If you’re planning a cruise this winter, make sure you are properly covered by travel health and trip cancellation insurance. But also make sure the coverage you buy is from an independent, third party company, not from the cruise company.
Most cruise sellers will try to sell you a built-in package as a ticket add-on—forget it. Cruise ship insurance has very limited benefits that are not practical in the real world and don’t cover you for all of problems caused by the cruise line itself. Also, some cruise packages will pay you off for any disruptions or missed connections with vouchers for further cruises. That’s not good enough. You want your money back—not tickets for a cruise with a company that failed you the first time.
Also, health benefits on cruise line packages and third part travel insurance plans offered by American insurers will usually not be adequate for Canadians, who need very extensive health insurance benefits. American travel health insurance may cover you up to $10,000 or $25,000: that’s not nearly enough for you. Also, they may not guarantee to repatriate you home to a hospital in your area if you are stricken on an island in the Caribbean or a port in the Mediterranean.
Most Americans who travel abroad have their own health insurance which covers them when they travel out of the country—unlike Canadian insurance which stops at the border. Consequently, you need insurance that covers you up out of the country for up to at least $1 million and guarantees repatriation to a hospital at home if medically necessary. That is the same type of policy you buy when you travel into the U.S. or overseas on your winter or summer vacations. You will also find it’s cheaper than most packages offered by cruise line companies.
All of the insurers advertising on these pages can provide such insurance. Go with what you know.