When you are planning a cruise, you have specific travel needs that are different from a traditional traveler – for obvious reasons. This is not your normal “fly away, vacation and fly home” trip. You’ll be meeting up with your cruise, vacationing out on the deep blue sea, probably experiencing some new things through excursions and then coming home to reality.
These differences mean you’ll need unique travel insurance coverage for your trip. A typical comprehensive plan would be a great option for any traveler, even cruisers. But there are some comprehensive plans that offer specialized coverage specific to the needs of cruisers. Below are some examples of coverage you can find if you look carefully at the plan details:
Return Home Early – It’s a new twist on trip interruption coverage. This coverage allows you to abandon your cruise for any reason and provides reimbursement of your transportation costs, up to the specified benefit limit, in order to get home. This coverage is available if all eligibility requirements are met and is available in most states.
Port of Call Change – Sometimes weather or other issues will force a cruise line to change the expected itinerary prior to departure. If this is the case for your cruise and you elect to embark on the voyage, this coverage will provide a one-time payment for the inconvenience. The plan you choose will specify the benefit limit that you will receive. This coverage is available in most states.
Shipboard Service Disruption – Unfortunately, in the past few years, cruise lines have been in the spot light for situations that often end the cruise early, cause travelers to become sick or leave them stranded in the middle of the ocean. If there is a fire, mechanical breakdown, virus that affects 30% or more passengers, or other covered event that disrupts the cruise, the Shipboard Disruption benefit will provide a one-time payment of the amount stated in your plan, to compensate you for the inconvenience. This coverage is available in most states.
Pre-Paid Excursion Reimbursement – Because you planned ahead, you probably added your pre-paid, non-refundable excursions to your trip cost when purchasing your travel insurance plan. Well, if the cruise line changes your itinerary after your departure, this can throw a wrench in your plans. This coverage will provide a one-time reimbursement, up to the limit on your confirmation, for pre-paid, non-refundable activity expenses that you have lost. This coverage is available in most states.
Missed Connection – Like we always say – no one is immune to travel mishaps. Sometimes when you are traveling to meet your cruise, you get delayed on the way. If you and your travel companions are delayed 3 or more hours due to a covered reason and you miss your cruise departure, this coverage will reimburse, up to the stated limit, for expenses to help you rejoin your ship. It’s important to plan ahead, however. As, depending on the travel insurance company, you may only be eligible for benefits if you left adequate time between your delayed flight and missed connection. The amount of coverage will vary from plan to plan.
Ship-to-Shore Coverage – Locating this coverage in your average comprehensive plan will be difficult. This is a rare benefit that is defined as a part of emergency evacuation. Essentially, the travel insurance company will assist with making arrangements to get you off the cruise ship and to an onshore hospital if your condition warrants an evacuation. Of course, there may be exclusions or exceptions due to your ships location. But this benefit allows you to have peace of mind knowing that assistance, in an unfortunate situation, is just a phone call away, even if you are aboard a cruise ship.
Like we said, not all comprehensive travel insurance plans will have these benefits. While they can be beneficial to most cruisers, there may be some coverage limitations as well as eligibility requirements. We always recommend contacting our Customer Care Center to answer any questions you may have on the coverage and plans prior to purchase. Finding the right plan means you can travel worry-free.