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Should I Buy Travel Insurance For Cruise

It's also why you should read this introduction to everything you need to know about cruise insurance. It's a lot of details, I know, but you'll be glad to be educated and covered by a comprehensive travel insurance policy the next time something unexpected happens on your cruise vacation.

should i buy travel insurance for cruise


For starters, policies often will reimburse you for the cost of canceling a cruise due to a last-minute crisis. They also often will cover costs related to an interruption of a cruise (maybe your ship breaks down, requiring you to fly home mid-voyage). These two elements are known as trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance, and they are bundled into a typical travel insurance policy.

But perhaps most importantly, many travel insurance policies will cover medical expenses you incur while on a cruise. Some even will cover the cost of evacuating you from a foreign destination if you are in the midst of a medical crisis.

Those percentages include illness and accidents that happen to cruisers just before a trip that make it impossible to travel. But, in many cases, such claims are the result of illness and injuries that happen during voyages.

Missed connection coverage reimburses cruisers for a set dollar amount if they need to rebook travel to catch up with their cruise at the next port. Missed port-of-call coverage pays a benefit if the cruise ship misses a scheduled port of call due to weather, a natural disaster or mechanical breakdown.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve, for example, offers trip delay reimbursement, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, emergency medical coverage and even medical evacuation coverage, among other benefits. And yes, cruise lines are considered common carriers just like airlines.

Find out if your credit card protection includes travel accident insurance or covers pre-existing medical conditions, as well as when it will pay you back. Other questions to ask: What are the coverage limits? Will you have to pay for a foreign hospital bill upfront and then seek reimbursement later?

Cruise line travel insurance policies sometimes have quirks. Many cruise companies will only offer a travel voucher or credit for future use in the event of a covered cancellation, not an outright refund.

Whether you buy travel insurance is a personal decision that will depend on a lot of factors. Would you be willing to absorb the loss of having to cancel a cruise on short notice due to an illness or accident? Could you afford an evacuation flight from a far-off port if you suddenly became seriously ill? Only you can answer those sort of questions.

Of course, cruise lines will move ships away from a weather threat. When the port lineup is adjusted, or the cruise shortened, the company will offer the guest an onboard credit, onboard gift or future cruise credit, rather than any refund. It depends on the circumstances for that specific voyage. You won't be able to make a claim on your cruise travel insurance policy just for a minor itinerary change.

Even if the cruise line does provide a full or partial refund or cruise credit for an itinerary change or some other interruption, travelers could have to swallow the cost of other travel elements not purchased through the line. That could include nonrefundable flights, prepaid resort or hotel nights, nonrefundable tour fees and more.

Many travel insurance companies provide around-the-clock assistance with locating overseas clinics and pharmacies; getting to a doctor or hospital; refilling lost or depleted prescriptions; assisting with up-front payments to hospitals; and arranging flight changes so you can get home.

While purchasing travel insurance through a cruise line can be convenient, experts say the coverage may not be as comprehensive as plans passengers can buy separately through third-party providers, and they may want to think twice about the type of policy they choose.

When booking a cruise, buying travel insurance can be as simple as ticking a box during checkout. "That's why it's so successful," said Suzanne Morrow, senior vice president of InsureMyTrip. "Because it's easy, and you don't have to think about it." (Cruise lines typically work with third-party insurers for the policies they provide.)

Morrow said travelers should first ask themselves if they want cash or credit. "A lot of the cruise line insurance, it's not (that) you get a refund. It's (that) you get cruise credit for a future cruise," she said.

Those policies may also be "a lot thinner" than the ones travelers can buy on their own. If passengers have to cancel their trip, for instance, the insurance may cover fewer reasons, according to Morrow.

Many health insurance plans do not cover medical expenses incurred at sea or in foreign countries, Dr. Joe Scott, senior director of fleet medical operations at cruise line operator Carnival Corp., told USA TODAY in February. He said at the time that he was "not aware" of any cruise line that accepts insurance in its medical facilities, and highly recommended passengers purchase travel insurance, which he said is more likely to cover those bills.

