How to Find the Best Cruise Insurance for Seniors [GUIDE]

The golden years of your life should be spent in a tropical paradise watching golden sunsets. We’re serious! You’ve worked hard for decades. There aren’t many better choices for traveling than taking a cruise vacation. However, it’s vital you get the best cruise travel insurance for seniors. Having a solid understanding of your travel insurance options pays dividends when your boat departs from the port.

blue outline of arrow pointing rightWhy is cruise travel insurance for seniors so important?

If you don’t have adequate travel insurance coverage for your voyage, you could be opening yourself up to high levels of risk. Without insurance, your cruise costs might not be reimbursed if you suddenly have to cancel or interrupt your trip. Without travel insurance, facing a medical crisis during the cruise could result in a large out-of-pocket medical bill.

“If you’re relying on your major medical health care insurance to provide coverage, use caution,” says Terry Boynon, co-founder and president of Yonder Travel Insurance. “Most health insurance plans won’t provide medical coverage in other countries unless you have a specific supplemental policy.”

Here are the top reasons our travel insurance experts recommend seniors taking cruises to purchase a policy:

  • Adequate medical coverage for emergencies during the cruise
  • Protection of your trip investment in case you have to call off your cruise (illness, death in the family, natural disaster, etc.)
  • Delayed flights that cause you to miss your cruise’s departure
  • Lost or delayed baggage that creates travel headaches

On the flip side, if purchasing insurance directly from cruise companies, you could also be missing out on vital coverage. Find the best cruise insurance for seniors, at the most affordable price, by comparing policies side by side.

Don’t delay! Keep reading our step-by-step guide on finding the best cruise insurance for seniors.

blue outline of arrow pointing right What benefits should I look for in a cruise travel insurance policy?

There are all kinds of travel insurance policies out there. So how do you choose the right one for yourself as a senior going on a cruise? Here are the top benefits in order of priority for most senior travelers.

Medical Expense and Medical Evacuation

Because most health insurance plans don’t extend coverage internationally, it’s important to get travel insurance to cover any gaps. The Yonder travel insurance experts recommend getting a policy with at least $100,000 of medical expense insurance amount and $250,000 of medical evacuation benefits. Let’s explore common medical coverage concerns for senior cruise travelers.

Medical Expense Coverage: If you suddenly get ill or injured on the boat, the best place to seek immediate medical attention is at the medical center onboard. A little-known fact of cruising is that you’re charged if you need to visit the on-board doctor, as well as for any prescriptions you receive. Travel insurance works on a reimbursement basis, so you’ll likely pay out of pocket for your medical bill while on the boat. Then, once you return home, you can file a claim for reimbursement of those medical expenses.

Medical Evacuation Coverage: Should you encounter a serious medical emergency, a medical evacuation might be necessary. You’ll need to coordinate the evacuation with the 24/7 emergency assistance provider that comes with your travel insurance for coverage to apply.

Pre-Existing Conditions Coverage: If you’ve had an ongoing medical condition and are worried about a flare-up, we recommend a pre-existing condition waiver with your travel insurance plan. Normally, pre-existing conditions are excluded from insurance, but the waiver removes this exclusion. We have a full article on everything you need to know about pre-existing condition coverage and waivers if you want to learn more.

COVID-19 Coverage: Thankfully, COVID-19 is still considered a covered illness under travel insurance. If you contract it during your trip, your travel insurance’s medical coverage would likely cover associated expenses or treatment.

Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption

As much as you’re looking forward to going on a cruise, numerous reasons could cause you to nix your trip. During your cruise, something may arise that requires you to return home early. These are major concerns for senior cruise travelers as they could result in a loss of your trip investment.

Trip Cancellation Coverage: Travel insurance for your cruise cost gives you better control if you unexpectedly need to cut your trip. Instead of losing that sum or getting reimbursed in the form of credits, travel insurance could help you get your trip costs back in cash. Not all reasons you call off are covered, so be sure to understand what cancellation reasons would allow a 100% reimbursement.

Pro Tip: Make sure you insure only the non refundable costs for your trip to keep the price of your policy as low as possible!

two travelers looking at a cruise ship

Trip Interruption Coverage: Even if you make it on the boat, things back home might require you to cut your trip short. For example, an elderly parent passes away or your children are involved in an accident. That means you might not get a refund for the days of your cruise you paid for but will miss. Buying travel insurance to protect your trip investment enables you to claim a refund for any unused portions of your cruise costs.

