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Senior Cruise Travel Insurance - Review

Senior Cruise Travel Insurance customers are advised to take the time to shop around before buying cruise insurance.

Travel advice for Seniors has been consistent over the years with regard to travel insurance. Do not rush into buying the travel insurance that is offered by a single supplier. You will get so much better value by shopping around and comparing different options.

That is precisely the service that we offer at AardvarkCompare, which is why we have such high satisfaction levels from Senior Cruise Travel Insurance customers.

In recent months, we have reviewed Cruise Travel Insurance from all the major cruise lines in the USA. We reviewed DisneyPrincessNorwegian, and Carnival Cruises travel insurance.

Each one of them has fundamental weaknesses that lead us to believe that the cover being offered is totally insufficient for the needs of a typical Senior Travel customer. Only one cruise company, Viking Cruises, offers a policy that we think has sufficient critical medical and evacuation cover to be helpful to an Senior customer. Even then, the Viking Cruises Travel Insurance policy was nearly twice the price of a comparable cruise travel insurance available in the wider travel insurance market.

In our Senior Cruise Travel Insurance Review we will cover:

  • Cancellation Benefits
  • Medical Benefits
  • Evacuation Cover
  • Pre-Existing Medical Condition
  • Early Booking Benefits
  • Best Value Cruise Travel Insurance

Cruise Cancellation Benefits

Senior Cruise Travel Insurance customers tend to book their trips a long way ahead of time. It is not unusual to see a cruise being booked a year ahead of the planned sail-off date. Because of the length of time involved between an initial deposit, and departure, strong cancellation protection makes great sense.

Cruise cancellation benefits can be split into three areas – Basic, Work, and Any Reason.

Basic Cruise Cancellation Benefits

A Senior Cruise Travel Insurance customer will find Basic Travel Cancellation Protection embedded into every comprehensive trip insurance.

This cover provides a 100% refund in the event of:

  • Serious accident, severe illness, or death of you, a traveling partner, business partner, or family member
  • Jury duty
  • Legal appearance
  • Traffic accident en route to airport
  • Death or hospitalization of your host at your travel destination
  • Weather
  • Bankruptcy of your travel provider

Note that any sickness or injury needs to be so severe that a doctor recommends that you do not travel. Sickness or injury to a non-traveling family member needs to be both severe, and require your presence in order to support the family member, for a refund to be made.

We frequently talk with Senior Cruise Travel Insurance customers who are looking to obtain cover in the event that a friend or family member gets sick before their travel date. They know that they have no requirement to provide care for the family member, but feel as though they should be around to offer support. This type of situation, whilst perfectly understandable, is not covered by basic travel cancellation protection. In order to have this type of trip cancellation flexibility, we need to look at Cancel for Any Reason Insurance. We will cover this shortly.

Cruise Travel Insurance - Work Cancellation Benefits

Many of our Senior Cruise Travel Insurance customers are still working. So, the ability to cancel a trip for work reasons, and still get compensation, is important.

In general, there are two types of Cancel for Work Reasons Travel Insurance benefits that are important for a cruise traveler.

The first relates to vacation that had been approved suddenly being rescinded. All that is required is that a traveler provide proof of this work cancellation of vacation – a letter from HR, for instance – and the trip insurer can arrange a 100% refund.

The other concern is in the event of a lay-off or redundancy. Provided that the individual is not at fault, the best cruise travel insurance plans will provide 100% compensation. There will be a minimum period of service required at the employer – the best policies only require 12 months. More restrictive policies require 36 months of service before redundancy travel cover kicks in.

Cancel for any Reason Cruise Trip Insurance

Many assume that  Cancel for Any Reason Travel Insurance is only helpful to younger customers. However, over the years it has become apparent that it is very useful for our Senior Cruise Travel Insurance customers as well. Typically, our Senior Travel customers are in very good health. One reason that they are able to explore the world is because of the care that they take of themselves. Sometimes, unfortunately, our Senior customers have friends or relatives who are not in such good health. The concern of the Senior customer is that if a friend or relative were to get sick, they would want to cancel their cruise in order to support them.

Let’s take a moment to review how regular travel cover will work for health reasons.

Trip Cancellation Policy Language

Benefits will be paid…when You are prevented from taking Your Trip due to: 1) Your or a Family Member’s or a Traveling Companion’s or a Business Partner’s or a Child Caregiver’s death, which occurs before departure on Your Trip;

2) Your or a Family Member’s or a Traveling Companion’s or a Business Partner’s or a Child Caregiver’s covered Sickness or Injury, which:

a) occurs before departure on Your Trip, and

b) requires Medical Treatment at the time of cancellation resulting in medically imposed restrictions, as certified by a Legally Qualified Physician, and

c) prevents Your participation in the Trip;

So, in Item 1) above, this is easy to understand. Death of a family member, business partner or traveling companion will provide full compensation protection.

In Item 2) the challenge is if the family member’s injury or sickness is not serious enough for a doctor to state that you stay at home to provide support.

In this situation, regular cancellation protection is not helpful. Cancel for Any Reason does allow you to cancel, with at least 48 hours notice, and still receive 75% of your non-refundable trip costs back. You do need to insure your entire non-refundable trip costs.

The Cancel for Any Reason cover is more expensive than regular trip insurance, but certainly worthwhile if you think that there is a reasonable chance that you will need to cancel. Certainly, talk this through with your traveling companions as you book insurance. Make sure that you have a plan if an incident occurred at home prior to departure. Once you know whether you would need to stay, or could go on the cruise, you can decide whether to take the more comprehensive cover.

