For many people, the first question they ask about their vacation is “Where should I go on a cruise”? The second question they should ask is “Should I buy cruise insurance“?
That’s a smart question and let us be clear — we think it’s always a good idea to buy travel insurance for your cruise. For most people the charge is fairly small; the premium can be as little as 3% of the cost of a cruise. Often you get it for much cheaper than what you’ll pay in gratuities.
And while it doesn’t hurt for anyone to get a quote (we suggest going with a third-party plan — not the insurance sold by the cruise lines — for reasons explained here), there are some people for whom we think travel insurance is a no-brainer.
If you find yourself in one of these groups, we think that the cost of cruise insurance is a small price to pay for the safety net it can provide for your vacation.
Note: We are an affiliate with the travel insurers mentioned in this article. We receive a small commission if you purchase insurance through the links included in this article at no extra charge to you.
Passengers Over 60 Years Old
Let’s face it, when you get older it’s just a reality that you can have more — and more serious — health issues. And one of the big draws to travel insurance is that it offers coverage for evacuation and medical bills while you are on your cruise.
Imagine the expense if you were to have a heart attack or some other serious medical issue while in the middle of the ocean — hundreds of miles from the nearest port. Unfortunately, being evacuated from a cruise ship happens regularly and it can be expensive. Meanwhile, medical expenses in other countries can be pricey as well, and there may have to be payment agreements in place before you are allowed to leave.
All this sums up to make it worth your while to have some sort of travel insurance to help cover any emergency medical expenses if you are an older passenger.
Those Traveling With Small Kids
If you are a parent of small kids, then the odds are that you are relatively young and healthy. It if were just you, then while travel insurance is always advisable, it may not be a high priority.
However, when you have kids then the equation changes. Any parent knows how small children can seemingly get sick at the drop of a hat because their immune systems aren’t fully developed. Furthermore, you know that rambunctious kids can also have all sorts of slips, falls, bonks, and bruises. In other words, it’s like traveling with a person who is always at a higher risk of getting sick or hurt.
In that case, we highly recommend cruise insurance for those with small kids. Not only will it help if you need medical assistance during your trip, but if something happens before your trip — and you have to cancel your vacation all together — then you are covered and can be reimbursed for your expenses.
Anyone Who Thinks They Might Be Laid Off or Fired
Some people think that having travel insurance means you can cancel your trip for any reason and get your money back. With most policies, this isn’t the case. You can only be reimbursed if you can’t go for a pre-selected list of reasons, which include things like weather, a death in the family, or illness.
One surprising cancellation reason on the list for many policies is if you get laid off or fired. If you spent a lot on your vacation and then are let go, it’s nice to know that you can get your money back at a time when you most need it.
In other words if you are getting the suspicion that your job might not be stable, then definitely look into insurance to cover your vacation if you have to cancel.
Passengers Taking Flights During the Winter
We always suggest that any cruise passenger that flies to their port arrive at least one day before the sail date. These days there are simply too many delays in air travel, from weather, computer malfunctions, or mechanical issues. With a hard deadline to get to the ship, you absolutely don’t want to have a flight that arrives only a few hours before the ship leaves.
And if you’re taking a flight during the winter then there’s always the risk that winter weather can wreak havoc on flight schedules — even if you are flying from one warm spot to another. And while summer thunderstorms may delay a flight by hours, snowstorms can shut things down for days, making it tough to find alternate ways to the cruise port.
Luckily, travel insurance covers this sort of issue and can reimburse you if you miss the ship.
Anyone Who Can’t “Eat” The Cost of the Cruise
One of the big draws of cruising is that it’s a relatively affordable vacation. Still, not all cruises are cheap. Between a couple of passengers, upgrades to balcony rooms, airfare, and more, the cost can quickly climb.
And for many people, that vacation is a major expense that they can’t afford to “lose” should something happen to their plans and can’t make it. For instance, if you get sick and can’t head to the ship on cruise day, then you are likely out a lot of money without some sort of travel insurance.
If losing the cost of the cruise would do serious damage to your budget, then we’d suggest shopping for a policy to help protect you should something go wrong. The added expense of the insurance is relatively little compared to the cost of the entire trip.
If you want to learn more about travel insurance and what it covers, read our guide here. You can also get a quote for coverage of your upcoming cruise here.