Cancel for Any Reason Upgrade: If you’re looking for even more flexible cancellation benefits, Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) might be a great option for you. It allows you to call off your trip for any reason at all and receive a 50-75% refund of your insured trip costs. Find out the value and reasons why travelers opt for this travel insurance upgrade in the full article. 

Travel Delay Coverage

You wouldn’t want your trip to be delayed or get stuck waiting for the next flight. For seniors embarking on a cruise, having travel delay coverage is crucial. This benefit ensures that you are reimbursed for additional accommodation, travel expenses, meals, and lost prepaid expenses in the event of unexpected delays (flight delays, road closures, traffic accidents). That way, you can better navigate unforeseen disruptions and focus on enjoying your cruise experience.

Missed Connection Coverage

If you literally miss the boat, or miss your cruise’s departure, don’t fret! If your travel insurance includes missed connection coverage, it may cover the costs of catching up with the cruise. This includes accommodation, meals, alternative travel arrangements, and even lost prepaid trip costs that you couldn’t use, if needed.

Example: Your flight is delayed due to a crazy winter storm and you don’t make the cruise departure. Missed connection coverage would provide reimbursement for lodging, meals, and the additional transportation costs to meet up with the boat. This is a vital type of travel insurance for European river cruises, since you’ll often have to fly to the port of call for your initial cruise ship departure.

Baggage Loss and Delay

Delayed and lost baggage is no way to start a cruise! Baggage loss and delay benefits ensure you’re reimbursed for any personal items you need to buy while your baggage is delayed or the cost to replace items that were lost or stolen. 

blue outline of arrow pointing right When should I purchase cruise travel insurance?

Yonder has a whole article on when you should purchase travel insurance. With cruises, it’s best to insure what costs you’ve paid for so far right away under travel insurance. This is especially true if you’re looking to get coverage for CFAR or pre-existing conditions. As you make additional payments, you can increase the trip costs insured under your plan. Purchasing early provides greater peace of mind, knowing your trip investment is protected against unexpected events for your upcoming cruise.

blue outline of arrow pointing rightShould I purchase travel insurance offered by the cruise line?

The cruise line may offer a travel insurance choice with your cruise package but buyer beware, you may be purchasing a limited (and very expensive) insurance plan! Here’s why you may want to purchase cruise insurance somewhere else:

  • Often, cruise companies offer travel insurance policies that only cover the cost of your cruise. This would exclude the cost of your airfare, excursions or other nonrefundable expenses that make up your total trip cost.
  • The list of trip cancellation reasons is sometimes half as long as other travel insurance plans!
  • Medical expense and medical evacuation coverage may be extremely limited, especially if you suffer from a pre-existing condition.

Check out our article on what you should know about the travel insurance policies included with your cruise and airline packages. It may change your view of travel insurance forever!

green button that reads quote and compare travel insurance

blue outline of arrow pointing right How to purchase cruise insurance for seniors?

Comparing cruise travel insurance policies is the way to find the best cruise insurance for seniors. This ensures you’ll find the most extensive coverage at the most affordable price. Don’t worry, you won’t have to get a quote on your own! Our instant quote tool generates travel insurance policies for the way you travel, including the specific cruise coverage you’re looking for.

These filters on Yonder’s quote results page will help display policy options that include the benefits you need. Note: each policy includes travel delay and baggage loss coverage at varying amounts.

Pre-Existing Condition Waiver

Medical Expense & Medical Evacuation Benefits

Cancel for Any Reason Upgrade

Missed Connection Benefits

If you choose to purchase a plan offered by the cruise carrier, you might be missing out on valuable coverage –it’s estimated these policies withhold 10-30 times less coverage than general retail policies! Instead, get more comprehensive coverage by comparing policies online. Get a quote via Yonder in just minutes!

Make sure to take a look at our senior travel insurance guide too. Whatever cruise you’re planning, and whatever type of coverage you’re looking for, we’re here to help. Contact one of our friendly humans via phone (855-358-6433) or email ([email protected]) for a custom cruise travel insurance quote today!  

As a seasoned professional with over five years of experience in the travel insurance industry, Meagan has honed her expertise in marketing and operations working for Yonder Travel Insurance. Throughout her career, she's shown dedication assisting customers at every stage of their travel insurance journey, from the initial quote process to navigating the claims process. Her expert understanding of travel insurance equips her to provide unbiased and valuable insights, which help travelers find the best coverage and maximize its benefits.

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