After careful planning and cost-cutting over 10 long years, Keith and Donna finally managed to save up enough money to book their luxury cruise trip to Galapagos. It was to be their second honeymoon amidst the scenic islands. Just as their anticipation about the trip was about to hit its peak, they got the unfortunate news of Keith's mother being diagnosed with a terminal illness that gave her very few days to live.
The news was double-disaster—not only were they extremely saddened by the prospect of losing his mother to a grave illness, but they also discovered that their cruise booking, like most other cruise bookings, was 100 percent non-refundable: a large proportion of their saving was bound to be wasted when they cancelled the trip. Keith bitterly regretted not taking his wife's advice on purchasing cruise travel insurance.
You can use cruise travel insurance plans to reimburse trip costs if you cancel the trip before it starts. If one of the travelers is ill or injured and the trip needs to be abandoned midway, you recover your money through cruise travel insurance. Some added benefits that are part of this plan include reimbursement of medical expenses and evacuation of sick or injured travelers.
There are several types of cruise insurance plans and they essentially differ in the reasons they consider valid for trip cancellation and the people covered by the plan. In some cases, they cover only the travelers and in other cases, travelers as well as family members are covered.
Plans that offer evacuation cover may pay for evacuation only to fixed local hospitals, or they may allow for evacuation to a hospital of the insured person's choice, within their home country. It may be possible to get a medical upgrade for the plan so that it covers medical expenses as well.
If you're interested in adventure sports and are planning to indulge in some of them, then do confirm whether the cruise insurance plan you intend to purchase covers any of the activities you're interested in. Some policies cover adventure sports like scuba diving and jet skiing and some don't.
The plans may or may not insure against pre-existing conditions or financial insolvency of the travel provider. In the cases where financial insolvency is covered, the eligible plan purchase date may vary such that some plans would protect against the insolvency only if purchased within 21 days from the initial trip deposit, while others would cover it even if purchased within 24 hours of the final trip payment.
If your trip is cancelled because of bad weather, then you don't need to worry. Most cruise insurance plans list bad weather as a condition under which cancellation charges are covered. However, if your trip suffers because of terrorism, then it is unlikely that the plan will consider it. Some plans, however, do cover medical expenses ranging from $10,000 to $500,000, whereas evacuation and repatriation cover can range from $100,000 to $1 million.
Adele Pitt frequently writes about travel and travel insurance.
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