When cruise travelers think about protecting their investment, the topic of travel insurance comes up. It’s an option offered by every major cruise line and they all do it differently. Some offer “cancel for any reason” coverage which brings a future cruise credit to use should cancellation occur for a covered reason. Compared to third-party sources, the cruise line version is often the more affordable option as well. But what if you have absolutely no interest in travel insurance? Is there anything someone can say to change your mind? What if it was free?
The topic of travel protection is one most cruisers would rather avoid, and rightfully so. Of all the variables in the equation for what the total cost of a cruise will be, insurance is admittedly one of the least alluring. It’s not fun to talk about. Still, those who need it due to unexpected medical issues that occur while traveling are happy when they have it. Fail to add it? Not so happy. Still, before buying from anyone, check with other sources. You may already have coverage and not even know it.
Credit card travel protection was once a minimal offering that has blossomed into full featured travel assistance for the holders of many cards. In addition to coverage comparable to what the cruise line or some third-party source offers, other benefits may also come with the deal. Some version of Lost Luggage, Flight Delay and/or concierge travel assistance might be part of the deal if you buy travel with a particular card. Find out if you qualify by calling the number on the back of your credit card. Ask them “If I buy travel with this card, do you provide travel insurance?”
If the answer is ‘yes’, find out details of the coverage. See if it meets your needs. It just might. In fact, what was once like finding a needle in a haystack is becoming more commonly good insurance we can use every day. And it’s free, just for using that card to buy travel.
Another source to check with before buying any travel protection: your personal insurance agent. The trusted person who handles your auto, home, health and/or life insurance might have options for you.
Important: check those sources before buying your cruise. The right card used at the right time can make a difference, as noted above. When a credit card purchase brings travel protection as a benefit, they want the entire purchase on their card. That’s not all that hard with a cruise where the cruise fare covers the lions share of what we spend on travel. It can be done on land vacations as well, just in a more complicated way.
At the end of the day, you may still pass on travel insurance but know this if you need it along the way: you might already be covered by some other policy. It never hurts to ask.
Chris Owen shares frank, inside information about cruise vacations on ChrisCruises.com.