Travel insurance is probably one of the best ways to protect your health, your valuables, and your money while on vacation, especially on a cruise. Obtaining travel insurance before your cruise vacation is easy if you know where to look and what to look for. Travel insurance can be defined as any type of insurance that covers problems associated with traveling. This includes (but is not limited to) trip cancellation due to illness, lost luggage, emergency/hospital and medical costs, accidental death, and other incidents that may occur while traveling in one’s home country or internationally.
While you can purchase customized insurance options that cover all incidents, there are four general types of travel insurance for cruises, air travel, and other forms of travel alike. The four types of travel insurance are: trip cancellation insurance, baggage insurance or personal effects coverage, emergency medical assistance, and accidental death. Trip cancellation insurance protects the traveler in case the cruise line or tour operator goes out of business; if you or an immediate family member becomes seriously injured or sick, or if there is a death in the family or another catastrophe (as outlined in the policy). Trip cancellation insurance policies typically cost anywhere from 5-7% of the vacation cost. So, if your cruise tickets cost $1,000, your travel insurance for your cruise will cost around $50-$70.
In some cases cruise lines, airlines or tour operators will automatically cover lost luggage up to a certain amount, so it’s a good idea to inquire within before purchasing baggage insurance or personal effects coverage. However, if you find that the amount the cruise line covers is not nearly enough to cover your valuables, you can purchase additional travel insurance at a yearly rate of anywhere from $10-$50 or more. The annual cost will depend on the cost of your valuables.
Emergency medical assistance insurance is probably one of the most important types of coverage you can carry while on a cruise. Any number accidents, illnesses, viruses or conditions can manifest on a cruise. Your current health insurance may cover travel, so check with your policyholder. If your current health insurance does not cover travel, you may purchase extra travel insurance to cover everything from the cost of hospital stays abroad to an emergency flight home.
Accidental death travel insurance provides coverage if you or a family member dies on the trip. Check with your life insurance policy first to see if it covers accidental death while traveling or you may end up purchasing duplicate travel insurance.
If you are booking a cruise through a travel agent, they will more than likely ask you about travel insurance for your cruise. If not, simply ask them. They usually have recommendations for reputable providers. If you would like to obtain cruise travel insurance on your own, you can buy travel insurance online or by phone. Some of the most popular brands include: Access America, CSA Travel Protection, AIG Travel Guard International, Travel Insured International, and Travelex Insurance.
A word of advice: It’s best not to buy travel insurance for your cruise through a tour operator or directly through the cruise line. If the cruise line or tour operator folds, your insurance coverage may fold with it.