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Now that more and more people are getting vaccinated and the world is starting to open back up, Americans are making plans for the future and travel demand is soaring. After over a year of uncertainty, a real vacation sure looks good to most people right now. But there are still roadblocks keeping us from transitioning from “staycation” mode to vacation mode.

Some of these roadblocks present in the form of government restrictions on international travel. Though many countries are now starting to open up and allow vaccinated Americans to enter their borders, there are still many destinations that have travel restrictions in place. Some travel destinations require proof of a negative COVID test, while others will turn you away if you are not fully vaccinated.

The “what if” factor is also a roadblock to making future travel plans. What if I book a trip and someone in my family gets sick? What if the travel restrictions change between now and the time we leave? What if we get to our destination and everything is closed down due to the pandemic?

There are even politically motivated roadblocks preventing travelers from making firm plans for future travel. Florida governor Ron DeSantis recently signed an order banning businesses from requiring proof of vaccination. This led to several of the major cruise lines threatening to change their port of departure from ports in Florida to other locations along the Atlantic Coast.

But despite all the uncertainty, the cruise industry is moving forward with preparations to welcome passengers back with open arms. And travelers are booking cruises that can be cancelled or at least refunded, just in case. For those who want an additional layer of protection, a travel insurance policy for a cruise will cover most (if not all) of the “what ifs” that could arise.  While cruise lines typically offer an insurance option when you book your trip, and a small amount of the “what ifs” may be covered by your credit card company, your medical insurance (which likely won’t cover you abroad), or even your homeowner’s policy, industry experts recommend getting an independent travel insurance policy for the most reliable and comprehensive coverage.

Let’s look at some reasons why buying travel insurance for your future cruise is a good idea:

1. Travel insurance policies offer coverage for trip cancellation and interruption

If your cruise is cancelled or interrupted, the cruise line may offer you a refund, but they will more likely offer you credit toward a future cruise. This may not be ideal if the situation that caused you to cancel your trip puts you in a financial bind. It also doesn’t leave room for the possibility that you might not be able to reschedule your trip within the time period allowed.

2. Travel insurance policies cover more than just the cruise

Your travel insurance policy can cover you if your flight on the way to the port is delayed or cancelled. It can cover you if your luggage gets lost and you need to buy new clothes before setting sail. Some policies even cover things like damage to your rental car or passport and visa services. Because every travel insurance policy is different, it is important to read the fine print and make sure you are getting the coverage you need. Comparison sites like TravelInsurance.com can help you see what is offered by top-rated travel insurance companies like AIG, John Hancock, Generali Global Assistance, and Trawick International.

3. Travel insurance policies can cover you from the minute you book your cruise

The insurance policies offered by the cruise lines are only meant to protect you from the time you board the ship to the time you disembark. Independent travel insurance protections begin as soon as the day after you purchase the policy and continue until you arrive back home. While you can often buy a travel insurance policy right up until the day before your trip, buying your policy earlier rather than later offers you more protection and gives you more options. As an incentive to buy coverage early, travel insurance companies may offer additional benefits if you purchase a policy within a certain number of days after you book your cruise. Some of these benefits might include medical coverage for pre-existing conditions, coverage in case the cruise line goes bankrupt, and/or coverage in the event of a natural disaster, an act of terrorism, or a global pandemic.

Another reason to buy coverage as soon as your book your cruise is that you will only have the opportunity to add a CFAR (Cancel For Any Reason) rider to your policy for a limited amount of time. This add-on will give you the ultimate peace of mind by allowing you to cancel for any reason not already covered by your policy and be reimbursed for a percentage of your trip cost.

4. Travel insurance policies cover you when your health insurance policy doesn’t

Most travelers assume that their regular health insurance will cover them while they are on a cruise. In reality, your health insurance is unlikely to cover basic medical treatment you receive on board the ship, much less in the case of a medical emergency while on a shore excursion in another country. Travel insurance policies, on the other hand, often include coverage for everything from treatment for that sunburn you got while lounging on the Lido Deck to emergency surgery and medical evacuations. Since approximately 67% of all cruise-related insurance claims are due to injury or illness, you owe it to yourself to buy a policy that will actually cover your care when you need it.

5. Travel insurance is required for some destinations

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the stress it put on healthcare systems around the world, many destinations are now requiring visitors to show proof that they have travel insurance before entering the country. Others required proof of travel insurance even before the pandemic. Check with the cruise line to see if any of the ports you will be visiting require you to have travel insurance and make sure to get a policy that meets or exceeds their minimum requirements.

6. Travel insurance is inexpensive compared to how much you could lose without it

According to a recent report by a leading travel insurance company, millennials and travelers in high-income brackets are planning to spend more money than they usually would on cruises and other types of vacations once pandemic restrictions are lifted. The more expensive the trip, the more money you have to lose if you don’t have a travel insurance policy in place. Travel insurance typically costs between 4% and 8% of the total cost of the trip, while a CFAR rider increases that cost. Without a travel insurance policy, though, if something goes wrong, you could lose so much more than that if you have to cancel your cruise, need expensive medical care during your trip, or miss your flight to the port of departure.

The bottom line is that travel insurance offers you peace of mind and protects the money you paid for your trip. Whether you are taking a two-day cruise to the Bahamas for a short weekend getaway or a 180-day cruise that spans the globe, it is at least worth looking into purchasing travel insurance. TravelInsurance.com can help you compare policies from major insurers to find the right plan for your well-deserved vacation and get the guaranteed lowest price with instant confirmation of coverage.

 


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