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ARandomTraveler

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

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28 minutes ago, puppycanducruise said:

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.

Thanks, that is why I asked, the other cruise line policies that I've seen specify credit for future cruise. Good for HAL.

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40 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 denied me boarding, THEY should refund my money.  I didn't cancel, they did. 

I'd be ticked off too.

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15 hours ago, ARandomTraveler said:

 

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.

 

My dd and her boyfriend are both attorneys and purchased Cancel for Any Reason in case of work and it cost over $700. I know I am correct since I am the one that set it up and paid (well they paid, I was like their personal assistant LOL) so it is not always that low.  It is a Bermuda cruise on Encore, which they will be sailing with us.

 

Edited by js

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36 minutes ago, puppycanducruise said:

If THEY denied me boarding, THEY should refund my money.  I didn't cancel, they did. 

I'd be ticked off too.

But therein lies the problem- people can expect a refund all they want, but the only way to guarantee they get one is to have the insurance. Clearly the cruiseline is covered in denying people entry to the ship as well as denying the refund, and it would be really difficult and expensive to try and fight that. I definitely understand why people are upset, but it doesn’t change the fact that they get no refunds. That’s why I’m letting people know not to assume they’re covered and to consider the option of buying their own insurance just in case. 

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54 minutes ago, ARandomTraveler said:

But therein lies the problem- people can expect a refund all they want, but the only way to guarantee they get one is to have the insurance. Clearly the cruiseline is covered in denying people entry to the ship as well as denying the refund, and it would be really difficult and expensive to try and fight that. I definitely understand why people are upset, but it doesn’t change the fact that they get no refunds. That’s why I’m letting people know not to assume they’re covered and to consider the option of buying their own insurance just in case. 

The cruise lines do not have the authority to cancel for any reason and not issue a refund. That's like saying that if they cancelled a sailing they could keep everyone's money. The only difference is the scale involved, one passenger versus thousands.

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I take an alternative way.

 

I do NOT insure the cruise cost at all.   NADA.  My last cruise, I priced it, and it was almost 10%.

 

At 10%, if I take 11 cruises and do not cancel, I am ahead on price.  

 

And if not, I am out the cruise fare, but that was planned, and actually paid 3 months before.  So while I will be unhappy, it will not be a big financial surprise.

 

I DO insure for medical and medical evacuation.  Those are not planned expenditures and can end up well into the hundreds of thousands.

 

Like anything, shop around.  If you are young, CFR coverage is not that expensive.  As you get older, the costs goes up, and can be VERY expensive.

 

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23 hours ago, SRF said:

And if not, I am out the cruise fare, but that was planned, and actually paid 3 months before.  So while I will be unhappy, it will not be a big financial surprise.

 

Like anything, shop around.  

Nothing wrong with that point of view, but the other point of view is with insurance I can get my fare back to use for another trip or to help with expenses caused by whatever it was that made me cancel. I've priced out medical/medevac coverage only and purchasing a comprehensive plan isn't that much more expensive. As you say, everyone needs to do their own shopping around to make sure their individual needs are met.

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38 minutes ago, sparks1093 said:

 I've priced out medical/medevac coverage only and purchasing a comprehensive plan isn't that much more expensive

 

😮 WOW!

I was going to call you out on that. Then I went to one of our favorite compare websites and put in some numbers.

Vermont just screws the heck out of you guys don't they? Only 3 options to compare and the prices are way higher than I'm used to seeing. (I used a $2000 cost of trip per person and a $1 cost of trip per person for comparison purposes.)

I thought Washington state was messed up. 😉

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17 minutes ago, klfrodo said:

 

😮 WOW!

I was going to call you out on that. Then I went to one of our favorite compare websites and put in some numbers.

Vermont just screws the heck out of you guys don't they? Only 3 options to compare and the prices are way higher than I'm used to seeing. (I used a $2000 cost of trip per person and a $1 cost of trip per person for comparison purposes.)

I thought Washington state was messed up. 😉

I always go to www.insuremytrip.com for my travel insurance and even with putting in Vermont as a residence I get plenty of quotes. Just did a faux booking for May 2021 for a 7 day cruise of $2400 and World Wide Trip protection for medical/evac was $82 and comprehensive was $147. When I've actually shopped for plans I've seen less of a spread between the two. 

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Interesting the differing prices quoted with all things being the same between https://www.insuremytrip.com/ and https://tripinsurancestore.com/

 

Travel dates the same, Deposit date the same, traveler ages the same, destination the same, trip cost per person the same, residency the same,,,, policy prices different. Some higher, some lower.

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14 hours ago, klfrodo said:

Interesting the differing prices quoted with all things being the same between https://www.insuremytrip.com/ and https://tripinsurancestore.com/

 

Travel dates the same, Deposit date the same, traveler ages the same, destination the same, trip cost per person the same, residency the same,,,, policy prices different. Some higher, some lower.

Since they are insuring the cost of the trip it's not surprising at all.

