OK, I'm sure this question has surfaced over and over again, so please indulge this novice this one time. Just booked the Zuiderdam for late July and don't know the pro & cons re: insurance. What % take it? What kind? From who? You seasoned travellers know the questions.....Can you help with the answers? Thanks .
We always get insurance when we have to prepay a trip in case we have to cancel. I have elderly parents, and would need to be there if they had a medical emergency. Last year I went to the doctor with a terrible stomach ache, and had gall bladder surgery the same day. It could have happened the day before a trip. A colleague broke her ankle on vacation and had to have surgery. Rarely does regular health insurance cover international medical care. We were booked on a Renaissance cruise, but they went bankrupt four days before we left. What if it had been four days into the cruise? I recommend getting a comprehensive policy, but not the one offered by the cruiseline. Trvelguard and Access AMerica are both reputable companies. there is a website about travel insurance; I think it might be called insuremytrip, but I'm not sure.
There are more good reasons for trip insurance than against. What you're basically doing is protecting an investment. Cruise fares are non-refundable after final payment., as are airline tix and many hotel reservations. Then there's medical protection. Your current medical insurance may cover most expenses, but what are the limits? An air medevac can cost $10,00 or more. So, it's you decision. Most insurers offer different levels of coverage with commensurate premiums, but you can generally expect to pay @ 4-5% of the insured amount. "Insuremytrip" is an excellent web site to begin exploring. Take note of the coverages for prior medical condition. Depending on the insurer, you'll need to purchase the insurance within 7 to 14 days of initial booking for that. It's usually not economical to purchase earlier than final payment date unless a prior condition exists.
I agree with all the above replies. We had to cancel AT THE DOCK when a family medical emergency arose (learned our lesson- never ever call home as you are getting on the ship!) and our insurance paid off in full- $7000+- with no problems.
Also, as another poster said, do not get the cancellation policy through the cruiseline. It is not really insurance, does not pay off 100%, and the premium is based on the full fare of the cruise, NOT necessarily what you paid for the cruise. It is much more expensive than travel insurance companies where premium is based on what their company's risk exposure is- what you paid for the cruise. We always use Travelex, but go to www.insureyourtrip.com and you can compare different companies policies and premiums for your exact cruise. Bottom line- get insurance. If you use it just once you will more than be paid off for all the times you bought it and didn't need it.
Definitely take the Insurance. Had to cancel twice - once for the death of a parent and the second time, because the airline cancelled all flights for 2 days. Still waiting for my money on the second one, but have been told it is coming.
It's like American Express - "don't leave home without it."
I respectfully disagree with the others. I NEVER buy insurance. I have been on fourteen cruises. For two people that is about $5600 saved over time. We could easily buy a couple of more cruises with that money. If you are going on a very long and very expensive cruise, maybe that is another story. Travel agents get huge commissions from travel insurance, sometimes as much as 40% of the premium, and not all travel insurance companies pay for all that you might think they will pay for. I have friends that have been very disappointed by their claims after adjustments.That is just my two cents worth.
I may be sorry some day, but have not been hurt yet.
Location: Wisconsin....about 100 miles south of the Frozen Tundra and 70 miles east of Camp Randall
Re: INSURANCE... To do or not to do?
I always buy the insurance....I save up for my cruises and just cannot afford the loss if something would happen. Plus, who knows what happens in the future. Can you afford the thousand of dollars to pay for medical care in a foreign and the cost of evacuation from a cruise ship? I can't so for me insurance is a no brainer.
I have found the following website VERY helpful when comparing policies...I also will NEVER buy insurance from the cruise line directly (they are only after protecting themselves, not you...no matter what they say!)
There is MUCH MORE to insurance than just having to cancel a cruise. A medivac situation could cost $15,000, before even considering hospital bills. Even if you are delivered to a foreign port rather than medivaced, treatment and bills involved with getting home once well enough to travel.
As for Chuck's figure of $5600 for 2 people for 14 cruises. Actual dollars, if you shop around, are about half that.
I'd much rather add $200 onto the cost of my trip to make sure I'm protected, than going looking for $50,000 if something should happen!
You can be in good health when you board the ship, but there are no guarantees of what can happen.
If you do your research for insurance you will find insurance to be rather cheap but very comprehensible. For my 14 day cruise my took insurance through Access America for the cost $76.00 I am covered for PRE-EXISTING conditions, death or illness of friends or family, and medevac along with luggage issues, and delayed flights.
You might be healthy most of the time, but a simple ear infection can cause your doctor to ban you from flying. If you have children or older parents, things can happen within seconds- chicken pox, injury from a fall, etc. that would require you to cancel a cruise.
On several of my cruises people were medevaced off. 1. broke both legs parasailing 2. allergic reaction to a food item 3. heart attack 4. women fell in Lido and fractured pelvis.
Anyone who doesn't take insurance is being quite foolish
Saturday night I met a woman whose husband quite unexpectedly had a heart attack and died on a cruise. Her additional cost would have been $20,000 for medical expenses and travel to get his body and her back to the US. Yikes!!
My wife and I have quite elderly parents. For our first cruise (2 weeks to Alaska) we did not buy insurance and worried months before the cruise, then during the cruise, about what would happen should we need to cancel. For second cruise last February, we bought insurance, and never worried about it again. For us, simply the peace of mind was worth the cost.