More often than not, when you’re booking a cruise, there are several steps you have to go through in order to get your travel plans squared away. Flights to your departure port and back, a hotel for the night before, deciding which cruise package is best for you…you get the picture. So it can be very tempting to purchase cruise travel insurance when the cruise line prompts you to during the booking process. You know…when you’re about to confirm your purchase and you see that little box that asks if you want to tack on travel insurance for just a little bit more money?
If you’re one of the people who’s seen that and thought it was too simple to be true…you’re right. In fact, the lack of coverage that insurance purchased directly through cruise lines offers has led to several lawsuits over the past year and majorly contributes to the myth that travel insurance is a scam. When people purchase travel insurance that has minimal coverage, which is what most cruise lines offer, and then end up spending a lot of money out of pocket when something goes awry, they blame it on travel insurance industry in general, when really the problem is that cruise lines simply do not provide sufficient coverage in the plans they offer.
To show you what we mean, we compared general travel insurance and insurance offered by cruise companies and airlines and discovered that there are major disparities in plan costs and coverage for emergency situations in particular. In particular, as compared to insurance policies offered by cruise lines, similarly priced general travel insurance policies offer:
5-10 times more coverage for emergency medical expenses
10-30 times more emergency medical evacuation coverage
2-3 times more trip cancellation reasons
In general, insurance offered through your cruise line may also lack some standard coverage categories, including security evacuation, missed connections, and change fees. In addition, while most major cruise and airline policies include the most basic coverage, many lack the ability to add or increase coverage, so you can’t alter the policy based on your specific needs.
Insurance from cruise lines also usually lacks in allowable reasons for cancellation, so if you suddenly need to cancel your trip or leave your destination for reasons that don’t fall within their insurance policy, you’ll lose any non-refundable payments and have to cover all related expenses out of pocket.
At the end of the day, every traveler should be able to easily access travel insurance that offers them full coverage at a fair price. And as it turns out it pays (literally) to go compare travel insurance policies instead of choosing the default option provided by cruise lines. To keep things as simple as possible for you, we created a handy Instant Quote tool right here. If you have any questions as you’re navigating the process, we’re here to help–just reach out to us here.