel LX has $500,000 Medical Insurance.

Overall, you find more value with the iTravelInsured plans than Aurora Expeditions’ cruise travel insurance.

Aurora-Expeditions-Zodiac | AardvarkCompare.com

Emergency Medical Evacuation

If you have an injury or become ill while traveling, Medical Evacuation transports you to the nearest medical facility that can treat your condition. Once the doctor certifies you are stable for travel, Medical Evacuation transports you home for further treatment.

For less serious medical conditions, Medical Evacuation might be as simple as a commercial flight home. If you have a traumatic injury or critical illness, like a heart attack or stroke, the doctor might order a medical jet to fly you home.

Medical Evacuation on a private medical jet costs between $15,000-$25,000 per hour. That is why AardvarkCompare urges travelers to protect themselves with at least $250,000 Medical Evacuation insurance. However, if you travel to a remote part of the world where medical treatment is far away, it’s wise to buy at least $500,000 Medical Evacuation insurance.

With a generous $750,000 benefit, Aurora’s trip insurance provides great Medical Evacuation coverage. However, Travel SE has a robust $500,000 benefit for a fraction of the cost. Moreover, Travel LX has a massive $1,000,000 in Medical Evacuation coverage at half the price of Aurora Expeditions trip insurance. In sum, all three plans have ample Medical Evacuation insurance for remote destinations.

Pre-existing Medical Conditions

Sometimes medical emergencies arise unexpectedly and spoil travel plans. Because travel insurance does not pay claims for Trip Cancellations or Medical treatment resulting from Pre-existing Medical Conditions, we recommend senior travelers purchase a policy that has a Waiver of Pre-Existing Conditions.

Without a Waiver of Pre-existing Conditions, the insurer looks at your medical history for 60-180 days before you bought the policy. If the condition appears on your medical history for that timeframe for treatment, test, new prescription, change of medication, or recommended a test or treatment not yet completed, the policy excludes it.

Of course, if your medical condition is older than 60-180 days, like high blood pressure, and you haven’t seen the doctor, had a change in prescriptions or worsening of condition during that time, the policy covers it.

A Pre-Existing Condition Waiver remedies the situation. The Waiver brings coverage for Pre-Existing Conditions back into the policy. Therefore, if you purchase the policy within 14-21 days after paying your first trip deposit, then your policy covers Pre-Existing Conditions. Note, not all policies offer a Waiver.

Aurora Expedition trip insurance covers Pre-existing Conditions when you purchase the plan within 14 days of your Initial Trip Deposit. Similarly, Travel SE and Travel LX give you up to 20 days, so you have more time to purchase the policy and qualify for the Pre-Existing Condition Waiver.

Aurora-Expeditions-Sloth | AardvarkCompare.com

Optional Cancel For Any Reason and Non-Medical Emergency Evacuation Benefits

Aurora Expeditions offers the option to add Cancel For Any Reason and Non-Medical Emergency Evacuation to the plan, but it comes at a steep price.

Cancel For Any Reason lets you cancel and receive a partial refund for any cancellation reason other than those listed in the policy.

Non-Medical Emergency Evacuation transports you for an emergency evacuation other than a medical emergency, such as a natural disaster, military, civil, or political unrest, or being declared an expelled/persona non-grata.

By default, iTravelInsured Travel LX includes Cancel For Any Reason and Non-Medical Emergency Evacuation, but Aurora Expeditions costs $1,163 more than Travel LX for the same thing.

To use Cancel For Any Reason in iTravelInsured Travel LX, you must:

  1. Purchase the policy within 20 days of your Initial Trip Payment Date,
  2. Insure the full cost of your trip, and
  3. Cancel your trip 2 days or more before your scheduled departure date.

Interruption For Any Reason

Fortunately, all plans offer Trip Interruption insurance, so you have peace of mind knowing you are covered if you must cut your trip short or experience delays. But what happens if you go home early for a reason not listed?

In that case, iTravelInsured Travel LX permits Interruption For Any Reason. You can end your trip 48 hours or more after your scheduled departure for any reason not listed as a covered cancellation on the policy.

For example, if during your trip, your dog sitter emails you that your pet is very sick, you may want to go home early to be with your dog. Travel insurance covers an unexpected illness of a non-traveling family member but does not consider pets family members, although many of us disagree.

If this happens, Interruption For Any Reason reimburses up to 75% of your unused trip cost. That’s much better than losing the remainder of the unused portion of your trip.

Unfortunately, even though Aurora Expeditions offers Cancel For Any Reason, it fails to include Interrupt For Any Reason.

Aurora-Expeditions-Penguins | AardvarkCompare.com

Conclusion

Aurora Expeditions travel insurance offers adequate Medical Insurance and good Medical Emergency Evacuation. Compared to similar plans available on the market, Aurora Expeditions travel insurance is too expensive. It costs two and a half times the price of the iTravelInsured Travel SE, and $1,100 more than Travel LX, both of which sell in the wider travel insurance marketplace.

