In great big broad general terms, travel insurance, as it applies to cruise travelers, covers two unfortunate events: cancellation for a covered reason and medical expenses incurred while traveling. Some travelers skip it, playing the odds that they will not ever need travel protection and for good reason: most travelers don’t. Still, taking a fresh new look at the optional travel expense, we find new reasons to buy travel insurance.
There Will Soon Be 42 Billion People On The Planet
The majority of cruise vacations sail off without issues; everyone gets to the ship on time, there are no injuries while sailing and they make it home unbroken. Still, the same can be said of driving a car, renting an apartment or owning a home. We do have and eventually use that sort of insurance for one reason or another. Nothing new there. The issue, for the odds players, then becomes a matter of frequency. Driving a car back and forth to work every day provides many more opportunities to use insurance protection than once-a-year cruise vacations. Here is where we have new reason to revisit the issue of travel insurance: we cruise more often now than ever before. Maybe 42 billion is a stretch but you get the point.
If Not Full Coverage, Just Medical Is A No Brainer
I rolled the dice, cruise after cruise, electing to skip the recommended travel protection offered by cruise lines and independent third-party companies. I was one of those people who believed ‘I saved enough money on travel insurance to pay for a cruise over the years’ and had no use for it. Traveling frequently though, I bought an annual policy, just to be safe. My thought was ‘I’m going on the cruise no matter what, so cancellation coverage is irrelevant to me’. Still, accidents happen so for a fraction of full coverage I had medical coverage for a year. Oh my, am I sure glad I did too. The result of squishing my thumb in between the metal door frame and the metal door when the ship listed one way then back in the other direction: $7600.
More Ships + More People = Good Reason To Consider Travel Protection
On a tour, at a beach or just walking off your ship, more people bring more opportunities for accidents and emergencies. I’d like a show of hands now: Who has been convinced that they have new reasons to buy travel insurance?
Hmm, as I thought: about the same. It’s not an immediate need so no need to be concerned? Wrong, especially if sailing to some of the most coveted destinations on the planet.
Your Cuba Cruise Is Not Covered By Any Other Insurance
If you happen to be one of the many cruise excited to visit the new Caribbean island of Cuba, dial that happiness back just a tiny bit. Odds are high that your American health care program won’t cover any medical needs in Cuba. Cruise lines even go so far as to check with the Cuban consulate to be sure prescription medication will be allowed into the country.
The Not So Sad Ending To The Sad Story
At the end of the day, no matter how I write this, travel insurance is not a happy topic to chat about. Something bad happened or it would not have been needed. My best advice: check with other sources first to be sure you are not already covered. Calling the number on the back of a credit card and asking ‘If I use your card to buy travel, do you include any travel protection. Many do.
Also, check with your personal insurance agent; the person who might handle your auto, home, health or life insurance. That trusted source might have some ideas for you that will bring smooth sailing if trouble happens along the way and not leave you in the position of deciding “Hmm, travel protection or the tour I have always dreamed of?”
Chris Owen shares frank, inside information about cruise vacations on ChrisCruises.com.