Cover Your Cruise With Travel Insurance
If you want a vacation filled with Broadway-style entertainment, exciting excursions, and creative cuisine, a cruise is the way to go! Cruises are relatively inexpensive and generally all-inclusive, making them a popular vacation option. But are they safe?
According to the Cruise Lines International Association, the world’s largest cruise industry trade association, cruise travel is “safer than virtually every other form of travel.” Cruise lines adhere to strict health and safety regulations to protect their passengers and crew. From following sanitation guidelines to constantly monitoring the weather, they are committed to your well-being while you’re on board the ship.
Why Do You Need Travel Insurance?
So, if cruises are one of the safest ways to travel, why would you need insurance for your trip? The simple answer is this. Travel insurance protects you when the unexpected happens. No matter how much cruise lines plan and prepare for your safety and well-being, they can’t predict every possible scenario. A passenger might need to be airlifted off the ship for a medical emergency. An unexpected mechanical failure could cause the ship to become stranded at sea until repairs can be made. A global pandemic might prevent all cruises from setting sail until it’s deemed safe to travel again.
Cruise travel insurance not only protects you in most of these unlikely (but still quite possible) situations, it also offers protection for more common situations like missed or delayed departures, lost or stolen luggage, or family emergencies that prevent you from traveling.
You may not ever need to file a claim, but you can cruise with confidence when your trip is covered by a travel insurance policy offering ship-to-shore protection.
Types of Cruise Insurance
There are two types of travel insurance that cover cruises: trip cancellation policies and trip interruption policies. Trip cancellation policies cover circumstances that arise prior to the cruise ship leaving the port. Trip interruption policies reimburse you for expenses you incur if your trip is cut short.
Trip Cancellation Policies
Your bags are packed, your ride to the airport is scheduled, and you’re getting ready to take the dog to the kennel when you get a call that a family member has had an accident and was taken to the hospital. Obviously, you need to cancel your trip, and losing the money you’ve already spent on it is the least of your worries.
If you have a travel insurance policy that covers trip cancellation, you won’t have to give it a second thought. You can file a claim for a covered reason, get reimbursed, and go on that cruise at a later date.
Other valid reasons for filing a claim might be a medical diagnosis that prevents you from traveling, being assigned to jury duty, or having your flight cancelled due to a natural disaster like a tornado or hurricane.
Trip cancellation insurance can cover up to 100% of the amount you’ve already paid toward the trip for reasons listed in the policy.
Trip Interruption Policies
You’ve arrived at the port of departure, boarded the ship, found your cabin, and are lounging under the shade of a striped umbrella with a drink in your hand.
Now that the cruise ship has left the port, trip interruption policies take effect. This type of plan covers you if you get sick or injured during the trip, if bad weather or political unrest requires you to be evacuated from the ship or a port of call, or if you have to leave the cruise at any time because a family member has died or been hospitalized.
Other potential reasons for filing a claim might be if the ship’s arrival at the final port of call was delayed causing you to miss your flight home, mechanical issues caused the cruise to be cut short, or a natural disaster caused the cruise line to cancel the remainder of the voyage.
If you have trip interruption insurance, you’ll generally be reimbursed for up to 150% of pre-paid costs which went unused, as well as extra costs you incurred for treatment or transportation for reasons listed in the policy.
How Do I Buy Cruise Insurance?
You can buy cruise insurance from the cruise line when you book your ticket, or through your travel agent if you used one to help plan your trip, but third party comparison sites like TravelInsurance.com let you compare policies to find the one that is best for you and your needs.
For the best coverage, make sure to compare multiple plans from various providers online. Not only will you get better coverage, you’ll be able to perform a side by side apples to apples comparison to save time and money.
How Much Does Travel Insurance Cost?
The average cost of travel insurance is between 4% and 8% of the total cost of your trip but may be even higher for premium coverage. Condé Nast Traveler reports that cancel-for-any-reason policies, for example, may cost up to 40% more than a standard policy.
The amount varies based on a number of factors that include the type of policy you choose, the amount of the deductible, the age and health of the traveler(s), the destination(s), and the length of the trip. An insurance policy that covers a weekend cruise to the Bahamas will obviously cost less than a round-the-world cruise that takes place over a period of three months.
When choosing a policy, you’ll have to decide how much financial risk you’re willing to take when compared to the cost of the policy you’re considering.
When Should I Buy Travel Insurance?
Policies that allow you to cancel for any reason usually need to be purchased within the first 14 to 21 days after you pay the initial deposit on your trip, but standard trip insurance policies can often be paid for as late as 24 hours before your cruise leave the port of departure.
As with any type of insurance, though, you’ll need to pay for your policy before something happens that would lead to a claim.
Read the Fine Print
Once you purchase insurance coverage for your cruise, you’ll have some time to review your policy and cancel without penalty if you change your mind. During this “free look period,” be sure to read over the policy carefully to understand coverage limits and exclusions, how and when you will be reimbursed, and what you need to do to file a claim.
Peace of Mind? Priceless.
The bottom line is that travel insurance helps to limit your financial loss in the event that your cruise is cancelled or interrupted. TravelInsurance.com offers you polices from top rated insurers with a low-cost guarantee. The peace of mind it offers you is priceless.