Plus, Aurora Expeditions cruise insurance comes with a Medical Evacuation membership that is unnecessary, especially for a cruise to Costa Rica and the Panama Canal.

If you are considering booking a trip with Aurora Expeditions, compare other travel insurance plans, so you get the best value for your money.

When shopping around, look for policies that include at least $100,000 Medical Insurance, $250,000 Emergency Medical Evacuation, and whenever possible, a Pre-Existing Medical Exclusion Waiver.

Can I Find a Better Deal with the Insurer Directly?

No. Many people don’t realize that they won’t find the same trip insurance plans available at a better price. Prices are the same everywhere because of US anti-discriminatory laws.

When travelers want the best insurance, they shop on comparison websites like AardvarkCompare. We provide quotes through multiple insurers, so you can pick the most appropriate coverage, and have the peace of mind that you have proper protection.

In short, a trip insurance quote from AardvarkCompare is the same price you see from the insurance carrier directly. We do not compete on price for insurance products — no one does. You can count on getting the best value from us.

Have questions? We would love to hear from you. Send us a chat, Email, or Call Us at (650) 492-6298.

Safe travels.

Recent AardvarkCompare Travel Insurance Customer Reviews

TP1|AardvarkCompare.com

TP3 | AardvarkCompare.com

I Panicked When I Discovered
I panicked when I discovered the Travel Insurance I had through Expedia had expired when I changed my flight reservation.
When I went to renew I was told I couldn’t.
I discovered Aardvark on my AARP site and I was excited I could purchase a an even better travel plan with coverage starting with my trip departure, at a cost I could afford.
I was confused with the initial site and was Mr. Breeze reached out to me for clarification.
He explained the policy more thoroughly and addressed all my concerns, can’t get any better then that!
Thank You Aardvark and thank you Jonathan for your assistance.
I can go on my trip now knowing I’ll be covered for medical emergencies, and then some.
Barbara

TP6 - AardvarkCompare Review | AardvarkCompare.com

Good Choices, Well Explained
I liked the way insurance was explained. I had read an article your company had written explaining Expedia trip coverage versus other choices.
I used this advice to make the best choice for me and my traveling companions. That choice was to take a policy that provided much better medical and evacuation primary care.
Your site allowed comparisons, and I think I got the best value for my money. I don’t like constant follow up emails. You could back off a bit!!
Louise


The Bahamas Traveler Information – Travel Advice

Travel Advice with a Travel Advisory overview from the US State Department. Here we cover Visa, Safety & Security, local Laws and Insurance in our The Bahamas Traveler Information guide.

At AardvarkCompare we can’t recommend travel insurance enough. Whether you are just traveling a few hundred miles from home to see family, or traveling to the other side of the world, travel insurance should be considered an essential part of your holiday packing. The hope is that you won’t have to use your travel insurance, and that you’ll have a fun and enjoyable trip. The following The Bahamas Traveler Information should help you make the most of your trip to The Bahamas.

Note: Always check that your destination country is one approved for travel by your travel insurance provider.

The-Bahamas-Travel-Health-Insurance
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Ponant Cruise Travel Insurance – Review

Introduction

This review highlights the strengths and weaknesses of Ponant Cruises travel insurance and compares it with other policies on the broader travel insurance market. Unfortunately, like many luxury cruise lines, Ponant travel insurance does not match the quality and refinement of the Ponant cruise experience.

Ponant caters to luxury experiences like fine dining, intimate atmospheres, and attentive service. North American travelers seeking a European cruise experience also favor Ponant. Popular destinations include Alaska, Africa, Antarctica, the Arctic, French Polynesia, and Northern Europe.

Ponant’s clientele is refined and sophisticated; you will not find Kathie Lee Gifford aboard Le Jacques Cartier. Unfortunately, their travel insurance is not nearly as impressive.

Ponant-Ship | AardvarkCompare.com

Ponant Cruise Travel Insurance

Since Ponant travels to exotic destinations, including the Arctic and Antarctica, travelers need robust Medical and Evacuation insurance for emergencies. Unfortunately, Ponant’s insurance program falls short on coverage.

Ponant offers a “one size fits all” travel insurance program through Allianz, a reputable insurance partner. We are not fans of single-option trip insurance plans since one size never fits all. Jefferson Insurance Company underwrites the policy, and AGA Service Company administers the policy and processes insurance claims.

Ponant Requires Proof of Travel Insurance

Due to the remote nature of their destinations, Ponant requires all travelers to present proof of travel insurance at embarkation. You can opt for the Ponant cruise insurance plan or purchase coverage through an insurance marketplace. If you do not buy travel insurance, Ponant compels you to sign a waiver accepting liability for Medical Expenses, Medical Evacuation, and Repatriation.

