Having travel insurance for a cruise can be a wise decision for several reasons. While it’s not mandatory, it provides you with financial protection and peace of mind during your cruise.
People who live in countries that have national health care, like Canada, Sweden, Brazil and Norway may have a different mindset. They might not have medical costs foremost in their minds as those people in countries like the United States who have to pay for their own medical expenses and health coverage.
And it’s not just peace of mind that travel insurance can provide you, it can mean the difference between being covered for unexpected expenses, or potentially having to shell out thousands of dollars.
Expect The Unexpected. And Get Insurance To Cover it
Some things could go wrong before you ever get onboard your cruise. Missing a flight, or flights being cancelled are always a possibility.
The possibility of the unexpected should never deter you from cruising. The majority of the 31.5 million passengers cruising in 2023 will have smooth sailing.
Nevertheless, it is wise to cover all contingencies so that you don’t have experiences like the examples below.
Examples Of The Pain Of Not Having Insurance, Or Not Having The Right Insurance
A Florida couple felt that they were doing the right thing by purchasing standard travel protection from their cruise line.
Unfortunately, weeks before their 10-day Caribbean cruise, the husband was urged to begin treatment for a cancerous condition that had returned. The couple cancelled their trip and filed for a refund under their travel protection insurance.
Unfortunately, their claim was denied because of the fine print in the standard travel protection. This couple were denied refunds for pre-existing conditions., listed as an exclusion in the standard travel protection from the cruise line.
The $58,000 Mistake
The Thompson family from North Carolina decided to take the cruise of a lifetime. Their five children were growing up and they wanted to take a memorable trip before all the kids were grown and gone.
Booking what they thought would be a wonderful trip, a cruise to Alaska, they ended up not making the memories that they had hoped for.
The Thompson’s did not buy travel insurance and there were mistakes made on both the part of the cruise line and the Thompson’s themselves. These mistakes ended up costing more than what some people make in a year.
Take the time to watch this 12 minute video from La Lido Loca: This Cruise Mistake Cost them Thousands. He does an excellent job of laying out exactly where the mistakes were made and how you could avoid them.
A List Of Reasons Why You Should Have Travel Insurance
Here are some compelling reasons why having travel insurance for a cruise is a good idea:
Trip Cancellation Coverage
Life is unpredictable, and circumstances may force you to cancel your cruise plans. Travel insurance typically covers non-refundable trip expenses, such as cruise fares, in case you need to cancel your trip due to unexpected events like illness, injury, or family emergencies.
Trip Interruption Coverage
If your cruise is cut short due to unforeseen events (e.g., a family emergency or a medical issue), travel insurance can reimburse you for the unused portion of your trip, including accommodations and prepaid excursions.
Missed Connection Coverage
Delays or cancellations in your flights or transportation can lead to missing the cruise departure. Travel insurance can provide coverage for additional expenses incurred while catching up with the cruise at the next port.
There is a high cost to medical care on ships, and if you needed to be transported to land, it would add significantly to those costs.
If a ship has to be diverted to land, or if (heaven forbid!) a helicopter needs to be used to transport a passenger, the price tag could have 5 zeros behind it. With all of those costs being astronomical, insurance to cover them is imperative.
Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation
In extreme cases, you may need to be evacuated from the cruise ship or a remote location due to a medical emergency. Travel insurance can cover the costs associated with such evacuations.
Lost, Stolen, or Damaged Belongings
Cruise vacations often involve carrying valuable items like electronics, jewelry, and clothing. Travel insurance can reimburse you for the loss or theft of your belongings during the trip.
Travel Delay Coverage
If you experience significant delays due to weather, strikes, or other unexpected events, travel insurance can cover additional expenses for meals, accommodations, and transportation.
In the event that your cruise is canceled or significantly altered due to severe weather conditions (e.g., hurricanes), travel insurance can offer reimbursement for non-refundable expenses.
Cruise Line Financial Default
In rare cases, cruise lines may go out of business or declare bankruptcy. Travel insurance can provide coverage in such situations, ensuring you don’t lose your prepaid expenses.