The rates for insurance purchased through a cruise line tend to be a percentage of the trip costs, Morrow said. But the price of policies travelers purchase on their own may be based on a range of additional variables, including age and even destination.

Smith said browsing beyond the cruise line's offerings can help travelers find deals on insurance. "If you shop around, sometimes you can't actually find a better rate," he said. The value of a given policy is also dependent on the kind of coverage a traveler wants.

Morrow also noted that cruise lines, like airlines or hotels, typically offer a certain amount of protection even without passengers purchasing insurance, such as in the form of refunds or credit in the event of a cancellation. "And then that next level is what you're purchasing to extend that coverage or to get better coverage or to have more reasons or whatever," she said.

Smith advised travelers to weigh the pros and cons of policies provided through the cruise lines against those they can purchase through a third party. The details of the coverage can be found on the cruise line and insurance providers' websites, he said.

Travel insurance for cruises, sometimes also referred to as cruise insurance, is typically worth it when you consider how it can help. Not only can travel insurance for cruises help protect the money you spent for your trip if you have to cancel or come home early for a covered reason, but it can also help with medical expenses if you get sick or hurt while away from home on a cruise.

If you plan to get off the ship for land excursions during your cruise, confirm whether the countries hosting your stops require travel insurance for international visitors. Some destinations now require travel insurance with COVID coverage. Even if travel insurance is not required for entry, you may find that having it in case of emergencies gives you the confidence to enjoy your trip more fully.

Cruise lines may offer travel insurance and do so in a temptingly convenient way by allowing you to add it to the price of your cruise when you purchase your ticket. However, you might not be getting the right coverage, no matter how easy it seems.

Last but not least, most trip protection plans come with travel assistance services. Seven Corners Assist provides 24/7 non-insurance services from our multilingual team. If you need an emergency medical evacuation, this team will handle it.

The best travel insurance plans offer high levels of reimbursement and short waiting periods for benefits to go into effect when things go wrong. A travel insurance agent can help you match your concerns to the right travel insurance package.

To find the best cruise insurance, Forbes Advisor used data provided by Squaremouth, a travel insurance comparison provider, to score the best travel insurance policies based on the following factors. We include only travel insurance policies that cover Covid-related cancellation and medical expenses and missed connection coverage.

Average price (up to 25% of score): We analyzed travel insurance quotes for a variety of traveler ages and trip costs to develop an average price for each plan. We scored the average cost for each travel insurance policy for trips to the popular destinations of Italy and Mexico for common traveler profiles:

Medical expenses (up to 10% of score): Travel medical insurance was evaluated by coverage amount. Travel insurance policies with travel medical expense benefits of $250,000 and up per person were given the highest points.

Travel delay benefits can reimburse you for eligible hotel stays, meals and lost prepaid expenses if you experience a covered trip delay. Trip interruption benefits can reimburse you for the cost of transportation to your cruise's first port of call, where you can catch up with the ship. And 24-hour assistance can help you figure out what to do and how to make the needed changes to your travel plan.

In the middle of your Caribbean journey from Nassau to San Juan, you get word that your mother has fallen seriously ill. You need to get home fast, but how can you do it without breaking the bank? This is when Allianz Travel Insurance is your best friend. Call 24-hour assistance, and a travel expert can help you make arrangements to fly home from the ship's next port of call. You can be reimbursed for up to 150 percent of the cost of the trip: both the unused portion of your cruise and the additional transportation costs for returning home early, if you must interrupt your trip for a covered reason.

Quite simply, it covers the traveller against things that could go wrong, such as holiday companies going bust, flights being delayed or people having to cancel trips due to illness. Medical bills for holidaymakers who are taken ill abroad can be huge and there have been cases of family members using their own savings or setting up crowd-funding appeals to bring home an uninsured, or inadequately insured, relative. According to insurance company AllClear, 22 percent of travellers need medical attention when abroad and an air ambulance rescue in the USA could cost 80,000 to 100,000. 041b061a72


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