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 air lines. The biggest issue we saw was major disparities in plan costs and coverage for emergency situations — the most important inclusions of travel insurance.
In late 2018, several lawsuits revealed that many major cruise and airlines 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 companies, airlines, and those purchased directly through a comparison site or insurance plan provider.
We discovered travel insurance bought through a comparison site or online provider typically include exceedingly more coverage at a fraction of the cost. In contrast to a general retail policy, cruise or airline policies provided some noteworthy discrepancies, such as:
>5-10 times less coverage for emergency medical expenses
>10-30 times less emergency medical evacuation coverage
>15-18 less trip cancellation reasons
We’ve broken it down by coverage and ran a few example quotes you can compare in the chart below by cruise insurance, airline insurance and general retail travel insurance.
While most major cruise and airline policies include the most basic coverage, many lack the ability to add or increase coverage. Some standard categories typically not included with cruise and airline insurance policies are security evacuation, missed connections, and change fees.
Insurance from cruises and airlines also usually lacks reasons 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 change out of your travel budget (yikes!).
At the end of the day, every traveler should be able to easily access trip insurance that offers them full 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.