Whether this is your first cruise or your 50th, you’ve probably seen the checklists for preparing for a cruise: Dramamine, extra bathing suits, and so on.
Travel insurance is on most of these checklists, but you may be asking yourself, “Is it worth it? What does it even cover?”
What Travel Insurance Covers
Most plans only cover accidents that are out of the control of any passengers or crew members. Situations commonly covered by travel insurance include:
- Trip Cancellation/Interruption: If your trip is abruptly ended by an emergency situation, you might have to pay for additional lodging or travel. These costs may be covered by travel insurance, and the rest of your trip will also most likely be refunded.
- Have to Cancel Your Trip: If you come down with a sudden illness before your trip, or you’ve lost your job and shouldn’t be spending your money on a cruise right now, no problem. There may be fees that come with trip cancellation, but you’ll most likely be able to get most of your money refunded.
- Financial Default: This is a rare situation, but it has happened. If the company that is putting on your cruise defaults, travel insurance can help.
What Will Not Be Covered
If a hurricane significantly reroutes your trip and you have to go through an emergency evacuation, you’ll probably be covered by your insurance. However, if a light rain spoils your fun and you end up missing one or two ports due to schedule changes, you may just be out of luck. Be sure to read the fine print for each plan to see what trip changes are covered and what is not.
Other payments from your trip may not be covered if you got an especially good deal. For example, some travel insurance plans will not reimburse plane tickets purchased with frequent flier miles.
How Expensive Is Travel Insurance?
A cruise line may offer their own insurance plans, but third party insurers are also available for travelers heading out on a cruise, taking a flight, and so on. Whichever company you decide to get insurance from, be cautious. The various plans out there will likely vary not only in terms of which accidents or injuries they cover, but also in cost. Compare plans. Read the fine print. Talk to representatives from the company about what would be reimbursed in different scenarios. Get a lawyer to go over the contract if you have to.
Additionally, there may be different rates depending on how many people are in your party. If you’re going to get it, we recommend making sure that your travel insurance covers your entire party – when a hurricane or similar situation hits, it will affect your entire group. Buying insurance for only one or two people and ignoring the rest of your group could leave them in the lurch and cause confusion and other complications.
What about Injuries or Illnesses?
This is another case of “check with your insurance provider.” Most likely, illnesses like norovirus won’t be covered, even if the virus spreads due to crewmember negligence. Some insurance plans won’t cover injuries at all, while some plans exclusively cover injuries and illnesses.
If your insurance does not cover your injuries, you may still be able to receive compensation by filing a lawsuit. Contact a Florida cruise injury lawyer for more information on how these types of lawsuits work, what is involved, and whether or not they believe you have a viable case.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented cruise victims who have suffered all kinds of injuries and illnesses due to negligence. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and to Florida Trend’s “Legal Elite.”