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Toad
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Just curious if most cruisers book their insurance directly with HAL or independently thru outside agencies or their credit cards?  Will be booking soon and trying to figure it all out.  Are there benefits to one over the other?

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We use our Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card to handle the perils of cancellation, medical evacuation and all of that.....

 

We use Blue Cross Blue Shield Geo Blue annual travel insurance policy to handle all the hospital/dr perils......

 

 

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We always use an independent insurance company.  We never buy cancel for any reason insurance, so we find we can get a much better price for more coverage elsewhere.  If you do want a cancel for any reason policy, buying through HAL may be a good option, although it is available elsewhere.  We have always used Square Mouth which allows you to chose from many different insurance companies, and have been happy with them.

 

You can get lots more information on travel insurance here:

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

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46 minutes ago, Toad said:

Just curious if most cruisers book their insurance directly with HAL or independently thru outside agencies or their credit cards?  Will be booking soon and trying to figure it all out.  Are there benefits to one over the other?

It depends on the length of the trip

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Since I am old enough to know that a medical crisis can prevent me from traveling at any time, I purchase the HAL cancel for any reason insurance. I realize I will only get 90% back, but I won't have to hassle for it, either. 

Then, I call Insure My Trip and speak to a representative and purchase medical, evacuation, and repatriation insurance. This is for serious coverage once I am out of town. The cost of not having this coverage could be catastrophic. 

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21 minutes ago, RuthC said:

Since I am old enough to know that a medical crisis can prevent me from traveling at any time, I purchase the HAL cancel for any reason insurance. I realize I will only get 90% back, but I won't have to hassle for it, either. 

Then, I call Insure My Trip and speak to a representative and purchase medical, evacuation, and repatriation insurance. This is for serious coverage once I am out of town. The cost of not having this coverage could be catastrophic. 

Ruth so glad of your reply.  We met many years ago and I always appreciate your very practical view point.  Why only 90% back?  
 

we have never taken insurance but as we age I think it is more important.

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22 minutes ago, Toad said:

 Why only 90% back?  

HAL has two levels of coverage. The lower one pays 80% on 'cancel for any reason', while the higher coverage pays 90%. That's for the cancel for any reason part. 
For covered reasons, I believe they cover 100%. 

Once never knows just what might prevent them from traveling. It doesn't have to be the passenger herself, but a relative that you want to be there for. If that relative isn't cruising with you, then they---and consequently you---aren't covered. So, cancel for any reason. 
Or a beloved pet gets sick/injured, and you can't leave them. The cancel for any reason pays a reasonable amount. 

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2 hours ago, Mary229 said:

I always use a third party, specifically my Chase credit card insurance coupled with Geoblue annual medical policy. As an aside I understand now Bank Of America has a travel credit card with insurance. 

Can you tell me which chase credit cards provide travel insurance for cruises ?

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26 minutes ago, Toad said:

Thanks Ruth, I use aPCC, and I hope she will be able to explain both as well as you!

Thanks. I studied to be a teacher, then spent my career teaching old policy to new staff, and new policy to old staff. 
I do pretty well at explaining things. 

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2 hours ago, Toad said:

Just curious if most cruisers book their insurance directly with HAL or independently thru outside agencies or their credit cards?  Will be booking soon and trying to figure it all out.  Are there benefits to one over the other?

Third party insurance.  It costs less and, generally, has better coverage.

 

 

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22 minutes ago, horseymike said:

Can you tell me which chase credit cards provide travel insurance for cruises ?

Both Chase Sapphire Cards (Preferred and Reserve) provide cancellation/interruption coverage (up to $10,000 per person-$20,000 total)    Keep in mind that this insurance is very specific on what it covers and is NOT cancel for any reason.  Like any insurance, the customer needs to carefully read and understand their policy.  

