Art Golden didn’t exactly have the cruise of his lifetime. His ship was delayed arriving in port, so he needed his hotel room for an extra half-day. Then he became ill while on board the ship.
But Golden considers himself lucky. That’s because he had a comprehensive travel insurance policy that covered these costs. Golden says this about travel insurance coverage for cruises and other expensive trips: “I’m a firm believer in it!!!”
Had Golden not had coverage for his travel costs, he might be out money that he couldn’t afford to lose. That why Golden — along with some of our regular readers — emphasizes purchasing travel insurance before expensive or complex trips.
A travel insurance policy for a Far East cruise
In April, Golden took a 14-night cruise to China, South Korea and Japan. We don’t know the cruise line, but Golden purchased his travel insurance policy from the John Hancock Insurance Agency. He obtained the policy through TripInsurance.com, an online travel insurance broker.
John Hancock offers three types of travel insurance plans. All three plans offer coverage for trip delays and medical expenses as well as trip cancellations. We don’t know which plan Golden purchased, but he found himself in need of his coverage as the cruise progressed.
Golden had booked a room at the Mandarin Oriental in Shanghai prior to boarding the ship. During a five-hour delay before the ship arrived in Shanghai, Golden needed to pay $230 for an extra half-day. His John Hancock policy covered $200 of this cost.
Then Golden needed treatment from the ship’s doctor for a condition he didn’t specify to us. He had a separate health insurance policy, which covered the $166 cost except for a $25 copayment. And the John Hancock policy covered the copayment.
Golden came to appreciate health insurance coverage after he had to cancel a previous cruise when he needed surgery. In that situation, his policy reimbursed him for the cost of the canceled cruise.
Protection for unexpected expenses
Travel insurance provides coverage for many costs that can derail a trip, in addition to the ones listed above. Some of the most common include trip cancellations, weather delays, illness or death of immediate family members, baggage problems and missed flight connections. Some travel insurers offer “cancel-for-any-reason” coverage, which reimburses all costs, regardless of the reason for the cancellation. (Warning: This type of policy may not cover the full amounts of forfeited costs.)
There are some conditions travel insurance won’t usually cover, including war, terrorism, pre-existing medical conditions, substance abuse, and inclement weather. Unless you have “cancel-for-any-reason” coverage, you won’t be able to recover any costs resulting from these conditions.
Travel insurance assistance
Although we do not endorse the purchase of any specific insurance policy, some of our corporate underwriters are travel insurance companies. We offer executive contact information for many insurance companies and answers to frequently asked questions about travel insurance on our website.