No one wants to think about it, but certain events could disrupt your cruise vacation plans – such as illness, airline delays or an urgent family matter. Fortunately, you can easily put your mind at rest by purchasing travel insurance.
Cruise lines take responsibility for some disruptions, such as mechanical troubles. But issues like a personal illness or luggage lost by your airline are not the cruise line’s responsibility, and won’t result in any reimbursement of your costs – unless you have travel insurance. It’s a smart way to avoid losing your investment in your cruise vacation.
Insurance is available for all lengths and types of cruises, from a short 3-night cruise to a four-month world cruise. Costs vary, but will be a small percentage of the cost of the cruise. Depending on the coverage you purchase, travel insurance can provide reimbursement for any of these unfortunate situations:
- An illness that forces you to cancel your trip.
- A missed flight or flight delay that causes you to miss your ship.
- Medical treatment needed while on the cruise.
- Medical evacuation from the ship.
- Job loss that leads you to cancel your trip for financial reasons.
- Cancellation due to concerns about acts of war or terrorist violence.
Some insurance providers give you add-on options, such as full coverage if you cancel for any reason at all (including simply changing your mind), or coverage for aircraft accidents and rental car collisions. Add-ons will add to the cost of the insurance, so be sure they make sense for you.
Note that travel insurance typically will not reimburse for:
- Inclement weather, although a hurricane or typhoon may qualify you for trip disruption reimbursement.
- Itinerary changes. If the captain decides to skip a port or choose an alternate, it’s to keep you and your fellow passengers safe and doesn’t qualify as trip disruption.
The best time to buy insurance is when you book your cruise; then, you’ll be covered for any cancellations or delays from that time on.
Most cruise lines offer insurance, but you should compare it with offerings from third-party insurers like Allianz, Travel Guard by AIG, and Travel Insured International. Third-party insurance can be more inclusive than the policies offered by the cruise lines.
Note that a travel insurance policy protects only the individual who purchases it; if you’re traveling with family members, be sure to specifically add them to your policy.
For more tips about insuring your cruise vacation, talk with your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.