I Don't Have To Buy Cancel For Any Reason Travel Insurance, Do I?
No, you do not. Surprised? Actually, you are not required to buy any travel insurance. Then why do most travel experts "strongly recommend" purchasing cancel for any reason travel insurance for your cruise vacation?
Just as with other aspects of life, unexpected and unfortunate things can happen prior to and during a cruise. The insurance industry came into being to take on potential risks that may happen to their customers in the future. If you are an adult, you probably have auto insurance, home owners or renters insurance, personal articles insurance or health insurance. Travel insurance focuses on potential risks associated with travel.
To be clear: The writer is NOT a licensed travel insurance representative and makes no declaration of specific coverage. All questions about coverages, terms and conditions found in any travel insurance policy should be directed to the insurance company offering your travel insurance plan.
Cancel for any reason travel insurance is not a stand alone policy. It is an add-on, upgrade of coverage to a standard travel insurance policy. Most Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) upgrades must be purchased within 14-21 days of the initial deposit for the cruise.
Let's take a look at the top 5 reasons to purchase Cancel For Any Reason travel insurance.
Trip Cancellation or Interruption: The Cancel for any Reason (CFAR) benefit allows you to cancel your trip for up to 75% reimbursement of your covered, non-refundable trip cost, if the reason is not already covered by your standard coverage plan which only covers reimbursement for cancelling your trip for specifically defined "insurable reasons". It can also provide more coverage for trip interruption such as flight delays or cancelled flights.
Pre-existing medical condition waiver: Extends coverage for medical conditions that exist prior to your cruise that present themselves during the cruise. Standard plan coverage for such conditions are mostly excluded.
Emergency illness and evacuation: Your health insurance may not protect you from the potentially catastrophic expense of medical treatment while you're traveling, especially outside of the U.S., and will likely not coordinate your medical evacuation back home. Although a standard coverage plan may cover these, CFAR usually covers a higher cost limit.
Baggage Lost, Delay, Damage or Theft: While some homeowner's insurance policy may cover some of this, travel insurance will cover a stated dollar amount to be reimbursed to the customer. Again, CFAR will commonly offer an increased dollar amount for reimbursement.
24/7 International Assistance Services: While traveling, a toll free hot line is at your service assisting with all kind of emergencies. Hospital and medical attention locator, lost passport replacement, multilingual interpreter services and more. CFAR will offer upgrades in multiple service assistance.
With Cancel For Any Reason Travel Insurance, you are protecting your cruise investment as much as possible. Like with anything else, nothing is perfect., A few caveats are that you must insure 100% of your trip (including cruise, airfare, hotels, etc) and CFAR may not be available for some states.
Peace of mind and less stress are beautiful things. However, they do come at a price. Expect to pay around 40 percent more for the privilege to upgrade to CFAR while only seeing up to 75% back should you file a claim. While that may seem somewhat less than a great deal, getting something back is better than getting nothing back should you need to cancel your luxury cruise suite for a "non-insurable reason". And while there's always Murphy's Law with which to contend, CFAR travel insurance is a smart benefit to have in your corner.
About the writer:
Nancy Holmes Ploener is a Luxury Cruise Advisor with Suite Dream Cruises, LLC, an affiliate of Gifted Travel Network- a Virtuoso member agency. She works one-on-one with clients who want to enjoy the journey as much as the destination. Her specialty is helping her clients see the world from the vantage of luxury cruising.