Does Everyone In The Group Need Insurance
Yes … and no. It’s not strictly necessary for everyone in your group to purchase a policy, but you’ll receive more comprehensive protection if you do.
The first thing to know is that your insurance policy only protects you if you want the rest of your family or travel companions to have the same protection, then they must be added to your policy . The one exception is that some policies cover children under 17 traveling with an insured guardian at no additional charge. Check the policy’s fine print.
However, one of the most appealing aspects of travel insurance is the fact that traveling companions and family members count when it comes to covered reasons for canceling your cruise. If your travel companion falls ill and can’t make the cruise, or your aging mother is rushed to the hospital, your policy should reimburse you for canceling your trip.
Take this example: Sue and Jim are traveling together. Sue buys an insurance policy, but Jim does not. A week before the cruise, Jim gets appendicitis and must cancel his trip. Since he doesn’t have trip insurance, he forfeits all the money he’s paid to the cruise line and airline. Since Sue has insurance, she can cancel her trip and make a claim on this “event” . She can do this since her policy includes traveling companions in its cancellation coverage.
Cruise Insurance And Fee Waiver Programs: What To Know
People book cruises to visit multiple cities while saving on renting a car or flying in between destinations. Most cruises include accommodations, food and entertainment, so cruising can be an inexpensive way to travel. There is yet another cost savings consideration that comes with booking a cruise: whether to buy a cruise insurance policy. Savvy travelers use cruise insurance to protect their investment in case they miss their departure or get ill during the trip.
Cruise insurance is offered by cruise lines and independent insurance companies, so it pays to know the difference in coverage and what each type of policy costs. In this article, we’ll help you understand your options to determine if cruise insurance is right for you.
Norwegiancruise Cancellation Protection Cancel For Any Reason
Those of us who have ever booked an airline ticket know that airlines love to charge an absolute fortune for the privilege of buying a refundable ticket. Actually, Southwest allow you to cancel your flight and re-credit to a future booking, but they are an exception. Many cruise lines offer similar flexibility to Southwest if you buy their travel insurance. Norwegian is one of those.
So, if you buy Norwegian Cruise Travel Insurance, you will get Norwegian’s version of Cancel for Any Reason protection built in. It is not, strictly, insurance, as you will not get your money back if you cancel. You will get a credit to be used for future cruises, which is a pretty good substitute.
Norwegian Cruise Travel Insurance offers two alternatives Platinum or Standard. Standard will provide a credit of 75% of your funds if you cancel your cruise with Norwegian. You can then use these funds for a future cruise. Platinum offers a 90% credit. The cover is expensive, but travelers may well benefit from it. A sensible alternative to Norwegians Cancel for Any Reason cover would be the Cancel for Any Reason protection that is embedded into many Comprehensive Travel Insurance policies. We will show a few alternatives later in this article.
Also Check: Cruises Out Of Mobile Alabama 2016
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:
Annual Fee For Medical Evacuation Family Coverage
MedJetAssist offers annual policies for individuals and families. Residents of the United States, Canada and Mexico are eligible for these plans, which cover medical evacuation and repatriation, both domestically and when traveling outside of the country of residence.
The company ensures that a jet will be available whenever the insured needs it policy members who are hospitalized out of the country can choose to be transported to any hospital of their choice around the world. Annual family memberships start at $399 for international and domestic travel , while short-term memberships start at $184.
Also Check: Mobile Al Cruise Ships
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.
Why Do I Need Leisurecare Travel Protection
The U.S. State Department issued a statement to all those considering foreign travel that the U.S. government does not provide medical insurance for U.S. citizens overseas. We do not pay medical bills. You should purchase insurance before you travel .
We understand that a trip can take a year to save for, but only a second to ruin. While LeisureCare cant do anything to prevent the unexpected, travelers can purchase LeisureCare to help cover their trip payment.
Up to 100% of your trip cost if you need to cancel due to illness, injury or other covered reasons
Up to 100% of your trip cost if you need to start late or come home early due to illness, injury or other covered reasons
You May Like: Carnival Cruises Leaving From Mobile Alabama
Norwegian Cruise Travel Insurance On Check
We were looking at a wonderful four-day cruise from Miami to Cuba and the Bahamas. The total cost for our cruise came in at $1,992 for two passengers.
As we get towards the check-out page, we are encouraged to buy Norwegian Cruise Travel Insurance. The exact image of what was presented is shown below. Its a very clever strategy as it offers not one, but two cruise travel insurance options Platinum and Standard.
