When shopping for cruise travel insurance, choose the specific terms and conditions that will cover your needs. For example, if you are flying to port, consider including flight delay coverage. If you are leaving your home country or will participate in adventure travel, a health coverage policy might be right for you. Be aware that no policy will reimburse you for every eventuality. In fact, there are several reasons why your cruise insurance policy may not cover you at all.
The main reason people buy travel insurance is to secure the non-refundable costs of a cruise due to a trip cancellation or interruption. However, be aware that this is not a catch-all policy.
Top reasons for claim denials related to trip cancellation:
Failure to see the doctor. Most policies will allow cancellation for health reasons prior to embarkation day. This can include the traveler, companion(s), and even family members. However, you must see a doctor and submit paperwork to your insurer (usually in the form of a statement from the physician advising you to cancel).
A pre-existing condition. Yes, you read that correctly. Some claims will not be decided in your favor if your pre-existing medical condition keeps you from traveling. There should be detailed provisions in the policy, such as the number of days without symptoms; the date of your last doctor visit related to the medical condition; and other points that could keep you from receiving a reimbursement in this instance.
Weather issues. Most travel insurance will cover weather-related delays and cancellations. However, read that fine print. It may only apply to unexpected and sudden weather events. This means that the tropical storm everyone’s been watching for the past week (for which you purchased insurance only a few days ago) will more than likely not be covered in this type of claim.
Changing your mind. This type of claim is never going to be resolved in your favor. So be sure before you book.
Random unfortunate events. Most travel insurance policies have a list of occurrences that are not covered. Claims for losses due to war, mental illnesses, participating in unlawful activities, and so forth will be denied. Read your policy carefully.
Non-monetary costs. If you have cashed-out frequent flyer miles or used loyalty points to pay for a portion of your cruise expenses, these will not be reimbursed. You will have to negotiate the refund directly with the business offering the perks.
Cruise Insurance Planning
Generally, trip cancellation coverage is intended for pre-paid, non-refundable expenses.
One suggestion to overcome these types of exclusions is to purchase a “cancel for any reason” policy. These can be a bit more expensive than choosing à la carte coverage options according to your specific travel plans. Also, you will need to purchase it within a certain number of days following your cruise deposit. There may even be cancellation penalties.These types of policies are available for 50% – 100% coverage of nonrefundable cruise costs. They do bring peace of mind should you experience one of the uncovered issues above.