While there are dozens of fun vacation ideas, cruising can be especially smart. With a cruise, your lodging, food and entertainment are included in a single nightly rate. Better yet, your cruise itinerary may include multiple stops in new destinations and you can tailor your cruise to see only the places you really want to go.
Unfortunately, like every other type of travel, cruising isn’t foolproof. Because your cruise plan might entail flying to a cruise port, staying in a hotel, then venturing out on a cruise with multiple legs and stops, plenty can go wrong.
Here’s the good news: You can insure your trip, and yourself, to protect against financial losses caused by illness, bad weather and more, all for less than you might think.
While you can buy individual types of insurance coverage for each component of your cruise, the best thing you can do is buy a single travel insurance policy that covers everything. But what does travel insurance cover? Here are the main coverage options you’ll want to consider:
• Nonrefundable trip deposits – These are deposits you’ve made on your cruise to hold your cabin and reservation. Typically, these deposits wouldn’t be refunded if you needed to cancel your trip for any reason. • Policyholders or companions becoming sick or injured – Get reimbursed for your trip if you can’t travel due to illness or injury. • Medical evacuation – If you get injured on your cruise and need to get to the hospital ASAP, this coverage is meant to pick up the tab. • Lost baggage – If your baggage is lost due to a mistake at the airport or aboard your cruise, you’ll be reimbursed for your luggage and its contents. • Baggage delays – Receive financial reimbursement for any supplies you need to buy due to baggage delays. • Canceled flight or cruise due to bad weather – Travel insurance will reimburse you for canceled flights and cruises halted due to bad weather. • Lost passport – If you lose your passport sometime during your trip, your travel insurance policy will kick in to cover the costs of replacing it. • Delayed travel – Travel delays can create an added expense when you travel, but insurance will kick in to pick up the tab. • Rental car coverage – Make sure you’re covered for liability while driving a rental car during your trip. • Emergency medical and dental coverage – Most American health insurance plans don’t provide coverage outside of the U.S. Because of this, you should always have travel insurance that provides stripped-down medical coverage to protect you when you travel abroad.
As we mentioned, you don’t have to buy individual insurance policies to cover all these “what ifs.” Instead, you can buy a single travel insurance policy that offers multiple types of coverage.
Fortunately, purchasing this coverage is easier than ever. You can do it online and it may be less expensive than you think. Here are some steps to help you do just that:
Travel insurance companies offer different types of plans, including plans for domestic travel, cruise options, international travel, rental car coverage and annual plans. If you want coverage for your cruise, make sure to pick a domestic or international plan based on your itinerary.
Enter the dates of your trip, the ages of travelers in your party and the out-of-pocket costs you’ve paid for your cruise, airfare and hotels. From there, you’ll get a comprehensive travel insurance quote. Since this coverage typically works out to 4% to 8% of the price of your trip, it’s often worth it.
Before you head out on the cruise of a lifetime, make sure to protect your trip from the unknown. While you can hope your trip will go off without a hitch, travel plans fall apart all the time.
A travel insurance policy can provide more than peace of mind. It can also provide complete reimbursement of your out-of-pocket travel costs if something goes wrong. You may not get the cruise you want when you want if your trip is canceled for any reason, but at least you’ll get your money back so you can start the cruise planning process over again.
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