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SharonoftheSeas

BEWARE!! RCCL Cruise Care Insurance

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Just wanted to make sure no one else is "mislead" into thinking the "Vacation Protection Package" coverage begins at time of booking. This is when you are asked if you want to take the coverage, have the premium added to your invoice and make deposit!

 

Never in all my years of booking with the "Certified Vacation Planners" have they explained that you must pay your required deposit PLUS pay the price of the "Cruise Care" premium at time of booking. Otherwise, the coverage will start when you make final payment.

 

If you call a Vacation Planner and specifically ask, they will read form the material "only they" can access, that is clearly written to explain this. Don't know if I am "stupid" or what, but did not find it to be so clear in the information I have access to!!

 

If you do not pay the "premium" at time of booking, then any illness/surgery etc. that occurs within 60 days of the date you made final payment, will be considered a "pre-existing" illness and will not be covered!!

 

In other words, if you book your cruise one year out. Make deposit, say yes to insurance at that time, then break your leg two weeks before final payment. Still make final payment thinking it is 3 months away and you will be well by then. Then find out you have to have surgery on the leg one week before the cruise departure date. Since you broke your leg two weeks before final payment, then this is considered "pre-existing"! Therefore, you are not entitled to any reimbursement from the insurance and you just threw the money for the premium out the window!!

 

Be sure to ask questions and read ALL the fine print!!! Better yet, go elsewhere for insurance coverage. That is what I will be doing from now on! And, I plan to be reading ALL the fine print there too!!

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I knew .. I guess because I cruise a lot. They always warn to pay for the insurance when you take it out that I have seen. If you dont pay for the insurance, its not in effect.

 

Good thing to know for those who didnt know .. it is important to pay for it when you take it out so the policy goes into effect.

 

(From what i know you actually have 2 weeks to pay for most policies in order for pre-existing to be covered .. so you do have 2 weeks, but usually not past then.)

Edited by firefly333

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Guess you live and learn! I had always heard to take the insurance when you book the cruise to avoid pre-existing issues. Never dawned on me that it actually wasn't purchased at that time until it was too late. Think I will look into getting cruise insurance elsewhere in the future. And, I WILL be reading all the fine print!!

 

I think if you are not VERY careful, 99% of the time they will find a way to get out of paying. You could drop dead on day one of the cruise and they would say whatever caused your death had to be a pre-existing condition!!

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Is the RCCL insurance cheaper than a third party company? It seems to me that 3rd party insurance is more comprehensive. I only mention that because I wonder if there is a benefit to utilizing the RCCL plan.

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I did not know that either. I always take the RCCL insurance, but did not know I was supposed to pay for it immediately. Guess i will do that moving forward!!

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I used a well known national TA and this was explicitly explained to me. I didn't take RCL insurance, but for the trip insurance I did agree to I had 14 days from booking to pay premium so pre-existing would be covered. If you don't pay the premium until final payment how can you expect to be covered?

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I used a well known national TA and this was explicitly explained to me. I didn't take RCL insurance, but for the trip insurance I did agree to I had 14 days from booking to pay premium so pre-existing would be covered. If you don't pay the premium until final payment how can you expect to be covered?

 

Guess it was my misunderstanding! I was under the "assumption" that if we took their insurance at the time of booking, then we were covered from that date. Thought the deposit was covering everything on the invoice. Never had anyone tell me it only covers parts of the invoice and other parts will not be in effect unless you make the additional payment NOW!!

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I did not know that either. I always take the RCCL insurance, but did not know I was supposed to pay for it immediately. Guess i will do that moving forward!!

 

Yes, I'm sure there are lots of people out there that think they are covered from the time they book. That's why I wanted to try to let as many people know as I could that they have to make the additional payment along with the down payment.

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Thanks for the warning, I can see where people can be misled, but it's like most insurance, if it's not paid for then there is no coverage. We used the RCI insurance once and the claim was handled very quickly.

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Yes, I'm sure there are lots of people out there that think they are covered from the time they book. That's why I wanted to try to let as many people know as I could that they have to make the additional payment along with the down payment.

 

Wow, thank you very much for the warning. I am so sorry you had to find out the way you did.

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WOW! Thanks for posting this information! I'm trying to think of the best way to proceed since we have until the middle of December to make final payment. Would it be advantageous to go ahead and make the full payment now so that we will be covered, or take the chance since there is some reimbursement at this point if we cancel the cruise? I really don't like giving anyone my money sooner than I have to!:confused:

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Just wanted to make sure no one else is "mislead" into thinking the "Vacation Protection Package" coverage begins at time of booking. This is when you are asked if you want to take the coverage, have the premium added to your invoice and make deposit!