We think it is a clever idea as it is corralling a customer into a normal choice of buying Norwegian Standard Cruise Insurance. Please, do not make this purchase until you have checked out options.
Cancel For Work And Cancel For Any Reason
Where the iTI Travel Lite Policy also rates well is that it offers work vacation cancellation protection. If your previously approved vacation is cancelled, iTI will provide a 100% refund of your non-refundable costs. From such a low-cost travel insurance policy, that is a great benefit. Remember, Norwegian Cruise Travel Insurance does not provide this protection.
The weakness in the iTI Travel Lite policy is that it does not incorporate Cancel for Any Reason trip cancellation protection. For that, we need to find a trip insurance with more robust cover.
When we filter for Cancel for Any Reason cover we get to review rates for two different policies. The Travel Insured International Worldwide Trip Protector Plus policy and the iTI Travel LX both incorporate true Cancel for Any Reason protection. We say true cover, because in the event that you need to cancel for any reason not normally covered by your other policy benefits, the insurer will write you a check for 75% of your trip costs. Cash is better than credit.
Looking at the Worldwide Trip Protector Plus from TII, here are the policy benefits:
- Medical Sickness: $100,000
- Medical Evacuation: $1,000,000
Evacuation benefits are 50 times as much as Norwegian Cruise cover. Medical cover is five times as much. TII’s Medical cover is Primary Norwegians is Secondary. All this cover costs 30% less than Norwegians Standard cover, and 100% less than its Platinum protection.
Recommended Reading: Which Cruise Line Has The Best Food
What Is Not Covered With Travel Insurance
Though not an all-encompassing list, travel insurance policies rarely cover:
Bad Weather:Travel insurance is not a rain check. If you didnt get to participate in your shore excursion because it rained in port, your policy will not provide a refund.
Itinerary Changes:If your cruise line changes your itinerary for any reason and you miss a port or are taken to a different port, your travel insurance wont refund you anything.
Emergency Dental Care: Dental care is limited in many policies. Even if youve lost a tooth, are in extreme pain, or are otherwise in dire need of dental care, your travel insurance policy isnt likely to cover a lot of this bill.
In addition, if you purchase Travel Protection directly from your cruise line, you typically wont be covered if your cruise line financially defaults, goes out of business, or otherwise ceases operations. Most third-party travel insurance policies include this type of coverage.
Cancel For Any Reason
As the phrase suggests, you can cancel your trip for any reason — a luxury normal insurance policies won’t allow. Most insurers require this policy add-on be purchased between 14 and 21 days following your final cruise payment.
Read the description of coverage to find out what percentage of your trip deposits are reimbursed under this type of “cancel for any reason” terminology. Most policies max out the coverage at 75 percent of the trip costs, but some cover as little as 50 percent.
These policies are more expensive but make sense in certain circumstances — say, a particularly costly itinerary or during a known event such as the world-wide coronavirus pandemic.
Don’t Miss: Hamilton Bermuda Cruise Port
Types Of Travel Insurance For Your Cruise
Not all travel insurance policies are the same, and you need to know which type you’re buying, in addition to specific coverages. Just about every cruise line on the planet offers its own travel protection program, but it might not be the comprehensive policy you desire.
Cruise-line insurance usually offers secondary coverage and is more limited than similarly priced coverage you can buy on your own. Third-party travel insurance companies offer more inclusive policies that provide more protection, and these are often the best bet.
As you look at plans, you’ll notice two main flavors of insurance policies: primary and secondary. Primary insurance kicks in the moment something goes wrong — before or during your trip. Secondary insurance means that you must attempt to collect on any private insurance policies before the trip insurance coverage activates.
For example, if you have secondary insurance and someone steals your camera from your bag in St. Mark’s Square, you’ll need to try to collect on your homeowner’s or renter’s policy first. Therefore, secondary insurance can be problematic if the insured can’t easily cover out-of-pocket expenses while waiting for insurance reimbursement — first from your primary plan and then, if not covered, from your travel insurance.
If you’re considering secondary insurance, be sure to review your primary medical coverage before deciding. Will you be out-of-pocket for any medical expenses overseas?
Travel Insurance Primer For Cruise Travelers
The last thing most of us think about when we plan a cruise is the list of elements that can go wrong before and during our vacation. But there are definite reasons why you should consider travel insurance for your cruise.
