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Sid1962 January 23rd, 2013 05:02 PM

Trip Insurance
OK, first of all, this is not a "should I, shouldn't I" question. That has been beaten to a pulp several times on this and other forums. I would not travel without it, so that's where I am on the subject.

Rather, it's a question of timing.

If you book a cruise several months or a year out, when do you buy insurance?

We have always purchased right after booking so as to have the "previous condition" waiver. Now I am questioning whether that is the right thing to do.

The reason I ask is that we had booked a cruise for this July, and had to cancel last week. Other than the deposit, we didn't pay anything except for the insurance.

If you don't cancel within the cited review period (usually 2 weeks or thereabouts) you cannot get a refund....or it's difficult to do so. We did not get a refund so we are out that cost.

So what would my exposure have been if I purchased insurance right after the final payment? How would previous condition come into play as I have had a heart attack (2001) and heart failure (2010).

Any thoughts and advice is, as always, greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Donna January 23rd, 2013 05:11 PM

That is a tough question, I usually purchase it after I make final payment, no issues with any health pre-conditions. I think if that is a problem, you are better off purchasing it right away and hope you don't have to cancel, better to have the right coverage and have to cancel over not being covered for any pre existing conditions...Small price to pay IMHO.

Cruznut2 January 23rd, 2013 06:09 PM

I always purchase it but I go outside of the policy offered by the cruise line. Always ask your travel agent what they use and get a quote. or there are several good websites online that you can buy it through.


Trip January 23rd, 2013 06:14 PM

To the best of my knowledge,there are policies available, that you can buy close to your cruise that will still cover previous conditions. Someone will let me know if I am on the money, or off the

Aerogirl January 23rd, 2013 06:27 PM

I was told by my TA to buy it at final payment. January 23rd, 2013 08:45 PM

First, as others have stated, never buy the cruise line's insurance policy. Usually costs more, does not provide as good a coverage as independent, and does not provide as much coverage as an independent policy. For example, some cruise lines' policies do not cover independent air reservations.

If you purchase the coverage at the time you make your non-refundable deposit, then your deposit will be covered should you need to cancel for a covered reason at any time.

If you made a refundable deposit, then you don't need to purchase the insurance until your final payment is due in order to be covered for pre-existing conditions. You can still purchase the insurance after that date, but you won't be covered for pre-existing conditions. Some policies will also exclude other coverages such as bankruptcy and terrorist attacks.

Talk to your agent and they can explain all the various options available to you.


green_rd January 24th, 2013 08:43 AM

I think you can only get cancel for any reason coverage if you buy when you book your travel. I've only bought this coverage when all the swine-flu hoo haa was going on. I'm not sure if this is true, but it may at least effect the policies available.

Lakers Fan January 24th, 2013 10:54 AM

We always buy the insurance when booking a cruise . January 24th, 2013 05:27 PM

Every travel insurance company has different requirements as to when you must purchase the policies and what they will cover, which is why it's important to work with a reputable agent.

A Cancel For Any Reason policy is the most expensive one you can buy. Most of the time you really do not need this type of coverage, especially since it will not reimburse you for 100% of your trip costs.

Also, keep in mind that there is a HUGE difference between travel insurance and travel protection, so it's extremely important to make sure you are purchasing the insurance.

Make sure you get a copy of the policy before you buy it, read it carefully, and double check to insure it covers the specific items you are most concerned about.

And lastly, don't assume a big name insurance company offers the best policy. Cruise Planners use to sell policies from 5 companies, but they fired 3 of them because they did not offer good customer service to our clients. And two of those were the biggest names in the business! Selling a policy is one thing, but the type of customer service provided when you need to file a claim is what sets the companies apart.


Donna January 24th, 2013 07:05 PM

HOw true Pete,
When purchasing travel insurance, you really don't have any clue as to how they service you when you need them. In the past I have used CSA and have even had to file a claim, which did get paid. Although, it did take some time, and you must have all the paper work. If there is any health issues, you first have to use your regular health insurance and they should pick up what they didn't cover, again, you need all the paper work. You just need to do your homework and read the different policies, and purchase the one that is right for you.

Sid1962 January 27th, 2013 07:48 AM


Thanks to all of you for your input and thoughts on this. As I suspected, there is no easy answer.

Other than the first 2 cruises we took, we have never opted for the cruise lines insurance. In fact, we may have even gone with the recommendation of the TA who assisted us. Beyond that I always managed to find an alternate source to 'insure my trip." We only had to use them once when we had to cancel because of medical reasons (heart failure on my part), and had no issues in obtaining a refund. This was after final payeent as well.

I think we will continue to get the insurance as soon after we book as we can. I also think that we will now be looking for a separate medical evacuation insurance. I'm not sure that's the proper term, but it is the type that Trip and her husband had when they needed to get back from St. Thomas. We have met others on cruises who have purchased that type of insurance, and when you are of a certain age with medical issues, it's probably prudent to spend a couple of bucks extra and get it.

But again, thanks. As Todd has frequently said, this is a good bunch of people.

Stay warm !

Trip January 27th, 2013 08:11 AM

Sid, we used On Call International.... they were amazing,and helped us with every step. All the best,and nice to see you on the boards.

Aerogirl January 28th, 2013 10:34 AM

I always cruise with my two girlfriends and book all the travel. I've learned to just add in the insurance to our cruise cost partly because I don't think they would think we need it until something happens. The peace of mine you get by having it is priceless.

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