There is no doubt that cruising is the best value for a family vacation, romantic getaway or girls trip which is why cruising statistics are on the rise for 2019! However, protecting your trip and yourself is important when it comes to vacations. The best way to have the peace of mind is travel insurance, or we like to call it travel protection. There is a lot of different travel insurance out there so making sure you know what you are purchasing; what is covered and what is not. And remember all travel insurance is not created equal so do your research or use a trusted travel advisor like us to help navigate you through the process, but no matter what type of travel protection you choose make sure you do cover yourself before you go. We have a repost of a great blog post by Alliance Travel Insurance we just felt we must share.
For the 20 million travelers who choose to go on a cruise each year, the experience is far and away smooth sailing. But when something goes awry on a cruise ship, from norovirus outbreaks to missing bags, things can go south quickly. Consequently, travel insurance is as essential to pack as your favorite bathing suit and smartphone charger.
Otherwise, here are some of the reasons and scenarios that make purchasing travel insurance such an important step for getting prepared for your big cruise vacation.
Travel insurance for cruises can protect your investment in the event of last-minute cancellations.
Think your cruise line will understand when you have to cancel your trip because of a family emergency? Probably not. They count on having their cabins filled when the ship leaves the dock, so most cruise lines are reluctant to give refunds.
Take Royal Caribbean, which is par for the course. For cruises up to four nights, you need to cancel 75 days or more prior to cruising. For cruises of five nights or longer, that window increases to 90 days. And if you cancel a cruise of any length within 30 days of your departure, your refund is the same: $0. 2.
Cruise lines will try to sell you their own waiver, but if you read the fine print you'll see they only offer refunds when you cancel your trip for a limited list of covered reasons. And if you must cancel for another reason, cruise lines' plans generally offer credits worth 75 percent of the trip cost.
Don't lose your travel investment. Protect yourself with a travel insurance plan, one that allows you to cancel your trip for a wide range of covered reasons.
Travel insurance for cruises can make medical emergencies more manageable
When you’re soaking in rays on the Lido Deck with a good book in one hand and a fresh mango smoothie in the other, the last thing on your mind might be a medical emergency. Even if you’re in perfect health, you can never predict when you might break an ankle, come down with the Flu or suffer a heart attack. If you're treated on board, prepare to receive a hefty medical bill. Your regular health insurance likely won't cover you. Additionally, in the case of serious injury or illness, you don’t want to be caught in a scenario in which you need to be airlifted off the ship to a medical facility, and you’re left to pay for this out of pocket. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), this can cost as much as $100,000 — a cost that may need to be paid in advance — and that’s for the medical evacuation alone. That's why travel insurance for cruises is more than a “nice to have;” it’s an essential. Allianz Global Assistance offers plans with both an Emergency Transportation and Emergency Medical benefit, in addition to benefits such as Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption and more.
Travel Insurance is there when you miss the boat — literally
Time and tide wait for no one. Neither do cruise ships. That's why missed flights and missing bags become big problems when you're beginning your cruise vacation. If your flight to Miami is canceled due to weather, causing you to miss embarkation, you're out of luck — and out that snorkeling excursion you were really looking forward to — unless you have travel insurance. Trip delay benefits can reimburse you for eligible hotel stays, meals and lost prepaid expenses if your trip is delayed by more the amount of time specified in your travel insurance plan for a covered reason. Missed connection benefits can reimburse you for the cost of transportation to your cruise's first port of call, where you can catch up with the ship. And Allianz Global Assistance's 24-hour hotline assistance can help you make the needed changes to your travel plan. With the right travel insurance from Allianz Global Assistance, you don’t have to sweat unpredictable delays and missed connections. You’ll get there; in fact, just think of it as making a grand entrance.
Sometimes you need travel insurance for cruises because life happens
In the middle of your Caribbean journey from Nassau to Port Lucaya, you get word that your mother has fallen seriously ill. You need to get home fast, but how can you do it without breaking the bank? This is when Allianz Global Assistance’s travel insurance is your best friend. Call the 24-hour assistance hotline, and a travel expert can help you make arrangements to fly home from the ship's next port of call. You can be reimbursed for up to 150 percent of the cost of the trip: both the unused portion of your cruise and the additional transportation costs for returning home early.
Travel insurance for cruises helps you kick back and relax
People take cruises to spend quality time with friends and family, to explore new regions of the world, and sometimes even to get from Point A to Point B. But the key attraction of cruises is to relax, to let go of life’s little worries and unwind without a care. That said, it’s tough to relax if you’re worried about bad weather, illness, lost luggage, missed flights, theft or international emergencies. A top-flight cruise travel insurance policy, such as the plans offered by Allianz Global Assistance, can offer recourse for the unexpected. Make sure you review your insurance plan carefully before you buy, because not all plans offer the same coverage.
When you’re putting together that lengthy to-do list to get ready for your vacation at sea, be sure to put travel insurance for cruises atop the list. There’s nothing you can pack that’s as versatile and critical to the enjoyment of your big boat trip. And if you’ve read enough right here to reach that same conclusion, start searching for the right travel insurance policy now. Bon voyage! (blog post by Allianz Global Insurance)
There you have it from the professionals in travel insurance, we use Allianz Global Insurance for our clients as well as our own personal trips! One last note we like to add, if you are injured off the ship and need to go to a hospital that hospital will usually require payment in full up front from you, even if it is a surgery (and most medical insurance you have at home is not taken in other countries)! The right travel insurance will pay for all of this for you. And if you needed to be life flighted for some reason, that cost alone can be over one hundred thousand dollars! But what about the cruise line insurance they sell? Well, cruise lines’ protection plans aren’t usually travel insurance. They typically offer only a waiver for cancellation protection (remember the Royal Caribbean senecio above?) The cruise line may also offer third-party post-departure benefits, but the limits are generally modest. And what about pre-existing conditions you may have? For the purposes of buying travel insurance, a pre-existing condition is defined as any illness, disease, injury or other condition that happens prior to a plan’s effective date and for which you experienced symptoms or sought treatment. Insurance providers check to see if you were medically stable during the “look-back period,” which is typically a period of 60 to 180 days prior to a plan’s effective date. If it is determined that you were not medically stable during that time, you are considered to have a pre-existing condition. Any fallout due to that condition won’t be covered by a standard travel insurance policy. So it is important to have a travel protection insurance that covers pre-existing conditions!
So the bottom line is have travel insurance and not just any travel insurance - have an insurance that protects you and your vacation! We are here to help you plan the perfect cruise vacation AND help to make sure you are protected!
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