How important is travel insurance? In case of emergency and you had to cancel, would the cruise line be receptive to letting you change to a later date to cruise thus negating the need to buy travel insurance? Does the cost of insurance increase with your age? I see posts here where some have trouble collecting when they had to cancel a cruise...is this the norm? Just trying to understand the value of buying travel insurance...any help would be appreciated. Is it a good investment due to the cost?
I would never cruise without having some insurance. Especially in case of a medical emergency and you have to take a helicopter to the nearest hospital, our regular health insurance does not cover anything like that and it can run into thousands of dollars. Also missing or lost luggage is covered, among a few other things. I've been fortunate enough to not of had to make a claim, some have problems, others not, but its just smart to have it. Yes, it does go up the older you are. Just be sure to check and make sure the coverage is understandable and you know what you are getting in case you do need a claim.
> How important is travel insurance? In case of emergency and
> you had to cancel, would the cruise line be receptive to
> letting you change to a later date to cruise thus negating
> the need to buy travel insurance?
As long as you're willing to self insure, there is no need for insurance. There's a possibility that you'll never have to pay a penny.
But if the time does come cancellation may not be the thing you're worrying about. Become ill in a foreign port and need hospitalization, or even surgery, or as Donna mentioned.. the need to medi vac, and the cost of one incident could EASILY be considerably more than years of purchasing insurance.
And as far as finding a kind ear at the cruise lines in the event of having to cancel.. while it's not totally unheard of.. it's VERY rare, even in the case of a death in the family.
They'll tell you that's why insurance is available. That it's not their job to guarantee you or you're family well enough to allow you to travel and make the cruise you booked.
There are a number of very reputable insurance agencies. The one's I've heard of where people have had to collect, and things went smoothly are Access America, Travelex, and Travelguard.
I'd spend the insurance $ on each cruise... for the peace of mind, to enjoy the vacation, without worrying about what if....
I got married on April 28, 2001 and was due to honeymoon on a 7 day Carribean cruise starting April 29th. On March 27th, one month before the wedding, my now 13 year old stepdaughter was diagnosed with cancer. Needless to say we had to cancel the cruise. RCCL was very sympathetic but held to thier cancellation policy of 50% penalty. We would have been out $1,600.
Luckily we purchased insurance for the cruise for $180 mere weeks before the diagnosis. As a result, that is all the money we are out. Best investment I ever made.
The insurance provider was very cooperative and showed no unwillingness to pay. They required proof that it was not a pre-existing condition, (lengthy pile of paperwork, but not hard to do) a situation we could have avoided if we had purchased the insurance within 2 weeks of booking (a rookie mistake we will avoid in the future).
The bottom line is don't bother with insurance if you are feeling bulletproof, are filthy rich and are feeling lucky. Otherwise restrict your risks to the Casino.