Do Consider Whether You Want A Standard Or Cancel For Any Reason Policy
A standard policy has good protection and comes with a list of restrictions on whats covered. If you want to make sure that you are covered for any reason, whether thats a pandemic or a last-minute change in plans, look into a cancel for any reason add-on to your policy. A CFAR policy is just what the name sounds like. You can cancel your trip for any reason you want and are restricted only by the timing of your cancellation notice .
CFAR insurance isnt free though, and comes with a few conditions. First, it can cost 40%-50% more than a standard policy, and it generally wont cover 100% of your uncovered costs. Youll find that 50%-75% of coverage is more common.
Its also important to note that you cannot simply buy CFAR by itself. You must buy a travel insurance policy that is eligible for a CFAR add-on. Many insurance sites will include a CFAR filter in their search tool. You’ll also need to buy the policy within a certain time frame after purchasing your cruise, which will vary based on the insurance company.
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Thats A Good Question
Travel insurance is a line of insurance we consistently hear problems about, said Carmen Balber, the executive director of Consumer Watchdog, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group. Its much less regulated than other lines of insurance and tends to include exclusions for things consumers believe theyre covered for.
Though the rules vary by state, most standard policies sold in the United States provide predeparture cancellation and trip interruption for unforeseen problems that are specifically named, including job loss, an illness that prevents you from traveling or cuts a trip short, a death in the family, a missed flight connection that, in turn, leads to a missed cruise departure, and so on.
But there is a long list of exclusions that render the insurance void, including terrorist attacks, war and claims associated with psychological disorders, or risky adventure sports like skydiving.
When a threat becomes foreseen for example, once a brewing storm becomes a named hurricane, or a global health threat becomes a named pandemic it is uninsurable, unless you bought the policy before the threat is named.
But for travelers who canceled in the current Covid-19 crisis, these insurance companies pointed to their list of things that were covered a death in the family, job loss, etc. which did not include pandemics.
When Is Travel Insurance Worth It
There are two situations in which travel insurance can be worthwhile: to protect your trip and to protect your health.
If you prepaid for your trip and cannot cancel without penalty, travel insurance is probably a good idea. If your trip is canceled or interrupted for a covered reason, this protection will cover your reservations.
If you’re planning to travel to a destination that could have weather-related issues, like hurricanes in the Caribbean, travel insurance may protect your noncancelable reservations. Some policies also provide emergency evacuation to escape dangerous situations. However, if you try to purchase travel insurance after the storm poses a risk, the insurance probably will not protect you.
U.S.-based health insurance policies generally offer coverage anywhere within the U.S. But if you get sick or hurt when you travel internationally, some policies like Medicare may not cover you.
Even if your health insurance covers you outside the country, doctors at your destination may not accept it. Without travel insurance, you could be stuck paying for these bills out of pocket, then seeking reimbursement from your healthcare provider.
If you already have some travel insurance protections from your credit card, consider purchasing a standalone travel medical insurance policy to protect you in case of medical emergencies on your trip.
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Emergency Accident And Sickness Medical Expense
The Emergency Accident and Sickness Medical Expense benefit covers health care expenses for necessary services and supplies required to treat a covered injury or illness.
Depending on your plan, a benefit like this could cover eligible expenses such as:
- Ambulance service
- Charges for cruise ship infirmary and prescribed medication
- Hospital room and board in one of your stopover destinations
- Charges for anesthetics, X-rays, and labs
Note that this benefit could be primary or excess depending on the plan. Primary means your cruise travel insurance pays your eligible claim first.
Excess means this policy is in excess of all other insurance . If your other insurance is in place when the expenses are incurred, your cruise travel insurance will only cover the excess of the amount paid by your other insurance.
Example of the Emergency Accident and Sickness Medical Expense Benefit in Use
While touring your cruise ship’s first destination, your child takes a nasty fall that requires a trip to the nearest emergency room.
Since you’ve been traveling by ship and don’t have a car, you rely on a local ambulance to transport you and your child to the hospital. Once there, he is admitted for X-rays and later scheduled for surgery.
If your son’s broken arm qualifies as a covered injury, your Atlas Journey plan will cover eligible expenses for the ambulance ride, physician consultation, X-rays, operating room, and hospital room and board charges up to the medical maximum.
What Does Cruise Insurance Cover
Every policy is slightly different there is no set requirement of what is covered. That said, youll find most cruise insurance covers the same basic things. Here are the major items that youll want to make sure your policy covers.
Trip Cancellation The most basic coverage with cruise insurance, trip cancellation protection allows you to get your money back that youve paid for your trip if you cancel for specific, predetermined reasons. This coverage doesnt allow you to get repaid if you just decide to cancel because you dont want to go.