Edited by sparks1093

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18 hours ago, klfrodo said:

Interesting the differing prices quoted with all things being the same between https://www.insuremytrip.com/ and https://tripinsurancestore.com/

 

Travel dates the same, Deposit date the same, traveler ages the same, destination the same, trip cost per person the same, residency the same,,,, policy prices different. Some higher, some lower.

Are you saying you see different prices from Trip Insurance Store and Insure My Trip for the SAME EXACT policy? Or am I misunderstanding? Unless there is a bug on one of the sites, the prices should be exactly the same.  I just did a sample quote on both sites using ages 63/62, $2400 trip cost, state VT, March 3-20 trip and initial payment on 2/1/20.  Both sites produced the same results for the plans offered by Trip Insurance Store .  I did not try any other scenarios.

 

Trip Insurance Store

TIS.JPG.e21081a8459ac58a3e4b4fe7cdfcbbfa.JPG

 

Insure My Trip

IMT.jpg.b7bfae4e507a05a2eca9c5aef6b2a8bb.jpg

 

 

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19 hours ago, klfrodo said:

Interesting the differing prices quoted with all things being the same between https://www.insuremytrip.com/ and https://tripinsurancestore.com/

 

Travel dates the same, Deposit date the same, traveler ages the same, destination the same, trip cost per person the same, residency the same,,,, policy prices different. Some higher, some lower.

 

5 hours ago, sparks1093 said:

Since they are insuring the cost of the trip it's not surprising at all.

Sorry, completely misread your post.

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I don't quite understand "cancel for any reason". Can you literally cancel for any reason or does an unexpected and unforseen event have to occur? The former sounds like a good way to commit insurance fraud!

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11 minutes ago, lcmortensen said:

I don't quite understand "cancel for any reason". Can you literally cancel for any reason or does an unexpected and unforseen event have to occur? The former sounds like a good way to commit insurance fraud!

You can actually cancel for any reason. The catch is that you only get back 75% of the dollar amount you insured. Depending on the policy you buy, there may be some other stipulations like having to cancel at least 2 days before your trip. 

 

It’s the best assurance you can have that you can get any money back at all in the event you decide you don’t want to take your trip without having to prove anything like a medical emergency or a job loss that is usually required to make a claim under regular trip insurance. 

 

Right now with the coronavirus going around, a lot of people don’t feel comfortable taking their asia cruises, but they aren’t entitled to cancel their cruise for a refund with regular trip insurance just because they don’t feel comfortable. But people who have “cancel for any reason” insurance can at least get 75% of their money back. People with no insurance or regular insurance are getting nothing right now, even though the virus has been listed as an epidemic.

 

In what ways do you see people being able to commit insurance fraud?

Edited by ARandomTraveler

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For some odd reason, I forgot the need for proof of costs and purchases to support any travel insurance claim, and I assume the actual payout is limited to claimed costs and purchase. Here I was imagining someone out there buying CFAR insurance and then cancelling their "trip" to get the insurance payout!
 

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2 minutes ago, lcmortensen said:

For some odd reason, I forgot the need for proof of costs and purchases to support any travel insurance claim, and I assume the actual payout is limited to claimed costs and purchase. Here I was imagining someone out there buying CFAR insurance and then cancelling their "trip" to get the insurance payout!
 

Ah, yes, in that case surely everyone in that scenario would be cancelling their Suites when they really paid for insides, haha. 

 

When you buy the insurance they ask for the dollar amount you want to insure, and when you make a claim you have to show proof that you made a deposit within 14-21 days of purchasing the insurance, and you can only make a claim up to the total dollar amount you insured. 

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8 hours ago, lcmortensen said:

I don't quite understand "cancel for any reason". Can you literally cancel for any reason or does an unexpected and unforseen event have to occur? The former sounds like a good way to commit insurance fraud!

 

8 hours ago, ARandomTraveler said:

You can actually cancel for any reason. The catch is that you only get back 75% of the dollar amount you insured. Depending on the policy you buy, there may be some other stipulations like having to cancel at least 2 days before your trip. 

The 75% you get back from a third party plan with Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) coverage is in cash 😀. Another option is the insurance or "Vacation Protection Plans" sold by the cruise lines.  I normally suggest avoiding the cruise line plans, but if you already have sufficient medical and medical evacuation insurance that covers you outside of the USA, then sometimes the cruise line plans can be the best way to get CFAR coverage.  Some lines are better than others, but if you are primarily interested in CFAR, they are worth a look:

  • Most, if not all plans are not age dependent, so the premium looks more attractive compared to other plans as you get older.
  • Holland America offers you a 90% cash refund.
  • Princess (Platinum) and Viking (UF425V) offers you a 100% cruise credit. NCL is a 90% cruise credit.
  • Most other lines offer a 75% cruise credit. 

Some of the downsides:

  • They only cover costs paid to the cruise line and sometimes the CFAR excludes airfare even if purchased through the cruise line.
  • As far as I know, with the exception of HAL, the refund is in the form of a credit that must be used in a specified time frame (usually a year).
  • Most of these plans are weak in other areas, especially medical and evacuation.
Edited by Jersey42

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On 1/31/2020 at 2:26 AM, 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

 

Thanks for this. I was already griping that I didn't actually purchase insurance when I booked the cruise in October and it's now well past the window for this. To find out it's not even available here in NY makes me feel better about it. I planned to get travel insurance but was just going to purchase after I made my final payment and even after booking flights.

