When you go on a cruise, do you buy travel insurance?
Travel insurance is one of those travel topics that no one wants to think about or talk about. It’s not fun to think about all the things that could go wrong on your most anticipated trip. Vacations are supposed to be relaxing and refreshing, after all!
But, having travel insurance is very important. Travel insurance can cover you for emergencies, trip interruptions, cancellations, lost luggage, rental car damage, luggage delays, theft or other problems you may encounter while traveling.
The most important thing from travel insurance when you are on vacation is emergency medical care. Your health insurance may not cover (or fully cover) the type of medical care you may need while overseas or on a cruise ship.
Travel insurance can save you thousands of dollars in extreme situations.
Think about it – if your appendix bursts while you’re in the middle of the ocean on a cruise, you’ll need to be taken to the hospital. A helicopter transfer to a cruise ship can cost $100,000 or more, not to mention additional transportation home.
It goes without saying that everyone should have travel insurance, especially when traveling by sea.
For those who travel several times a year, it may make sense to invest in an annual insurance plan.
How does it work?
Annual insurance plans allow travelers to purchase a single policy that provides coverage for multiple trips in one year. In fact, this means that any qualifying trip that takes place within 365 days of the plan being set up, will be covered.
Rather than buying separate policies for each trip, it often makes more sense to buy annual travel insurance instead. Not only is it the best, it’s often the cheapest.
If you’re like me, you love to cruise and you probably go on a few cruises every year. I also travel internationally a lot, so it makes sense to have some basic principles that apply to all of my travels.
I prefer not to worry about what might happen if I have an accident or need medical attention while traveling. Peace of mind alone is important to me. Again, vacations are supposed to be relaxing – so knowing that I’ve got a lot going on helps me enjoy my vacation to the fullest.
As much as we hate to think about our vacation going wrong, it’s very important to protect yourself.
Is an annual plan affordable?
When you’ve spent thousands of dollars on an upcoming cruise or vacation, you’d hate to see that money go to waste due to unforeseen circumstances.
For those who travel several times a year, having an annual insurance policy is the best option. If you take more than 2 or 3 trips each year, a policy that covers you each year will be more effective than buying individual travel insurance.
The cost of travel insurance is, in most cases, very affordable. Even the best travel plans will not cost you more than 5-6% of your travel expenses.
On the other hand, annual plans start at just $125. Some plans with more information can cost as much as $600, but the price depends on the number of options you choose.
There is usually a maximum number of days for each tour that is offered. For example, you can take as many trips as you want within a year but each trip must be less than 45 days (or as specified in your policy).
What are the most common paid trips?
One of the best things about having annual travel insurance is that ALL your trips away from home will be covered.
Of course, a two-week trip to Europe is something you might consider buying insurance for. Often, people only think that they need travel insurance if they spend a lot of money on vacation. As we know more than ever with the COVID-19 pandemic, information can go unexpectedly wrong when you travel, no matter where you’re going.
Although annual insurance covers all your major trips, think about the times when you made the final decision to fly somewhere for the wedding. Or think about that condo you rented for a few hours for a weekend getaway. Maybe you took the train to surprise your best friend who was in town for a visit.
All these events are covered by the annual travel policy, even if you have not purchased your policy. Most laws require that you live at least 100 miles from home for your policy to apply; so, as long as you are outside the minimum number, you will be covered.
Who really needs help?
I admit that I traveled several times without travel insurance. I know I’m lucky because I’ve never had a major accident, medical emergency or serious problem while traveling.
But, I’ve heard enough horror stories about travel problems and big emergency loans to change my mind. The pandemic has also changed my opinion on whether or not travel insurance is necessary.
While we think everyone can benefit from travel insurance, there are some travelers who would benefit most from annual travel insurance.
For starters, older travelers are more vulnerable to medical emergencies, so it makes sense for these travelers to use good travel insurance.
Unlike individual travel plans, the cost of an annual travel plan does not change based on the number of years of travel. This makes annual travel affordable for older travelers – you’ll pay the same amount of insurance at 75 as a 27-year-old.
Also, solo travelers can benefit greatly from annual travel insurance. While it’s great to find a last-minute cruise, you don’t have much flexibility when it comes to cancellations. As soon as you book your trip, you will have the following news.
It is difficult to know exactly how many trips you will take in a year. As a soldier bride myself, it is very rare that we know where and when we plan to travel; therefore, we choose trips at the last minute to accommodate my husband’s changing schedule. Because of this, having an annual travel plan works well with our style.
Budget travelers can also benefit from investing in an annual travel plan. If you’re careful about your vacation spending, then the small savings to protect your hard-earned vacation should be a priority.
What is it about sailing?
When it comes to cruises, your biggest concern should be a medical emergency. Although all cruise ships have hospitals and qualified doctors to take care of you, the cost is negligible. Even your standard health insurance may not cover every care you receive.
As mentioned earlier, medical evacuation is very expensive from cruise ships. While you may not need this coverage, if you do, you could be hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.
In the event of a medical emergency on the boat or if you need to be evacuated from the cruise ship, you can be covered by annual travel insurance.
Those flying into the cruise port will also be covered for baggage delays, which can be very difficult for passengers. If your luggage does not arrive at the time of departure, you may need to purchase essential items to bring with you. Delayed shipment results in out-of-pocket costs.
While the pandemic has led to additional changes in travel bookings, it appears that cruise lines are ending their failure modes. With annual travel insurance, you can be reimbursed for non-refundable expenses if you need to cancel or interrupt your trip (depending on the reason covered).
Some annual insurance plans also include pandemic coverage, which means you’ll be covered if your trip is affected by COVID-19 (or other pandemics). This is a great learning bonus, as we all know how much travel can be affected by illness.
There are many companies that offer annual insurance plans, so be sure to check what is covered before purchasing a plan.
What else is covered?
Although sailing is my favorite form of travel, I also enjoy traveling outdoors. In this case, you will have additional travel benefits through an annual travel plan.
Here is a list of all the benefits you can receive through a travel insurance plan:
- Emergency medical benefits
- Benefits of emergency transportation
- Benefits of delaying travel
- Rental car damage/theft
- Goods delay/loss/damage
- Travel cancellation benefits
- The benefits of disrupting the journey
- Adjust the interest rate
- Covering commercial equipment
- Integrity of the fee recovery program
- Travel accident benefit
- 24-hour access to emergency notifications