How Much Travel Insurance Do You Need?

AardvarkCompare recommends travelers going to remote destinations take at least $100,000 Medical Insurance, $500,000 Medical Evacuation, and get a Waiver of Pre-existing Medical Conditions whenever possible.

When traveling to populated areas with hospitals and airports nearby, we recommend $250,000 for Medical Evacuation, which is what Ponant has. That amount is enough for the Mediterranean, but not if you’re traveling to polar regions. Also, Ponant’s Medical Insurance is half of what we recommend.

Ponant Travel Insurance – Missing Some Benefits

We aren’t impressed by Ponants’ lack of a Cancel For Any Reason option. Most cruise lines offer, at minimum, future cruise credit if you cancel for a reason not covered by the policy, and, at best, a cash refund. Unfortunately, Ponant trip insurance does not allow either option.

However, we commend Ponant travel insurance for its Free Look period. Consequently, you can cancel the policy for a full refund if you change your mind within 15 days of purchase. Of course, this feature assumes you haven’t started the trip and made no claims against the policy.

Our Cruise: Easter Island and Polynesia

Our sample couple, ages 55 and 60, chose a 13-day cruise to French Polynesia for a total of $12,000 for two people.

Ponant-cottages | AardvarkCompare.com
Ponant-Trip | AardvarkCompare.com

Here, Ponant’s travel insurance costs $1,260. They charge a flat 10% fee over the trip cost for travel insurance. We think that’s a bit overpriced.

Let’s see what alternatives we have.

Alternatives to Ponant Travel Insurance

We input the same travel information into AardvarkCompare’s instant quote tool and received many options. We narrowed it down to two options.

First, we wanted the least expensive plan that met our recommended minimums: $100,000 Medical Insurance, $500,000 Medical Evacuation, and a Pre-existing Conditions Waiver. We found iTravelInsured Travel SE met these criteria and costs $660.

Ponant-TravelSE | AardvarkCompare.com

Second, we wanted to see the least expensive Cancel For Any Reason policy. In this case, iTravelInsured Travel LX was the most affordable and costs $929.

Ponant-TravelLX | AardvarkCompare.com

Next, we compare Ponant side-by-side with iTravelInsured Travel SE and Travel LX:

Ponant-comparison | AardvarkCompare.com

Notice the cost of Travel SE is about half the cost of Ponant. Travel LX is about 50% more than Travel SE, yet 25% less than Ponant.

While not bad, Ponant’s Medical Insurance is low relative to Travel SE and Travel LX. It’s also missing several other benefits like Cancel For Any Reason, Missed Connection, Cancel For Work Reason, and Accidental Death & Dismemberment.

It seems Ponant travel insurance provides Pontiac quality for a Cadillac price.

Ponant-pool-norway | AardvarkCompare.com

Trip Cancellation Protection

Since cruises are booked months in advance to take advantage of discounts and special offers, you need Trip Cancellation coverage. If you couldn’t go due to injury or sickness, Trip Cancellation pays a 100% refund of the $12,000 trip cost.

Every travel insurance policy includes a list of situations covered for a full refund. Basic policies have just a handful of reasons, but robust policies have two dozen or more.

Ponant cruise trip insurance permits cancellation due to:

  • Injury, illness or death of a traveler, traveling companion or family member
  • Severe weather and natural disaster situations
  • Jury duty summons
  • Delays due to traffic accidents
  • Theft of passports or visas
  • Mechanical breakdown or strike of common carrier
  • Quarantine
  • Your residence is uninhabitable
  • Terrorism
  • Employer layoff or termination
  • Traveler leave changed by military orders

Trip Interruption Protection

Interruption insurance is like Trip Cancellation but applies after a trip starts. They share the same list of covered reasons.

The most common cause of Trip Interruption is the serious illness of a traveler or family member, a physician advising against continuing travel, a family member with a grave illness, or a death in the family.

Covered Trip Interruptions reimburse up to 100% of the unused portion of prepaid, non-refundable trip expenses.

Additional reimbursements include the cost of:

  • transportation to continue your trip
  • transportation to your home

With a basic 100% refund, Ponant’s Trip Interruption benefit is unremarkable. Robust travel insurance policies provide a more generous 150% refund. That’s 50% more Trip Interruption coverage, for a similar or lower premium than the Ponant plan.

Ponant-northwest | AardvarkCompare.com

Emergency Medical Insurance

Medical Insurance is an important part of any travel insurance plan because of the high cost of health care. You don’t want to face an unexpected broken bone or stroke abroad without travel Medical Insurance.

That’s why we recommend $100,000 per person in Medical Insurance coverage when traveling outside of the United States. Sadly, Ponant’s expensive trip insurance lacks with only $50,000 Medical Insurance.

Other plans in the travel insurance marketplace range provide $100,000 to $500,000 per person in Medical Insurance. Moreover, they have a lower price than Ponant cruise insurance.

