Cruises are a fun and convenient way to travel with your family, your friends, or even by yourself. Did you know that as soon as you enter into international waters, your domestic health plan no longer covers you? As with any travel, there are coverage considerations specific to cruises -- use this guide to make an informed decision about which travel insurance policy works for you.
Coverage For The Whole Family
Cruises are a great option for families. They offer an all-inclusive experience with family-friendly entertainment and activities that both you and your family are sure to love. Here's a free tip: Look for plans that cover one or more children at no additional cost.
Purchase a cruise travel insurance policy at the same time as your cruise to ensure those sudden and unexpected cancellations are covered.
Coverage From Cruise Companies Is Limited
Travel insurance booked through cruise companies often lacks essential coverage. It’s nice that cruises attempt to be “all-inclusive,” but don’t bet your finances against their limited insurance coverage.
Missed Connection Coverage
You’ll want to make sure your plan provides coverage for lodging, meals, and transportation to rejoin the cruise if your flight is delayed because of weather or an accident, causing you to miss the initial departure.
Example: While heading out on that Mediterranean cruise you’ve been saving for, a tropical storm delays your flight, and you miss the cruise’s departure out of Rome. Missed connection coverage would provide reimbursement for that unexpected hotel stay, meals, and your flight to the next port town to rejoin the ship.
Emergency Medical Evacuation
Sometimes the cruise ship or even the nearest hospital isn’t equipped to provide the proper treatment you need while suffering an injury or illness. Medical Evacuation Coverage would provide transportation to a nearby facility that offers appropriate medical care. Example: On a Disney Cruise through the Bahamas, you stumble while chasing your son poolside and break your arm. You call the 24/7 emergency assistance number associated with your travel insurance plan, and you are immediately airlifted from the next port to a nearby
hospital for treatment. Your transportation back to the ship is arranged by your policy’s emergency service provider, so you can rejoin your family for the remainder of the cruise — ideally with a waterproof cast.
Make sure your non-refundable trip costs (such as flights, hotels, and cruise deposits) are protected if you become ill, a family member passes away, or there’s a natural disaster at your destination, and you’re forced to cancel your cruise this time around.
Example: After booking a much-anticipated Nile River Cruise, a family member falls ill the week of your departure, and you need to cancel. Thankfully, you booked a comprehensive travel insurance policy with Trip Cancellation coverage. You’ll receive reimbursements for those non-refundable trip payments so you can begin rescheduling your trip for a better time.
Medical Expense Coverage
Illness and injuries while traveling aren’t merely the province of adventurers. Ensure your plan has coverage for medical expenses that may arise onboard or at one of your scheduled ports.
Example: A few days into your week-long cruise through Southeast Asia, you pick up a virus and need to visit the cruise’s in-ship doctor. After receiving a prescription and taking a couple of days to rest, you’re back in action. The cruise company will bill you for the medical treatment, but with Medical Expense Coverage you can file a claim with your travel insurance provider and receive reimbursement for those medical costs within a few weeks.