Buying travel insurance can seem complicated at first, but we’ve put together a guide on cruise travel insurance to help you evaluate coverage options and find the best value on cruise insurance. Let us help take the mystery out of buying the perfect cruise travel insurance plan.
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You should always buy travel insurance for a cruise. Usually, cruise trips require large non-refundable deposits at the time of booking, which makes trip cancellation insurance a smart way to protect the investment you’ve made in your trip. Also, cruise trips often have multiple legs of travel, with air travel to get to the departure port of the cruise ship, the cruise trip itself, and return flight(s). Multiple travel connections increase the risk of trip delays, trip interruptions, and loss of baggage, so buying cruise trip insurance can give you peace of mind knowing that you have coverage for any issues before or during your cruise vacation.
Travel insurance covers the non-refundable portion of your trip, so you don’t lose the investment in your cruise vacation if you have a covered reason to cancel your trip. Cruise trip insurance also covers medical expenses, medical evacuation costs, baggage, and trip interruption costs. This type of insurance is a smart way to protect the investment in your cruise trip and will only cost a small percentage of your total trip cost.
Now you know why buying cruise travel insurance is important, which cruise insurance plan is right for you? Don’t make the mistake of picking the cheapest plan available – that’s not always the way to secure the best cruise insurance value!
Since there are many different types of cruise travel insurance options available, let’s briefly go through some of them.
Existing Insurance Coverage
It’s important to make sure you don’t open up yourself to any gaps in coverage when picking travel insurance. You should carefully review your existing insurance policies to make sure you have coverage for any medical issues on your trip, lost baggage, and expenses in case of delays and cancellations. Also, check whether your insurance covers family members or traveling companions that are going on the trip with you. Generally homeowners insurance has limited coverage for theft when you consider your deductible. Travel insurance generally has no deductibles on stolen personal items.
To protect yourself from expensive bills for medical care if you fall ill or get injured during your cruise trip, make sure you have good medical coverage for your cruise vacation. Many travelers don’t realize that their existing health insurance such as Medicare doesn’t cover medical treatment outside of the country, or if you need emergency medical evacuation (transportation to a hospital for medical care). Emergency medical evacuation can be especially costly when you’re on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean, so although rare, make sure you have insurance coverage that can foot the bill for getting you to treatment in a medical emergency.
If you have pre-existing medical conditions, make sure that your insurance covers medical treatment for those conditions. If you’re looking to buy travel insurance that includes pre-existing conditions, time is of the essence. Depending on the insurer, you need to buy coverage within 15 days of booking your trip.
The many legs of travel on a cruise vacation open up a higher risk for baggage loss or delays on this type of trip. While you may have some coverage for your belongings through home insurance, it may not be adequate for the unique circumstances of a cruise trip. Review your insurance policy for caps on how much you can claim, or rules about how long your bags must be delayed before you can claim expenses, or whether your insurance covers transportation of your bags to the next port-of-call.
Travel Supplier Insurance
You may have been offered travel insurance from travel suppliers such as cruise lines and airlines. To get the best coverage for your cruise vacation, it’s usually best to compare and buy travel insurance from a third-party insurance company rather than the travel supplier itself. You generally don’t save money buying insurance from the travel supplier, and this travel insurance often has limited insurance coverage, doesn’t cover bankruptcy of the cruise line, and travel cancellation refunds are often paid in the form of travel credit rather than cash.
Through a third-party insurance provider or a travel insurance aggregator site, you can buy a comprehensive insurance policy that is specifically tailored to a cruise trip. Buying a specialized cruise insurance plan is the best and easiest way to make sure you are covered for any issues before or during your cruise vacation.
If you’re looking to buy cruise travel insurance, here are some tips on how you can get the best plan at the lowest cost and how to avoid making common mistakes when buying travel insurance.
Shopping around and comparing plans is by far the best way to save on cruise travel insurance.
If you compare plans, you can usually get a much better value and better coverage at a better price. You might be surprised to learn that insurance through the cruise line doesn’t get you the best value!
Comparing cruise insurance plans can be confusing and takes a lot of time and effort. At TripInsurance.com, our travel insurance comparison makes it easy to compare different plans and plan features to get the cruise trip insurance you need at the lowest cost available.
There are lots of online insurance comparison sites, but TripInsurance.com goes above and beyond the average comparison site. We have negotiated exclusive plans with leading insurers, so we can offer exclusive insurance policies with unbeatable value. With our exclusive offers, you can save 40% or more on the same or better coverage for your next cruise trip!
If you’re looking for insurance for your next cruise vacation, TripInsurance.com is your one-stop-shop for comparing insurance policies, buying the best value plans, and getting exceptional customer service before, during, and after your trip.
A cruise trip is a unique type of vacation from an insurance perspective. There are many different legs of travel and a lot of time spent out in the middle of the ocean. Although this makes for an exciting and fun vacation, cruise trips come with their unique risks, and buying travel insurance to cover a cruise trip is a sensible way to protect the investment in your vacation. However, all cruise travel insurance plans are not created equal. When looking for insurance, there are specific plan coverage and features that you should look for.
