Trip cancellation, emergency medical, and flight!

Trip Insurance for Cruises

Don't Leave Port Without It

By Marianne Schwab | Best Travel Deals Tips Blog

When you're booking cruise vacations, trip insurance for cruises is the one thing you do not want to forget about purchasing. Whether you're booking your reservation online at a travel website or through a travel agent, before you finish booking your cruise, you will be asked “Would you like trip insurance?” Many online web sites automatically check this box with the question and include it in your price as you complete the booking process.

Unfortunately people often dismiss the suggestion because they want to save a few pennies on the their cruise ship vacation and sometimes after already getting a great price on a travel website or through a discount travel club. Before you dismiss the idea of trip insurance , you might want to think again because that's a travel decision that could cost you big bucks. In general, it’s easy to rebook a missed flight or get credit for a hotel room but what you may not know, especially if you've never been on a cruise before is that cruise lines have seriously tough cancellation policies.

If for some reason you have to cancel a cruise vacation at the last minute, and you didn’t take my advice to buy travel insurance, then you will most likely lose your entire cruise fare, with no possibility of a refund or credit, not to mention airfares as well.

But why in the world would you cancel your trip at the last minute? Your reasons could include a death in the family, you get a sudden illness, you miss your flight, there is a freak weather storm or you have an unexpected job layoff, just to name a few.

You can take all of those reasons and toss them out the window when you buy travel insurance because it costs just a small percentage of the cost of your cruise to purchase trip insurance. It can also save you a lot of heartache and grief if the unexpected does happen.

If you book your cruise vacation online and you have questions, feel free to open up a live chat with one of the travel agents and they will help you figure out which insurance option is right for you. Options to consider include factors like pre-existing condition waivers and whether buying from a travel-insurance specialist is better than directly from the cruise line (in my experience, it typically is). Online travel agents will also go over the policy with you to make sure you understand every line, as well as help you use the policy to recoup any expenses if needed. My preferred trip insurance and evacuation providers is Travel Guard . You can purchase travel insurance and medical evacuation protection directly through these companies as well.

Domestic air medical evacuation averages $10,000 to $20,000, and internationally, it can exceed $75,000. I have a friend who knows a family that had a son hit by a drunk driver while they were in South Africa attending the World Cup and the medical evacuation was estimated at $300,000. If they'd only had trip insurance. As a member, if you are ever hospitalized 150 miles or more away from home, companies like Medjet Assist will arrange for medical transfer to the hospital of your choice — at no additional charge. No transportation cost limitations. No pre-existing condition exclusions. Just peace of mind each and every time you travel.

Unlike other evacuation services, Medjet Assist lets you decide which hospital will be your final destination. Plus, there’s no medical necessity clause. If you are hospitalized, we'll be there for you — regardless of the nature of your illness or injury.

So now you know why trip insurance is not only a very good idea when planning your cruise ship vacation, but mandatory.

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About Marianne Schwab
TV Travel Show Producer

For over twenty years, TV Travel Show Producer, Marianne Schwab, has been collecting money saving travel tips as a travel producer for high profile television programs. She has flown all over the world and produced live television productions on location from Caesar's Palace on the Vegas Strip to the beautiful island of Oahu. Read more