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Shaded Lady

Carnival Cruise Insurance or Not, Don't Travel without it!

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2 hours ago, Shaded Lady said:

 I was one of those people for 7 out of 10 of my cruises... my thoughts were we're healthy, reasonably young and not going on risky excursions- what could go wrong? Save the money and spend it on other things... then, as I said, in 2016 my DH was very sick (he's fine now) but it made me aware of what COULD go wrong and we started buying travel insurance.

 

My daughter just booked a family cruse for next year- she didn't get the insurance because she says they can't afford the extra cost... I asked her if she could afford the medical bills if something happened to them on the cruise? She's young and of course, knows WAY more than I do, so she's not listening. I just told her my friend's story so I'm hoping it changes her mind!

 

One never knows.  My husband passed away in 2010.  I was talking to him in the yard and 20 minutes later, he was dead on the garage floor.  Massive heart attack, 3 weeks after his 50th birthday.  It was terrible but I'm glad it was at home.

 

The week before we were on vacation.  I can't imagine what that would have been like if I had to transport him home from another country.   I've had a passport for years and always bought travel insurance.

 

And yes, I'm a believer in life insurance too...LOL

 

( I bought my son and his wife passports when they got married...It was part of Merry Christmas that year!  

 

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4 minutes ago, sgttami said:

 

One never knows.  My husband passed away in 2010.  I was talking to him in the yard and 20 minutes later, he was dead on the garage floor.  Massive heart attack, 3 weeks after his 50th birthday.  It was terrible but I'm glad it was at home.

 

The week before we were on vacation.  I can't imagine what that would have been like if I had to transport him home from another country.   I've had a passport for years and always bought travel insurance.

 

And yes, I'm a believer in life insurance too...LOL

 

( I bought my son and his wife passports when they got married...It was part of Merry Christmas that year!  

 

 

A bit belated, but sorry for your loss. In some ways going so quickly is a blessing, as you know he didn't suffer, but at the same time, he was so young to pass like that. And as you said, how much worse it would have been had it happened the week earlier.

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1 hour ago, JoSutt said:

I the Carnival insurance any good?  Thanks

Buying insurance from the entity  that will be providing the event that you are insuring souls like a conflict to me but many people like it, it is easy and convenient to do so.  

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On 11/2/2019 at 11:28 AM, Shaded Lady said:

So I'm going to post a story that will hopefully be a good lesson to some of you in your cruising future.

 

This week my dear friend at work got a call that her father, who was on a Carnival cruise with her step-mom, was being airlifted from the ship to the hospital in the Dominican Republic. He was bleeding internally and they didn't know why, so they did exploratory surgery and he died on the operating table- they believe he had a bleeding ulcer that perforated and he essentially bled to death. The cruiseship packed up their stuff and left it with the port authority.

 

Now my friend and her stepmother are trying to get his body returned to the states... because of a lot of regulations, they won't release his body until an autopsy and a coroner's inquiry is complete, in spite of the fact that he died in the hospital... I guess the rules are different everywhere!

 

The bill so far (care flight from ship to hospital, hospital expenses, surgery etc) is already over $100K and they expect that with the other costs about to come (repatriation of his body, her accommodations while waiting for them to release him) it's expected to total over $250,000!

 

The important part of this story is that they had good cruise insurance. The American consulate got involved immediately (they both had passports so at least that part was easy) and the coordinator for the travel insurance company is working on their behalf to make everything as easy as it could possibly be in this difficult time. In fact, they even worked with the local Coast Guard and the hospital to pay most of the bills directly, unlike most insurances that insist you pay first and they'll reimburse you later (that was partly the insurance coordinator and partly the US consulate working to make that happen!).

 

He was only in his early 60's, in otherwise good health and this incident could have ruined his family financially if they didn't have travel protection. Bad enough that they have to deal with his death, I can't imagine what would happen to them if they were saddled with a huge bill on top of it. They actually say the bills might have been even higher if he'd lived, since he'd have had an extended hospital stay before he could get a medical flight home.

 

Lesson learned! My hubby has had some health scares in the past few years so I never travel without insurance now, but it scares me to think how many times I thought- nah, I'll save the $100 for insurance and use it to enjoy the cruise! Never again will I cruise without insurance.

 

There but for the grace of God...

Very true there but for the grace of God.  So very sorry to hear this.  My heart goes out to them.  What a shock.  I am going to get insurance.  Thanks for posting

 

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1 hour ago, JoSutt said:

I the Carnival insurance any good?  Thanks

You can get better and cheaper insurance elsewhere.  Try trip insurance store or insure my trip.  You can put in your personal details and get suggestions for coverage through multiple companies that will best suit your needs.