Here are the basic coverage options and what they mean.
Emergency Medical Coverage
If you fall ill or get injured during your cruise, this coverage picks up the bill of any treatment – including the on-ship doctor!
Emergency Medical Evacuation
If you get seriously ill or hurt and need to be evacuated to the hospital for treatment, emergency medical evacuation coverage will pick up the often hefty bill associated with ambulance or medevac transportation.
Missed Connection Coverage
This coverage reimburses you for the cost of rebooking your flight if you miss a connection en route to your cruise ship. Not only does this coverage reimburse you with a new plane ticket to catch up with the cruise ship, but it also covers any expenses such as hotel rooms and meals that you incur because of the missed connection. This coverage will also cover the lost days of your cruise if you miss the departure.
Similar to the missed connection coverage, trip or travel delay coverage reimburses you for any costs you have in connection with a delay in your travels. Covered reasons can include airline delays, bad weather and natural disasters, loss or theft of travel documents, traffic accidents while traveling to the airport, and if you or your travel companion(s) get sick.
Recommended Basic Coverage
When comparing options for cruise travel insurance policies, we recommend buying a plan that includes the following coverage.
- Minimum $50,000 in medical coverage
- Minimum $100,000 in medical evacuation coverage for a Caribbean cruise
- $1,000-2,500 in missed connection coverage
- Minimum $1,000 in trip or travel delay
Critical Cruise-Specific Insurance Features
Depending on where and when you are cruising, hurricane coverage might be one of the most important cruise insurance plan features. Hurricane coverage reimburses any prepaid expenses for your cruise trip if it is canceled because of a hurricane. If you are departing from the east coast or are cruising during hurricane season, this coverage is a must-have.
If you are departing from an east coast port during hurricane season, make sure to pre-pay for a hotel for at least the night before departure of the ship. This will establish the port as one of your destinations. If any of your destinations are under a hurricane warning, you will have coverage for cancellation.
Tips: Double-check what provisions the insurance plan has for hurricane coverage. Common examples of provisions include:
- Common carrier delay or cancellation due to bad weather
- Destination made uninhabitable by natural disaster or flood
- Mandatory evacuation due to bad weather or natural disaster
- A hurricane warning being issued for your trip destination
- Documented weather condition preventing you from getting to the point of departure
- Inclement weather that causes complete cessation of services for at least 12 consecutive hours of the common carrier
Travel Delays of a Common Carrier
If your flight is delayed and you miss the departure of the cruise ship, this insurance feature will reimburse you for lost cruising days and cover transportation to the next port of call.
Tips: Look for time limits of how long your flight must be delayed before insurance coverage kicks in.
If the cruise ship breaks down and stops operating for at least 12 consecutive hours during your trip, trip interruption coverage will help pay for any expenses while the cruise ship is out of commission. While the cruise operator will give you a refund for the lost cruising days, it won’t cover the rest of your vacation expenses.
Cancel For Any Reason Coverage
This coverage will help pay for any expenses separate from the cruise trip itself, such as plane tickets, activities, and tours. If the cruise line makes a change in the port of call, you will not be reimbursed for airfare to get to the original port and new tickets to get to the updated port of call. Also, if a cruise cancels or changes the itinerary before your trip, you will not have coverage for any transportation or pre-arranged activities unless you bought cancel for any reason coverage.
Tips: If you buy cancel for any reason coverage through the cruise company, reimbursements are usually in the form of travel credits. If you want to be reimbursed in cash, you need to buy coverage through a third party insurance company.
Also, note that timing is key when buying cancel for any reason coverage. Often, this coverage must be purchased within a couple of weeks of booking your cruise.
Bankruptcy of a Travel Supplier
This coverage reimburses any prepaid deposits if your cruise operator goes bankrupt. If you buy cruise travel insurance through the cruise line, this coverage is generally not included.
We always recommend carefully reviewing your travel insurance plan again after purchase. If you change your mind or you don’t have the coverage you expected, don’t panic! Every plan includes a minimum 10-day ‘free look’ period where you can cancel the insurance plan and get a full refund.
Insurance plans offered by the cruise line are wholesale plans unique to the cruise line.
While the travel insurance plans offered by cruise lines can seem like an easy and convenient solution, there are a number of drawbacks from going with an insurance plan directly from your cruise operator.
- Plans don’t include coverage in case of cruise operator bankruptcy
- Cancellation coverage provisions are often limited and may only pay out a portion of your non-refundable airfare costs.
- Often has less comprehensive coverage.
- Often cut back on cancellation reasons and/or coverage limits.
In general, you can get better cruise travel insurance coverage and a better value by comparing travel insurance plans elsewhere.
Policies from a travel agent or from online comparison sites will offer broader coverage and will insure travel expenses that aren’t directly related to the cruise itself, such as airfare, hotel rooms, and tours. As an added benefit, third-party policies will typically cover you in case the cruise line goes bankrupt.