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1 hour ago, Jersey42 said:

 

  • Most, if not all plans are not age dependent, so the premium looks more attractive compared to other plans as you get older.

This part is good to know because a lot of people have mentioned that their cancel for any reason research is turning up costs that are 3 times more money than the average plan, and it’s likely due to their age. Do they always offer a cancel for any reason add-on? I haven’t seen it offered through the cruiseline (royal Caribbean anyway), but I also haven’t looked in several years since I’ve been getting cheaper insurance through 3rd party companies. 

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2 minutes ago, ARandomTraveler said:

This part is good to know because a lot of people have mentioned that their cancel for any reason research is turning up costs that are 3 times more money than the average plan, and it’s likely due to their age. Do they always offer a cancel for any reason add-on? I haven’t seen it offered through the cruiseline (royal Caribbean anyway), but I also haven’t looked in several years since I’ve been getting cheaper insurance through 3rd party companies. 

I believe Carnival has the option of CFAR with their insurance but at 75% and as a future cruise credit.

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3 hours ago, ARandomTraveler said:

Do they always offer a cancel for any reason add-on? I haven’t seen it offered through the cruiseline (royal Caribbean anyway), but I also haven’t looked in several years since I’ve been getting cheaper insurance through 3rd party companies. 

Most do, and I believe all of the "mass market" cruise lines with the exception of MSC offer Cancel For Any Reason coverage.  Royal Caribbean offers a 75% cruise credit.  See https://www.archinsurancesolutions.com/coverage/Royal

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On 1/31/2020 at 2:26 AM, 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

 

 

4 hours ago, montREALady said:

Thanks for this. I was already griping that I didn't actually purchase insurance when I booked the cruise in October and it's now well past the window for this. To find out it's not even available here in NY makes me feel better about it. I planned to get travel insurance but was just going to purchase after I made my final payment and even after booking flights.

While I don't claim to know or understand the NY law, I think the statement "Cancel for any reason is no longer available in New York State. " may not be completely accurate.  From what I can see, CFAR cannot be offered by an insurance company as per # 6 pointed out above.  Here is the text: " 6. An insurer may not include “Cancel for Any Reason Waiver” or “Change of Mind” coverage in its travel insurance policies because such coverage is not insurance, nor is it necessarily or properly incidental to the kinds of insurance that an insurer is authorized to write in this state.".

 

However the "Vacation Protection Plans" offered by the cruise lines are often a combination of insurance and non-insurance benefits.  Most if not all of the cruise lines offer CFAR to New York residents.  If you look at the certificate of coverage, under the CFAR benefit you will see wording similar to : "The following Cancel For Any Reason Waiver is provided by xxxCruiseLinexxx and is not an insurance benefit.".  It looks to me that this is one way of getting around the NY law.  If I am missing something, please let me know.

 

Also see post #43 for some of my pluses and minuses of these cruise line plans. 

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6 hours ago, Jersey42 said:

 

The 75% you get back from a third party plan with Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) coverage is in cash 😀. Another option is the insurance or "Vacation Protection Plans" sold by the cruise lines.  I normally suggest avoiding the cruise line plans, but if you already have sufficient medical and medical evacuation insurance that covers you outside of the USA, then sometimes the cruise line plans can be the best way to get CFAR coverage.  Some lines are better than others, but if you are primarily interested in CFAR, they are worth a look:

  • Most, if not all plans are not age dependent, so the premium looks more attractive compared to other plans as you get older.
  • Holland America offers you a 90% cash refund.
  • Princess (Platinum) and Viking (UF425V) offers you a 100% cruise credit. NCL is a 90% cruise credit.
  • Most other lines offer a 75% cruise credit. 

Some of the downsides:

  • They only cover costs paid to the cruise line and sometimes the CFAR excludes airfare even if purchased through the cruise line.
  • As far as I know, with the exception of HAL, the refund is in the form of a credit that must be used in a specified time frame (usually a year).
  • Most of these plans are weak in other areas, especially medical and evacuation.

Thanks for referring me to this post. Yup, the medical and evacuation are what I read about as being the downsides of the cruise ones. Not to mention it's expensive. Carnival is quoting $95/pp for a 4-person cruise and that's a lot for us. I have to look into it but I think we passed the window regardless for CFAR since I booked in October...so may as well go with 3rd party. Travel Insured is $100 for all 4 of us.

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2 hours ago, montREALady said:

Thanks for referring me to this post. Yup, the medical and evacuation are what I read about as being the downsides of the cruise ones. Not to mention it's expensive. Carnival is quoting $95/pp for a 4-person cruise and that's a lot for us. I have to look into it but I think we passed the window regardless for CFAR since I booked in October...so may as well go with 3rd party. Travel Insured is $100 for all 4 of us.

You won’t be able to get cancel for any reason insurance if you buy it outside the first 14 days you put down your deposit, but you should be able to get regular insurance.

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