Edited by keywest1
add detail

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1 hour ago, James4me said:

Can you purchase travel insurance after cruise is booked?

Yes, but you may not be able to get coverage for preexisting conditions.  There are a few companies who will insure preexisting conditions up to final payment date.  

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20 hours ago, Shaded Lady said:

Gotcha. 
 

My friend just flew out this afternoon to the DR to be with her stepmom and to try to expedite the release of her dad’s body. My heart breaks for her.

My thoughts are with your friend and stepmom.  Such a sad situation.  It's hard enough to lose your Dad, but to have to jump through all these hoops is just unthinkable.

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Thank you for sharing your friend's story - how horribly sad for her family. 
Even though my husband and I have no health issues, nor take medications, we always buy health and travel insurance, even when we pop down to Seattle for a weekend getaway from our home in a Canada. Over the years, we have heard of others who didn't purchase insurance and ended up in huge debts for various reasons. In our opinion, spending about $350 CDN for insurance will be worth it. 

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For years we cruised without insurance.  We were young and in great health so what could go wrong?  About five years ago I had what I call a pesky heart attack.  Spent about 4 days in Cardiac Intensive Care after getting a single stent.  My doctor told me I would never have another one.  The thing is this happened at home and I went to our local military hospital so no bills but if this had happened on a cruise and without travel insurance it would have bankrupted us.  Now, we don't step outside of this country without insurance and, of course, passports.  Why gamble that nothing will happen to you while you're on vacation?  You could get sick on the ship and have to go see the doctor onboard and that won't be a cheap proposition.  Just think of it the same way you think about property insurance, renter's insurance or car insurance.  Most of us wouldn't go without it so why go cheap on travel insurance?

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First let me express my condolences to your friend. I also wanted to add a few thoughts for others who read this thread.  

 

The title of the thread is "Carnival Cruise Insurance or Not, Don't Travel without it!".  In your description you say

On 11/2/2019 at 10:28 AM, Shaded Lady said:

The important part of this story is that they had good cruise insurance.

 

Based on your story, it does not look like your friend's family had Carnival's insurance (Carnival Vacation Protection). Thankfully they had "good cruise insurance".  Most cruise line plans have very minimal medical and medical evacuation coverage.  Carnival's is one of the worst, as it only covers a maximum of $10,000 in medical expenses.  Plus they will not cover anything if it is deemed to be a pre-existing condition (subject to a 60 day look back period). Medical evacuation is a maximum of $30,000.  

 

I think your story emphasizes the importance of medical and medical evacuation coverage as something can happen to anyone, and the costs can be huge.  I have heard stories about people who "bought the insurance" and never understood exactly what they purchased.  Then when it was time to file a claim, they were either not covered or the coverage barely made a dent in their total cost.

 

I believe everyone who travels out of the country should have good medical and evacuation coverage.  It does not mean everyone needs to purchase a travel insurance plan, because they may have coverage through existing medical insurance.  If you fit into that category, make sure you understand how your insurance works on a cruise ship and out of the country.  Deductibles, coinsurance, lifetime maximum and annual out of pocket maximums are all important.  If you understand what you have, you can then make an informed decision.  If you need to purchase insurance, always look at third party plans. They almost always provide better coverage and for most people, the premiums will be less.

 

Many people make a travel insurance purchase decision based on what they would lose if they had to cancel or interrupt a trip.  Unfortunately, those expenses might only be a small fraction of the costs of an injury or medical emergency!

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On ‎11‎/‎2‎/‎2019 at 10:32 AM, Purvis1231 said:

Sorry for your friends circumstance. I know expenses can really add up but it is hard to believe it could be $250,000. I would not pay a dime to the hospital until I had a malpractice attorney review the situation. 

 

I don't think that is an option in other countries. Very often they require you to put up credit cards before they will admit the person and yes, agree that most likely, they won't release the body until you pay. I had a surgery in the US a few years ago. Outpatient, 30 minute surgery, a couple hours in out patient recovery and went home. The pre-insurance bill was over $10,000. So, yes, med evac with an overnight in ICU with emergency surgeries, I can see being in the hundreds of thousands.

 

I would also like to point out that you can get medical/evacuation only policies for a significantly lower amount than comprehensive trip insurance. The way I look at it is that if I can afford a trip, I can afford to lose the money I've paid. I know not everyone feels that way but I feel like the cost of comprehensive trip insurance can be exorbitant. Medical/evacuation however, can bankrupt you. And that insurance by itself is actually relatively inexpensive. a few years ago I took a one in a lifetime trip to Africa. Full trip insurance was going to be between $500-$1,000. But I was able to get a medical/evac only policy for under $50.

