ST. PETERSBURG, FL February 15, 2013 – More than 4,000 passengers and crewmembers disembarked this morning at the Port of Mobile after enduring five days aboard the Carnival Triumph without electricity and working toilets.
Carnival is doing its best to compensate travelers for losses, but many travelers are questioning whether travel insurance could compensate future cruisers who encounter similar scenarios. Squaremouth, America’s fastest growing travel insurance comparison site, advises travelers of the benefits that may apply when mechanical breakdowns ruin vacations.
Depending on Triumph passengers’ individual circumstances, certain travel insurance benefits may provide coverage for losses not otherwise reimbursed by Carnival. These may include:
“Travel insurance benefits are triggered by specific events,” says Chris Harvey, CEO of Squaremouth. “We want people to know when it’s worth buying travel insurance and when it won’t cover you.”
In order to accurately respond to travelers inquiries regarding the Carnival Triumph disaster, Squaremouth requested position statements from the travel insurance providers on its website. The following position statements were provided at the time of press:
Allianz Travel Insurance – As far as we can tell, because the cruise line is covering everything, there are no losses to cover in this case, but coverages that may apply include:
Customers may be eligible to receive reimbursement for additional out of pocket meal or lodging expenses incurred as a result of a travel delay of six or more consecutive hours as well as lost prepaid expenses. (please note: this benefit has a per person, per day maximum as well as a policy maximum).
Baggage Loss/Damage covers loss, damage or theft of luggage and personal effects. This coverage is secondary to any reimbursements that customers may receive from the cruise line.
Baggage Delay covers the reasonable additional purchase of essential items if your baggage is delayed or misdirected by a common carrier for 24 hours or more. Receipts for emergency purchases are required.
Azimuth Risk Solutions, LLC – “The unfortunate and well-publicized circumstances surrounding the fire associated passenger misery for those aboard the Carnival Cruiselines ship Triumph makes all of us at Azimuth sympathize and wish them well for a safe and rapid return to shore. The situation does serve to highlight the importance of travel insurance protection for those engaged in international travel. The Beacon Series travel medical plan, offered through our key distribution partner, Squaremouth.com, offers key protections for exposures in just such an event. The Beacon Series covers against unforeseeable illnesses, such as foodborne illnesses and other disease that may arise as a result of the breakdown in proper sanitation systems with benefits up to $2 million dollars. It’s not difficult to envision this situation turning even more serious, so it is worth mentioning that the Beacon Series also provides for emergency medical evacuation up to the maximum limit selected by the client if a covered condition is life threatening. Additionally, the Beacon Series provides a trip delay benefit that is usually not found in travel medical plans and would provide coverage for up to $100 a day for each insured member’s unreimbursed expenses (up to two days) for accommodations and meals when the delay is in excess of 12 hours and is a result of the common carrier, in this case, Carnival Cruiselines.”
iTravelInsured – The Carnival Triumph incident has many factors that may affect coverage under a travel insurance policy and the correct answer depends upon the facts in each individual’s circumstance.
iTravelInsured will consider transferring an existing insurance policy to a new travel date for those affected by Carnival’s cancellation of future Triumph cruises. Generally if travel dates are changed to a future date without penalties, then iTravelInsured will allow a 1-time transfer of the existing Certificate to the new future travel dates as long as:
– it is not past the original departure date, and
– a claim has not occurred, and
– the new departure date is within 3 months of the original departure date, and
– the request is received within 30 days of the Insured Traveler(s) being notified by the travel supplier.
For those on board, trip cancellation and trip interruption would not apply since the cruise line has reimbursed its passengers for any pre-paid expenses in connection with the cruise. They have also refunded all pre-paid expenses for the future cruises that were cancelled. For those who have travel insurance and are considering cancellation of their cruise because they “fear” that an event such as the one on the Triumph might happen on their upcoming cruise is not eligible for coverage since “fear” is not a covered reason. Only those that have a “cancel for any reason” benefit might have an eligible trip cancellation claim.
For those onboard the Carnival Triumph, the following benefits may apply, depending upon each individual’s circumstances and whether they incurred any non-reimbursable out-of-pocket loss.
– Missed Connection
– Travel Delay
– Lost/Stolen or damaged Baggage
– Emergency Medical Expense
– Emergency Medical Evacuation/Repatriation
Each insured person should keep a record of their expenses incurred and all receipts related to those expenses. They should first present their claim(s) to the common carrier (Carnival) that caused the incident and if any airline or other travel tickets are involved, they should check with the transportation provider to determine that provider’s refund policy. If the insured traveler is out-of-pocket after claiming with the travel supplier involved, then they should present the outstanding claim to their travel insurance company.
Squaremouth is a website that compares travel insurance products from every major U.S. travel insurance provider. Established in 2006, the company has grown from $1 million in sales to $10 million in 2012. Squaremouth is headquartered in St. Petersburg, FL, with offices in Fort Wayne, IN. More information on Squaremouth and its network of providers can be found at www.squaremouth.com.
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The cornerstone of Squaremouth’s commitment to customers is their Zero Complaint Guarantee. If a customer feels their claim is handled unfairly, Squaremouth will mediate on their behalf. Any provider with a customer complaint that cannot be resolved with complete satisfaction will be removed from the website.
Squaremouth offers products from the following travel insurance providers:
Air Ambulance Card, Allianz Travel Insurance, AMEX Assurance Company, Azimuth Risk Solutions, LLC, CSA Travel Protection, Global Alert Administrators, HCC Medical Insurance Services, HTH Worldwide, IMG, iTravelInsured, John Hancock Insurance Agency, Inc., MedjetAssist, MH Ross Travel Insurance Services, RoamRight, Seven Corners Inc, Travel Guard, Travel Insurance Services, Travel Insured International, Travelex Insurance Services, TravelSafe, Trawick International, USA-ASSIST Worldwide Protection, and VacationGuard.