 

Never in all my years of booking with the "Certified Vacation Planners" have they explained that you must pay your required deposit PLUS pay the price of the "Cruise Care" premium at time of booking. Otherwise, the coverage will start when you make final payment.

 

If you call a Vacation Planner and specifically ask, they will read form the material "only they" can access, that is clearly written to explain this. Don't know if I am "stupid" or what, but did not find it to be so clear in the information I have access to!!

 

If you do not pay the "premium" at time of booking, then any illness/surgery etc. that occurs within 60 days of the date you made final payment, will be considered a "pre-existing" illness and will not be covered!!

 

In other words, if you book your cruise one year out. Make deposit, say yes to insurance at that time, then break your leg two weeks before final payment. Still make final payment thinking it is 3 months away and you will be well by then. Then find out you have to have surgery on the leg one week before the cruise departure date. Since you broke your leg two weeks before final payment, then this is considered "pre-existing"! Therefore, you are not entitled to any reimbursement from the insurance and you just threw the money for the premium out the window!!

 

Be sure to ask questions and read ALL the fine print!!! Better yet, go elsewhere for insurance coverage. That is what I will be doing from now on! And, I plan to be reading ALL the fine print there too!!

 

 

Good heads up! This is common practice with travel insurances regardless of it being purchased with RCI or through an independent party. However it is not your "job" to know all of these things, especially since you are booking the insurance with RCI! Honestly, RCI's vacation planners should explain this without being asked. Sometimes people on these boards question whether to book direct or with a TA. In my opinion this is an example of one reason to book with a good, knowledgable, exprienced travel agent. A good TA would look out for your best interest, especially a travel agent who is salaried and doesn't work for commission......they exist I was one for 10 years! Some vacation planners are great (I have heard some positive stories on this board). But many cruise line vacation planners are order takers and either don't know the nuiances of travel insurances or are instructed not to divulge certain info unless asked. I am not saying that a travel agent is the only way to go however I do believe a good one has advantages.

Edited by nycruiser80

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The problem is that the reps and TS's get a commission for every insurance policy they sell. So for them trying to make it as appealing as possible to get people to pick it up is in their best interest.

 

If they tell someone it is better to pay it at the time of deposit, then the person might outright decline it. If they say you don't have to pay the premium until final payment, people may be more likely to pick it up.

 

It is also important to note that the insurance is underwritten by a separate company, not RCCL. So as far as they are concerned, until they are paid, you are not covered.

 

We always pick up third party insurance as it seems more comprehensive than the cruise line policies for pretty much the same price.

Edited by dioxide45

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Think I will look into getting cruise insurance elsewhere in the future. And, I WILL be reading all the fine print!!

 

I have found that 3rd party insurance is usually a better deal than cruise insurance. It is more comprehensive, covers you from door to door which is important if you have pre cruise/post cruise plans that is not being sold by the cruise line, covers you if you don't use cruise air if something should happen on the way to port causing or you to have to change flight arrangements, stay overnight, etc. and is cheaper.

 

On an $1,800 booking per cabin, I was quoted $92 per person for cruise insurance. These people are traveling with their two children so they needed to cover themselves and their two children in a separate cabin for a total cost of $368. Total cost with a 3rd party insurance for all four was $103 for $4,500 coverage.

 

Occasionally it is cheaper to go with cruise insurance if you are older and/or using their air and hotel package as 3rd party rates are based on a combination of age/cost.

 

You certainly need to put the pencil to the paper to do some comparison shopping.

 

Tucker in Texas

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I normally buy 3rd party travel insurance but this is still good to know. I too assumed that those who elected to take the RCI travel insurance would be covered as soon as they made their deposit. The CVPs should make it absolutely clear that the insurance premium must be added to the initial deposit in order for coverage to begin immediately.

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I am very upset by this. While we were on our cruise this past January we booked a b2b for next January/February on Serenade. We took the insurance and paid the deposit that they required ($100 each per week). We did not know to pay the insurance cost at that time...it was not mentioned by the Loyalty Ambassador when we booked the future cruises. We returned home on Saturday and my FIL was hospitalized on Monday with several bowel perforations, the symptoms of which actually started while on the cruise. After 3 months of hospitalization and some time in a nursing home he is home but still not fully recovered and is possibly facing a very major surgery. We weren't too worried about it because we don't have to make final payment until mid-November and we have the insurance so we figured we could cancel even after final payment if this prevents him from going. I am so angry at myself but honestly it's a question I didn't know to ask. So now the question is, what do we do now? To complicate things, we have already purchased our flights believing the cruise insurance would cover it if he had to cancel. My questions apply to my MIL & FIL...my DH and I will still go even if they can't.

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Sorry about your circumstances. It does say on the insurance page that you need to pay for it to start coverage.

