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Cruise Lines' Insurance Vs. Allianz Cruise Insurance

cruise travel insurance
Allianz - cruise travel insurance

CruiseCare. Vacation Protection. Cancellation Penalty Waiver. Every cruise line offers some kind of protection plan to its passengers. Should you buy it?

It is absolutely essential to buy travel insurance for a cruise. The nature of cruising means that small travel mishaps, such as a missed flight or lost bag, can become big problems. Medical emergencies may require evacuation to the nearest hospital if the ship’s doctor can’t treat you. And if you have to cancel your trip last-minute, you probably won't get any money back.

However, cruise lines’ protection plans aren’t usually travel insurance. They typically offer only a waiver for cancellation protection. In some cases, they may offer third-party post-departure benefits, but the limits are generally modest. Travel insurance from Allianz Global Assistance, on the other hand, can include a wide array of pre- and post-departure benefits. Let’s compare the options.

What should you look for in a cruise insurance plan?

  • Generous emergency medical and emergency medical transportation benefits. International medical transportation can exceed $100,000 in some parts of the world, so a $25,000 limit won't go far.1
  • A broad range of covered reasons for trip cancellation/interruption. If you cancel for a reason that's not covered, cruise lines’ protection plans may give you cruise credits that are worth less than the amount of your trip.
  • Robust missed connection/trip delay coverage. If your flight into Miami is delayed and you miss your cruise ship's sailing, it may cost you quite a lot to catch up with the ship at its next port of call.
  • Supplier default coverage. If your cruise line or tour operator goes under, you need to make sure you'll recoup your travel investment.

Cruise Insurance Plan Comparison

Let's compare some popular cruise insurance plans. (All information is current as of May 2018; before purchasing insurance, be sure to check the limits and read your plan documents thoroughly.)

Allianz Global Assistance Insurance (OneTrip Prime Plan)

Carnival Cruise Insurance2

Celebrity Cruise Insurance3

Disney Cruise Insurance4

Princess Cruise Insurance5

Royal Caribbean Cruise Insurance6

Emergency Medical

Up to $25,000

Up to $10,000

Up to $10,000

Up to $10,000

Up to $10,000

Up to $10,000

Emergency Medical Transportation

Up to $500,000

Up to $30,000

Up to $25,000

Up to $30,000

Up to $25,000

Up to $25,000

Trip Cancellation

Up to 100% of nonrefundable costs

Up to 100% of nonrefundable costs

Up to 100% of nonrefundable costs

Up to 100% of trip costs ($10,000 limit)

Up to 100% of nonrefundable costs

Up to 100% of nonrefundable costs

Trip Interruption

Up to 150% of nonrefundable costs

Up to 100% of nonrefundable costs

Up to 100% of nonrefundable costs

Up to 100% of trip costs ($10,000 limit)

Up to 100% of nonrefundable costs

Up to 100% of nonrefundable costs

Trip Delay

Up to $800

Up to $500

Up to $500

Up to $500

$500 pre-cruise/$1,500 post-cruise

Up to $500 per person

Missed Connection

Up to $800

Included in Trip Delay

Included in Trip Delay

Included in Trip Interruption

Included in Trip Delay

Included in Trip Delay

Change Fee

Up to $250

Not Available

Not Available

Not Available

Not Available

Not Available

Lost Baggage

Up to $1,000

Up to $1,500

Up to $1,500

Up to $3,000

Up to $1,500

Up to $1,500

Delayed Baggage

Up to $300

Up to $500

Up to $500

Up to $500

Up to $500

Up to $500

Carrier Default

Available

Not Available

Not Available

Not Available

Not Available

Not Available

Allianz Global Assistance Travel Insurance

The OneTrip Prime Plan from Allianz Global Assistance is one of our most popular travel insurance plans for cruises. OneTrip Prime lists 26 covered reasons for trip cancellation/interruption, giving travelers the confidence that they’re covered for the most common travel mishaps. The plan’s limits for emergency medical and emergency medical transportation far exceed what the typical cruise line insurance plan offers.   OneTrip Prime also offers special benefits, such as change fee coverage, loyalty plan coverage, and 24-hour travel assistance.

Carnival Cruise Insurance

Carnival’s Cruise Vacation Protection plan excludes some important covered reasons that Allianz Global Assistance plans can include, such as needing to attend the birth of an immediate family member’s child, foreign or domestic terrorism and legal separation or divorce. If you need to cancel for any reason, Carnival says you may be eligible for cruise credits equaling up to 75 percent of your nonrefundable costs.7 Carnival's plan can cover independently booked air travel, unlike some other cruise line insurance plans.

Pre-existing medical conditions (with a 60-day lookback window) are not covered by the Carnival plan.7 Also, Carnival cruise insurance's medical expense coverage is secondary insurance, which means it only pays for expenses not covered by your primary health insurance.7

Celebrity Cruise Insurance

Celebrity cruise insurance, called CruiseCare, promises to refund all non-refundable, prepaid cruise expenses if you cancel for a covered reason. But Celebrity's list of reasons is pretty short:

  • Sickness, injury, or death of yourself, a traveling companion or members of either of your immediate families
  • Involvement in a traffic accident, en route to departure, that causes you to miss your cruise
  • Your home is made uninhabitable by a natural disaster such as fire, flood, earthquake, hurricane or volcano
  • You are called into active duty by the military to provide aid or relief as a result of a natural disaster
  • Subpoena or being called to serve for jury duty.8

If you cancel for any other reason, Celebrity cruise insurance gives you credits toward a future cruise, equal to 75 percent of your nonrefundable costs. You must use the credits within one year.9 Like Carnival cruise insurance, Celebrity cruise insurance excludes pre-existing conditions.8

Disney Cruise Insurance

Disney cruise insurance has several restrictions in the fine print that you should be aware of. First, the plan only covers flights booked through Disney Cruise Line. If you make your own flight arrangements, those flights are not covered.10 Second, if you must cancel for a reason that's not covered, you get a Disney cruise credit equal to 75 percent of the cancellation fees imposed. The credit expires after one year.11 Third, there’s a $10,000 limit on trip cancellation, which means you won’t be fully covered if your cruise costs more than that.

Princess Cruise Insurance

Princess Cruise insurance is a tiered program, with higher benefits for some cruisers. Members of the Platinum Captain's Circle get a free upgrade to the Platinum cruise insurance plan, which includes higher benefit limits and credits for 100 percent of your non-refundable cancellation fees when you cancel for any reason.12

Royal Caribbean Cruise Insurance

Cancel for a reason that’s not covered, and Royal Caribbean cruise insurance gives you cruise credits equal to 75 percent of your nonrefundable costs — excluding the cost of any flight arrangements you made through Air2Sea. Pre-existing medical conditions aren’t covered.13

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Jul 04, 2018