If you planning a vacation for you and your family, you might be wondering if you should buy cruise trip insurance. After all, most homeowner insurance policies do cover travel losses. But this isn't always worth it, since the rise in your premium level may exceed how much travel insurance would cost. Plus this is limited since it won't cover things like cancellations or medical problems.
If you want something that will cover all of that, you will need cruise trip insurance. But you need to make sure that you get the right kind. Many kinds of travel insurance are secondary. That means they only supplement your homeowners insurance and only pay things that still need to be covered after your policy has paid you.
Primary insurance will pay you right away. Of course, this costs more, but it is worth it for people who don't want to rely on their medical or homeowner insurance. It is also quicker to get you your money because you don't have to wait the months it takes to get reimbursed by your main policy before you can use it. There are also less documents, such as receipts, that you will need to keep track of.
Even after you have decided between primary and secondary, there are still many things to consider before you find the right policy for your needs. You need to find out before you purchase anything what they consider a pre-existing condition, a terrorist act, and an immediate family member or travel companion. With different definitions of these terms, you need to be sure that you are buying exactly what you think you are.
Do you even need cruise trip insurance? In most cases, travelers, will be better off buying it. It tends to be fairly inexpensive. Be prepared to spend about 5-10% of the cost of your vacation on insurance.
What Isn't Covered by Cruise Trip Insurance
There is a lot that isn't covered. Knowing what isn't ahead of time will save you disappointment and headaches. Bad weather that doesn't cause delays or cancellations is not covered. For the most part, you won't get paid if you decide to not go on the cruise. If this is a possibility for you, you can look for policies that offer cancellation for any reason. But even these have conditions that must be met and you shouldn't expect full reimbursement.
Itinerary changes aren't insurable. If you go on a trip, but it wasn't what was originally planned, you won't be getting your money back. Normal pregnancy and childbirth aren't covered. If there is a medical emergency relating to the pregnancy, it would be. War isn't covered, but acts of terrorism might be. This clause will usually cover you if you miss getting to your destination because of acts of terrorism.
If you decide you can't afford the trip, you are out of luck. Some do, however, offer protection in cases of job loss. In general, pre-existing medical conditions aren't covered. Nor are mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression. Frequent flyer miles aren't considered to have a monetary value, so you won't get paid for these.
Earlier it was mentioned that buying cruise trip insurance was almost always a good idea. Who shouldn't bother with it? Well, if you live near the terminal and are driving, or if you are just going away for the weekend it might not be worth it. But there are many more cases where it makes sense to get. Here is a list of some of those.
If you are renting a car.
If you will be traveling over land in addition to the cruise.
If you or your family member has poor health.
If there is a chance that your flight will be delayed due to weather such as hurricanes or winter storms. If you are going to have an adventure with things like water skiing or scuba diving.
If you are traveling internationally.
Deciding on What Kind you Need
Different travelers will have different needs, so it is hard to give advice regarding the kind you should buy. Since each policy will have its strength and weaknesses, decide which areas it is important that you have good coverage in. You also have to decide if you should buy from a cruise line or a third-party. The cruise line is perhaps the most convenient. But it tends to be pricey without offering as good of protection as third party insurers. It also tends to be secondary, so avoid it if you are searching for a good primary policy. They also might try to reimburse you with credits rather than cash, which you won't want.
Here are some cases where you will be extremely glad that you purchased a good policy. They might be extreme, but they do happen. Medical evacuations is one of these. If out at sea, a helicopter will be needed to transport the patient to a hospital. This is quite expensive and the family has to pay for it unless they have cruise trip insurance that covers these costs.
Getting home for medical emergencies won't be that bad if you are just going to the Bahamas, but what if you are going on an exotic vacation to Europe, Asia, or South America? For these trips, you want to make sure that you have good coverage.
While you won't get pre-existing conditions covered, this term is defined differently by various insurers. Each will have a set number of days that you must have been free of symptoms for the condition to be covered. To find out how long this is, search for lookback days. After this time, they will waive the exclusion, which means that they will now cover it. The number of lookback days can vary from 60 to 180, so be sure to shop around. There are usually other requirements as well. For example, you might have to purchase the policy within a couple of days of placing a deposit. Be sure to read all of the fine print.
If your policy covers trip cancellation, you'll be able to get back all of the money that you have prepaid for the trip. You won't be reimbursed for things that are reserved. Because of this, it is better to prepay for things such as nights in hotels instead of just guaranteeing them to your credit card.
Travel delay and cancellation is another thing that is covered differently by different insurers. You'll typically be covered for new travel arrangements and accommodations and meals. This will be capped at a certain amount. You'll need to be delayed for six to twelve hours before you will qualify for these benefits. Missed connections are sometimes listed under flight delays but sometimes require their own coverage.
The type of travel insurance that is most used has to be for baggage that is delayed, lost, or damaged. Find out how much you will be paid for your essentials if you need to make a claim.Many policies offer job loss protection. If you lose your job and can no longer afford your vacation, you will be given a full refund.
Choosing a Provider
Take time choosing which provider you want to go with. While your travel agent might recommend someone, you should do additional research. Make sure the policies are regulated by state insurance departments and underwritten by licensed insurers. Your stat's insurance department will be able to confirm that they allowed to conduct business there. You can also use an online resource, such as the website of the United States Travel Insurance Association. Finally check with the Better Business Bureau to see how well they handle complaints.