Cruise Medical Insurance

It does not matter if you are a Senior Cruise Travel Insurance customer or a teenager. You should still buy travel medical cover when leaving the USA.

Decent cruise medical travel insurance is not hard to come by, nor is it expensive. Whilst overseas, local health systems are unlikely to support you – we do not know of any international public health system that provides free cover to visitors. The U.S. State Department will not offer financial support to US citizens needing medical care overseas. Moreover, Medicaid does not help you outside of the US. Some MediGap plans have a lifetime international medical cover of $50k, but even this comes with a 20% co-pay.

Quite simply, we recommend that no less than $100k of Travel Medical cover is taken when traveling outside the USA. Even if you are on a cruise ship. People get sick and need to be left behind. Travelers on day excursions get injured. Please, make sure you have adequate medical cover in place.

Earlier we referred to the weak travel medical insurance on offer when bought from US cruise lines. Remember, we want no less than $100k of medical cover (our more comprehensive plans have much more).

Here is what the major US cruise lines offer:

  • Carnival Cruise Travel Insurance – $10k
  • Norwegian Cruise Travel Insurance – Platinum – $20k
  • Norwegian Cruise Travel Insurance – Standard – $10k
  • Princess Cruise Travel Insurance – Platinum – $20k
  • Princess Cruise Travel Insurance – Standard – $10k
  • Disney Cruise Travel Insurance – $10k

If you are looking to buy any form of cruise travel insurance, please take the time to check the levels of critical cover. What we see on offer from the major cruise lines is simply inadequate. We cannot support any recommendation of it as a stand-alone cruise insurance policy.

Medical Evacuation Insurance

Fortunately, it is highly unlikely that you will ever need to rely upon comprehensive medical evacuation cover.

Something has gone seriously wrong for this cover to be needed. This is one of the reasons it is so inexpensive – luckily, it is rarely used. However, there are times where it is absolutely necessary, and can generate some of the highest costs in any travel insurance claim.

Private jet medical evacuations with an on-board medical team are thankfully rare, yet happen every day. The cost of such an event can easily approach $100k. If you are traveling more remotely, then Medical Evacuation cover should be no less than $250k. These are the levels of cover that you will see in many of our recommended cruise travel insurance plans.

Again, US cruise lines fall woefully short of these minimum levels of cover.

  • Carnival Cruise Travel Insurance – $30k
  • Norwegian Cruise Travel Insurance – Platinum – $50k
  • Norwegian Cruise Travel Insurance – Standard – $25k
  • Princess Cruise Travel Insurance – Platinum – $50k
  • Princess Cruise Travel Insurance – Standard – $25k
  • Disney Cruise Travel Insurance – $30k

Remember, $100k of Medical Evacuation cover as a minimum, $250k if traveling remotely.

Pre-Existing Medical Condition Exclusion Waiver

Many Senior Cruise Travel Insurance customers worry that they may not get Travel Medical Insurance because of a Pre-Existing Medical Condition.

Please, do not worry. Most travelers do not have a medical condition that is excluded from cover. And, those that do are able to get the condition covered through a waiver, if they book travel insurance promptly.

A Travel Insurance Carrier will define a Pre-Existing Condition as one that is:

  • A new medical condition
  • Or, a change in an old medical condition
  • A new recommendation for treatment
  • A change in medication

If any of these things have happened in the ‘Look-Back’ period, then, yes, you have a Pre-Existing Medical Condition that would normally be excluded from cover.

The best ‘Look-Back’ period is the shortest, and we see them at only 60 days in our better policies. So, if your medical condition is older than 60 days, has not required a change in medication or treatment, then the Travel Insurer will cover it anyway. Your condition is stable – you are covered.

If you have had a new medical condition, or change in condition or treatment, or new medications, then help is still at hand. Just buy Cruise Travel Insurance in the ‘Time-Sensitive’ period after your initial trip deposit. You normally have 20 days to buy your travel insurance and be issued a waiver, if one exists in the policy.

In short... You probably don’t have what the Travel Insurer thinks is a Pre-Existing Condition.

If you do, don’t worry. Provided you are fit to travel on the day that you book your travel policy, you can get a waiver. Just buy your travel insurance promptly after your first deposit – we like to see it in place within 14 days, if possible, 20 days maximum.

Remember, the travel insurer cares about the date that you first paid towards your trip, even if it is only a nominal amount.

Early Booking Travel Insurance Benefits

There are a multitude of benefits in booking travel insurance quickly after your initial trip deposit.

  • Once you have your policy, your cancellation benefits are in place.
  • Any Cancel for Any Reason cover is activated.
  • A Pre-Existing Medical Condition Exclusion Waiver is offered in supporting policies.

If you are going to buy Cruise Travel Insurance, buy it early.

Best Value Cruise Travel Insurance

AARP have offered consistent advice over the years – search the market in order to compare prices and cover from a range of Travel Insurance Carriers.

That is precisely what we have been doing for years on behalf of AARP Cruise Travelers.

The prices of the policies we offer are the exact same, to the cent, if you went directly to each of the Travel Insurance Carriers. We guarantee that you cannot find the same plan at a lower price. Insurance and anti-discrimination law forbid it.

We will always do our best to recommend the least expensive policy that fulfills your needs.

AardvarkCompare is the World’s Leading Travel Insurance Marketplace.

Safe travels.

*Please Note: AARP do not provide sponsorship or endorsement of travel insurance brokers. No such endorsement or sponsorship of AardvarkCompare exists and none is implied. At AardvarkCompare we strive bring world-class travel insurance to our customers, so they can compare and contrast mulitple insurance plans to find the right plan for their travel needs, and travel with confidence.

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