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CarolandNate

Cruise insurance considerations

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Count me in as someone who finds Cruise Critic to be a lifesaver when planning a trip.  Whether you have a specific question for your own trip or you want to just share, it is great.  Then there is the opporunity to meet up with people on an upcoming trip. 

 

Having done a bit of research on insurance, I want to share what I have learned.  Trip insurance can be confusing and a lot of us don't know what we don't know.  Sometimes you can't ask the right questions because you don't have any idea of what questions should be asked.  I have been on the question asking side and several people on cruise critic have given me some valuable information, as it relates to excursions or OBCs, etc.

 

The cruise that we are taking to the Panama Canal in December is just now starting to pre-book excursions.  We want to get in early to insure that we get what we want.  My biggest question has been how to insure them.  One person informed me that there is a five day window prior to the excursion that allows for a full refund.  Some else talked about the premium breakdowns when it comes to certain insurance.  I took all of that and asked my insurer specifics.  I learned a lot.

 

Simply put the ship, in our case Princess offers plans.  But they cover Princess related things--cruise, EZAir, excursions booked by Princess.  There are also a number of others that are tied to insurance companies.  One can book directly, through brokers.  There a number of websites that will let you compare side by side.  In our case, we use Travelguard (AIG), which also has a partnership with a certain big box store that has a travel agency arm.  TG differs from the Princess insurance, in that it is door to door coverage.  From the time you leave the house until the time you get back, you are covered.  The price differences are relatively small, maybe $75-100.  TG has some ground rules.  You must account for anything pre-booked that is non refundable.  If you book after you begin the trip, you do not have to account for it.  You must do said accounting within 21 days of booking to maintain a pre-existing conditions clause for trip cancellation.  The accounting does not identify each item, but it must add up if you end up making a claim.

 

This can be important, especially if you are doing more than just the cruise.  When we went to Alaska a couple of years ago, we did a land tour and then visited family.  We also did that part on our own.  Had we booked the cruise tour with Princess, everything would have come under that.  For flexibility reasons, we wanted to do it it on our own--rent a car, stay in B&Bs and basically come and go as we pleased.  We spent more time where we wanted to spend it.  All of that was covered.  Then we went to see family in California.  Still covered. 

 

We are going to the Panama Canal over 15 days and while the vast majority of the time will be Princess related, the family part is still there.  The premium difference in minimal in the grand scheme of things.

 

TG breaks up its premiums into bands, which get broader the more you spend.  The difference between one band and the next might be $50-60 and the band width might be $500 or even $1000.  The question can be what should one cover.  Pretty simple, if you book something and it has any part of it being non-refundable upon cancellation, you need to account for it.  If you don't say good by to the PEC clause entirely.  But because the bands are so wide you may not see a change in premium with additions or if you do go from one band to another, it may only be $50 or so. 

 

I asked TG about OBCs and using them for excursions and whether I had to account for them.  Using OBCs is not treated as a payment, since they are gifted, so to speak by the cruise line.  They will not even let you insure it.  But you will have used OBCs and if you miss the excursion that you did not insure, well, you are out of luck.  If you want to insure an excursion, you need to pay for it and then account for it by their rules.  The downside is that you are laying out money, months in advance as opposed to using credits gifted by the cruise line.  In the end, it does not matter, since you will have your OBCs for later use on the ship.  As far as the bands are concerned, if you are in the low end of a band, you might as well account for a value just short of the band's top limit.  That way you are covered in case you messed up with the math or if you decide to add on.  You have room and flexibility.  I thank people of CC for that tidbit about bands.  BTW, this also applies to using airline miles.  Since miles do not have cash value, they are not considered payment.You can't insure the flight unless you actually pay money for it.

 

Can be complicated, but not insuring a trip of many thousands is a lot more complicated.  Hope this is helpful for anyone considering.  Good luck.

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As to comments about using airline miles.  Many policies cover the redeposit fee for your miles.

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1 hour ago, 6rugrats said:

As to comments about using airline miles.  Many policies cover the redeposit fee for your miles.

That may be true.  Travelguard does not or at least I never asked them, because in my case with American or Southwest, there would be no fee.  If you redeposit, there is a fee.  With American, if I was unable to go on the given date, I would still be bale to use the ticket for up to a year from when I made the reservation, as long as my destination was the same.  So if I got tickets to LAX for 12.5K, I would be able be able to use that ticket to LAX.  If the only tickets available at the time of the make up were 20K, I would have to make up the difference.  Southwest has the same one year thing, but they put the points into a an unused section of your account and you can used them for anything.  You're not restricted the location.  Knowing that I did not even ask about the redeposit fee, because it is not relevant.

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I don’t think this sort of thing belongs on the boards...

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39 minutes ago, d9704011 said:

I don’t think this sort of thing belongs on the boards...

 

Indeed! 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Slugsta said:

Post #4 reported.

I assume you are referring to the one from Lucy Watson !!!  Monica Brown !!! or whoever. !!!!  At first I thought it might be what I wrote, but the broken english kind of gave it away that this was a spammer.

Edited by CarolandNate

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Like FB or any other social media, this kind of posting can and will happen, unfortunately.  If you go to this person's profile, there are at last count 39 of the exact same wording to others on CC.  Looks like they joined a couple of weeks ago and have been doing this since.  Reporting is fine, but the best thing to do is just ignore it.  Do not, I repeat, do not reply by email.  You would just be letting this person know you are out there and it would result in getting a lot of spam.  The admins on this board can probably block people, but you don't want to have do this in the outside world.  That would be a lot of work, filtering. 

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2 hours ago, CarolandNate said:

I assume you are referring to the one from Lucy Watson !!!  Monica Brown !!! or whoever. !!!!  At first I thought it might be what I wrote, but the broken english kind of gave it away that this was a spammer.

 

Yes, it was that one. I should have realised that y message would make little sense once the spam had gone! :classic_blush:

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3 minutes ago, Slugsta said:

 

Yes, it was that one. I should have realised that y message would make little sense once the spam had gone! :classic_blush:

Yes be careful.  Once you let something like that get into your system, what can follow could be really bad.  You open yourself up to malware or a number of bad things.  You can try to filter out, but it is a real pain.  Good luck

 

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