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Our cruise is at the end of December and my final payment is due on October 15th.  My husband and 3 kids (22, 19, 14) will be traveling. I've been looking into purchasing travel insurance through a third party.  Should I purchase insurance before I make my final payment or after?  Do most of the policies cover cancellations for any reason (FIL is ill and concerned if something happens right before our cruise)?  TIA for your help with these questions..

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Hi neighbor, check out the cruise insurance forum as well for lots of insurance questions and answers. 

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IMO cruise/travel insurance is an absolute must. I don't think it makes any difference when you purchase it, only that you do. We've booked a Sept. 2020 cruise and purchasing cruise/travel insurance was the 2nd thing we did. Just get it out of the way.

 

That said, the insurance benefits varies widely. So choose carefully the benefits that is most suited for you and your family.

 

Cruise Critic has a wonderful sub-forum for cruise/travel insurance exclusively. Give it a good look:

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/499-cruisetravel-insurance/

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24 minutes ago, Tenamarie123 said:

Our cruise is at the end of December and my final payment is due on October 15th.  My husband and 3 kids (22, 19, 14) will be traveling. I've been looking into purchasing travel insurance through a third party.  Should I purchase insurance before I make my final payment or after?  Do most of the policies cover cancellations for any reason (FIL is ill and concerned if something happens right before our cruise)?  TIA for your help with these questions..

 

Try the insuremytrip website. I don't want to link to it because sometimes it gets deleted, but that's the exact name of the site. You can compare policies from different providers. In our experience, prices fluctuate and we've seen them go up as the trip gets closer. If you're interested in Cancel for Any Reason, as we often are, then be prepared to pay more, a lot more. It can often be $100 or more to add that benefit. And the ones that even offer Cancel for Any Reason this close to your cruise will be drastically limited. We'll be on one in early Dec. and there's only two policies that offer Cancel for Any Reason, both from Nationwide. Which, incidentally, is the same company that underwrites Carnival's Vacation Protection insurance.

 

Many policies require that they be purchased before final payment, especially if you want Cancel for Any Reason, so you definitely want to look now.

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I doubt you can still purchase any insurance with a cancel for any reason this close to the cruise. Also preexisting conditions will be excluded but you still certainly still purchase travel insurance that will cover unforeseen circumstances from a host of providers. We use Travel Guard. It is an affordable and easy to understand product with excellent customer service. 

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Most policies that include cancel for any reason and pre-existing conditions have to be bought within 14 days of initial deposit.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, tallnthensome said:

Hi neighbor, check out the cruise insurance forum as well for lots of insurance questions and answers. 

 

 

Why do you always redirect people instead of answering the question? 

 

We always get insurance and also use insuremytrip.com. Carnival insurance is not very comprehensive. 

Edited by coevan
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4 minutes ago, coevan said:

 

 

Why do you always redirect people instead of answering the question? 

 

We always get insurance and also use insuremytrip.com. Carnival insurance is not very comprehensive. 

Because I feel like it. The OP is asking about THIRD party cruise insurance which isn’t Carnival Cruise related and which can be asked and answered in the insurance forum. Good enough? 

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of course trip insurance is relevant to cruising Carnival or any cruise line. We also get travel insurance for resorts and A.I.'s

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36 minutes ago, coevan said:

of course trip insurance is relevant to cruising Carnival or any cruise line. We also get travel insurance for resorts and A.I.'s

No, that's not how this website is organized. This is the correct forum, Cruise and Travel Insurance, because the OP asked for "third party" i.e. non-Carnival sponsored insurance.

 

It's no different, for example, when people ask on the Carnival board if there's a CVS store near the pier in Miami where they can buy wine before boarding the ship. Yes, they're going on a Carnival cruise but Carnival doesn't own or operate CVS. Those kinds of threads are usually moved to the Florida Departures board. It's one of the main reasons that all public message boards have some basic rules of use and are often moderated to better enhance navigating the website and the knowledge being shared with all members of the site.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Tenamarie123 said:

Our cruise is at the end of December and my final payment is due on October 15th.  My husband and 3 kids (22, 19, 14) will be traveling. I've been looking into purchasing travel insurance through a third party.  Should I purchase insurance before I make my final payment or after?  Do most of the policies cover cancellations for any reason (FIL is ill and concerned if something happens right before our cruise)?  TIA for your help with these questions..


