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6 month World cruise insurance experience in Canada

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Perhaps one's first step should be to read an online application to be prepared. Some forms consider things as basic as whether you have had a general check up in the past 1-2 years. Just make up a low price, short length, near future trip to get past any limits to online quoting so that you can get access to the policy text.

 

When I started my looking last year I couldn't get quotes more than 6 months ahead of sailing date and yet not buying at booking time may have impacted the preexisting rules. Couldn't even get a suggestion of the cost range, at least my agent said to allow 10% of the air+cruise fare. I wonder if perhaps the companies have shifted from wanting you to buy when the risk first appears (booking) to waiting until the last 4-6 months in case your health changes. RBC Insurance for example appears to not want to sell their medical insurance until the last 4 months.

 

When I came to final payment this year it took me 4 weeks to buy the insurance. Fax in the application/medical questionnaire, they ask for my med history, appointment with my doc to ask for it, she only works half the week and vacation is coming up, call back to pick up the printouts, claims department doctors take 2-3 days to assess the long costly risk then marketing takes more to decide the price, insurance agent closes the deal with me but oops it needs executive acceptance. All of this across 3 hours of time zone so that there is only a half day window where we can talk and make responses in the same day. Net result was only 3 days left to send my final cruise payment to my agent on time and it took 2 of those days to feed my trip's amount of money through. Cancellation penalties started the same day as final payment so I needed the insurance in place before I locked myself in.

 

Now others may have done all of this in a wink but I'd caution newcomers to allow a lot of time until they see how it is going to work out for them.

 

The two big US internet brokers wouldn't handle this trip for Canada, they need to act through a Canadian licensed insurer and a long policy wasn't available from their partners. The one help was that TripInsuranceStore's Canada page gave a rate chart at the bottom that will help you budget for a proposed world cruise. The impact of age was enlightening, it shows that doing the world in your early 70's while you are fit is a prudent approach. You can pass the med questionnaire and you'll be fit enough to enjoy the trip.

 

Some fine print details I saw in comparing policies are that the pre-existing rules weren't the same for the cancellation risk and the medical risk policies, the air return wasn't necessarily in the same class as you flew out on, air evacuation may only be from a small hospital to the nearest major one not to your home country and that the air evacuation was for that one hospital to another trip not for a helicopter to get you from some remote accident scene to a hospital. Medjet is better about the getting you home part but you need to already be in a hospital before they will step in. Reading the coverages for the various risks is also very necessary, less than $1 mill medical just doesn't seem to be enough for visiting the US. I've seen credit card and cruise line policies that offered a mere $20-50k coverage, would hardly pay for a broken arm. One credit card policy I saw a few years ago was valid for no more than 3 days at a time, good for a weekend across the border but useless for a cruiser.

 

A special note for BC residents (and likely other Provinces) is that BC Med only grants membership to people who are physically in the province 6 months of the year. They do allow for a 7th month away on specific request but only once every 5 years, you can't keep doing 6+ month cruises. There is also an option to suspend the premium cost while you are away but the Provincial coverage is required anyway by the Canadian travel insurance policies that I saw.

 

Bill

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Thanks Bill, good idea to read the fine print. I’m using Medipac, through the Canadian Snowbird Assn. Coverage with them seems very good. I’m in Alberta and I phoned AHC and Blue Cross to let them know I would be away 81/2 months. I’m off to Arizona soon. I just have to inform AHC and Blue Cross when I return. Looking forward to meeting everyone and enjoying this cruise. A lot of countries and places on my Bucket List.

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Bill, thanks for the information. It's timely, because I deposited on a WC on September 20th, and the one American carrier who would have covered us has declined to do so. And the "window" for getting pre-existing coverage is closing. May I ask what company you ended up with?

 

My TA can't help, being American. They've suggested Travel Guard Canada (AIG), but on first blush, they will not cover us either, due to age, cost, and time to cruise (we're travelling in 2021, final payment in mid-2020.

 

Medipac is not applicable, at least I don't think so. Medipac is about medical coverage, not cancellation insurance--for us, the latter is a biggy. I don't believe that Medipac provides cancellation insurance for any trip, let alone one of this cost. Luckily, all we need really is cancellation insurance since we already have good travel medical, but would have liked pre-existing coverage if possible.

 

Since the cost of our cruise will total around CAD150K, credit card coverage doesn't work. The cruise line will cover us, but at 20%, with no pre-existing coverage. That's not a huge issue at the moment, but could be 20 months from now when we do the final payment.

 

I'm in touch with several agents right now.