The specific reasons will be laid out in your policy. In general, they fall into several major groups:
- Major illness or injury to you, traveling companion, or family member
- Death of you, traveling companion, or family member
- Being fired/laid off
- Travel delays
Trip Interruption Similar to trip cancellation, this coverage pays you for an interruption for specific reasons like the ones mentioned above after your trip has already started or when travel is delayed. In addition to being reimbursed for the remainder of what youve paid for your cruise, youll also be reimbursed for expenses like flight and hotel to get back home.
Emergency Medical If youre worried about getting sick or injured while on your cruise, then know that most plans offer emergency medical coverage. This is exactly as it sounds. It provides medical insurance for serious illness or injury. Many plans also offer some dental coverage.
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How Is The Coronavirus Affecting Travel Insurance
When it comes to coronavirus, its important to know that circumstances like epidemics and pandemics are not typically listed as covered events under most standard cancellation policies. Also worth noting: Preemptively canceling a trip out of fear for your health and safety is never part of a standard policy. Accordingly, while some insurers honored claims associated with the onset of the epidemic, almost none are paying out trip cancellation claims for travel or policies booked after late January . This is owed to the rationale that once the outbreak became a known event, risk is assumed by the would-be travelers who book.
However, there are now some providers who do not consider contracting the virus as foreseen, even during a global pandemic like the coronavirus outbreak, says Kasara Barto, public relations manager for Squaremouth. In this case, trip cancellation benefits can still apply if a traveler contracts the virus or is physically quarantined and unable to travel as planned.”
Economic-woe scenarios, like having to cancel if you are laid off from your job, or if a travel supplier should declare bankruptcy, are typically covered under standard plans. Squaremouth notes, however, that coronavirus-prompted impacts like travel bans and border closures are not usually covered by standard policies, nor are cases of cruise lines canceling a scheduled sailing .
How To Add Cruise Cover To Holiday Insurance
If you already have an annual travel insurance policy and you want to book a cruise, the first thing to do is to check what is covered by your existing annual policy. If it doesnt cover cruise travel, you should contact your travel insurance provider and ask if they can add on cruise cover.
Its usually cheaper to add cruise cover to an existing travel insurance policy. If for any reason you cannot do this, then you could take out a single trip cruise insurance policy to cover your cruise.
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Get A Free Quote At The Link Below
Again, for cruise travel insurance, we suggest looking at a site like InsureMyTrip.com. This site searches many companies at once to find the right insurance for you and your trip and bring you all your choices. Whether you are looking for affordability or the best coverage, all your options are laid out for you.
You can get a free quote here, see how much coverage might cost, and see everything it covers.
Disclaimer: Cruzely.com is an affiliate with the travel insurers mentioned in the article above. We receive a small commission if you get a quote or purchase through the links included in this article at no extra cost to you.
How To Buy Travel Insurance For Your Cruise
You can purchase travel insurance through your cruise line, travel agent, a specific insurance provider or even a travel-insurance aggregator site like InsureMyTrip.com.
Third-party insurance providers and aggregators can often help you with coverage that is specific to cruise travel Ask your travel agent for guidance he or she will have knowledge of a variety of insurance company policies and can help match the best policy to your needs. Always comparison shop, looking at what amounts of coverage you get for what price.
No matter which policy you select, you want to be sure that it is underwritten by a reputable and licensed insurer companies are regulated by state insurance departments. The U.S. Travel Insurance Association is a good place to start to research licensed insurers in your state.
It’s also easy to search online for feedback on particular insurance providers. Travel-insurance aggregators like SquareMouth will show you the underwriter for each policy and how it is rated by the A.M. Best Company , as well as provide reviews from previous purchasers.
When checking for the details of what is covered, it’s best to look at the actual policy documents or coverage details. Links to these are often found within or at the end of comparison charts or broad policy descriptions and may involve downloading multi-page PDF documents to read through.
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Should You Rely On Credit Card Travel Protections Instead
Many travel credit cards provide certain coverages in case your flight is delayed or canceled, your rental car is damaged, or your luggage is lost or delayed.
Here are a few credit cards offering travel protections that could serve as an alternative to travel insurance.
These are attractive benefits, but the coverage may not be as broad as you would get buying insurance. For example, credit card benefits do not typically protect you in case you are injured or get sick during your trip. Plus, these cards can come with steep annual fees that may be more than you would pay for a travel insurance policy. So dont sign up for a card just to cover one trip unless youve compared costs.
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Cruise Insurance Medical Coverage Vs Your Regular Health Insurance Plan
Travelers often have health insurance back home, so purchasing cruise insurance with medical benefits may seem like a waste of money. However, many health insurance policies don’t cover non-emergency procedures or may treat claims as “out of network.”For example, Aetna covers emergency treatments 24/7 anywhere in the world, but nonemergency conditions may not be covered. Out-of-network claims generally mean that you’ll be paying more out of pocket.
Even if your insurance will cover you internationally or aboard a cruise, the doctor or hospital treating you may not accept it. They could even demand payment upfront before beginning treatment.