Actually there are policies that cover pre-existing conditions when purchased at final payment. The cancel for any reason coverage requires an additional premium.   It can be pricey. Your FIL’s situation might be covered under regular cancellation. Just be sure the pre-existing condition clause does not refer to members not traveling with you.

 

I know. It is complicated. I suggest you call an agent at insure my trip or the trip insurance store. Explain your situation, and they can recommend the right policy.

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30 minutes ago, Babr said:


Actually there are policies that cover pre-existing conditions when purchased at final payment. The cancel for any reason coverage requires an additional premium.   It can be pricey. Your FIL’s situation might be covered under regular cancellation. Just be sure the pre-existing condition clause does not refer to members not traveling with you.

 

I know. It is complicated. I suggest you call an agent at insure my trip or the trip insurance store. Explain your situation, and they can recommend the right policy.

 

Yes, this ^^

 

I'd strongly suggest that you contact www.TripInsuranceStore.com - but CALL them, do not simply rely upon the online summaries.  The fine print can *really* matter (with many things, but especially insurance).

 

They are a travel insurance broker, and offer policies from several vetted insurers.  (NO additional charge to use them.)

 

There is indeed probably at least one insurer they use who can provide the CFAR (Cancel For Any Reason) and also - very importantly - coverage for pre-existing conditions as long as you purchase no later than within 24 hours of that FINAL payment (defined narrowly).

I'd suggest not waiting until that last minute, because you all must be "fit to travel", so if any of you end up with something, even though temporary, then you cannot start the coverage, and you won't have any possible delay...

 

This particular insurance has slighly lesser coverage than what you'd be able to get IF you had started the insurance within 10-21 days of your FIRST payment/deposit (timing depends upon state of residency).  Unfortunately the CFAR add-on does cost a fair amount more.

 

But TALK with them.

You may not need CFAR.  If your concern is that an elderly relative might get seriously ill (or worse), you'd probably have that covered anyway.  Serious illness of a family member is covered by many regular policies.  But IF you might want to cancel because the family member "just doesn't feel right and you are worried", then that would need the CFAR coverage.

And we get CFAR for precisely that reason.

(For future information, we use TIS and get coverage from Travel Insured, and they PAY THEIR CLAIMS, including large ones... and that's what counts.  We are so grateful that we learned about TIS here on CC before our first recent cruise - meaning not decades ago, etc.)

 

TIS folks will ask you some questions and answer yours.  We found them *very* patient with "travel insurance newbies", which is definitely what we were, back in 2013!

 

Good luck.

 

GC

 

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Thank you all for your in-depth replies on this subject, I truly appreciate it and now I will definitely be calling to talk with someone before purchasing any policy.

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1 hour ago, Tenamarie123 said:

Thank you all for your in-depth replies on this subject, I truly appreciate it and now I will definitely be calling to talk with someone before purchasing any policy.

This is definitely the way to go.  I the last two posters have given you excellent advice.  

 

Here are a few things to consider. Some of this is a repeat of what other have said:

  • It is most likely too late to get third party CFAR coverage, but:
    • CFAR is more expensive,
    • It covers less than 100% (typically 75% from a third party) and
    • You probably do not need it
  • A medical emergency with your FIL will be a covered reason for trip cancellation and interruption under most policies. Be sure you understand the applicable terms and conditions of the policy you select.  Pitfalls to look out for include:
    • Is your FIL considered a non traveling family member.   This should be a YES under most, if not all policies.
    • Does the pre-existing conditions clause pertain to non traveling family members?  Make sure it is NO for your policy.
    • Would you be able to travel on the day your purchase the policy? 
    • Is your FIL expected to get worse?  This can be the tricky one for your situation.
    • If your FIL takes a turn for the worse, under what conditions will the policy pay out and what documentation will they require?  For example, some policies may want a doctor's certification that you or your husband need to be there to provide care.
  • If you can't find a policy that works, then you can often purchase cruise line insurance up to final payment date with CFAR coverage.  Overall coverage will often be less and premiums will usually be higher than third party coverage.  But if your primary issue is CFAR, this might be your best or only option. A lot depends on the cruise line.

