Opting for the insurance offered by a cruise line may be the easiest option, but it doesn’t always provide the best coverage or price for a traveler. Squaremouth, a leading travel insurance comparison site, debunks three travel insurance myths that can help travelers prepare for a cruise.
Myth No. 1: I have to buy my cruise line’s travel insurance
Travelers may find more comprehensive coverage at a lower premium by shopping around with third-party providers and comparison sites. These policies typically have more extensive cancellation and delay benefits, and can include pre-existing condition coverage, which is typically excluded by cruise line insurance.
Third-party travel insurance will also provide coverage for the portion of your trip before and after your cruise, including coverage for delayed or cancelled flights. Cruise line insurance typically only covers the portions of your trip that were purchased directly through the cruise line.
Myth No. 2: An evacuation from the ship will cost millions
In the event of a medical emergency, travelers may be required to be evacuated off the ship.
“Travelers often imagine a helicopter evacuation off a cruise boat,” said Squaremouth Claims Director Brandi Morse. “Unless it is an extremely remote cruise or a dire emergency, it is more likely the cruise ship will pull into a port and call an ambulance.”
Squaremouth recommends $250,000 in Medical Evacuation coverage for a cruise, but adds that it is rare for an evacuation to reach that amount.
Myth No. 3: The cruise line will reimburse me if something goes wrong
Inclement weather or virus outbreaks have historically caused cruise ships to return to port early. In this event, the cruise line will most likely offer cruise credit or vouchers as a refund for the missed portion of the trip. This may or may not make up for excursions or other prepaid bookings.
Depending on the circumstances, a third-party travel insurance policy may reimburse you for those prepaid expenses in cash if the ship returns early for a covered reason, such as inclement weather or mechanical failure. It may also cover the additional expenses to change your flights or book new transportation home.