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32 minutes ago, sanger727 said:

 

I don't think that is an option in other countries. Very often they require you to put up credit cards before they will admit the person and yes, agree that most likely, they won't release the body until you pay. I had a surgery in the US a few years ago. Outpatient, 30 minute surgery, a couple hours in out patient recovery and went home. The pre-insurance bill was over $10,000. So, yes, med evac with an overnight in ICU with emergency surgeries, I can see being in the hundreds of thousands.

 

I would also like to point out that you can get medical/evacuation only policies for a significantly lower amount than comprehensive trip insurance. The way I look at it is that if I can afford a trip, I can afford to lose the money I've paid. I know not everyone feels that way but I feel like the cost of comprehensive trip insurance can be exorbitant. Medical/evacuation however, can bankrupt you. And that insurance by itself is actually relatively inexpensive. a few years ago I took a one in a lifetime trip to Africa. Full trip insurance was going to be between $500-$1,000. But I was able to get a medical/evac only policy for under $50.

Yes, I can afford to lose the cost of the trip but it's nice to know that if I do end up having to cancel (for a covered reason, which is the only reason we'd cancel) that I can recoup my money to either 1) help offset the expenses of whatever caused the cancellation or 2) be able to schedule another cruise once that has passed. If I'm going on a once in a lifetime trip I'd like to know that I could still go at a later date. (And for cruises I've seen medical/evac coverage for around $70 with full coverage at around $100 so the differential may not be that great in all cases.) Fortunately sites like www.insuremytrip.com make it easy to compare these policies side by side.

Edited by sparks1093

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19 minutes ago, sparks1093 said:

Yes, I can afford to lose the cost of the trip but it's nice to know that if I do end up having to cancel (for a covered reason, which is the only reason we'd cancel) that I can recoup my money to either 1) help offset the expenses of whatever caused the cancellation or 2) be able to schedule another cruise once that has passed. If I'm going on a once in a lifetime trip I'd like to know that I could still go at a later date. (And for cruises I've seen medical/evac coverage for around $70 with full coverage at around $100 so the differential may not be that great in all cases.) Fortunately sites like www.insuremytrip.com make it easy to compare these policies side by side.

 

I got that  coverage from a company that only deals in travel medical/evac. It's a subsidiary of a health care company. So, may be a bit cheaper than a travel insurance company that offers medical only. Those are real numbers that I used. Think the medical policy was between $35-$38 for $1,000,000 in coverage and no deductible vs $500 plus for full trip insurance. The cost difference will vary greatly based on the cost of the trip. Comprehensive trip insurance is based on the trip cost while the medical insurance is a per day cost. So, yeah, the longer and less expensive the price of the trip the smaller the difference will be. But it can be dramatic.

 

Would it be nice to know I could go at a later date. Sure. Is that knowledge worth $500-$1000 to me? No. I have saved enough from not purchasing full trip insurance to pay for a small trip at this point. I consider myself self-insured.

Edited by sanger727

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1 hour ago, Jersey42 said:

The title of the thread is "Carnival Cruise Insurance or Not, Don't Travel without it!".  In your description you say

 

Based on your story, it does not look like your friend's family had Carnival's insurance (Carnival Vacation Protection). Thankfully they had "good cruise insurance".  

 

Badly worded? Possibly- the 'IT' I was referring to was insurance of some kind, not necessarily Carnival insurance... but I agree with your assessment of Carnival's insurance- it is very expensive for what it covers, and you can do much better with other vendors, and know that you are decently covered.

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29 minutes ago, sanger727 said:

 

I got that  coverage from a company that only deals in travel medical/evac. It's a subsidiary of a health care company. So, may be a bit cheaper than a travel insurance company that offers medical only. Those are real numbers that I used. Think the medical policy was between $35-$38 for $1,000,000 in coverage and no deductible vs $500 plus for full trip insurance. The cost difference will vary greatly based on the cost of the trip. Comprehensive trip insurance is based on the trip cost while the medical insurance is a per day cost. So, yeah, the longer and less expensive the price of the trip the smaller the difference will be. But it can be dramatic.

 

Would it be nice to know I could go at a later date. Sure. Is that knowledge worth $500-$1000 to me? No. I have saved enough from not purchasing full trip insurance to pay for a small trip at this point. I consider myself self-insured.

I believe your numbers and you are right, the cost of the comprehensive insurance is definitely linked to the cost of the trip. Everyone needs to do what makes the best sense for them to do.