Good luck, and let us know what you find out.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Jersey42 said:

This is definitely the way to go.  I the last two posters have given you excellent advice.  

 

Here are a few things to consider. Some of this is a repeat of what other have said:

  • It is most likely too late to get third party CFAR coverage, but:
    • CFAR is more expensive,
    • It covers less than 100% (typically 75% from a third party) and
    • You probably do not need it
  • A medical emergency with your FIL will be a covered reason for trip cancellation and interruption under most policies. Be sure you understand the applicable terms and conditions of the policy you select.  Pitfalls to look out for include:
    • Is your FIL considered a non traveling family member.   This should be a YES under most, if not all policies.
    • Does the pre-existing conditions clause pertain to non traveling family members?  Make sure it is NO for your policy.
    • Would you be able to travel on the day your purchase the policy? 
    • Is your FIL expected to get worse?  This can be the tricky one for your situation.
    • If your FIL takes a turn for the worse, under what conditions will the policy pay out and what documentation will they require?  For example, some policies may want a doctor's certification that you or your husband need to be there to provide care.
  • If you can't find a policy that works, then you can often purchase cruise line insurance up to final payment date with CFAR coverage.  Overall coverage will often be less and premiums will usually be higher than third party coverage.  But if your primary issue is CFAR, this might be your best or only option. A lot depends on the cruise line.

Good luck, and let us know what you find out.

 

I called and the agent made sure to check for a policy that did not check for pre-existing conditions for non-traveling family members.  Very glad I was provided great information from you all.  Thanks again!

Edited by Tenamarie123

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19 minutes ago, Tenamarie123 said:

 

I called and the agent made sure to check for a policy that did not check for pre-existing conditions for non-traveling family members.  Very glad I was provided great information from you all.  Thanks again!

 

And please do note that if you want CFAR, it is probably *NOT* too late, as long as you haven't made that "final payment" (due 15 October?) YET.

(This is a reason for some not to pre-pay that final payment.  I'm not at all sure that the "final payment DATE" would suffice if the final payment itself had been made early.  I should probably ask about that someday...!)

 

But the real gotcha here is that IF you wait until the last day for that CFAR, and then one of the travelin party  is ill and "not fit to travel THAT DAY" (not referring to the future insured trip!), then you've missed that chance.

 

We've been getting CFAR for two reasons, and we use Travel Insured through TIS because CFAR is less expensive than waiting for that final payment date.

 

One reason might apply to OP:  VERY elderly MIL!  She NEVER complains (well, not about her own health, ahem; she's far less reticent about complaining about other people, but I digress...!).   So if we were about to leave on a long/distant trip, and she mumbled something about "Oh, I just don't feel right..." we would *NOT* want to leave her.

Ironically, she was indeed the reason we cancelled a major cruise/land trip last spring!  But it was hardly a "I just don't feel right" situation.  She landed in the ER for several days with heart problems, and at an age very close to 100, that's "not amusing", to put it mildly.

So as it turned out, we still never used the CFAR!

 

The other reason has to do with weather and political strife.  There may be reasons with either of those that no official emergency is "declared", but *WE* do not feel comfortable going to "X" location.

It remains very comforting to know that IF that happens, we'll at least have 75% cash back to use for a different trip.  It's still enough of a loss (25% of an expensive vacation "ain't chump change"!) that we wouldn't cancel for a trivial reason.  So to us, it seems that the insurers have sort of hit the sweet spot about the "percentage back" for CFAR.

Also, there might be a work reason where DH would be under *such* pressure "if we went", due to some last minute issue, that we'd decide to stay.  But because he can - and does - work while traveling, this hasn't become an issue.  Yet.

(Some cruise line "CFAR" would only provide a "cruise credit", and often for a limited time use.  That might not work for everyone...)

 

There are many variations of insurance.  The trick is to make sure you get a policy that has as good a match to your particular needs/concerns as possible.

 

GC

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20 minutes ago, GeezerCouple said:

And please do note that if you want CFAR, it is probably *NOT* too late, as long as you haven't made that "final payment" (due 15 October?) YET.

