Cruising can be exciting and enjoyable, but like any other type of travel, it comes with risks. While we all hope for smooth sailing, things like cancellations or medical emergencies can go wrong. This is where travel insurance comes in.
In this article, we will explore why you should get cruise travel insurance, the types of coverage available, and how to choose the right policy for your needs. With the right range, you can enjoy your cruise with peace of mind knowing that you are protected against unforeseen circumstances.
What is Cruise Travel Insurance?
Cruise travel insurance is a policy that provides coverage for potential issues that can arise during a cruise, including medical emergencies, trip cancellations or interruptions, lost or damaged luggage, and cruise-ship disablement. It offers peace of mind and financial protection when embarking on a cruise, but policies and costs vary, so it’s important to carefully review the policy before purchasing.
What Cruise Travel Insurance Covers?
Cruise travel insurance safeguards your health by covering medical emergencies while onboard, including the cost of evacuation and treatment at the ship’s medical facility. Not all cruise medical insurance plans are the same, and coverage for pre-existing conditions can vary. It’s essential to review the policy before purchase.
Cruise travel insurance covers:
• Medical emergencies that occur while you’re onboard, including the cost of evacuation and treatment at the ship’s medical facility.
• Trip cancellation or interruption because of unexpected circumstances such as severe weather or a medical emergency. You can be reimbursed for nonrefundable expenses such as airfare, hotels, and excursions.
• Additional travel expenses, such as a last-minute flight home, depending on your plan.
• Lost, stolen, or damaged luggage, with reimbursement for replacing essential items such as clothing and toiletries.
• Cruise-ship disablement due to mechanical issues or other covered reasons, with reimbursement for the unused portion of your trip.
It’s important to note that coverage for pre-existing conditions can vary among cruise medical insurance plans, and some plans may be considered primary. In contrast, others may pay secondary to your direct health insurance plan. A careful review of the policy is crucial to ensure you get the coverage you need.
Cruise Travel Insurance Add-Ons
Tailoring Your Cruise Insurance Policy: A La Carte Add-On
In addition to comprehensive packages, cruise insurance providers offer a variety of a la carte add-ons to tailor your program to your specific needs. Here are some common add-ons:
Cancel for Any Reason
This luxury add-on allows you to cancel your trip for any reason and still be covered, even if it’s simply because you changed your mind. Be sure to carefully read the description of coverage to understand what percentage of your trip deposits will be reimbursed, as this can vary. While this type of coverage can be expensive, it may be worth considering for a very costly itinerary or world cruise.
Airline Accident Coverage
This add-on provides extra coverage in the event of an aircraft accident, with the insured able to select a range in various dollar amounts for a relatively low cost.
Car-Rental Collision Coverage
If your plans include renting a vehicle, car-rental collision coverage can be a helpful add-on that typically costs $10 or less daily.
Upgraded Medical Coverage
For extra protection in a medical emergency, some companies offer an add-on that upgrades the amount of medical coverage and lowers your deductible.
Standalone evacuation policies provide more comprehensive coverage, with the company sending a plane and medical personnel to you no matter where you are and no matter what your health crisis is. You can choose where you’ll be evacuated without any questions asked. This option is ideal if you don’t plan on getting other insurance but still want coverage for a medical emergency.
For high-risk activities, some insurance companies provide additional benefits, including an upgraded medical expense limit and emergency evacuation limit, as well as an adventure sports exclusion waiver covering more extreme sports.
While these a la carte add-ons can increase the cost of your cruise insurance policy, they can also provide extra protection and coverage for unexpected events. It’s important to carefully review the description of coverage and assess your specific needs to determine which add-ons are worth considering.
What’s Not Usually Covered
When researching travel insurance policies, carefully read the description of coverage and call the insurer to clarify any questions you may have. Insurance policies of all types can be tricky, so it’s essential to understand what’s covered fully.
Some things that are typically not covered by travel insurance include:
- Weather: Inclement weather, such as rain on a Caribbean cruise, is not usually covered. However, coverage may be available for a significant weather event that impacts your trip.
- Itinerary Changes: While travel insurance covers your trip, changes to the itinerary, such as skipping a port, are not covered.
- Frequent-Flyer Award Tickets: Airline tickets purchased with frequent-flyer miles are not typically covered. However, insurers may reimburse the redeposit fee if you cancel the award before embarking on the first leg of the flights or cover the change fee if you need to reschedule your return ticket due to a covered event.
Is It Compulsory to Get Cruise Insurance Requirements?
While cruise insurance is not typically required for travel, checking with your cruise line about their specific requirements is always a good idea. Some countries may also require travel insurance for international visitors, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cruise insurance can provide invaluable protection and peace of mind when setting sail on your next adventure. By providing coverage for trip cancellations and medical emergencies, cruise insurance can help safeguard your investment and your well-being.
Where to Get Your Cruise Travel Insurance
When planning a cruise, it’s essential to consider purchasing travel insurance to protect yourself against unexpected events. But with so many options available, where do you begin?
Here’s a closer look at the types of cruise travel insurance and where to find them:
Cruise Line Insurance
Many cruise lines offer their travel insurance policies, which can be purchased at the time of booking. While these policies may be convenient, they may provide a different level of coverage than third-party options.
You can also purchase cruise travel insurance from a third-party provider directly or through a travel insurance aggregator site. These policies may offer more comprehensive coverage, including medical expenses and trip interruption, and may be more flexible regarding cancellations.
Credit Card Protections
Finally, checking with your credit card company is worth checking to see if you have any travel protections. While these protections may not be as comprehensive as a dedicated travel insurance policy, they can provide peace of mind.
When considering cruise travel insurance, it’s essential to carefully review the policy to ensure that it meets your specific needs. Factors to consider include coverage for pre-existing conditions, medical expenses, trip cancellations, and interruptions.
How Much Does Cruise Travel Insurance Technically Cost?
Consider purchasing travel insurance as you plan for your upcoming cruise adventure. While the cost of travel insurance can vary widely, it’s essential to understand the factors that affect pricing.
Here’s what you need to know about the cost of cruise travel insurance:
Travel insurance policies typically range from 4% to 8% of your prepaid, nonrefundable trip expenses. However, the price can vary depending on the level of coverage you choose and the specific provider.
Basic vs. Premium Plans
Basic travel insurance plans, which may provide coverage for trip cancellations and medical expenses, can cost less than 4% of your trip expenses. Meanwhile, super-premium plans that offer comprehensive coverage for a wide range of issues can cost as much as 12% of your trip expenses.
Factors Affecting Cost
The cost of cruise travel insurance can also be affected by factors such as age, length of trip, destination, and level of coverage. For example, older travelers may pay more for coverage, and those traveling to high-risk destinations may see higher premiums.
When considering cruise travel insurance, it’s essential to carefully review the policy to ensure that it meets your specific needs. Consider factors such as coverage for pre-existing conditions, medical expenses, trip cancellations, and trip interruption.
Whether or not to purchase cruise travel insurance is a personal decision that depends on several factors, including the cost of your trip, your health status, and your comfort level with risk. While some travelers may opt to forgo insurance to save money, others find that the peace of mind provided by a comprehensive policy is well worth the cost.
Ultimately, the decision to purchase cruise travel insurance should be based on careful consideration of your own needs and circumstances. By taking the time to research your options and understand the coverage provided by different policies, you can make an informed decision that will help you enjoy your cruise vacation with greater confidence and security.
Christian Petzold is a successful touristic entrepreneur, experiential traveller and round-the-world backpacker. He holds an academic degree in tourism management.
His touristic expertise has been covered in radio, newspaper and television.