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Hi, I was able to get cancellation insurance through my TA with Manulife Global insurance for the cruise. Might work for you. It is expensive but coverage is good. Good luck. Gracie

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Hi, I was able to get cancellation insurance through my TA with Manulife Global insurance for the cruise. Might work for you. It is expensive but coverage is good. Good luck. Gracie

 

I had checked them. They only provide quotes a year out. Which we may have to settle for. Thanks for the information.

 

(edited to add: just did a trial quote online and they say they don't cover trips over $20K.)

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Hi Wendy,

 

In your online trial at Manulife, you did read the rejection as just meaning call them for a manual quote? The other companies are weak on expressing this too.

 

For my coverage I went with Manulife, RBC replied too late to consider. It was actually a second round with Manulife this year, they had given me a quote 21 months out through a telephone application last year when I booked the cruise. Maybe somebody confused the years, I keep crossing them up myself with having started this trip so far ahead.

 

Bill

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Hi Wendy,

 

In your online trial at Manulife, you did read the rejection as just meaning call them for a manual quote? The other companies are weak on expressing this too.

 

For my coverage I went with Manulife, RBC replied too late to consider. It was actually a second round with Manulife this year, they had given me a quote 21 months out through a telephone application last year when I booked the cruise. Maybe somebody confused the years, I keep crossing them up myself with having started this trip so far ahead.

 

Yes, thanks, still plugging away, and working with a couple of agents on manual quotes. It's Thanksgiving weekend here, so things have ground to a halt until Tuesday.

Edited by Wendy The Wanderer

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On 10/7/2018 at 9:31 AM, Wendy The Wanderer said:

 

Yes, thanks, still plugging away, and working with a couple of agents on manual quotes. It's Thanksgiving weekend here, so things have ground to a halt until Tuesday.

 

Hi Wendy!

 

My husband and I are booked on the 2019 Silversea World Cruise departing January 2019.  We got Medical Coverage as well as Non-Medical All-inclusive Coverage from Manulife.  Our TA got us a rough estimate from Manulife in June of 2017 just after we booked in May of 2017.  We purchased the coverage in August of this year (2018) when it reached the point where we would lose 25% of our deposit if we cancelled.  Both of us are over 65 and under 70 and we both qualified for Plan A.  The cost for the policies came to about 10% of the total cruise cost.

 

Good luck with your insurance search.

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23 hours ago, mysty said:

 

Hi Wendy!

 

My husband and I are booked on the 2019 Silversea World Cruise departing January 2019.  We got Medical Coverage as well as Non-Medical All-inclusive Coverage from Manulife.  Our TA got us a rough estimate from Manulife in June of 2017 just after we booked in May of 2017.  We purchased the coverage in August of this year (2018) when it reached the point where we would lose 25% of our deposit if we cancelled.  Both of us are over 65 and under 70 and we both qualified for Plan A.  The cost for the policies came to about 10% of the total cruise cost.

 

Good luck with your insurance search.

 

Thanks.  I've been assured we can get coverage, but I haven't received a quote yet, so I'm twiddling my thumbs.  Not too worried.  You must be beyond excited about your upcoming World Cruise.  I've never been on Silversea, but I've heard it's similar to Regent, but a little more formal. And of course the ship is smaller than Regent Mariner.

 

Any packing strategies?

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30 minutes ago, Wendy The Wanderer said:

 

Thanks.  I've been assured we can get coverage, but I haven't received a quote yet, so I'm twiddling my thumbs.  Not too worried.  You must be beyond excited about your upcoming World Cruise.  I've never been on Silversea, but I've heard it's similar to Regent, but a little more formal. And of course the ship is smaller than Regent Mariner.

 

Any packing strategies?

We have never sailed on Regent and we have heard that is similar to Silversea and a little less formal.  🙂  We are getting very excited.  54 days to sail away from San Francisco.  We were lucky enough to do the 2016 WC on Silversea and this trip is the cherry on the sundae.  Two different itineraries with 37 of the 52 ports new to us on the upcoming one.  We are too very lucky bumpkins.

 

This cruise is 132 nights.  Apparently we should expect to have 25 formal, 66 informal and 41 casual nights.  I am not packing 25 formal dresses.  Ha Ha!  There are other options for less foraml attire in venues other than the MDR.  I have had my packing list on the go since we booked.  I edit it frequently.  I researched the average temps for each port and based the warm weather versus cold weather clothing ratio based on that.  Clothing list is divided into the three categories.  We get 2 bags each shipped ahead.  I will divide Myster's and my clothing between each of the 4 bags with clothing from each category in each.  Three categories for Myster and three for me in each bag.  I will also do an inventory for each bag so we can figure out what we lost should one bag vanish into the ether.  I am a bit of a nut when it come to organizing.   Happy to help if you have questions!