What If I Have Private Insurance?

While most people have private health insurance or Medicare at home, few plans pay for treatment outside the US.

Although some Medicare supplement plans cover you outside the US, but they limit you to $50,000 of care. In our opinion, that amount is not enough for a catastrophe.

One problem with Medicare’s international benefit is that the $50,000 benefit is a lifetime benefit, not an annual one. The other problem is that you must pay 20% of the amount due.

So, even if your treatment was only $40,000, you are still out $8,000 cash from the copay. Talk about a memorable souvenir from your vacation. That out-of-pocket expense shows what a bargain travel insurance is since it does not have a deductible or copay.

Ponant-tropical | AardvarkCompare.com

I’m Going Somewhere With Universal Health Care – I Don’t Need Medical Insurance

If you’re traveling to a country with universal health care, please take note: universal health care does not apply to you. Public health care is only for residents.

Instead, you receive treatment at private hospitals that hold you financially responsible for your health care bills. Typically, hospitals charge $3,000 to $4,000 just for an overnight inpatient stay. Diagnostics, treatments, surgeries, and medicines cost much more.

Lastly, while the US State Department is helpful in a legal emergency, they cannot help you with a medical or financial emergency.

We think your Ponant trip should be fun! Receiving medical bills of $100,000 and more is the stone-cold opposite of fun. Avoid travel insurance plans with less than $100,000 in Medical Insurance coverage since they expose you to serious financial risk.

Emergency Medical Evacuation

Medical Evacuation is one of the most underestimated benefits of travel insurance. It pays for the costs of medical helicopters, planes, extracting a traveler from a cruise ship, and transporting them to proper medical care. Unfortunately, the cost of transportation is exceptionally expensive. Expect a bill of $15,000 to $25,000 per flight hour.

If you travel without adequate Medical Evacuation, you run the risk of a massive bill that could wipe out your retirement savings.

Ponant-Cabin | AardvarkCompare.com

Ponant’s Medical Evacuation Coverage

Ponant trip insurance includes $250,000 Medical Evacuation protection. Evacuation is one of Ponant’s strongest benefits and meets our recommended minimum coverage if you’re traveling outside the US and staying near civilization. However, if you cruise with Ponant to a remote or exotic destination, you need at least $500,000 Medical Evacuation.

Ponant does its customers a disservice because their trip insurance only covers $250,000 Medical Evacuation. Seniors who travel to remote destinations places need the most protection where medical services are extremely difficult to reach or non-existent.

Fortunately, other travel insurance options with $500,000-$1,000,000 per person in Medical Evacuation have similar prices.

Pre-existing Medical Conditions

As a rule, travel insurance excludes Pre-existing Conditions from coverage. Each policy has a different definition of a Pre-existing Condition. They vary in two areas:

  1. Length of time they look at your medical history immediately before you purchased the insurance policy, and
  2. Whether they offer a Waiver that brings Pre-existing Conditions back into the policy.

Ponant travel insurance looks at the 120 days before you bought the policy and excludes any medical conditions for which you received treatment, testing, new or changed medication. Generally, the less time they look back, the better.

How to Cover Pre-existing Conditions

Fortunately, Ponant cruise travel insurance offers a Waiver, so the policy will cover the Pre-existing Conditions, and waive their right to review your recent medical history. However, Ponant has a few rules to activate the Waiver:

  1. Your policy was purchased on or before the Final Trip Payment due date as listed on your travel supplier’s invoice;
  2. You were a U.S. resident when the policy was purchased;
  3. You were medically able to travel when the policy was purchased; and
  4. On the policy purchase date, you insured the full non-refundable cost of your trip with Ponant. This includes trip arrangements that will become non-refundable or subject to cancellation penalties between the policy purchase date and the departure date.

Number four is a restrictive requirement for Ponant’s Waiver of Pre-existing Conditions. In contrast, neither Travel SE nor Travel LX requires you to insure 100% of your trip costs. You can insure less than that and keep the Waiver in effect.

Travel LX is like Ponant cruise insurance in that you can wait until your Final Payment date to purchase the plan and receive the Waiver. However, Travel SE also covers Pre-existing Conditions if you purchase the policy within 20 days of your Initial Trip Payment.

Do I Need a Pre-existing Condition Waiver?

We recommend all travelers, particularly seniors, get a travel insurance policy with a Pre-existing Condition Waiver to make sure they’re properly covered. The Waiver can mean the difference between whether the insurer pays a major medical bill or cancellation or not.

Ponant-easter-island | AardvarkCompare.com

Cancel For Any Reason

Sometimes, cruise travelers need the maximum amount of cancellation flexibility from a travel insurance plan. Cancel For Any Reason adds the highest level of protection and gives you the most peace of mind.

Unfortunately, Ponant trip insurance pays no cancellation claims for any reason other than those listed by the policy.