Flight delays caused by weather or a mechanical problem can keep us from arriving to our embarkation port in time. The airline can lose our checked bags. We can get sick before we board or, even worse, mid-cruise. We might make a boneheaded move in a port of call and miss the ship. Plus, a host of other general issues can scuttle a vacation, such as the illness or death of a family member, cancellation of plans by a travel companion, job loss, airline delays and lost baggage.
Those reasons and so many others are why cruisers seek insurance coverage — and why we recommend it. It provides that extra bit of calm and control we all crave. More importantly, it prevents you from losing money due to unforeseen circumstances and travel emergencies, and insurance fees are typically just a small percentage of your vacation expenditure.
Also Check: What Cruise Lines Depart From Norfolk Va
Shop Around And Compare
If you are searching for the best travel insurance, be sure to research all options before making a final decision. You can purchase travel insurance through a private travel insurance company, through your personal insurance company or through a travel agency. Many third-party websites can help you shop around and compare your different options.
If you have a credit card with a rewards program, you can also check with your credit card company to see if any travel protection benefits or rewards are available to you.
Iti Travel Lite Travel Insurance
One of our favorite low-cost travel insurance policies is the iTI Travel Lite plan. Here are the protection levels incorporated into the policy.
Time-Sensitive Benefits Cancel for Any Reason: 0% refund Cancel for Work Reason: 100% refund Preexisting Waiver: Yes Time Sensitive Period: 20 days Free Look Period: 10 days Preexisting Look Back: 60 days Regular Benefits Medical Cover: Primary Hospital of Choice: No Covered Cancellation: 100% refund Financial Default: Yes Medical Sickness: $100,000 Medical Evacuation: $250,000
This cheap travel insurance from iTI comes in at $60 for our two travelers. Yet, it has $100k of Travel Medical Health Insurance embedded into it. Remember that Norwegians Platinum Policy has $20k of cover, and costs over $300. Norwegians Standard Policy has $10k of cover. For Travel Medical Insurance, there really is no comparison Norwegians policies make no sense whatsoever. Lets take a look now at our final piece of critical cover medical evacuation insurance.
Read Also: What Cruise Lines Go Out Of Mobile Al
Are All Travel Insurance Policies The Same
Travel insurance is state regulated, but the policies do not have to conform to an industry standard like your homeowners or automobile policy.
Every travel insurance policy is unique and has different restrictions, and who you buy it from and what you pay can mean a world of difference.
Its vitally important to read and understand whats included in the policy youre purchasing, and make sure it meets your needs.
Even two policies that seem to offer the same essential benefits at first glance could be very different once you read the details.
The amount youll be reimbursed for a particular incident, the specifics of what constitutes a covered reason for a cancellation, and important details like if youll need to pay upfront for an airline ticket to catch up with the ship or even a medical evacuation can make a big difference in stress levels and initial out-of-pocket costs.
As mentioned above, Travel Protection sold directly by the cruise line may not offer all the same benefits as an actual travel insurance policy sold by an insurance company, so its important to do your homework before you agree to a slick sales pitch or bargain add-on when you book your cruise.
Though its costly and may be hard to find, some travel insurers offer Cancel for Any Reason add-on policies in all states except New York.
MORE: 25 First Time Cruise Tips
Airlines Get Into The Game
Airlines also act as travel insurance brokers, offering coverage by third parties every time you buy a ticket online. During the transaction, most carriers have a mandatory yes or no question about buying insurance and then add the cost of the policy, if accepted, to the ticket price. Answering yes, Kathryn Franz of Marion, N.Y., bought two nonrefundable fares on Delta.com for a September trip to several national parks in Utah to celebrate her 70th birthday. She bought insurance on the $1,193 tickets with Allianz Global Assistance for $94.
Though the trip is still months away, Ms. Franz has decided she is not comfortable taking it. Both my husband and I are in the at risk demographic due to age, but he also has diminished lung capacity due to having been a smoker for so long, she wrote in an email. I feel it is prudent to cancel the trip to protect ourselves from risk.
Checking her policy, she discovered she would not be covered if she canceled the flight because of the pandemic.
Concern over the potential to become ill is not a listed reason that would trigger coverage, an Allianz spokesman, Daniel Durazo, wrote in an email.
Recently, American Airlines offered me a $25 insurance policy, marked recommended, on a $388 flight from Chicago to San Francisco. If I declined, I had to click: No, I choose not to protect my $388.30 purchase and I understand by declining coverage I may be responsible for cancellation fees and delay expenses.
You May Like: Hot Cruise Deals Last Minute