Travel insurance often includes 24/7 emergency assistance services, which can help you navigate unfamiliar medical systems, language barriers, or other issues while traveling.
Peace of Mind
Perhaps one of the most significant benefits of travel insurance is the peace of mind it provides. Knowing that you have financial protection in case of unexpected events can help you relax and fully enjoy your cruise vacation.
How Much Will Travel Insurance Cost?
Expect travel insurance to cost you between 7% and 10% of the cost of your cruise.
Those people who have traveled extensively will tell you that if you can’t afford the travel insurance, you should rethink the cruise itself. Don’t go unless you can afford the cruise AND the insurance.
Make Sure To Read The Fine Print
Before purchasing travel insurance for your cruise, it’s essential to carefully review the policy terms, coverage limits, and exclusions to ensure it aligns with your specific needs and preferences.
Travel insurance policies vary widely in both price and inclusions. It is important for you to do some research to get the policy that meets your needs and your budget.
Where To Look For Travel Insurance
Insure My Trip is a travel insurance broker, so it is not a standard insurance provider. It does not provide policies or underwrite claims, it just lets you compare policies from some of the industry’s best travel insurance companies.
Other Options For Travel Insurance
You can buy travel insurance from various sources, depending on your preferences and needs. Here are some common options for purchasing travel insurance:
Travel Insurance Companies
Many companies specialize in providing travel insurance. You can visit their websites, compare different policies, and purchase insurance directly from them. Examples of well-known travel insurance companies include Allianz Travel, Travel Guard, and World Nomads.
Insurance Brokers or Agents
You can consult with an insurance broker or agent who can help you find suitable travel insurance based on your specific requirements. They can provide guidance and help you navigate the options available.
Online Comparison Websites
Several online comparison websites allow you to compare travel insurance policies from multiple providers in one place. These platforms can help you find coverage that suits your needs and budget. Examples include Squaremouth and InsureMyTrip.
Credit Card Providers
Some credit card companies offer complimentary travel insurance as a benefit of using their cards to pay for your travel expenses. Check with your credit card issuer to see if this benefit is available and if it meets your coverage needs.
When booking your cruise or other travel arrangements through a travel agency, they may offer travel insurance as part of the package. You can choose to purchase insurance through them, but it’s a good idea to compare their offer with other options to ensure you get the best coverage and price.
Airlines and Cruise Lines
Airlines and cruise lines often offer travel insurance options during the booking process. It’s essential to review the coverage details and compare them with standalone travel insurance policies to ensure they meet your needs.
And remember the couple who found out too late that their standard insurance from the cruise line didn’t cover pre-existing conditions.
Employer or Membership Groups
Some employers and membership organizations provide group travel insurance plans for their employees or members. Check with your employer or organization to see if this benefit is available to you.
Government Health Insurance
If you have government-sponsored health insurance (e.g., Medicare in the United States), it’s crucial to understand the limitations of your coverage when traveling abroad. In many cases, you may need supplemental travel insurance to cover medical expenses.
Read The Fine Print And Re-read The Fine Print
When purchasing travel insurance, make sure to:
– Carefully read and understand the policy terms, conditions, and coverage limits.
– Assess your specific needs based on your travel plans, destination, and any pre-existing medical conditions.
– Compare quotes from multiple providers to find the best coverage for your budget.
– Consider factors like trip cancellation, trip interruption, medical coverage, emergency evacuation, and baggage protection.
– Ensure the policy covers any activities or excursions you plan to participate in during your trip.
There are more than enough news articles and YouTube videos on instances where unexpected difficulties turned a fun-filled cruise into a horror story because of lack of travel insurance.
It is best to consider travel insurance as part of your cruise cost. If you can’t afford the insurance, then you need to reconsider taking the cruise. One mishap could spell financial ruin and the risk is not worth it.
Ultimately, the best place to buy travel insurance depends on your individual preferences and circumstances. It’s essential to research and select a policy that provides the right level of coverage and peace of mind for your specific trip.
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