How Does Cancel For Any Reason Work?

For example, if the weather report shows it will rain the entire week in the Mediterranean during your cruise and you didn’t want to go anymore, Cancel For Any Reason reimburses 75% of the total trip cost.

To activate the Cancel For Any Reason benefit, there are a few requirements:

  • Insuring 100% of non-refundable, prepaid trip costs
  • Purchasing the LX policy within 1 Day of Final Trip Payment
  • Canceling the trip at least 48 hours before trip departure

For this Ponant cruise, Travel LX costs $929 for both travelers. That amount is $331 less than Ponant insurance. However, Travel LX gives you more coverage for your money with benefits like Cancel For Any Reason.

Note that no travel insurance policy pays a 100% refund for Cancel For Any Reason.

Baggage Insurance

Baggage Insurance compensates you for the theft or damage of your personal property during your trip. Ponant travel insurance includes a strong $3,000 per person benefit, so we must give Ponant some credit here.

Save Your Receipts

If you buy replacement luggage, clothing, or personal items, be sure to save the original receipt. Your receipts ensure you receive the full Baggage Insurance benefit. Up to 75% coverage applies if receipts are not available.

Baggage Delay

Ponant Baggage Delay insurance reimburses up to $1,000 per person for clothing and toiletries if you do not receive your baggage after X number of hours. The length of delay varies from policy to policy.

Ponant trip insurance works directly with the airline to locate your delayed baggage. We give Ponant some credit here for this generous benefit. Unfortunately, Baggage Insurance and Delay coverage is a drop in the bucket compared to Medical Insurance and Evacuation benefits.

Ponant-FP | AardvarkCompare.com

Conclusion

Ponant provides world-class cruise experiences, but their travel insurance offering is disappointingly weak and overpriced. Due to the remote nature of Ponant’s destinations, their Medical Insurance and Evacuation aren’t up to par in case of a serious emergency. While we applaud that they offer a Waiver for Pre-existing Medical Conditions, Ponant insurance lacks several standard benefits.

How Do I Get a Quote?

Here at AardvarkCompare, we recommend that travelers carefully consider travel insurance. You can get an anonymous quote and compare dozens of the top travel plans from the best travel insurers. It saves you time and money, and you can find the perfect plan in seconds.

Won’t I Save More Buying from the Insurer?

In a word, no. You won’t save money buying directly from the insurer.

We guarantee you won’t find the same trip insurance at a better price, even from the insurance company. Anti-discrimination laws in the US give you consumer price protection. All travel plans are filed by state, including the price, so you won’t find the same plan cheaper anywhere else.

Have questions? Send an email, chat online with us, or call AardvarkCompare at 650-492-6298 to receive a free quote.

Safe Travels!

Recent AardvarkCompare Travel Insurance Customer Reviews

TP1|AardvarkCompare.com

TP3 | AardvarkCompare.com

I Panicked When I Discovered
I panicked when I discovered the Travel Insurance I had through Expedia had expired when I changed my flight reservation.
When I went to renew I was told I couldn’t.
I discovered Aardvark on my AARP site and I was excited I could purchase a an even better travel plan with coverage starting with my trip departure, at a cost I could afford.
I was confused with the initial site and was Mr. Breeze reached out to me for clarification.
He explained the policy more thoroughly and addressed all my concerns, can’t get any better then that!
Thank You Aardvark and thank you Jonathan for your assistance.
I can go on my trip now knowing I’ll be covered for medical emergencies, and then some.
Barbara

TP6 - AardvarkCompare Review | AardvarkCompare.com

Good Choices, Well Explained
I liked the way insurance was explained. I had read an article your company had written explaining Expedia trip coverage versus other choices.
I used this advice to make the best choice for me and my traveling companions. That choice was to take a policy that provided much better medical and evacuation primary care.
Your site allowed comparisons, and I think I got the best value for my money. I don’t like constant follow up emails. You could back off a bit!!
Louise


Azerbaijan Traveler Information – Travel Advice

Travel Advice with a Travel Advisory overview from the US State Department. Here we cover Visa, Safety & Security, local Laws and Insurance in our Azerbaijan Traveler Information guide.

At AardvarkCompare we can’t recommend travel insurance enough. Whether you are just traveling a few hundred miles from home to see family, or traveling to the other side of the world, travel insurance should be considered an essential part of your holiday packing. The hope is that you won’t have to use your travel insurance, and that you’ll have a fun and enjoyable trip. The following Azerbaijan Traveler Information should help you make the most of your trip to Azerbaijan.

Note: Always check that your destination country is one approved for travel by your travel insurance provider.

Azerbaijan-Travel-Health-Insurance
(more…)


SeaDream Yacht Club Travel Insurance – Review

Introduction

SeaDream Yacht Club caters to small ship experiences on mega-yachts. Currently, they sail the Mediterranean in summer and the Caribbean in winter.