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19 hours ago, JoSutt said:

I the Carnival insurance any good?  Thanks

 

No, it's not.  It's a ripoff.  And this inevitably comes up every time someone starts praising travel insurance.  People quickly confuse comprehensive insurance and travel MEDICAL and evac coverage.

 

You can get travel evac that would cover all of OP's evac/repatriation expenses for $50/year for unlimited trips and it covers 2 people.  Don't confuse this with "disappointment insurance" which is trip cancellation, etc. and far more expensive.

 

The first thing anyone needs to do is check with their existing health insurance and find out EXACTLY what it covers.  It likely covers international medical emergency expenses.  But many plans still do not cover international and most won't cover evac. If your plan does not cover international emergency or evac, then you need a medical plan AND an evac plan (many are combined).  If your existing health insurance covers medical but not evac (most don't cover evac), then you just need a cheap evac plan.

 

So figure out exactly what you have and then make a decision on what you need.  The other important thing is that by going through this process, you'll also know exactly who to contact and what to do in case of an emergency when traveling.

Edited by BNBR

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I'm glad to see this topic posted here on the cruise insurance forum. I'm going HAL next cruise and would have missed this on the Carnival board.

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4 hours ago, BNBR said:

 

No, it's not.  It's a ripoff.  

 

Well THAT statement is BS in my opinion.

 Carnivals insurance is what it is. The price is the same if you're 5 or 105. 3rd party insurance prices will increase as you age.

Carnivals price includes Cancel For Any Reason coverage. 3rd party will add CFAR for additional cost.

CFAR is good up until scheduled sailing whereas most 3rd party CFAR stops at 48 hours prior to departure.

 

What is less optimal is that Carnivals policy has low medical coverage, low evacuation coverage and does not cover pre-existing conditions.

 

All insurance policies vary. YOU must find the best policy that meets your needs. The smart traveler has some type of coverage. Even if you choose to self insure, at least you've made an educated decision.

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2 minutes ago, klfrodo said:

 

Well THAT statement is BS in my opinion.

 Carnivals insurance is what it is. The price is the same if you're 5 or 105. 3rd party insurance prices will increase as you age.

Carnivals price includes Cancel For Any Reason coverage. 3rd party will add CFAR for additional cost.

CFAR is good up until scheduled sailing whereas most 3rd party CFAR stops at 48 hours prior to departure.

 

What is less optimal is that Carnivals policy has low medical coverage, low evacuation coverage and does not cover pre-existing conditions.

 

All insurance policies vary. YOU must find the best policy that meets your needs. The smart traveler has some type of coverage. Even if you choose to self insure, at least you've made an educated decision.

 

Carnivals insurance is expensive compared to 3rd party.  As you just admitted, it's lacking in medical and evac which are, quite frankly, the only insurance that matters.  And you tell me it's not a rip-off?  Come on...  Costs more, get way less.  That's exactly what a rip off is.

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2 hours ago, BNBR said:

 

Carnivals insurance is expensive compared to 3rd party.  As you just admitted, it's lacking in medical and evac which are, quite frankly, the only insurance that matters.  And you tell me it's not a rip-off?  Come on...  Costs more, get way less.  That's exactly what a rip off is.

 Is there anywhere to check how far back the pre existing conditions are counted as.  I had a bleeding ulcer in May??  Would I be exempt?  Can’t seem to find that information.  Thanks 

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50 minutes ago, JoSutt said:

 Is there anywhere to check how far back the pre existing conditions are counted as.  I had a bleeding ulcer in May??  Would I be exempt?  Can’t seem to find that information.  Thanks 

 

Most insurance policies have an exemption for pre-existing conditions if you purchase within a pre-set number of days of booking your cruise. For example, my DH is diabetic and has hypertension. I have to purchase insurance within 10 days of booking and then those pre-existing conditions are waived. But not all of them do that- if you go to a site like insuremytrip dot com you can see exactly how the various policies handle pre-existing conditions...

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11 hours ago, JoSutt said:

 Is there anywhere to check how far back the pre existing conditions are counted as.  I had a bleeding ulcer in May??  Would I be exempt?  Can’t seem to find that information.  Thanks 

Most policies have a stated look back period, usually around 180 days prior to when the policy was issued (but this does vary by policy so it's best to look). This would exclude payment for any losses incurred because of the pre-existing condition- so if you had a bleeding ulcer that's pre-existing but you need to be evacuated because of a broken leg it should be covered (layperson's understanding, here). If you have an ongoing medical condition it usually isn't considered pre-existing as long as 1) it was stable during the look back period and 2) your doctor says that you were fit to travel on the day you purchased the policy.

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