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You’ve just pocketed your long-awaited cruise ticket and are already dreaming of the places you’ll visit, the food you’ll try, and the people you’ll have pleasure talking to. You’ll likely have a wonderful journey.
But life is known for getting wild when you least expect it. Lost baggage, missed flights, and health issues may ruin your cruise, leaving you disappointed and empty-pocketed.
The good news is that there’s a way to shield yourself and your family from the unexpected. Well-tailored cruise insurance can help you mitigate the consequences of delays, cancellations, and other possible mishaps—the mishaps that are always a threat, whether you like it or not.
Read on to learn everything you should know about cruise insurance.
What Is Cruise Insurance?
Cruise insurance protects your finances and property during your vacation in many ways, with the exact type and amount of coverage depending on the policy itself, the length of your cruise, and other factors. However, even a basic policy is usually enough to feel safe on the cruise.
Is Cruise Insurance Mandatory in the United States?
A travel insurance policy is obligatory with some cruise lines – Carnival Cruise, Royal Caribbean, Disney Cruise Line, etc. – and especially for unvaccinated passengers. The country that you’re traveling to may also require cruise insurance. Bermuda, Bahamas, Cayman Islands, and Mexico all require cruise insurance.
Cruise Insurance Benefits: What Is Covered by Cruise Insurance?
- Cruise cancellation. If you cancel your trip due to a covered reason – death or illness of a family member, travel companion, or passenger; loss of employment, natural disaster affecting your home, etc. – you’ll be reimbursed as per your plan provisions.
- Cruise delay or interruption. If you delay your trip due to a car accident, illness, flight delay, or any other covered reason, you’ll be reimbursed for the time missed on the ship. Likewise, if you have to interrupt your prepaid cruise vacation due to a covered reason, you’ll have to cover the cost of return transportation.
- Illness and injury. If you get injured, ill, or sick during your cruise, you’ll get reimbursed for medical expenses as per your plan provisions. However, you have to keep in mind that:
- Most policies won’t provide coverage outside the United States.
- Shipboard medical assistance may cost dozens of thousands of dollars, so you have to have enough coverage.
- Emergency evacuation coverage. In case of a major health issue – for example, a stroke – you will be taken to the nearest hospital and reimbursed for the transportation costs.
What Is Excluded from Cruise Insurance Coverage?
The most popular exclusions from a standard cruise insurance policy are:
- Weather conditions. Bad weather is excluded from basic policies, but there are also exclusions to the exclusion. For example, if your cruiser is forced to return to the shore due to a hurricane, then you will be reimbursed for the hotel stay, transportation fees, etc.
- Route changes. Standard cruise insurance policies rarely compensate for route changes since such changes are usually caused by objective reasons, such as a hurricane.
- High-risk activities. High-risk activities during the cruise – for example, diving – are not covered by standard cruise insurance plans. However, you can add the respective addendums to your policy.
- Pre-existing conditions. Any claims coming from pre-existing health conditions (diabetes, asthma, cancer, etc.) will not be covered.
Does Standard Cruise Insurance Include COVID Insurance?
Many insurance providers include COVID coverage in their policies. Furthermore, some policies have CFAR coverage allowing you to cancel your trip for any reason.
How Much Is Cruise Insurance?
The rule of thumb is that the cost of good cruise insurance is up to 10% of the total cruise cost. The major variables are the type and amount of coverage you want to get, your age, health, state, and the length of your cruise.
Is Purchasing Cruise Insurance Worth It?
Whether you need to purchase cruise insurance is up to you. Assess your health, risk tolerance, and budget, and proceed from there.
If you decide to purchase cruise insurance, then it may be reasonable to buy it right after booking your cruise. Not only will this prevent you from unnecessary hassle before the trip, but you will also get protection from the very moment you sign the insurance contract.
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Tips for Buying Cruise Insurance
- Research insurers before taking action. Don’t jump on the first policy you’re offered. Insurance from your cruise line can be 5% to 10% more expensive than the best deal on the market.
- Research what is included in the policy and what you already have covered. Review the policy and make sure your other policies don’t cover what you are going to buy. Take your time reading the terms and conditions – this way you will become aware of every detail of your policy and thus avoid unexpected surprises.
- Include CFAR coverage if needed. CFAR is extra coverage that will allow you to cancel your trip within a specified timeframe and get a partial or even full reimbursement. CFAR may be the best choice for those at the risk of facing insuperable life circumstances.
How to Find the Best Cruise Insurance?
Choose your cruise insurance based on the price, type, amount of coverage, and your risk tolerance. Make sure that you have coverage for all emergencies you want to be covered. The recommended safe minimums are $100,000 in emergency medical coverage and $250,000 in medical evacuation coverage.
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Among the best cruise insurance companies in the United States are Trawick International, Seven Corners, and AXA Assistance USA. But then again, there are many other companies – Nationwide, Tin Leg, HTH Worldwide Travel Insurance, John Hancock Travel Insurance, and more – that may provide the features you want.
What Is Royal Caribbean Travel Protection?
Royal Caribbean Travel Protection Program is optional cruise coverage from Royal Caribbean, available in all states except New York. The coverage includes:
- Cancel policy – 90% of the unused part of the cruise
- Medical expenses – up to $25,000 for medical expenses and up to $50,000 for emergency transportation
- Luggage protection – up to $1,500 for stolen, lost, or damaged luggage and up to $500 for covered replacement items
- Travel delay – up to $500 for covered travel expenses
Note that Royal Caribbean Travel Protection does not cover pre-existing conditions.
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Is Royal Caribbean Travel Protection Worth It?
Whether Royal Caribbean Travel Protection is worth it depends on your needs, health, budget, risk tolerance, and other possible individual factors. Consider all factors and make the best choice for your trip.
Enjoy your cruise vacation!
Oleksandr is an expert in deep research. He covers various insurance topics across verticals, adopting to every local law.