SeaDream cruise insurance offers two options: Classic Plus and Premier. They provide an option to add Cancel For Any Reason for a 50-55% cost increase. Although you can book a cruise online, you must call SeaDream to enroll in insurance.

Sea-Dream-Yacht-Club-Yacht | AardvarkCompare.com

Starr Indemnity and Liability Corporation underwrites SeaDream cruise travel insurance. They are a reputable underwriter that also backs the John Hancock travel insurance policies at AardvarkCompare.

But are either of these policies a good deal for SeaDream Yacht Club passengers? This article examines the policies in detail and compares them to alternative options.

Our Cruise: Barcelona to Civitavecchia (Rome)

In this review, we picked the 8-day Barcelona to Civitavecchia cruise to illustrate travel insurance comparisons. The total cost for two senior travelers, ages 55 and 60, is $11,774.

Sea-Dream-Yacht-Club-Map | AardvarkCompare.com

Comparison Quotes

When comparing policies, it’s essential to know what you need.

In general, we recommend travelers cruising outside of the US take at least $100,000 medical insurance, $250,000 emergency medical evacuation, and a Waiver of Pre-existing Medical Conditions. This level of travel insurance coverage abundantly pays for a medical emergency overseas.

Next, we compare SeaDream with two policies available on AardvarkCompare Travel Insurance Marketplace.

First, we look at iTravelInsured Travel SE because it’s the least expensive plan that meets our recommended coverage levels: $100,000 Medical Insurance and $250,000 Medical Evacuation. It also covers Pre-existing Medical Conditions when you purchase the policy within 20 days of the initial deposit or payment.

Plus, we include iTravelInsured Travel LX in the comparison because it’s the least expensive plan that offers Cancel For Any Reason.

Unfortunately, neither Starr Assist plan includes Cancel For Any Reason as a standard feature. Instead, you add it at purchase and pay an additional 50-55% premium.

In this comparison, we show you the prices with and without Cancel For Any Reason included on both SeaDream plans.

Price and Value

First, both SeaDream policies cost more than $1,000 each to add Cancel For Any Reason. However, Travel LX with Cancel For Any Reason built-in costs less than $1,000.

Second, SeaDream Classic Plus’s costs more than Travel SE, but covers less Medical Insurance.

Third, SeaDream Premier is a robust policy, but we think the price is too high for what you get. In this case, Premier’s benefit levels closely resemble Travel SE but costs 50% more than Travel LX.

Overall, you get far more value from the Travel SE and Travel LX policies for your money.

In general, when you look for travel insurance through a marketplace like AardvarkCompare, you’ll find more coverage for the money. Seniors, in particular, find the most value from a travel insurance marketplace.

Sea-Dream-Yacht-Club-Couple | AardvarkCompare.com

Trip Cancellation

Both of SeaDream’s travel insurance policies include a 100% refund for cancellation due to:

  • Injury, sickness or death of you, your traveling companion, your family member, your children’s caregiver or your business partner that results in medically imposed restrictions
  • Inclement weather, natural disasters, terrorist attacks or mechanical breakdown of the common carrier
  • Mandatory evacuation ordered by local authorities at your destination due to a natural disaster.
  • Natural Disaster that renders your primary residence or the accommodations at your destination uninhabitable.
  • Adverse weather or natural disaster resulting in the obstruction of public roadways or curtailment of public transportation that prevents your ability to arrive at your land/sea arrangements.
  • A road closure causing a delay in reaching your destination for at least 12 hours.
  • Strike that causes complete cessation of travel services of your common carrier for at least 48 consecutive hours.
  • Bankruptcy and/or default of your travel supplier that occurs more than 14 days following the effective date of your scheduled departure date must be no more than 12 months beyond the effective date.
  • A documented security breach in the airport terminal within 12 hours of arrival or while you are physically at the terminal.
  • A politically motivated terrorist attack that occurs within 30 days of your departure and within 50 miles of a city listed on your itinerary.
  • A documented theft of passports or visas.
  • You or your traveling companion directly involved in or delayed due to a traffic accident substantiated by a police report, while en route to departure.
  • You and/or your traveling companion are hijacked, quarantined, required to serve on a jury, subpoenaed, required to appear as a witness in a legal action, provided you or your traveling companion are not a party to the legal action or appearing as a law enforcement officer;
  • You and/or your traveling companion are victims of felonious assault, having your principal place of residence made inaccessible and uninhabitable by a natural disaster, or burglary or vandalism of your principal place of residence within 10 days of departure.

It’s excellent that SeaDream cruise insurance provides a comprehensive Cancellation list. However, we noticed something missing from SeaDream’s travel insurance: Cancel For Work Reasons.

Cancel For Work reimburses you if your employer rescinded your time off, or laid you off. Fortunately, iTravelInsured covers all of the above cancellation reasons, as well as Cancel For Work reasons.

