Well, now that I have paid for my cruise, I have to decide on what insurance to purchase.
The TA has sent us a brochure for a company called CSA Travel Protection. Has anyone had experience with this company? If so was it good? We are looking at purchasing the Gold Plan cause it also covers pre-existing conditions and since one of us is treated for back problems thought this might be a good idea.
Location: Wisconsin....about 100 miles south of the Frozen Tundra and 70 miles east of Camp Randall
Re: Insurance Question
Dale - check out http://www.insuremytrip.com This will give you a comparison of policies (you provide information and the site will give you policies, what they cover and the cost. CSA is a good carrier, as is Travel Guard, Access America and a few others.
Carnival Breeze with Ray B and Aerogirl 5/4/14!
The only thing that people cautioned me about was not to buy insurance from the cruiseline itself, but unfortunately that was after I had purchased it. We have used CSA for a bike trip in Vermont. While we never filed a claim, they were available to answer all my questions and it was very easy to purchase.
We had Access America, I had to visit the ship's Doctor and got a few injections, cost was $51, no problem getting reimbursed. Also cost of the insurance was less than $125 for both of us and covered total vacation (14 days). Well worth it in my opinion.
Costa Atlantica, 3/23/03
Jewel, 2/1/10, RCI cancelled our cruise, (insert sound of sobbing)
Insurance is a very individual decision. We have used one of the carriers mentioned above in the past for non-cruise vacations and been very happy with them. They were very helpful, the coverage met our needs, and we felt their pricing was reasonable.
For the cruise, however, we went with the cruiseline's insurance. As a rep from one of the other carriers pointed out to us, there is one significant advantage of booking with the cruiseline that is sometimes overlooked--their "changed my mind" coverage. Cruiselines offer this; the independents we called did not.
Trip cancellation coverage only kicks in if you have to cancel for one of the reasons defined by the policy. (Typically, death in the family, personal illness, etc.) If you cancel for some other reason, then insurance won't pay a thing. Though the cruiselines won't give you your money back if you cancel for a non-covered reason, you will at least get credits toward another cruise. I think the credit amount varies by cruiseline. With Celebrity, it is 75%. Though not the same as 100%, it woudl still better than losing everything.
On the flip side, cruiseline coverage tends to be more expensive than independents, and the amount of specific coverages tends to be a less. And at least in the case of Celebrity, there is no pre-existing waiver. So if you have a pre-existing medical condition that could potentially cause you to cancel your trip, you're probably best off with an independent.
One thing to watch out for, at least with cruiseline coverage, is the quoted premium. The cruiseline made a mistake with us, and we later learned that friends of ours had the same thing happen to them a couple of years ago. The premium initally quoted was incorrect (lower than it should have been). The error was not caught, however, until after the contract had been signed and we had paid in full. When the error was caught, the TA tried to pass along the increase to us. We argued the point and won. So save your paperwork, take careful notes, and question anything that seems awry.
I am of the opinion practically all of the cruise lines obtain the coverage thrugh Berkeley Care a Managing General Agency and the underwriting insurer( claim payor) is the National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh that does not offer waiving the pre-existing exlcusion in their Goup policies. Whether you know it or not you are a subscriber to a Group policy that usually is exempt from state insurnce department supervision acnd Unfair Claims Practices Laws.
CSA is a Managing General Agent and the Group policy is issued by a strong insurer. It might interest you to ask for a copy of their Group policy which is longer than the average Homeowner or Auto Policy combined. Why such a long policy with so many ifs, ands and buts ? P.S. I have used CSA and had no problem since I had no claim but I have read claims where CSA was not so benevolent but you cannot judge an insurer one or two claims that could go either way.
Just wanted to send a thanks to everyone for their help on this topic...both on the boards and off. I have decided to go ahead and use the CSA insurance after positive feedback from you and the Travel Agent (who just got back today from a cruise to Hawaii).
When I pay for my cruise I have the TA include the insurance and pay the Travel company. If I need to file a claim I expect the TA to help me. Insurance company will listen more to TA then me as an individual since TA helps them sell more insurance.
Just a thought.
We have used CSA in the past and had no adverse experience since we had no need to file a claim, CSA has one of the better pricing schedule, especially if someone is young and in good health. I have been concerned , as a retired insurance underwriter and claims executive that CSA needs to use a 21 page policy for such limited insurance. Too many"ifs, ands and buts"
We have used Travelex for many yars, twice had to cancel a cruise due to physical injury pior to the embarkation date and have had no problem collecting from the insurer but we have had a hassle from the cruise line for their share fare iafter cancellation. Of interest, Travelex was the first insurer to waive pre-existing condition exclusion. My only adverse point is that the premium tends to be high.
We used CSA a few years ago and it was fine. There was another company on insuremytrip.com which was a little cheaper.
Be careful of the pre-existing conditions clauses. Some don't cover a pre-existing condition if you had it at the time you booked - only new problems. Others cover problems if they are under control when you book. How do you know what that means. Still others would cover a pre-existing condition of a relative who keeps you from traveling, but not for yourself.
Hurry - most have a one or two week time period where they cover pre-existing conditions at all.
Would like to echo how useful the site "Insuremytrip" is. Makes it very easy to compare different companies and it shows the underlying insurer for each. If you have delayed obtaining insurance and can no longer get the pre-existing conditions waiver, it is also worth checking out the individual sites that offer travel insurance because they also have additional products not shown on "Insuremytrip." For example, TravelGuard offers a "Peace of Mind" policy which contains many of the same features as the "regular" policies but is MUCH cheaper (e.g., my insurance went from approx $150 to approx $50). The PRIMARY differences (according to my reading of the D.O.C.) is that this policy does NOT include trip cancellation insurance (although trip interruption insurance is still provided). Also, although medical evacuation coverage is similar, the cheaper policy only covers medical treatment received during the actual cruise, not any additional costs that may be incurred after the cruise.
Grandeur of the Seas - June 2002
Navigator of the Seas - July 2003
Legend of the Seas - June 2004