Cruise Insurance – Primary Or Secondary
Choosing cruise insurance – or for that matter anything travel insurance – can be time consuming, as well as confusing. Be aware that policy plans vary greatly – so each individual has to determine which plan best covers your needs.
Cruise lines offer their own travel insurance, however it is NOT the best option, and prices are far more than finding insurance on your own. You should also be aware that these type of policies are "secondary" policies. Cruise lines are notorious for offering compensation in "on-board credits" – not hard cash in many situations!
Your homeowners insurance will cover the loss of the items only in your possession if lost or stolen. Consider if filing a claim will raise your policy premium, along with the cost of the deductible. Remember each major airline also has a payment policy for lost or stolen bags, and in many cases this policy will cover your needs for this particular situation.
Travel agents have relationships with travel insurance companies, however only after doing your own cost comparison will you know a particular insurance policy meets only your particular needs, and cost. Only purchase what you need, and beware of add-ons that do not benefit you, and only add to the policy cost.
Let's be clear about a primary policy vs. a secondary policy. The particular travel insurance policy you purchase is the primary, and a policy purchase through the cruise line directly, along with the airlines, and your homeowners policy is a secondary policy. The big different in payment is the primary policy will pay quickly, and to you directly. The secondary policy will involve a lengthy claims process, along with waiting for payment.
Here are the cruise insurance policies every cruise passenger needs to think about:
Trip Delay – Interruption or Cancellation of your cruise due to a major storm. This is a basic policy that covers bad weather causing either a flight, time on your cruise, overnight stay in another city, and meals. Payment will be minus any compensation received from the cruise line or airline. Note that each policy has a time frame for the delay, along with different caps for payment. Make sure your policy covers non-refundable shore excursions and tours in the event you miss a port of call.
Y ou Cancel Your Trip – There are exceptions to this kind of policy, however there are reasons travelers have to cancel a trip. Whatever portion of the trip you have pre-paid will be refunded. Cruisers should take note that major cruise lines will refund
Emergency Medical Evacuation – I would suggest this kind of add on to a basic insurance policy if you, or your traveling companions have a medical condition that would require hospitalization, or medical evacuation back to the US, or home city to effectively handle. The cost of being evacuating by air is extremely expensive – and the expense must be covered by the individual or family. Obviously the cost of this policy depends upon the global location, along with how accessible it would be to get medical attention, along with transport back to your desired location.
Each medical travel policy also has a Pre-Existing condition clause as to how long a person has been symptom-free, and the time frame varies by company. If you purchase the policy within 7-21 days of making your deposit, many times pre-Existing conditions are covered.
Norovirus Coverage – We've all heard about cruise passengers getting sick from Norovirus – a shipboard related illness. This would fall under the "medical portion" of your travel insurance policy. In the event you have to cut your trip short and travel home, this policy covers passengers. You must seek initial help from the onboard ships doctor first to qualify.
Hurricane Coverage – Hurricanes fall under the category of trip interruption and trip cancellation – so there is no need to purchase an additional policy to cover this situation. For safety cruise ships will always change the itinerary in the event of a hurricane. Any cruise port charge that was paid in your cruise price will be reimbursed as a ship board credit – but this only comes into effect when that particular cruise port is not replaced by another port. Most major cruise lines will divert to their private islands, and in other cases to a completely different port – and if a cruise location is replaced by another, no compensation is given.
There are specific cruise travel policies offered. I have listed the ones I feel are important to the majority of cruise passengers.
If you do not want to spend the time researching and doing policy comparison, I suggest tripinsurancestore.com. You will not have to go through a lot of insurance jargon, and real people to assist you in your specific needs.
The choice of whether to choose the additional purchase of cruise insurance is up to each individual, however when something does go wrong, you will not regret taking this extra step.