 

Hank

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As far as I understand, credit card Travel Medical Insurances do not cover pre-existing conditions unless they are stable for a period of time (3 months, 6 months, or 1 year depending on your age). Any change in medication be it a new prescription, an increase or decrease dosage or stopping altogether means a change in the "stable" definition. Any new investigations, tests, any new referrals to specialists will be considered new existing conditions.  Reading insurance policies is like reading any boring and long legal documents. Better make sure you understand what is covered and what is not. I think HAL's Platinum CPP (Cancellation Protection Plan) covers any medical expenses upto $10,000 USD pre-existing conditions or not. But $10,000 USD is nothing if you encountered something major. I've also seen people with health issues blindly buying the Travel Insurance their TA handled without understanding the true coverage and thinking they're well covered. Good luck to them!

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10 hours ago, CH_ca said:

As far as I understand, credit card Travel Medical Insurances do not cover pre-existing conditions unless they are stable for a period of time (3 months, 6 months, or 1 year depending on your age). Any change in medication be it a new prescription, an increase or decrease dosage or stopping altogether means a change in the "stable" definition. Any new investigations, tests, any new referrals to specialists will be considered new existing conditions.  Reading insurance policies is like reading any boring and long legal documents. Better make sure you understand what is covered and what is not. I think HAL's Platinum CPP (Cancellation Protection Plan) covers any medical expenses upto $10,000 USD pre-existing conditions or not. But $10,000 USD is nothing if you encountered something major. I've also seen people with health issues blindly buying the Travel Insurance their TA handled without understanding the true coverage and thinking they're well covered. Good luck to them!

Agree with you which is why we never rely on Chase or Amex coverage for medical.  There are quite a few folks here on CC (including me) who do rely on a combination of credit card cancellation/interruption coverage combined with a decent travel medical policy such as GeoBlue.  Annual travel medical policies are reasonably priced and and generally offer a lot more coverage than the oft inadequate medical coverage offered by the various cruise line policies.

 

We always urge those, not comfortable with assessing their own insurance needs to contact a real travel insurance broker, such as the folks at the tripinsurancestore, to get advice and have a choice among multiple third party policies

 

Hank

 

Hank

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20 hours ago, Toad said:

...we have never taken insurance but as we age I think it is more important.

^^^ This ^^^

 

Actually, younger people just count on their luck and it works for most of them, most of the time!

 

I second points made by RuthC and Hank. We have three 35-day cruises booked for the next year, and two medically-fragile people in our immediate and local family. I just was not sure of the PEC for family members included with Chase Sapphire Reserve, so we bought the Standard Cancellation Protection for the upcoming cruise as well as using the Reserve Card for ALL cruise and travel payments. This includes not buying "10% off" gift cards, even if you buy them with the Sapphire! Here is the coverage as of the Reserve card as of Jan 2022, which I lifted from a post by @iluv2cruztoo:

 

Trip cancellation/interruption coverage $10,000
Trip Delay Reimbursement $500
Lost Luggage Reimbursement $3,000
Baggage Delay $100 per day for 5 days
Emergency Evacuation & Transit $100,000
Emergency Medical and Dental Benefit $2,500 ($50 deducible)
  $75 per day for 5 days for a hotel if ordered by attending physician
Travel Accident Insurance $1,000,000
Travel and Emergency Assistance access to a dedicated phone line 24/7.

 

The above is considered very good credit card "insurance". There is confusing fine print for all of those coverages, though...

 

The Standard CPP from HAL refunds 80% of cruise fare, CFAR up to 24 hours pre-sailing. The Platinum refunds 90% up to check-in and has some medical coverage (unless you live in NY, Quebec, or Puerto Rico). You can read about those plans on the HAL website, if you can get it to load. You have up to the date Penalties start (NOT ALWAYS Final Payment Date!) to decide to purchase one of those plans, which must be paid for in full and are not refundable once bought.

 

In addition to the belt and suspenders those plans give for "spent money", the fare we can afford to lose, we will be buying a medical sky-hook in the option of a GeoBlue Choice Trekker (annual) plan. We had just bought this plan at the end of 2019! but let it lapse... Deanna at the TripInsuranceStore reassured me that it would still suit our needs four years later.

 

Most people advise calling them on the phone, but I hate the phone with a burning passion and e-mailed detailed information about the monetary protection we already have and our medical conditions (fit but old!). She wrote back to me ON SUNDAY (!) and agreed that re-purchasing GeoBlue would be the appropriate thing to do. 

