Whether it’s your first cruise or one of many, it’s important to have the right travel insurance. According to Jason Schreier, CEO of April Travel Protection, the largest number of complaints from cruise lines are for trip cancellation, travel medical expenses and trip interruption coverage.
Here are good starting points for the coverage you are likely to want in a cruise insurance plan:
Trip cancellation insurance: This reimburses you 100% for prepaid, non-refundable deposits that you lose if you need to cancel for a reason covered by the policy.
Trip interruption cover: This will reimburse you for a percentage of unused travel expenses, for example 100%, 150% or 200%, if your trip is cut short due to illness, injury, death or other reasons.
Emergency medical expenses: This pays for the medical costs associated with the injuries and illnesses you contract during the trip. The best travel insurance plans have $ 500,000 in travel medical insurance, but you might find $ 100,000 sufficient for a cruise. If you are a senior, good travel medical coverage is crucial.
US health plans generally have very little or no coverage outside of the country. And Medicare does not cover medical care outside of the United States, with a few exceptions.
“The medical benefits of a travel insurance policy can help cover unforeseen accidents and illnesses, such as treating a jellyfish sting on a snorkeling expedition or obtaining antibiotics for a trip. sudden illness like strep throat, ”says Syed Rizvi, vice president and director of specialty insurance at Nationwide Insurance. .
Make sure the travel insurance plan you buy covers your pre-existing conditions. You do this by getting a “pre-existing medical condition exclusion waiver,” but this must be added within 14 to 21 days, depending on the company, after making your initial travel deposit.
Emergency medical evacuation cover: This covers the cost of getting to the nearest suitable medical facility or even to your home if medically necessary.
“If a consumer is sailing to a more remote location, or with poor or limited health care options, an additional evacuation insurance plan can be a big plus,” says Rizvi. “After all, the average bills for air ambulances can easily reach over $ 40,000.”
Cancel coverage for any reason: Cancellation for reasons not listed in the policy is not covered, unless you have already purchased cancellation coverage for any reason. This usually reimburses you 50% or 75% of the travel costs and allows you to cancel the trip for any reason.
“Insurance in general and travel insurance in particular are designed to protect the consumer against the unexpected. Therefore, if you think an event may impact your trip, you may want to consider a policy with a cancellation for any reason (CFAR) option, “says Rizvi.” These are offered by several types. travel agencies, sometimes for an additional charge, sometimes not Some offer the possibility of obtaining a cash back, others the possibility of obtaining a refund.
Additional coverage: You can add other insurances as needed, such as lost / damaged baggage coverage. Consult with your travel insurance agent to match coverage to your specific needs and concerns.