Travel Insurance for Cruisers

Travel insurance protects you from many problems that could ruin your trip

There are many reasons that one should buy travel insurance, as it protects against unforeseen occurrences that could end up costing big bucks without it. You can use travel insurance to cover the cost of anything from a lost item to a missed flight. Early on during the cruise planning and budgeting process, you can decide on what kind of travel insurance you want to get and the amount of coverage needed for your vacation.

Who Should Get Travel Insurance?

In general, all cruise ship vacationers should purchase some form of travel insurance. Travel insurance is especially important if you fall under certain qualifications and need to protect your vacation investment. If you have a pre-existing medical condition that could possibly interrupt your cruise or if you are worried about the medical condition of a family member whose condition may worsen on your cruise, travel insurance should be seriously considered.

Another example may be if you are traveling during a time when weather could delay your flights (winter weather, hurricane season). Any of these scenarios are just some of the many reasons that getting travel insurance can be a good idea. But – to state the obvious, be sure to study the fine print to confirm that the policy you are considering actually covers the risks you are concerned about.

What Kind?

The cost of travel insurance is typically very reasonable (normally a small percentage of the price of the trip itself) and can be well worth the expense.

When considering what kind of travel insurance to purchase, it is important to keep in mind the things that will not be covered during your trip. First, unless bad weather causes you to miss or delays your vacation, it will not be covered under a travel insurance policy. So, you won't be able to get your money back just because it rains a lot during your cruise.

Second, travel insurance doesn't reimburse you if you change your mind about your trip (in most cases). Examples of other cases not covered may be an altered cruise itinerary you don't like, a change in your financial circumstances (e.g. you lose your job and can't afford to go). However, some cruise companies are starting to offer job loss protection policies. War is another remote risk that is almost never covered, (though there are may be certain exceptions with an “Acts of Terrorism Clause” in some policies), and psychological disorders (if you discover the sight of an open ocean depresses you, it's unlikely your insurance will compensate you for the misery).

Now that you know what is not covered by traveler's insurance, you may be wondering just what kind of coverage you can get for your Caribbean cruise vacation. The best way to find the right kind of insurance for your cruise is to do some comparative shopping. During your search, you will want to do a comparison of cost, coverage, exclusion.  You can also get travel insurance through the cruise line with whom you are booking your trip.

Although it may be convenient to get your travel insurance through your cruise line you may save money, or get better coverage, from one of the independent carriers. Some cruise line's insurance, for example, only reimburse you in the form of a “future cruise credit” rather than direct payment to you.

It is a good idea to get medical evacuation coverage included in your travel insurance package since medical evacuation from another country or at sea is quite expensive. In an extreme emergency, a helicopter or aircraft evacuation can literally be a lifesaver but cost tens of thousands of dollars. Travel insurance can cover these costs. Other medical concerns can be having a pre-existing medical condition. You may be able to find a company that will offer you coverage.

Normally the travel insurance MUST be purchased within 14 days of your initial cruise deposit for pre-existing conditions to be covered. Travel insurance can also be useful if you have to cancel your trip in the case of an emergency. Generally, any reason that isn't excluded by your insurance provider will be covered under the travel policy. Flight delay and/or cancellation can also be reimbursed through travel insurance. Most coverage includes accommodations, meals, and new travel arrangements, as well as lost, stolen, or damaged luggage.

To get the right coverage for your trip, you must choose the right insurance provider and the best policy for your travel needs. Some vacationers may feel that travel insurance isn't necessary for their trip. That's okay if you make that decision. But be aware that having travel insurance can save you a lot of money and peace of mind in cases of an emergency or unexpected situations on your Caribbean cruise holiday.


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