Trip Interruption

Both SeaDream cruise insurance programs are Interruption policies. So, if your sister had a stroke during the trip and you had to leave immediately, Trip Interruption coverage reimburses the cost of returning home early. It also refunds you for the unused part of the trip.

Plus, Trip Interruption compensates you if something delays the start of your trip. For example, a winter storm shut down the airport and delayed your flight to the port. Your policy refunds you for the missed days and new travel arrangements to reach the destination.

SeaDream cruise insurance uses the same list of covered cancellation reasons for Trip Interruption. iTravelInsured Travel SE and Travel LX work the same way.

Sea-Dream-Yacht-Club-Fort | AardvarkCompare.com

Medical Insurance

Sadly, most travelers assume their private health insurance and Medicare pay for all of their medical needs while traveling. Within the US, this may be true, but once you leave the US border, you’re financially exposed.

If you need medical treatment overseas, you must pay out-of-pocket for costly services. Even in countries with nationalized medicine, they rarely extend coverage to people who are not citizens. Indeed, Americans receive treatment at private hospitals, not public hospitals, so they bill you the full cost.

Likewise, the US State Department and the CDC urge travelers to take robust Medical Insurance when traveling outside the US. Few people realize that government organizations like Medicare and the State Department deny payment for Americans’ health care overseas.

Even if you have a private Medicare supplement, the coverage is limited. Some supplements provide for $50,000 of emergency medical treatment. However, it’s a lifetime limit, and you must pay 20% of that amount. Even with a $40,000 bill, Medicare makes you pay $8,000 in cash. For treatment costs over $50,000, Medicare requires you to pay the rest of it yourself.

That’s why AardvarkCompare recommends each traveler take at least $100,000 Medical Insurance when leaving the US. If you travel with less than $100,000 Medical Insurance, your retirement savings could vaporize paying for medical treatment in a foreign country.

Regrettably, SeaDream’s Classic Plus cruise travel insurance only provides $50,000 of medical insurance.

On the other hand, SeaDream Premier trip insurance includes a $250,000 Medical Insurance benefit. We are delighted to see this amount. It’s significantly higher than we recommend and covers virtually any medical emergency.

In the same way, iTravelInsured Travel SE provides $150,000 Medical Insurance, while Travel LX covers $500,000.

Sea-Dream-Yacht-Club-WaterLevel | AardvarkCompare.com

Emergency Medical Evacuation

Travelers need Medical Evacuation insurance if they have an unexpected injury or illness that requires further treatment at a high-quality hospital or back home.

Medical Evacuation pays for emergency transportation from the location of injury or illness to a local hospital. Then, if medically necessary, it covers commercial or private transport to return home.

Unfortunately, transportation prices are high. A private jet equipped with medical equipment and a medical team runs $15,000 to $25,000 per flight hour. A return trip home can cost upwards of $200,000 to $250,000. That’s why AardvarkCompare recommends all travelers leaving the US get at least $250,000 Emergency Medical Evacuation protection.

Both SeaDream trip insurance policies provide $500,000 of Medical Evacuation benefits per person. We are quite pleased to see that. Also, iTravelInsured Travel SE offers $500,000 for evacuation, and Travel LX covers up to $1,000,000.

Sea-Dream-Yacht-Club-Croatia | AardvarkCompare.com

Pre-existing Medical Conditions

Does the phrase “Pre-existing Conditions” make you sad? Us too. But guess what? Travel insurance looks at it differently. They aren’t interested in your life’s history.

Instead, SeaDream trip insurance only cares about the 180 days before you bought the plan. If you received medical advice, diagnosis, new or medication change, care, or recommendation in that time, they would exclude it from coverage. But anything older than 180 days, under control with medication and hasn’t worsened, is covered.

Fortunately, SeaDream’s insurance covers Pre-existing Conditions if you buy the plan within 14 days of your initial deposit.

We’re happy they offer a Waiver to include Pre-existing Conditions, but 180 days is not the most generous rule. Most policies at AardvarkCompare have a better deal: a 60-day window and 20-21 days to purchase the plan, so it covers Pre-existing Conditions.

No matter where you cruise, AardvarkCompare recommends all travelers, especially seniors, purchase a travel insurance plan that covers Pre-existing Conditions whenever possible. This extra layer of protection makes the difference between a claim being paid or denied.

Cancel For Any Reason – SeaDream Cruise Insurance

If you want the most flexibility and protection with travel insurance, Cancel For Any Reason delivers. You can cancel your trip for any reason not listed under covered cancellations. For instance, if your pet was gravely ill or injured and you don’t want to leave her while you take a cruise, you can get a refund.

Fortunately, this benefit comes standard on some top tier policies, like iTravelInsured Travel LX. Although SeaDream trip insurance has the option to add Cancel For Any Reason, that feature adds a surcharge of 50% to 55%.