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1 hour ago, mysty said:

 

We have never sailed on Regent and we have heard that is similar to Silversea and a little less formal.  🙂  We are getting very excited.  54 days to sail away from San Francisco.  We were lucky enough to do the 2016 WC on Silversea and this trip is the cherry on the sundae.  Two different itineraries with 37 of the 52 ports new to us on the upcoming one.  We are too very lucky bumpkins.

 

This cruise is 132 nights.  Apparently we should expect to have 25 formal, 66 informal and 41 casual nights.  I am not packing 25 formal dresses.  Ha Ha!  There are other options for less foraml attire in venues other than the MDR.  I have had my packing list on the go since we booked.  I edit it frequently.  I researched the average temps for each port and based the warm weather versus cold weather clothing ratio based on that.  Clothing list is divided into the three categories.  We get 2 bags each shipped ahead.  I will divide Myster's and my clothing between each of the 4 bags with clothing from each category in each.  Three categories for Myster and three for me in each bag.  I will also do an inventory for each bag so we can figure out what we lost should one bag vanish into the ether.  I am a bit of a nut when it come to organizing.   Happy to help if you have questions!

 

This sounds like so much fun.  Glad, however, that I don't have to deal with the formal nights!  I haven't thought much yet, but I doubt if I'll bring much more in terms of clothing than I would on a 2-3 week cruise.  Maybe just a few more choices so I don't get very tired of what I'm wearing. My husband will only bring a sports jacket if we feel he might need one some nights in the cool dining rooms.  I suspect that everyday clothing like casual shirts, t-shirts, capris (I live in capris), and pants will be the items that need to be thought out, since they may wear out!  And of course there's free laundry and dry cleaning.

 

We also don't have much in the way of cold-weather destinations on our route--southern NZ/Tasmania will be spring-like, as will the Med when we get there in April, but other than that we're going to be pretty tropical, if not downright hot. That also means when we don't feel like dressing at all, we can do the patio on the pool deck for an informal dinner like a burger.

 

We also divide our clothing when we pack as a contingency against loss, and we'll be able to ship as well.  The inventory sounds like a good idea!  Not sure about the categories, I'll think about that one. But I guess I do that somewhat in any case without thinking.

 

I'm thinking about cabin organization.  Staterooms on Mariner are a bit smaller than the other Regent ships, and apparently they've eliminated some drawers in the recent reno.  So I'm thinking of ways of hanging things on the walls, and perhaps bringing collapsible cloth baskets for cluttery items and bathroom organization.

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33 minutes ago, Wendy The Wanderer said:

 

This sounds like so much fun.  Glad, however, that I don't have to deal with the formal nights!  I haven't thought much yet, but I doubt if I'll bring much more in terms of clothing than I would on a 2-3 week cruise.  Maybe just a few more choices so I don't get very tired of what I'm wearing. My husband will only bring a sports jacket if we feel he might need one some nights in the cool dining rooms.  I suspect that everyday clothing like casual shirts, t-shirts, capris (I live in capris), and pants will be the items that need to be thought out, since they may wear out!  And of course there's free laundry and dry cleaning.

 

We also don't have much in the way of cold-weather destinations on our route--southern NZ/Tasmania will be spring-like, as will the Med when we get there in April, but other than that we're going to be pretty tropical, if not downright hot. That also means when we don't feel like dressing at all, we can do the patio on the pool deck for an informal dinner like a burger.

 

We also divide our clothing when we pack as a contingency against loss, and we'll be able to ship as well.  The inventory sounds like a good idea!  Not sure about the categories, I'll think about that one. But I guess I do that somewhat in any case without thinking.

 

I'm thinking about cabin organization.  Staterooms on Mariner are a bit smaller than the other Regent ships, and apparently they've eliminated some drawers in the recent reno.  So I'm thinking of ways of hanging things on the walls, and perhaps bringing collapsible cloth baskets for cluttery items and bathroom organization.

 

I did get collapsible cloth baskets and they were great!  Using them again this time.  You might also consider using suitcases for under the bed storage.  That also worked for us.  The Whisper is going into dry dock soon to prepare for the 2019 and 2020 Worlds.  There is a partial refit planed for all the suites.  If they remove storage options there may be lots of unhappy campers.  Have fun with the planning!

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Update on insurance.  My broker can't find any insurer here in Canada to cover the full cost of the trip.  This is just cancellation insurance, to remind you (we have travel medical through my husband's pension benefits from the university, thank goodness, since we spend 5 months a year in the U.S.)

 

So far they have found one insurer who will cover up to $30K each.  Now she's looking for other insurers who will take on another portion of the risk.  This has been fairly a horrific experience, but I've stopped worrying about it for now.  Cruise is still more than two years out.  If I have to I'll spend the 20% of the cruise fare that Regent demands, but I won't get pre-existing.

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