If you’ve booked a cruise, whether it’s on Carnival Cruise, Royal Caribbean or any other cruise line, you’ve likely been asked, “Do you want to insure your trip?” For many people, cruise travel insurance is an afterthought; the importance of which can be reduced to a small “yes or no” checkbox in the booking process.
The problem with “checkbox” insurance is that travelers often aren’t aware of the policy details before they buy. The travel insurance price, or premium, will probably be shown before you’re asked for a credit card number, but most travelers aren’t really aware of the type of coverage purchased or what is available in terms of features or upgrades. The same way you compare different cruise lines, or cruise ships on your favorite cruise line, it’s just as important to compare trip protection when you’re planning a cruise.
One of the most important things to understand is that you do NOT have to buy travel insurance through the cruise line. You ALWAYS have the choice to shop around for travel insurance. Don’t feel pressured by the cruise line website to make a decision you aren’t ready to make, especially if you don’t have all of the information.
Another key thing to keep in mind is that, many times, the coverage limits offered through the cruise lines are much lower than the ones available directly from a travel insurance company like RoamRight. For example, a quick look at several leading cruise lines shows that the highest coverage available for emergency medical evacuations is $30,000. RoamRight’s most popular travel insurance coverage, the Preferred plan, has $500,000 in coverage. If you have to be medically evacuated off of the cruise ship or are in a remote location while in port, $25,000 isn’t going to cover much of the costs to evacuate you to a hospital, especially when you consider the additional travel arrangements often necessary to return home after a medical emergency. Over the years, we’ve seen people who have had to mortgage their homes because they didn’t have adequate travel insurance coverage for medical emergencies and evacuations.
In addition, travel insurance purchased through the cruise line rarely covers arrangements booked outside of the cruise line, such as airfare, hotels and other transportation plans. If you purchased airfare to get you to the cruise port, pre-paid your airport shuttle and/or have a hotel room booked for the night before embarkation, cruise line insurance typically will not cover those expenses if you have to cancel.
When doing your cruise planning, take a moment to compare travel insurance options. You can easily use the form in the right hand column of this page to obtain a quote from RoamRight and see that you’ll receive more protection – often at a cheaper price. And RoamRight has optional upgrades available to help you create a plan that fits your needs to give you peace of mind while you’re on your cruise. With options like free child plans, adventurous sports upgrades, and cancel for any reason coverage, RoamRight plans can easily meet the needs of any traveler.
Do you buy your travel insurance through the cruise lines? Why or why not?