 

Note: The plan cost is fully refundable if you are canceling outside of Royal Caribbean International's published penalty period. Prices are subject to change without notice. The plan cost may be paid at any time from deposit up to and including final payment; however, the CruiseCare Cancellation and Interruption Penalty Waiver takes effect only upon payment of the plan cost in addition to any required cruise deposit. Payment of your cruise fare deposit amount without the plan cost will not activate this program.

 

I only buy coverage with preexisting conditions included. I usually purchase insurance from another source. I didn't purchase insurance last time and almost had to cancel my cruise, so I will always purchase from now on. Things come up that you would never imagine.

 

I think you have to purchase within 24 hours to get the 'cancel for any reason' feature. Also, they always note cancellation is 'for specified reasons' otherwise. So it helps to read the policy. I know it's boring, but you learn some surprising facts that way and you won't be shocked later on.

Edited by marci22

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WOW! Thanks for posting this information! I'm trying to think of the best way to proceed since we have until the middle of December to make final payment. Would it be advantageous to go ahead and make the full payment now so that we will be covered, or take the chance since there is some reimbursement at this point if we cancel the cruise? I really don't like giving anyone my money sooner than I have to!:confused:

 

I hear ya about giving money any sooner than you have to! Since you have already booked and accepted their insurance, probably it would be best to pay the insurance premium now. Otherwise, take your chance and just cancel the whole cruise before final payment if you feel there is anything that may cause a problem after final payment. I would say, call RCCL and have them take the insurance off and go with a private company, but from what I am hearing, you have to do that within two weeks of booking in order for "pre-existing" to be covered. And even then not all companies cover pre-existing. Unfortunately, they seem to find a way to make any situation "pre-existing"!!

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...go with a private company, but from what I am hearing, you have to do that within two weeks of booking in order for "pre-existing" to be covered. And even then not all companies cover pre-existing. Unfortunately, they seem to find a way to make any situation "pre-existing"!!

 

If you go to insuremytrip.com they will list various companies and note whether or not they cover pre-existing conditions. The ones that cover pre-existing are usually more expensive.

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I am very upset by this. While we were on our cruise this past January we booked a b2b for next January/February on Serenade. We took the insurance and paid the deposit that they required ($100 each per week). We did not know to pay the insurance cost at that time...it was not mentioned by the Loyalty Ambassador when we booked the future cruises. We returned home on Saturday and my FIL was hospitalized on Monday with several bowel perforations, the symptoms of which actually started while on the cruise. After 3 months of hospitalization and some time in a nursing home he is home but still not fully recovered and is possibly facing a very major surgery. We weren't too worried about it because we don't have to make final payment until mid-November and we have the insurance so we figured we could cancel even after final payment if this prevents him from going. I am so angry at myself but honestly it's a question I didn't know to ask. So now the question is, what do we do now? To complicate things, we have already purchased our flights believing the cruise insurance would cover it if he had to cancel. My questions apply to my MIL & FIL...my DH and I will still go even if they can't.

 

Dcward89, I am so, so sorry to hear about your FIL and your situation. You are in the same boat as we were. After finding out the hard way, your FIL will not be covered even if you pay the premium today or at final payment!!What I was told by the Berkley Care, is that you do not have insurance until you make final payment, unless you paid your premium when booking and making deposit. Then if you have found out, been treated for, or "even thought about" (my addition) any illness within 60 days prior to the day you paid your premium, then it is a pre-existing illness and they will not cover! Since he has had this prior to final payment and probably is being treated, or seeing a Dr. within 60 days of final payment or the day you pay the premium, then it would just be a waste of your money to even pay the premium, because they are not going to cover a thing! As it stands now, you have no insurance as far as they are concerned. I am so sorry to hear you already have the flights booked. Try to see if you can get a credit at least from the airline. I would definately cancel the cruise BEFORE final payment for you MIL & FIL and then if things work out closer to departure time, rebook them at the last minute. This is exactly why I wanted to make eveyone else aware of how this works. Fortunately, we live in Fl., so we don't have airfare involved. I will swallow my loss from the insurance company a little easier as long as I can prevent this from happening to anyone else. And yes, who would know to ask these questions!! And even if you read the policy that WE have access to, you need a law degree to interpret what they are REALLY say. Good luck with his recovery and the insurance situation.

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If you go to insuremytrip.com they will list various companies and note whether or not they cover pre-existing conditions. The ones that cover pre-existing are usually more expensive.

 

Thank you Marci22. This is what I plan to do for my future cruises. I am willing to pay more and at least be covered. Wish I had all the money that I have given to RCCL/Berkley in the past for insurance premiums, thinking I had coverage. Guess they don't want to tell you how it really works, then if you don't have a need to use it, you will just keep dropping money into their pot with no questions asked!

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