Cruise ships are required to have a doctor and hospital facility on board in the event someone is injured or becomes ill. However, these infirmaries are typically designed to stabilize patients and make them as comfortable as possible until the ship reaches its final destination or the nearest port of call.
Depending on your condition, you may need to depart the cruise to continue treatment at a local hospital, or be medically evacuated back home. Medical evacuations are very costly and without insurance that covers them, a cruise-goer would have to pay for those bills out of pocket.
Purchasing a cruise insurance policy gives travelers peace of mind and reduced financial risk in case they become ill or injured during their vacation.
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Is Cruise Insurance Worth It
One thing you learn quickly when you cruise: Costs can add up. Drinks, internet and special meals often cost extra and thats just the start. And if youre trying not to overspend, you might wonder if cruise travel insurance is worth it.
Fortunately, in terms of what you pay and what it can cover during medical and family emergencies, cruise insurance really can be worth it.
Travel Insurance: Is It Worth It
When Covid-19 hit, travel insurance didnt help many travelers recover the cost of their canceled trips. What, then, were they paying for?
Through the travel insurance broker InsureMyTrip.com, Suzanne Tow of New York City paid $270 to cover a $5,000 trip in May to Yosemite National Park. When the tour was canceled, Ms. Tow filed a claim with her insurer, and discovered, like so many other travelers, that travel insurance doesnt cover cancellations because of a pandemic.
Theyre not risking a penny because theyre not paying a cent, she said.
Americans spent nearly $3.8 billion on travel protection in 2018, the latest figure available, up about 41 percent from 2016, according to the U.S. Travel Insurance Association. Now, for those contemplating traveling in an increasingly uncertain world, the question of whether travel insurance is worth buying looms large. If insurance couldnt help with that first wave of Covid-related travel cancellations, many irate travelers ask, what exactly were they paying for?
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Where To Buy Travel Insurance
Many tour and cruise companies, travel agents and travel booking websites offer travel insurance to their customers.
A few tips if you decide to buy travel insurance:
Buying insurance from the sources of your travel means youre asking the companies to reimburse you if things go wrong, which leaves it up to them to decide if things went wrong. Its not in the financial interests of the airlines, cruise lines and tour operators to give you your money back, but it is in their interest to get you to hand over more money. Skip this one.
Travel agents receive a commission for selling you insurance. If you prefer the convenience of one-stop shopping, know what type of coverage you want before you call to ensure youre getting the coverage you need instead of the coverage they want to sell you.
Rather than buying from the people selling you the trips, try comparison shopping on third-party insurance sites like SquareMouth or InsureMyTrip.
Shopping around for travel insurance could end up saving you hundreds of dollars, allowing you to sit back, relax and enjoy your trip.
Lisa McGreevy is a former staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.
Unique Travel Insurance Coverage For Cruises
When you are planning a cruise, you have specific travel needs that are different from a traditional traveler for obvious reasons. This is not your normal fly away, vacation and fly home trip. Youll be meeting up with your cruise, vacationing out on the deep blue sea, probably experiencing some new things through excursions and then coming home to reality.
These differences mean youll need unique travel insurance coverage for your trip. A typical comprehensive plan would be a great option for any traveler, even cruisers. But there are some comprehensive cruise insurance plans that offer specialized coverage specific to the needs of cruisers. Below are some examples of coverage you can find if you look carefully at the plan details:
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What Does Travel Insurance On Your Cruise Cover
One misconception about travel insurance is that it’s only necessary for travelers in ill health, those who pack valuable items in their suitcases or those who plan wildly expensive trips. It’s important to recognize that travel insurance policies can bail us out of a multitude of quagmires. For example:
So I Should Buy Cancel For Any Reason Right
Travelers who wanted to cancel trips as Covid-19 gathered steam, but before travel was shut off by governments across the globe, were often told that their travel insurance did not cover canceling out of fear unless they had purchased a cancel for any reason insurance upgrade, or C.F.A.R.
With C.F.A.R., a traveler is able to back out any time until a few days before departure and get some money back, usually 50 to 75 percent. Its more expensive than regular travel insurance and must be purchased within a short window after making the initial trip deposit, usually less than 21 days. Additionally, the policy only covers cancellations up to two or three days before the trip.
Using Travel Guards website, I priced insurance on a $10,000 trip to France. Its basic policy costs about $500 to insure. But to get C.F.A.R., I would have to take the preferred policy at about $554. Adding the C.F.A.R. option offering 50 percent back, cost $128, for a total of $682. If I canceled because of the pandemic, or for any other reason, I would only get $5,000 back, half of the insured amount. Less the premium, thats $4,318 net.
Cancel for any reason, Mr. Birnbaum said, is treated as insurance, but its not really. Insurance is protection against some fortuitous event. This policy, he said, covers a decision thats in your control such as changing your mind about taking a trip not a risk thats out of your control, like a car accident.
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