Do I need to get trip insurance?
As a traveler, I never did seem to avail myself of the option until I learned more about the risks and rewards associated with trip insurance. The risk for me was that I would lose the money paid for the trip in the event that I could not go. The other risk was that I would assume liability for any medical expenses incurred during the duration of my vacation. The reward was that I could purchase door-to-door coverage that would include reimbursement for costs associated with trip cancellation, delays, medical expenses, evacuations, loss or delays, and 24/7 assistance if necessary.
As a travel agent, I always presented the option of purchasing trip insurance. The biggest reason I presented trip insurance was to cover my ass in the event that a client had to cancel a cruise and then found out they were not able to get a refund. It was a bit of a buzz crush to present trip insurance options to folks when they were basking in the glow of making a vacation decision and putting money on the table. However, I did not want to be the person responsible for telling clients that they would not get a refund if they had to cancel a trip.
A recent cruise news story captured my attention about a family that did not get a refund from Norwegian Cruise Lines due to a sudden medical emergency.
I read the comments on a Huffington Post article about a Parents Outraged Cruise Line Won’t Reschedule Their Trip In Light Of Son’s Cancer Diagnosis. In short, there were a lot of comments to the effect that the cruise line can’t make exceptions to the refund policy. And from the cruise line, they offered the following:
“Our overall policy states that any cancellations made within 14 days or less of the sail date are subject to 100% cancellation fee.”
In the end, the decision to purchase trip insurance is a personal choice. Travelers take responsibility for their vacation dollars and in the end, have to choose if self-insuring their trip makes sense or if they want the added protection of trip insurance.
When choosing a trip insurance plan, make sure to know that there are plans available from the cruise line as well as third-party companies that offer more extensive options that cover the cruise as well as flights, hotels, car insurance, etc.