SeaDream travel insurance has a few rules if you want to use Cancel For Any Reason:

  1. Purchase policy 14 days of the Initial Payment or Deposit date,
  2. Increase coverage within 14 days of each subsequent payment,
  3. Cover 100% of all non-refundable covered trip arrangements, and
  4. Cancel the covered trip no less than 2 days before the scheduled departure date.

Then, Cancel For Any Reason provides a 75% refund if you cancel for any reason not listed in the policy.

While we are thrilled to see the option to add Cancel For Any Reason, it’s an expensive upcharge. On the other hand, senior travelers receive more value from Travel LX since it includes Cancel For Any Reason by default.

Sea-Dream-Yacht-Club-Cabin | AardvarkCompare.com

Cancel For Any Reason – iTravelInsured Travel LX

iTravelInsured Travel LX resembles SeaDream travel insurance Cancel For Any Reason but differs in a few key areas.

First, iTravelInsured requires purchase within 20 days of Initial Trip Payment rather than within 14.

Second, you must cancel the trip 48 hours or more before your departure date.

Third, it costs less to purchase a policy with Cancel For Any Reason built-in rather than added-on.

Finally, Travel LX includes Interruption For Any Reason, but neither SeaDream plans offer it.

Interruption For Any Reason

Cancel For Any Reason gives you flexibility, but the SeaDream trip insurance policies don’t let you Interrupt For Any Reason.

Interruption For Any Reason is a helpful tool if something happens during your trip that makes you want to go home early. For example, your dog ran out of the house and was hit by a car. You don’t want to continue the trip knowing your dog is injured.

With Interruption For Any Reason, you can go home early and tend to your dog, and receive reimbursement for a portion of the trip you missed.

To take advantage of Interruption For Any Reason, interrupt any time 48 hours or more after departure date. You’ll receive 75% of the unused portion of the trip costs.

Sea-Dream-Yacht-Club-Canal | AardvarkCompare.com

Conclusion

Overall, the SeaDream policies are quality comprehensive travel insurance plans. Although Classic Plus’ Medical Insurance falls short of our recommendation by 50%, we would recommend the Premier plan.

The other troublesome area is the Cancel For Any Reason add-on. Including the benefit brings the price of the policy up so high that it’s less expensive to get a policy with Cancel For Any Reason built-in.

When buying travel insurance for overseas adventures, we urge you to look for robust policies. We recommend at least $100,000 Medical Insurance, $250,000 Medical Evacuation, and a Pre-existing Condition Waiver.

If you want Cancel For Any Reason perks in your policy, you must purchase it within 20-21 days of your Initial Deposit or Payment.

It makes sense to buy your travel insurance shortly after making the Initial Trip Deposit, so you get the most benefits in your policy.

Whatever the case, visit AardvarkCompare first to shop around before buying the cruise line’s insurance. Stop by and have a chat, send an email, or give us a call at 650-492-6298.

Safe travels!

Recent AardvarkCompare Travel Insurance Customer Reviews

TP1|AardvarkCompare.com

TP3 | AardvarkCompare.com

I Panicked When I Discovered
I panicked when I discovered the Travel Insurance I had through Expedia had expired when I changed my flight reservation.
When I went to renew I was told I couldn’t.
I discovered Aardvark on my AARP site and I was excited I could purchase a an even better travel plan with coverage starting with my trip departure, at a cost I could afford.
I was confused with the initial site and was Mr. Breeze reached out to me for clarification.
He explained the policy more thoroughly and addressed all my concerns, can’t get any better then that!
Thank You Aardvark and thank you Jonathan for your assistance.
I can go on my trip now knowing I’ll be covered for medical emergencies, and then some.
Barbara

TP6 - AardvarkCompare Review | AardvarkCompare.com

Good Choices, Well Explained
I liked the way insurance was explained. I had read an article your company had written explaining Expedia trip coverage versus other choices.
I used this advice to make the best choice for me and my traveling companions. That choice was to take a policy that provided much better medical and evacuation primary care.
Your site allowed comparisons, and I think I got the best value for my money. I don’t like constant follow up emails. You could back off a bit!!
Louise


Austria Traveler Information – Travel Advice

Travel Advice with a Travel Advisory overview from the US State Department. Here we cover Visa, Safety & Security, local Laws and Insurance in our Austria Traveler Information guide.

At AardvarkCompare we can’t recommend travel insurance enough. Whether you are just traveling a few hundred miles from home to see family, or traveling to the other side of the world, travel insurance should be considered an essential part of your holiday packing. The hope is that you won’t have to use your travel insurance, and that you’ll have a fun and enjoyable trip. The following Austria Traveler Information should help you make the most of your trip to Austria.

Note: Always check that your destination country is one approved for travel by your travel insurance provider.

Austria-Travel-Health-Insurance
(more…)


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