Cruise insurance can be purchased from an independent insurance company or from cruise line.
Cruise vacations have become increasingly popular. When you book your cruise travel, you are usually offered some type of a protection plan or a waiver plan by the cruise line operator or from the travel agent. While it might seem convenient to make one payment for the cruise and travel plan, it is advisable to purchase cruise insurance offered by an independent insurance company using a comparison web site such as insubuy.com for many reasons.
The fact is that travel protection plans offered by the cruise line operator may only provide limited coverage, and will likely have many restrictions compared to an independent travel insurance. It may not even be 100% travel insurance. Trip cancellation insurance is quite different from a Cancellation waiver often sold by cruise lines. Cancellation waivers have more restrictions and generally will not provide coverage if you need to cancel your trip just before your departure, the time when most people need coverage; or if you need to interrupt the trip after it has already begun. On the other hand, trip cancellation insurance can provide you coverage from the time of booking until you return back home from the trip.
Moreover, this should also be taken into consideration, would you buy homeowner's insurance from a builder? Car insurance from a car dealer? Of course not! So why would buy cruise insurance from a cruise operator or their travel agent? It is the best practice to purchase cruise travel insurance from a reputed independent broker like insubuy.com which offers several plans from different insurance companies. We offer you expert advice that you need every step of the way and we help you select the most suitable plan for your needs, rather than just giving you a one size fits all plan.
Cruise lines are in the vacation business and are certainly not experts in the insurance business. Cruise line insurance plans are typically over-priced for the coverage that's offered and even if they outsource the claims administration, getting the claim processed is usually difficult. Moreover, the policy language of such plans is written in a way that it will more likely benefit the cruise line more than it would benefit you.
Just like you should not purchase travel protection from a cruise line operator, you should also avoid purchasing it directly from a travel booking site as you will most likely run into similar limitations and restrictions.
The following comparison chart illustrates the differences between travel insurance plans offered by a travel insurance company and the travel protection plan or cancellation waiver offered by a cruise line operator company.
|Feature||Travel Insurance||Cruise Line Plan|
Actual money reimbursement made by check in U.S. Dollars.
It gives you the complete freedom to spend the money any way you like, including a vacation with any other provider at any time you wish.
Usually a voucher for partial credits (such as 50% or 75%) that have a limited validity (such as one year) and also comes with a number of other restrictions.
If you had to cancel your current cruise because you were seriously sick or a close relative passed away, you may not be able to or willing to go on a cruise in the near future. You may not want to go with the same cruise company or you may not want to go on the same route.
|Independent travel arrangements|
You can get coverage for all non-refundable pre-paid travel costs such as airline tickets purchased outside of the cruise line, tours, excursions and side trips.
You will get coverage only for the travel arrangements you purchased through the cruise line company. If you need to make a claim for any travel arrangements that you didn't make through the cruise such as an airline ticket costs, or additional stay in a hotel before or after the cruise, there will be no coverage. In other words, you are protected only for the cruise portion of your trip. If your flight is late and you miss your cruise, there is no coverage.
|Emergency medical coverage|
Covered up to $1,000,000 depending upon the travel insurance plan you purchase. Coverage may either be primary or secondary.
Covered. However, the limit may be much less, such as $10,000 to $25,000. Additionally, the cruise operator may ask you to leave the ship if their on-board medical facility cannot treat you. That would definitely incur additional expenses, as well as many inconveniences to you. Additionally, the coverage would be secondary.
|Pre-existing medical conditions coverage|
Usually included if the condition is stable for a certain duration such as 60 or 90 days, and you purchase the insurance plan within a short duration (ranging from 7 days to 30 days) following your initial trip deposit.
|Bankruptcy or financial default|
Usually included if you purchase the insurance plan within a short duration (ranging from 7 days to 30 days) following your initial trip deposit.
No coverage. If your cruise line goes bankrupt, you will not receive a refund.
|Cancel for any reason coverage or Cancel for work reasons coverage|
Available in many travel insurance plans as an option.
|Trip cancellation reasons|
Broad range of reasons are eligible for trip cancellation.
In most cases, if the reason is not explicitly stated as covered in the policy, it is excluded. Usually, the list of covered reasons is very short and limited. Many reasons such as the birth of an immediate family member, cessation of carrier service for 24 hours, legal separation or divorce, foreign or domestic terrorism are excluded.
|Trip cancellation - Terrorism or political unrest.|
|Trip cancellation - Jury duty, work obligations, school year extensions|
|Trip cancellation duration|
You can be covered for trip cancellation until you depart for your trip, except in case of cancel for any reason.
Trip cancellation coverage usually ends 1-3 days prior to your scheduled departure date. Therefore, any last minute cancellations would be excluded.
Yes. Travel insurance plans are regulated by a State Department of Insurance.
No. In the case of any dispute, you will have to file a lawsuit which is very expensive, time consuming and stressful. In most cases, it may not be worth it looking at the amount of money in dispute. That leaves you with no recourse.