If there’s one thing you can take away from the COVID-19 pandemic when it comes to cruising, it’s that you should always say yes to “cancel for any reason” insurance!
Let’s face it, cruise vacations aren’t inexpensive. Often, you must pay a pretty penny to reserve the cruise – and then invest more money a few months before when you make the final payment. You need to protect that money, and cancel for any reason insurance can help you do that.
Here is what you need to know about CFAR insurance, including what it is, what it’s not, and how to obtain it for your next cruising adventure.
What Is Cancel for Any Reason Insurance?
The elements of this type of insurance may vary from provider to provider, but in general, it is helpful in the followings ways:
- To add supplemental coverage when you have to cancel a trip that would otherwise be non-refundable based on the reason for cancellation
- It is the only type of coverage you can buy that will offer some level of reimbursement for a trip you must cancel
Accepting any sort of credit or voucher for a trip you have canceled will make your reimbursement under your CFAR policy invalid. However, a partial credit or voucher may still allow you to get reimbursed
How Does It Differ From Standard Insurance?
The standard coverage for cancellation on cruise lines will not allow you to cancel due to government agency advisories, a change of itinerary, or problems that may be occurring at your destinations. When you purchase a CFAR policy, then you can cancel your cruise for whatever reason you choose, as long as it’s covered by the specific policy.
Some examples of the benefits of flexible policies like CFAR include:
Foreseen or Known Events
The basic travel insurance you purchase is meant to cover events that are unexpected. Any policy that is purchased before an event becomes known will stay intact and provide benefits for cancellations for reasons considered normal – for example, not because you may feel uncomfortable traveling to a region in the world. If you buy a CFAR plan, then you can cancel and get your money back simply because you no longer wish to travel in current conditions.
When you buy standard travel insurance, it will only cover events that directly impact you. The “cancel for any reason” plans allows you to cancel, because you may harbor concerns or worries about travel.
You must, however, purchase your CFAR policy within a certain time frame in order to be allowed to cancel if you’re frightened of travel.
Storms and Hurricanes
If you’re planning to travel during hurricane season, then CFAR insurance is a must. That’s because regular travel insurance will cover you for hurricane cancellations, but they must be named after you purchase your policy. If you book a cruise and a hurricane has yet to be named, then you won’t receive any coverage for the hurricane.
While it is true that regular insurance will cover you in the case of a cruise line cancellation, CFAR insurance allows you to cancel rather than wait to see what the cruise line decides to do in the face of a potential hurricane. It simply gives you more control over your vacation.
Outbreaks of Disease
The fear of COVID may be lessening around the world, but there are other major diseases that can throw your plans into disarray. Regular insurance policies will not pay claims related to cancellations for disease outbreaks, if they are known, even if travel advisories are issued by government agencies. CFAR insurance gives you the discretion to cancel due to outbreaks of disease, so you can avoid monkeypox as much as you want on your vacation.
You Change Your Mind
Sometimes, you just change your mind about a cruise. Standard insurance will not cover for simply changing your mind. They mandate that your reason falls under one of their stated coverage categories. CFAR insurance will cover nonrefundable portions of your trip if you simply don’t want to travel after you have paid.
Many cruise lines offer cancellation policies, but you’re almost certainly going to get better coverage with your own CFAR insurance policy. It puts you in control of the situation, so you’re not unpleasantly surprised later to find out that your cruise line doesn’t cover your reason for cancellation.
While you can get an experienced lawyer to help you get reimbursement for issues that you may experience on a cruise, your best bet is to begin covering yourself from the moment you book your vacation – by choosing additional CFAR insurance.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all personal injury cases, focusing on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in representing injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and named one of America’s Top 100 High-Stakes Litigators. Mr. Winston is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, and has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2022– an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite,” recognized by Expertise as one of the 20 Best Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys, named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015-2022, and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida for 2015-2017 and 2019-2022.