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What to Look for in a Cruise Travel Insurance Policy

Whether you’re on the cruise ship, the beach, or enroute to your port of call, a good travel insurance policy will offer coverage and peace of mind for the entirety of your cruise vacation.

Coverage Before Your Cruise

Travel insurance can offer peace of mind heading into a cruise vacation, and protect against unforeseen events that may prevent you from reaching your port of call. This may include cancellations, trip delays, and missed connections that occur as you reach your ship.

  • Cancellation Coverage: Offers reimbursement if you cancel your cruise for a covered reason, such as an unforeseen illness, injury, or death of a family member.
  • Hurricane & Extreme Weather Protection: Reimburses a traveler in the event they must cancel or interrupt their trip due to inclement weather or natural disasters.
  • Trip Delay Benefits: Protects against financial loss if you encounter significant delays or miss a connecting flight enroute to your port of call.
  • Baggage Delay: Can reimburse you for toiletry, clothes, and other essential items if your baggage is delayed during transit.

Travel Protection At Sea

While we all hope for smooth sailing when taking a cruise, it’s not always the case. The main reason cruisers purchase travel medical insurance coverage is to protect against unforeseen injuries, illnesses, and other events that may occur during a trip.

Make sure the plan you choose includes strong coverage for the benefits below:

  • Medical Coverage: Since most health insurance providers don’t offer coverage outside the USA, most travel insurance plans include Emergency Medical and Medical Evacuation benefits to cover medical emergencies while traveling.
  • Interruption Insurance: If you are forced to end your trip early for a covered reason, you may be reimbursed your unused trip costs.
  • Baggage Loss Protection: Provides reimbursement for items that were lost, stolen, or damaged at any point during your cruise.
Best Travel Insurance Companies For Cruises

Due to an increase in demand for travel protection while at sea, many travel insurance providers offer plans specifically built for cruisers.

Squaremouth ranks the five best travel insurance companies for cruisers based on policies sold:

Click here for a full breakdown of the top cruise insurance providers.

If you already have a policy and have any questions for your travel insurance provider or would like to file a claim, please contact your provider directly. Click here to find your provider's contact information.

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If you need to cancel your trip for a covered reason, you may be reimbursed up to 100% of your prepaid, non-refundable trip costs. This may include airfare, cruise bookings, food and beverage packages, and off-shore excursions.
Covers the cost of emergency medical evacuations to the nearest adequate medical facility. Due to the high costs of medical evacuations, especially at sea, cruisers should select a policy with at least $250,000 in Medical Evacuation coverage.
Covers the cost of unforeseen medical expenses incurred during your trip, such as x-rays, hospital bills, and emergency dental services. Squaremouth recommends at least $100,000 in Emergency Medical coverage.

Provides trip cost reimbursement if inclement weather at your residence, port of departure, or destination, impacts your trip. To be eligible for coverage, a policy must be purchased before a storm is named.
Provides reimbursement for unused trip costs if you are forced to end your cruise early for a covered reason. Some plans will offer up to 200% reimbursement in order to cover additional transportation costs to return home.
Covers the cost of meals, accommodations, and transportation expenses incurred during a significant delay. The best plans will cover any delay of a common carrier and apply coverage after 3 hours.
Compare policies to find the best cruise insurance.

Cruise Insurance Tips and Information

Squaremouth shares their tips and recommendations based on the most
frequently asked questions from passengers.

How Much Does Cruise Insurance Cost?

Cruisers can expect to pay between 5-10% of their insured trip costs on a comprehensive travel insurance plan. Costs and coverage limits can vary significantly from one policy to the next, so it's best to compare plans before making a purchase decision.

The cost of cruise travel insurance varies based on a variety of factors:

  • Total Trip Cost: The sum of your prepaid, non-refundable trip expenses that you plan to insure.
  • Length of Your Trip: The amount of days you will be traveling, starting from the day you leave home for your trip.
  • Traveler Age: In general, older travelers experience higher travel insurance premiums.
  • Coverage Amounts: Policies with higher coverage limits may result in more expensive premiums.

Get a quote today to see pricing for your specific cruise.

What Does Travel Insurance Cover?

Cruise insurance provides financial protection for travelers if their travel plans are impacted before or during their cruise. Most comprehensive travel insurance policies provide coverage for common travel disruptions, including cancellations, medical emergencies, travel delays, missed connections, and personal items.

Is Cruise Travel Insurance Worth It?

For many cruisers, travel insurance is worth it for the peace of mind alone. If things don't go according to plan, travel insurance can protect you from serious financial loss. In addition to well-rounded benefits, most cruise insurance plans also include 24 Hour Travel Assistance Services to support you before and during your cruise.

Do I Need Travel Medical Insurance For My Cruise?

While medical insurance is rarely a requirement for cruises, it is almost always recommended.

Most U.S. health insurance plans won't cover medical emergencies that occur outside of the country. For cruisers especially, this can result in extremely high out of pocket expenses if an unforeseen injury or illness occurs if they don’t have a travel medical insurance policy.

For the best coverage, Squaremouth recommends comprehensive travel insurance plans that include at least $100,000 in Emergency Medical coverage and at least $250,000 in Medical Evacuation coverage. Those with pre-existing medical conditions should also consider plans that offer Pre-Existing Condition waivers.

When Should I Buy Insurance For My Cruise?

While you can buy travel insurance up until the day before you leave for their cruise, Squaremouth recommends buying a policy directly after making your initial first trip deposit. For most cruisers, their first trip payment will likely be their cruise reservation, flights, or hotel accommodations.

This approach offers the most coverage, and allows you to purchase time-sensitive benefits and add-ons like Cancel For Any Reason coverage (CFAR) coverage and Pre-Existing Condition waivers. Purchasing cruise travel insurance early does not necessarily impact your premium.

How Do I Find the Best Travel Insurance Plan?

Travelers can find cruise insurance from a wide-range of sources, including credit cards, cruise lines, travel agents, and third party travel insurance providers. To find the best travel insurance protection for your trip, we recommend taking the time to compare multiple cruise insurance plans that meet your budget and travel needs. Start by using a travel insurance comparison site like Squaremouth.

Can I Cancel My Cruise at the Last Minute?

Yes, many comprehensive travel insurance policies cover trip cancellations under specified circumstances, such as sudden illness, injury, or death of the insured or a family member, natural disasters, or unexpected work obligations. Most policies that include the Trip Cancellation benefit offer 100% reimbursement for all prepaid, non-refundable trip costs.

Does Travel Insurance Cover Excursions?

From scuba diving in the Caribbean sea to riding ATVs through the mainland, excursions offer a chance to experience destinations included in your itinerary. Travel insurance can cover these expenses through the Trip Cancellation, CFAR, or Trip Interruption benefits should you need to cancel your plans. If you plan on partaking in more extreme excursions, you will need to find a policy that explicitly includes Sports & Activities coverage.

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