Bermuda, Jamaica, U.S. Virgin Islands … If taking a luxurious cruise is in your near future you might want to consider purchasing travel insurance before you sail off into the sunset.
Why would you need travel insurance? Cruises are among the most in demand vacations in the United States, more than tripling in popularity over the past 5 years, according to data from travel insurance comparison site, Squaremouth.
As the season kicks off, travelers of all kinds are taking advantage of cruise sales to book their next vacation, as well as are opting to buy travel insurance in case of an emergency.
Here are some tips for buying cruise insurance in 2019, according to Squaremouth:
Be Careful of Coverage from Cruise Line
Travelers with certain concerns like a sick family member at home or a pre-existing medical condition, should compare the insurance offered through their cruise line to that of a third-party to make sure they are getting the coverage they need for the best price.
Third-party policies typically have more extensive Trip Cancellation and Trip Delay benefits, and can include Pre-Existing Condition coverage, which is typically not covered by cruise line insurance. Third-party policies can also provide coverage for travel before and after your cruise, while cruise line insurance typically only covers portions of your trip purchased directly through the cruise line.
Emergency Evacuation Can Be Expensive
Medical evacuation on cruise ships can be much more expensive than typical medical transport costs, especially for cruises to more remote locations. To prepare for these potential expenses, Squaremouth recommends cruisers look for at least $250,000 in Medical Evacuation coverage when purchasing a policy for their cruise. This benefit can cover the cost of an evacuation off a cruise boat, or from port, and even to return home if deemed necessary.
Don’t Forget About Missed Connection Coverage
If a traveler misses their cruise departure because of bad weather or other airline delays, the Missed Connection benefit could cover their expenses to catch up to their cruise at the next port. This benefit can begin as soon as three hours into a delay, and coverage can range from a few hundred dollars to more than $2,000.
Consider Bad Weather Benefits
As hurricane season is one of the most popular times for cruises, Squaremouth recommends travelers consider selecting a policy that includes hurricane and weather benefits. If bad weather causes cancellations or significant delays in travel plans, typically 12-48 hours, covered cruisers would have the option to cancel a trip and be reimbursed for their trip costs. However, if a cruise ship changes its destination due to inclement weather, travel insurance will not cover the traveler to cancel their trip, as the cruise is still scheduled to take place.
Buy Coverage Early
Travel insurance only pays claims to travelers who buy coverage before an event takes place like bad weather or illness, so it is important to purchase a policy early to get the best possible coverage for a cruise. Travelers who purchase a policy within the first two weeks of their trip deposit date may also be eligible for additional benefits, such as Cancel For Any Reason, Pre-Existing Condition, Financial Default, and Cancel For Work Reasons.