Is travel insurance really necessary on a cruise? Doesn’t the ship have medical services? Why do you need to spend more money on your cruise for insurance you probably won’t use?
These are the most likely reasons:
1) Someone in your party gets very sick and needs to be taken to a hospital. From a ship, this is very expensive and you will be in for a big surprise. Countries, like Mexico, charge $25,000 or more to transport you from the ship to the hospital. Then, they keep your passport and do not allow you to leave until you have made arrangements to pay your bills in full.
If you purchased the insurance, you dial a 24/7 hotline for assistance and they organize and pay for everything that's covered.
2) Your medical insurance does not cover you outside of the United States. If you have to be treated by a Doctor or hospital while out of the country, you will have to pay all of the bills yourself. See #1.
3) Your spouse gets so sick they are hospitalized a day before you’re scheduled to leave. If you didn’t purchase insurance, you lose the cost of your trip. It’s nice to think the cruise line will understand and offer a refund or future cruise voucher but that never happens.
4) You traveled to the cruise port and as you are checking in you realize you’ve forgotten your passport, birth certificate or other acceptable identification. Or you didn’t use a travel agent and someone gave you the wrong information about what is required. See #3.
5) Your flight was booked with one of the airlines and has been cancelled. As such, the cruise leaves without you. Insurance can allow you to fly to the next port while paying any incidental expenses which have occurred.
6) Your luggage doesn’t make it onto the ship or is lost after the cruise. Some insurance will help replace the contents.
7) There is a Norovirus or other disastrous illness or malfunction requiring evacuation of everyone from the ship. Insurance will help you get home.
Purchase your insurance when you make your initial deposit to insure the most value. Some things will not be covered when purchased later, like pre-existing conditions. However, purchasing something at the last minute is still better than nothing.
Don’t purchase the coverage offered by the cruise line without researching the options. Make sure the insurance you do purchase provides help during your trip and not in the form of reimbursement. InsureMyTrip allows you to comparison shop. Just be sure you verify the insurer on www.ustia.org – the U.S. Travel Insurance Association.
Be sure and purchase the insurance with the most medical and evacuation coverage. My opinion is that you pay a little extra to avoid a financial disaster later.
VERONICA WOLD IS A CLIA ACCREDITED CRUISE COUNSELOR, A LICENSED FLORIDA SELLER OF TRAVEL, AND A DISNEY DESTINATIONS SPECIALIST. SHE HAS TRAVELED THROUGHOUT THE WORLD AND IS THE CONSUMMATE PROFESSIONAL. CONTACT HER AT 850-321-5477 OR VERONICA@MAKINGTRAVELEFFORTLESS.COM.