Hey GC.  What plans have you found that let you purchase CFAR coverage at final payment date? There is a thread on the MSC board where someone has been looking for just such coverage and he can't find anything.  I know many cruise lines offer this up to final payment date, but MSC does not offer any CFAR coverage.  I know you purchase through tripinsurancestore and their website indicates their plans all require purchase within 15-21 days of INITIAL payment date.  

https://tripinsurancestore.com/cancel-for-any-reason-travel-insurance-plans/

 

If you have some options, I would love share it with the poster on the other board.

 

Thanks

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8 minutes ago, Jersey42 said:

Hey GC.  What plans have you found that let you purchase CFAR coverage at final payment date? There is a thread on the MSC board where someone has been looking for just such coverage and he can't find anything.  I know many cruise lines offer this up to final payment date, but MSC does not offer any CFAR coverage.  I know you purchase through tripinsurancestore and their website indicates their plans all require purchase within 15-21 days of INITIAL payment date.  

https://tripinsurancestore.com/cancel-for-any-reason-travel-insurance-plans/

 

If you have some options, I would love share it with the poster on the other board.

 

Thanks

 

Yes, we use TripInsuranceStore.com -

I'll double check and get back to you.

 

We usually get Travel Insured, and in our state, that requires we start the coverage (if we want pre-existing or CFAR) within 20 days, but it could be as little as 10 days in other states.

 

But one time, we made a deposit to secure a very special suite, even though we really didn't expect to go... two years later.  And then... we decided to go!

So we had to get the policy that offers those if started no later than within 24 hours of final payment.

I see that company listed, but do not see the coverage described, so I'll check with Steve and post again.

Note:  We decided that time not to add the CFAR because although it was offered, it was more expensive than the cost with our regular policies.  Also, a few months before travel is a lot different than say, 2 years before travel!

And either way (with or without CFAR), it included pre-existing conditions, and that's something we absolutely want.

 

Anyway, I don't know why they show the company but don't mention their CFAR.  Perhaps it has changed?

I had *not* heard that it changed, and we've still considered it an option (obviously!), so I need to double check for us, too, so I'm glad you pointed this out! :classic_smile:

 

Give me some time, given it's a Sunday.

 

As a separate issue, we'd never get any policy from the cruise line, but we *especially* would not even consider a cruise line policy that only offer a "credit" (even if 100%) with a time limit.  There are some lines that do and some that don't arrange it that way.  We'd want the money back, so we could schedule as we see fit, without any deadline (which might be coming up soon, all the worse!).

 

GC

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, GeezerCouple said:

 

Yes, we use TripInsuranceStore.com -

I'll double check and get back to you.

 

We usually get Travel Insured, and in our state, that requires we start the coverage (if we want pre-existing or CFAR) within 20 days, but it could be as little as 10 days in other states.  . . . 

 

Anyway, I don't know why they show the company but don't mention their CFAR.  Perhaps it has changed?

I had *not* heard that it changed, and we've still considered it an option (obviously!), so I need to double check for us, too, so I'm glad you pointed this out! :classic_smile:

 

Give me some time, given it's a Sunday.

Anything you can find out would be appreciated 😀.  Tripinsurancestore.com says "Travel Insured Worldwide Trip Protector Plus offers CFAR if purchased within 21 days after your initial trip payment."  I hoped you might know about another Travel Insured plans. I know you will post back next week.

 

27 minutes ago, GeezerCouple said:

As a separate issue, we'd never get any policy from the cruise line, but we *especially* would not even consider a cruise line policy that only offer a "credit" (even if 100%) with a time limit.  There are some lines that do and some that don't arrange it that way.  We'd want the money back, so we could schedule as we see fit, without any deadline (which might be coming up soon, all the worse!).

I agree with not purchasing cruise line insurance in most cases.  But under some circumstances some people may see this as the best option: 

  1. You need CFAR when you are past the deadline but have not yet hit final payment date.  Of course if Steve can find you some good current third party options, then this is a moot point.
  2. Lines that offer a CFAR 90% or 100% future cruise credit are more attractive to some than 75% cash.  I can see both sides on this one assuming the primary reason you are purchasing insurance is for CFAR.
  3. As people get older, third party insurance can get very expensive.  So the cruise line insurance premium can be lower and it appears to be a better deal. I usually disagree with this primarily because medical and evac limits are often very tiny with cruise line insurance.  But if someone is on Viking (or another line with $100K+ limits), then I won't argue.

