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ARandomTraveler

PSA: Do yourself a favor and buy cancel for any reason insurance

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I know this may turn into a heated topic for seasoned travelers, but in an effort to help inform new people who may not know about this option, I’d like to make a PSA about buying cancel for any reason insurance.
 
For those of you who don’t know about this, there is an “add on” you can purchase with your travel insurance that will give you additional protections in the event something comes up that makes you not want to take the vacation you paid for, but which doesn’t qualify for a refund and isn’t covered under a qualified reason with regular travel insurance. It’s called cancel-for-any-reason-insurance.
 
You have to specifically select this option when searching for a travel insurance option, and you have to buy it within 14 (or sometimes 21) days of making deposits on anything you want covered. Also know that it does not cover 100% of your losses, but generally covers 75%, and there will also be other stipulations (for example the policy may not allow you to cancel if you’re within 2 days of your trip, or, if you’ve already left for your vacation, it may require you stay on the vacation for 2 days before coming home early and asking for a refund), BUT, for a vacation that may be costing you $2000, $5,000 or even $10,000, getting 75% of that back can be better than getting zero. Everyone’s threshold for loss is different and nobody is wrong, but just make sure you know your options so you have the ability to make that choice for yourself.
 
As a cautionary tale, read through old threads about hurricane Maria and all the disappointment people went through when they realized their cruises were still sailing despite the fact that a hurricane had completely ruined many of the islands they were sailing to, including the home port of Puerto Rico, where many travelers didn’t feel safe flying into. A lot of people lost money because they didn’t have insurance and their cruises weren’t cancelled.
 
I bring this up because I currently have a cruise booked in Asia. Thankfully it’s not until summer and I also bought cancel for any reason insurance so if for some reason I don’t want to go come summer, I can wipe my hands of it with very little financial loss. But the same panic is taking over the Asia cruising board as was happening during hurricane Maria, with cruisers complaining about the unfairness of not being able to get refunds on their cruises despite the coronavirus epidemic. 
 
The one thing that would have saved all these people in these scenarios the headache? Cancel for any reason insurance. I’m not saying everyone needs to buy this. I’m not even saying everyone needs travel insurance at all. But I am saying that you could potentially be doing yourself a major favor by buying it, and unless you can honestly say that you wouldn’t mind if you lost the cost of your non-refundable trip expenses in the event that you choose not to take a trip for whatever reason, you should at least look into the insurance. 
 
For those of you who didn’t know it existed or who assumed the cruise lines would refund your money in the event that a hurricane destroys the island you’re headed to, or an unknown virus starts spreading through a population, don’t be so sure. Take it upon yourself to cover your losses, or don’t, but make it a choice you consciously make before it’s too late. 
 
Based on recommendations I’ve seen on these boards for many years, I use insure my trip dot com. Cancel for any reason won’t be a default option when you search for insurance, so make sure you go to the section where you can select options and check the box that says “cancel for any reason.” It will increase the cost of the insurance and it will decrease the number of policies you can choose from, but in my experience the cost difference isn’t that big. To insure the non-refundable portions of my trip to Asia plus the cruise we’ll take while we’re there, it only cost me $251 total for the 2 of us. There are factors that change the price (your age, your destination, the dollar amount you want to insure etc), but it’s worth checking in my opinion.
Edited by ARandomTraveler

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15 minutes ago, John&LaLa said:

Is that the total cost of your insurance 

Yes, the $251 is the total cost for 2 people to cover about $4500 of the trip.

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3 minutes ago, ARandomTraveler said:

Yes, the $251 is the total cost for 2 people to cover about $4500 of the trip.

 

5% is a little steep for me.

I did insurance on a trip to Singapore, but I was more interested in transport and medical coverage. It was about half that, but covered 28 days

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6 minutes ago, John&LaLa said:

 

5% is a little steep for me.

I did insurance on a trip to Singapore, but I was more interested in transport and medical coverage. It was about half that, but covered 28 days

Yeah, 5% is a high percentage, but $251 to me was worth the flexibility, and I’m definitely glad I bought it now that the coronavirus May or may not turn into a problem. Personally I wouldn’t be worried about it if I was sailing tomorrow, but who knows what it will be like in May. There are quite a few people who are sailing in February who want refunds and aren’t getting them for those people, it may have been worth it. 

