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Andy-B

Question on Travel Inconvenience Benefit - port cancellation

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Question on the Travel Inconvenience Benefit.   Has anyone encountered this situation before?  If yes, any info would be appreciated. 

 

I purchased Travel Insurance well before the Coronavirus outbreak.  I am noticing that under the "Travel Inconvenience Benefit" of my policy, it states the benefit will be paid if:

[d]: Cruise Diversion - the Insured's cruise ship does not stop at a scheduled port of call due to ...a medical incident involving another passenger on the ship.  If the ship cancels a port visit due to someone being infected with flu (or Coronavirus) or any other medical incident that causes the ship to not dock (or be allowed to dock), would insurance pay this defined cash benefit?  In my case it is $750 per insured (times 4 insured people)?  I think a ship being banned from a port due to someone being sick on board would be considered a medical incident.  Thanks for any explanation or previous experience you can provide.  I reached to my travel insurance company via email, but expect it will be a while before they respond.

 

Full policy text for reference (key part bolded):

The Company will pay a benefit to the Insured for the amount shown in the Schedule or Declarations Page if,
while on a Trip, any of the following Unforeseen events occurs:
(a) Flight Delay – the arrival of the Insured’s airline flight at the Destination or Return Destination is delayed
by 12 or more hours by the Common Carrier, based on the arrival time at the ticketed arrival airport. In the event
of a dispute regarding the length of the delay, information from the U.S. Department of Transportation or other similar
governmental sources will be considered the final authority;
(b) Flight Cancellation – the complete cancellation of a Common Carrier flight on which the Insured had a
confirmed ticket;
(c) Runway Delay – the Insured’s Common Carrier flight is delayed on the runway for 2 or more consecutive
hours. In the event of a dispute regarding the length of the delay, information from the U.S. Department of
Transportation or other similar governmental sources will be considered the final authority;
(d) Cruise Diversion – the Insured’s cruise does not stop at a scheduled port of call due to Inclement Weather,
a Terrorist Incident, a medical incident involving another passenger on the ship, or a Natural Disaster;
(e) River Cruise Diversion – the Insured’s river cruise is unable to sail due to insufficient or excess water levels, and
the Travel Supplier provides only land-based alternative accommodations.

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I'm not the final claims adjuster, but if this is the Nationwide Cruise policy, it should pay. There should be an area in your policy that tells you what documentation you need to send in with your claim.

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I have never purchased insurance with this provision even though I’ve been on a couple of cruises that experienced delays because of medical incidents. I believe it is designed to compensate the policy holder if, say, a passenger has a heart attack and the ship has to return to port or the nearest port causing it to miss other scheduled ports.

 

I’m guessing if it is related to coronavirus, all bets are off. Addressing a medical emergency that causes a delay is not the same as being refused docking because of illness. 

 
 

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If it's a Nationwide policy, just call and ask them.  We got reimbursed $250 pp because the Norwegian Getaway missed the Azores due to Hurricane Pablo last October.  I wasn't clear on what the policy meant by "inconvenience", so I called Nationwide and they said missing the port for pretty much any reason was covered, and they emailed me a claim form.  Had to provide proof of payment for the cruise, a copy of the original itinerary, and a copy of the final folio statement with ) balance as proof we took the cruise and paid all charges.  They also asked for a copy of the "revised itinerary", but NCL said there was no such thing to provide a copy of, and they sent me a copy of the captain's email to NCL corporate offices notifying them that we were not able to make port there.  Nationwide accepted that.

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Yes, but - the OP was asking about a medical incident. If I understand it correctly - Could the inconvenience clause be invoked if the ship misses a port - voluntarily or not- because someone on board is sick? Now that I think about it, I’m not sure such a scenario described by the OP could exist. Here’s why.


The language of the policy defines it as a medical incident involving another passenger - singular.  There are plenty of examples of cruise ships returning to port  early because of an outbreak of Norovirus. In those cases, the cruise line provides compensation. Insurance does not come into play when the policyholder collects from other sources. 
 

I don’t know of any examples where a cruise ship misses a port or is denied entry because someone on board is ill and then goes on to complete the rest of the itinerary as usual with the sick person remaining on board. More likely, a missed port due to a medical incident involving another passenger is caused by re-routing in order to get appropriate care in an emergency. It goes back to the example I gave in an earlier post. That is an inconvenience.

 

In the case of being denied entry because of coronavirus, the Celebrity Constellation was recently denied in Mumbai. No one on board was ill, but the port was closed to cruise ships to prevent spread. Because of the uncertainty of other ports and the necessity of making additional changes to the itinerary, Celebrity cancelled the entire cruise and compensated the passengers.


In short,  a cruise ship will not miss nor be denied a port just because a passenger is ill. If he is not well enough to continue, he will be disembarked at the first opportunity - no inconvenience to others. A cruise ship will miss a port to attend to a medical emergency - an inconvenience if you are not the patient.  Contagion, on the other hand, rises above inconvenience and is handled by the cruise line and/or government authorities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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