Buying Cruise Vacation Protection
As with most purchases these days, when you are about to pay for that trimmer, refrigerator or new car, you are offered additional protection in the form of added insurance. Buying a cruise or any vacation for that matter is no different. So should you do it? Our helpful advice is summarized below.
Know your existing coverage
What type of health insurance do you have? Does the credit card you used to purchase your cruise provide any travel insurance benefits? It's worth taking the time to know your existing coverage when shopping for a cruise vacation. You may find that what you already have is enough to give you peace-of-mind. In some instances, having extra coverage is recommended.
When does it make sense to purchase additional coverage?
There are many circumstances where buying cruise vacation protection makes sense. First, if you feel you may have to cancel your cruise vacation due to unforeseen circumstances, then buying that extra policy is recommended. Some of the basic policies include refunds for cancellation penalties due to covered circumstances such as illness and loss of work. Some premium policies will cover cancellations for any reason right up to the day of departure. So if you need peace-of-mind regarding cancellations, then buying vacation protection is recommended.
If you are travelling to developing countries or exotic ports of call, you should consider buying a policy. Why? Most protection plans offer increased health coverage above and beyond your existing health insurance. If you become ill while on the cruise, the additional coverage can provide medical air evacuations that may not be covered under your existing policy.
Are you driving to your cruise vacation?
Driving to your cruise vacation is a very popular option and reduces the overall cost of a cruise vacation by eliminating high priced airfare. But by driving, you also reduce the risk associated with air travel. What are the odds that your baggage won't get to the ship on time when you have 100% control? The odds of getting delayed and missing the initial departure are also reduced because airport connections are eliminated entirely. So when driving to your departure port, buying extra insurance protection may not be worth the added expense.
What types of cruise vacation protection plans are available?
"Basic" cruise insurance typically provides refunds for some cancellation penalties, lost or delayed baggage and costs related to travel delay. A "premium" or "gold" policy includes cancel for any reason coverage and increased benefits for illness and travel delays.
Should I Buy Cruise Insurance from the Travel Agent or the Cruise Line?
Cruise insurance policies sold by the cruise lines are generally more expensive and provide less coverage than other cruise vacation policies available. If you buy an independent cruise insurance policy from a travel agent, you will tend to get more coverage when compared to a similar policy from the cruise lines. Travel agents sell cruise insurance policies from reputable companies, including, CSA Insurance, Travel Guard and Access America.
In summary, buying cruise vacation protection isn't always needed. If you are driving to your departure port, take a look at your existing insurance coverage. You may find that what you already have through your regular health insurance and credit card will provide you with peace-of-mind. If you decide to buy a policy, buying insurance through one of the major travel insurance providers is a better value than buying a policy sold through a cruise line.