 

Edited by Jersey42

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4 hours ago, GeezerCouple said:

 

Yes, we use TripInsuranceStore.com -

I'll double check and get back to you.

 

We usually get Travel Insured, and in our state, that requires we start the coverage (if we want pre-existing or CFAR) within 20 days, but it could be as little as 10 days in other states.

 

But one time, we made a deposit to secure a very special suite, even though we really didn't expect to go... two years later.  And then... we decided to go!

So we had to get the policy that offers those if started no later than within 24 hours of final payment.

I see that company listed, but do not see the coverage described, so I'll check with Steve and post again.

Note:  We decided that time not to add the CFAR because although it was offered, it was more expensive than the cost with our regular policies.  Also, a few months before travel is a lot different than say, 2 years before travel!

And either way (with or without CFAR), it included pre-existing conditions, and that's something we absolutely want.

 

Anyway, I don't know why they show the company but don't mention their CFAR.  Perhaps it has changed?

I had *not* heard that it changed, and we've still considered it an option (obviously!), so I need to double check for us, too, so I'm glad you pointed this out! :classic_smile:

 

Give me some time, given it's a Sunday.

 

As a separate issue, we'd never get any policy from the cruise line, but we *especially* would not even consider a cruise line policy that only offer a "credit" (even if 100%) with a time limit.  There are some lines that do and some that don't arrange it that way.  We'd want the money back, so we could schedule as we see fit, without any deadline (which might be coming up soon, all the worse!).

 

GC

 

MY APOLOGIES!

 

I was mis-remembering, and it is the *pre-existing condition* coverage that is available at that late date.

VERY SORRY.

 

(I guess the reason we never got the CFAR that time wasn't due to cost, but because... we couldn't!).


So to clarify:  NO, apparently CFAR is NOT AVAILABLE that late.

 

GC

 

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12 hours ago, GeezerCouple said:

 

MY APOLOGIES!

 

I was mis-remembering, and it is the *pre-existing condition* coverage that is available at that late date.

VERY SORRY.

 

(I guess the reason we never got the CFAR that time wasn't due to cost, but because... we couldn't!).


So to clarify:  NO, apparently CFAR is NOT AVAILABLE that late.

 

GC

 

No problem.  This has happened to me too many times😀.  Given I had just told someone that they were too late for CFAR when I saw you post and I thought (hoped), I might be missing something. 

 

By the way, Holland America is the only line I have seen that provides a cash refund (90%) if you use their CFAR.  Everyone else I have seen offers a cruise credit that usually expires within a year.  I know this does not work for you, but it might be useful to someone else.  

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35 minutes ago, Jersey42 said:

No problem.  This has happened to me too many times😀.  Given I had just told someone that they were too late for CFAR when I saw you post and I thought (hoped), I might be missing something. 

 

By the way, Holland America is the only line I have seen that provides a cash refund (90%) if you use their CFAR.  Everyone else I have seen offers a cruise credit that usually expires within a year.  I know this does not work for you, but it might be useful to someone else.  

 

We just noticed this about HAL, as we are about to take our first cruise with them.

I need to look into that more, because, well, "90 is greater than 75" :classic_wink:

I've seen the 90% CFAR refund before, but only as a "cruise credit", so we were surprised by HAL's policy.  It seems like there must be some sort of "catch", so we'll read up on it.

Thanks for mentioning it... funny, DH just noticed that a few days ago.

 

Thanks!

 

GC

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30 minutes ago, GeezerCouple said:

I've seen the 90% CFAR refund before, but only as a "cruise credit", so we were surprised by HAL's policy.  It seems like there must be some sort of "catch", so we'll read up on it.

As you always advise others, it is always important to read the details.  The good news is there is there is no pre-existing conditions clause and you can cancel up to scheduled departure. I don't think there is a real catch if you are willing to pay the premium, but here are some negatives with HAL's Platinum plan:

  • All cancellation coverage is CFAR, so although there are no covered reasons or pre-existing conditions to worry about you will never get a 100% refund.
  • Medical coverage is only $10K
  • Trip interruption is 100% (this is typical of most cruise line policies, but many third party policies offer 150%)
  • Only covers items purchased through HAL (typical of most cruise line plans)

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