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We always buy it too, its around the same price through USAA. Better to get something v nothing -- just in case!

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@ARandomTraveler - that was a VERY well-written post.

 

I would just add this, on the assumption that this thread will get a lot of views, if not comments.

 

It's good advice to buy "cancel for any reason" insurance, but if you choose not to, do not come crying to this message board about the big bad cruise line that won't refund your money.

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4 hours ago, Merion_Mom said:

@ARandomTraveler - that was a VERY well-written post.

 

I would just add this, on the assumption that this thread will get a lot of views, if not comments.

 

It's good advice to buy "cancel for any reason" insurance, but if you choose not to, do not come crying to this message board about the big bad cruise line that won't refund your money.

Cancel for any reason is no longer available in New York State. 

 

From Travel Insured's website " Because New York State residents are not eligible for the Worldwide Trip Protector Plus plan, the Cancel for Any Reason benefit is not available to residents of that state."

 

The following is a link to the Department of Financial Services of New York State regarding travel insurance questions for the insurance industry. Read question #6 and conclusion #6.

https://www.dfs.ny.gov/insurance/ogco2010/rg100206.htm

 

Edited by Sanz

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3 hours ago, Sanz said:

Cancel for any reason is no longer available in New York State. 

 

From Travel Insured's website " Because New York State residents are not eligible for the Worldwide Trip Protector Plus plan, the Cancel for Any Reason benefit is not available to residents of that state."

 

The following is a link to the Department of Financial Services of New York State regarding travel insurance questions for the insurance industry. Read question #6 and conclusion #6.

https://www.dfs.ny.gov/insurance/ogco2010/rg100206.htm

 


 

NY is also not included in the “miss or change your port” coverage.

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Personally if the cruise goes, I go so CFAR wouldn't add anything to the insurance that I've already purchased. Even if a storm keeps us at sea for the entire time I'm still in full relax mode.

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Insurance is definitely personal and it's good to remind people of their options.  Many people probably sail without properly thinking about insurance.  Earlier on, we didn't bother with insurance.  As parents got older, then we got older, things changed.  We now get insurance mostly for medical reasons, because that's where the potential large costs could hit.  I wouldn't want to lose a few thousand dollars if I had to cancel for a not otherwise covered reason, but it wouldn't be the end of the world.  When I've priced cancel for any reason, it has been a lot more than $250.  As noted price does vary for many different reasons.

 

Fully agree with Mom...make your choice and live with it.  Don't whine or blame others later.

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33 minutes ago, bobmacliberty said:

 When I've priced cancel for any reason, it has been a lot more than $250.  As noted price does vary for many different reasons.

 

 

Very true.  I looked it up for a "person" 70 years old (not me😉)and the cost was around 800$ for 3000$ trip.

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We just booked a cruise will HAL and added their CFAR insurance.  We can cancel up to 24 hours before the cruise and get 90% of the cost of the cruise back.   The cost is based on the price of the cruise, nothing to do with age.

With an elderly parent, and other issues, we decided this was worth it to us.

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3 minutes ago, puppycanducruise said:

We just booked a cruise will HAL and added their CFAR insurance.  We can cancel up to 24 hours before the cruise and get 90% of the cost of the cruise back.   The cost is based on the price of the cruise, nothing to do with age.

With an elderly parent, and other issues, we decided this was worth it to us.

Maybe Canada has different criteria?

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6 minutes ago, Judyrem said:

Maybe Canada has different criteria?

The insurance is sold by HAL, details are printed in their cruise atlas. 

I don't think it has anything to do with Canada.

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1 minute ago, puppycanducruise said:

The insurance is sold by HAL, details are printed in their cruise atlas. 

I don't think it has anything to do with Canada.

I use insure my trip or Costco.

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9 hours ago, Merion_Mom said:

@ARandomTraveler - that was a VERY well-written post.

 

I would just add this, on the assumption that this thread will get a lot of views, if not comments.

 

It's good advice to buy "cancel for any reason" insurance, but if you choose not to, do not come crying to this message board about the big bad cruise line that won't refund your money.

