What You Should Know About Cruise Insurance and Airline Insurance

Last Updated on 6/30/2021

After comparing general retail travel insurance with cruise insurance and airline insurance, we’ve realized how much customers are really losing when they tack on travel insurance from cruise lines and airlines. The biggest issue we saw was major disparities in plan premiums and benefits for emergency situations — the most important coverage categories of travel insurance.

In late 2018, several lawsuits revealed that many major cruise and air carriers have utilized deceptive practices around the insurances policies they offer, causing an uproar in the travel community. As the travel insurance experts, we assessed these policies offered by cruise lines, air carriers, and those purchased directly through a comparison site or other travel insurance companies.

Our Findings

We discovered travel insurance purchased through an aggregator or online provider typically included exceedingly more insurance at a fraction of the price. In contrast to a general retail policy, cruise or airline policies provided some noteworthy discrepancies, such as:

  • 5-10 times less insurance coverage for emergency medical expenses

We’ve broken it down by benefits and ran a few example quotes you can compare in the chart below by cruise insurance, airline insurance, and general retail travel insurance.

Cruise airline insurance

More Shortcomings for Cruise Line and Airline Insurance

Missing Coverage

While most major cruise and airline policies include the most basic coverage, many lack the ability to add or increase coverageSome standard categories typically not included with cruise and airline insurance policies are security evacuation, missed connections, and change fees. These are pretty important benefit categories that often come in handy when your travel plans go south. You might miss out on these benefits if you purchase insurance directly with the cruise line or airline, so it’s always a good idea to use a comparison site and get a quote from them instead.

green button that reads quote and compare travel insurance

Despite airlines recently adding free COVID-19 coverage when booking within a certain time frame, you should note that this is not a full travel insurance policy. These policies will only cover COVID-19 related events or conditions on your trip. For example, if you’ve broken your leg while on an adventurous excursion, it won’t provide coverage for that type of medical care. We’ve written a dedicated article about why you should still purchase a comprehensive policy you should check out.

In addition, cruise and airline travel insurance typically only insures the cost of your cruise or your flight. This could mean expenses like hotels and prepaid tours are at risk if something were to mess up your travel plans like trip interruption or trip delay. With a travel insurance policy in hand though, your total trip cost is protected!

Lack of Cancellation Reasons

Insurance offered by cruises and air suppliers also usually lack abundant causes to cancel. For example, if you opt for cruise or airline insurance and suddenly need to cancel your trip or leave your destination for reasons that don’t fall within the insurance policy you purchased, you will forfeit your nonrefundable costs or have to cover all related expenses out-of-pocket. That could be a large chunk of money out of your travel budget (yikes!).

Why Purchase Travel Insurance

When purchasing a general retail policy (which is what we recommend!), you’ll find comprehensive travel insurance plans that include more robust benefits, especially when comparing them to benefits offered by cruise and air suppliers. When comparing policies on Yonder, you’ll find:

  • Numerous benefit categories
  • Longer lists of reasons in which you can cancel your trip
  • Higher insurance coverage amounts per person
  • Option to increase the amount insured under the policy
  • Available upgrades to purchase specific coverage (ex. Cancel for Any Reason or Pre-Existing Condition Waivers)
  • Option to adjust travel dates if you need to reschedule your trip
  • 24/7 emergency assistance

At the end of the day, every traveler should be able to easily access trip insurance that offers them comprehensive coverage at a fair price. Turns out it pays (literally) to compare policies instead of selecting the default option provided by cruise corporations or airline companies.

Still don’t believe travel insurance can be that cheap? Let our instant quote tool change your mind by providing curated, travel insurance for your next trip or let us know what questions you have by emailing our team of helpful humans at [email protected].

Kate's authoritative voice in travel writing is backed by years of extensive travel experience, allowing her to infuse her writing with the tips and tricks she has gathered over time. This wealth of experience enhances her ability to write authoritatively on travel-related topics.


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