 

Edited by crystalspin
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1 hour ago, crystalspin said:

^^^ This ^^^

 

Actually, younger people just count on their luck and it works for most of them, most of the time!

 

I second points made by RuthC and Hank. We have three 35-day cruises booked for the next year, and two medically-fragile people in our immediate and local family. I just was not sure of the PEC for family members included with Chase Sapphire Reserve, so we bought the Standard Cancellation Protection for the upcoming cruise as well as using the Reserve Card for ALL cruise and travel payments. This includes not buying "10% off" gift cards, even if you buy them with the Sapphire! Here is the coverage as of the Reserve card as of Jan 2022, which I lifted from a post by @iluv2cruztoo:

 

Trip cancellation/interruption coverage $10,000
Trip Delay Reimbursement $500
Lost Luggage Reimbursement $3,000
Baggage Delay $100 per day for 5 days
Emergency Evacuation & Transit $100,000
Emergency Medical and Dental Benefit $2,500 ($50 deducible)
  $75 per day for 5 days for a hotel if ordered by attending physician
Travel Accident Insurance $1,000,000
Travel and Emergency Assistance access to a dedicated phone line 24/7.

 

The above is considered very good credit card "insurance". There is confusing fine print for all of those coverages, though...

 

The Standard CPP from HAL refunds 80% of cruise fare, CFAR up to 24 hours pre-sailing. The Platinum refunds 90% up to check-in and has some medical coverage (unless you live in NY, Quebec, or Puerto Rico). You can read about those plans on the HAL website, if you can get it to load. You have up to the date Penalties start (NOT ALWAYS Final Payment Date!) to decide to purchase one of those plans, which must be paid for in full and are not refundable once bought.

 

In addition to the belt and suspenders those plans give for "spent money", the fare we can afford to lose, we will be buying a medical sky-hook in the option of a GeoBlue Choice Trekker (annual) plan. We had just bought this plan at the end of 2019! but let it lapse... Deanna at the TripInsuranceStore reassured me that it would still suit our needs four years later.

 

Most people advise calling them on the phone, but I hate the phone with a burning passion and e-mailed detailed information about the monetary protection we already have and our medical conditions (fit but old!). She wrote back to me ON SUNDAY (!) and agreed that re-purchasing GeoBlue would be the appropriate thing to do. 

 

Wow thank you. My Dad just passed and we were his primary caregivers so I get worrying about others.  I did a very similar cruise with both my parents in2008 and have always wanted to do this with my husband and now is the time!  All of your info will be considered.  Ty

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We *strongly* recommend that one speak with a travel insurance broker who can help you compare various third-party policy coverages.


They will also be able to discuss (and answer any specific questions) how "pre-existing conditions" are handled with each type of policy.  (The definitions are very different than what we usually think of in "everyday life".  Further, different insurers/policies may have different requirements, so be very careful about the definitions for any policy that you plan to use.)

 

If one starts the travel insurance within 10-20 days (state specific) and one is fit to travel on the day the insurance is started (nope, can't call from that hospital room...! 😱  Not even for a trip far in the future), then it is usually possible to get a policy that does NOT exclude any pre-existing conditions.  This is what we always do.  

 

We make a reservation, pay the deposit, and same day, call to start the travel insurance, which means insuring just that deposit amount, so it's not like paying for the insurance for the entire trip months - or years - in advance.  Then, as we make additional payments, or add other non-refundable costs, we add that coverage and pay a bit more for the extra insurance.

 

We *do* get the Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) coverage, for peace of mind.  With third-party insurers, this does cost extra, and it usually [but check *your* policy!] provides 75% cash back, *not* a credit that must be used on a specific cruise line within some time limit.

 

We are among many here on CC who recommend that you at least speak with someone at 

www.TripInsuranceStore.com - they can help with questions about a variety of policies from a variety of insurers.  There is no extra charge to the traveler for using a broker/agent.

But please CALL them.  The online policy summaries simply don't provide enough detail, and the discussions will help them to find the best policy for your specific needs (frail elderly relative not traveling with you?  Work concerns?  Pets?....).

 

We have had several claims (alas), but all were paid promptly, with no nonsense, including a few large claims.

 

GC

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