Yep.  We had to cancel this past Nov's b2b because I dislocated my kneecap and broke my ankle on Aug 24th and had surgery Sept 3rd and my surgeon said, NO.  We had RCI's insurance, which we always buy and got every penny back.  I started a thread and of course someone had to come on and whine.  I think they were saying the cruise line should have been more compassionate due to their "circumstances".  Seriously, insurance exists for a reason and why should someone get reimbursed without buying it?  If that's the case, why should anyone buy it?

 

We don't buy cancel for any reason as it's expensive so not worth the cost for us and if you buy RCI's and you cancel for a reason that isn't covered you still get a 75% future cruise credit.  People who want to cancel just because they don't feel like going or the weather looks bad are the ones that need to spend the money on cancel for any reason.

Edited by BND

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13 hours ago, ARandomTraveler said:

 

 

 
As a cautionary tale, read through old threads about hurricane Maria and all the disappointment people went through when they realized their cruises were still sailing despite the fact that a hurricane had completely ruined many of the islands they were sailing to, including the home port of Puerto Rico, where many travelers didn’t feel safe flying into. A lot of people lost money because they didn’t have insurance and their cruises weren’t cancelled.
 

 

My cruise was cancelled and I didn't need insurance for it to happen

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1 hour ago, puppycanducruise said:

We just booked a cruise will HAL and added their CFAR insurance.  We can cancel up to 24 hours before the cruise and get 90% of the cost of the cruise back.   The cost is based on the price of the cruise, nothing to do with age.

With an elderly parent, and other issues, we decided this was worth it to us.

Is it 90% cash back or 90% of your fare that you can apply to a future booking? Sometimes getting the cruise insurance does make sense if you are in a category where 3rd party insurance costs more because of risk factors.

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7 minutes ago, sparks1093 said:

That's why I asked if HAL did if differently, all of the cruise line policies that I've seen specify that you only receive a credit for a future cruise, you don't receive your cash back.

When hurricane Maria happened back in 2017, Royal Caribbean gave future cruise credits. Initially, if I remember correctly, they didn’t give people anything, because they were still open for business and still able to sail. But as the weeks went on they started offering future cruise credits to people who didn’t want to go on the cruise, and partial cruise credits to people who showed up anyway. I do think there was a sailing or two that were actually refunded cash money because the Puerto Rico airport was closed, but the ship still sailed for people who were already on the island because they had traveled there before the hurricane or lived in Puerto Rico. Lots of angry people during that time who didn’t think getting a future cruise credit was good compensation because they weren’t going to be able to rebook their vacation within the next year, and they felt they should have gotten a cash refund. That’s where the debate about cancel for any reason insurance comes in. 

 

Right now there are lots of people being told they will be denied boarding their Asia cruises if their flights routed through mainland China or Hong Kong, and those people are not entitled to a refund or a future cruise credit. And guess what, people without insurance are pissed off, go figure. 

 

Someone shared a link to insurance rules for New York that say CFAR policies can’t be issued to residents of NY, which I didn’t know, and that’s really unfortunate, but for everyone else who has the option, and if the cost of the insurance is less than the trip, you might want to consider it. 

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1 hour ago, sparks1093 said:

Is it 90% cash back or 90% of your fare that you can apply to a future booking? Sometimes getting the cruise insurance does make sense if you are in a category where 3rd party insurance costs more because of risk factors.

Well, it says "YOU GET YOUR MONEY BACK".  (not shouting, it's printed in caps in the cruise atlas).  I'm told that HAL is the only cruise company that does this, but you may find others, I only know about this one.

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35 minutes ago, ARandomTraveler said:

 

Right now there are lots of people being told they will be denied boarding their Asia cruises if their flights routed through mainland China or Hong Kong, and those people are not entitled to a refund or a future cruise credit. And guess what, people without insurance are pissed off, go figure. 

 

 

If they were denying me boarding under those circumstances I would be pissed and would be looking for a refund too. I'm there, I'm fit to sail and the ship is sailing. If they want to deny me boarding because of an overabundance of caution I guess I can understand that but that's no reason to also deny me a refund.

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