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Trip Cancellation Insurance for Cruises

It’s hard to contemplate all the possible reasons you might have to cancel or interrupt a cruise you’ve planned. And since the all-inclusive vacations usually run thousands of dollars, it’s a good idea to cover as many contingencies as you can.

But remember, you have to buy insurance within days after booking your trip. Travel Insurance Review recommends using a private insurer rather than the cruise line, to save money.

Trip Cancellation Insurance for Cruises


What the Cruise Line Covers

Unless there is a dire emergency like the ship breaks down, the cruise line itself won’t cancel. Rather, cruise lines reserve the right to change your itinerary to avoid hurricanes, ports wrecked in weather catastrophes and other circumstances.

That’s part of their agreement with you when they sell you the ticket. If you want to cancel because of the change, only certain insurance policies cover that. The website Cruise Critic cites a circumstance in which the trip was canceled midway through and all passengers deposited on an unscheduled location. They were eventually repaid, but it didn’t help them in the short term.


Basic Trip Insurance

Trip insurance coverage usually costs from 5 to 10 percent of the cost of the trip, with less expensive policies covering fewer contingencies.

Many basic trip cancellation policies cover cancellation only for very specific reasons, such as a medical emergency that causes you or your travel partner to be unable to travel, a medical emergency in your immediate family or a natural disaster that renders your home uninhabitable. It may not cover other issues such as losing your job, needing to stay in town for a friend or other family member who is ill or injured or being called to jury duty.


Special Reasons for Canceling

Some insurance policies cover specific contingencies such as cancellation for work reasons, meaning if a situation arises that makes leaving a bad business idea, you can cancel. There are also policies that let you cancel because of terrorism threats, legal separation or divorce or financial default of the cruise line.


Cancel for Any Reason

The most expensive kind of trip cancellation insurance is “cancel for any reason,” meaning that if you just decide you don’t like the new itinerary or don’t feel up for the trip, the insurance company will reimburse your nonrefundable expenses.

However, they generally don’t reimburse 100 percent of these expenses, so before you buy this insurance, which often carries rates two percent higher or more than discount plans, check what the insurer will pay for and make sure it’s worth the extra money.


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