Senior Cruise Travel Insurance - 2020 Review
Senior Cruise Travel Insurance customers should take the time to shop around before buying cruise insurance.
Travel advice for Seniors has been consistent over the years about travel insurance. Do not rush into buying the travel insurance that is offered by a single supplier. You will get much better value by shopping around and comparing different options.
That is precisely the service that we offer at AardvarkCompare, and why we have such high satisfaction levels from Senior Cruise Travel Insurance customers.
We have reviewed Cruise Travel Insurance from all the major cruise lines in the USA. Each one has fundamental weaknesses that make them is insufficient for the needs of a typical Senior Travel customer.
In our Senior Cruise Travel Insurance Review, we will cover:
- Cancellation Benefits
- Medical Insurance
- Emergency Medical Evacuation
- Pre-Existing Medical Conditions
- Early Booking Benefits
- Best Value Cruise Travel Insurance
Cruise Cancellation Benefits
Senior Cruise Travel Insurance customers usually book their trips months or years in advance.
Because of how long between an initial deposit and departure, it makes sense to have reliable cancellation protection.
Cruise cancellation benefits come in three areas: Basic Cancellation, Cancel For Work Reasons, 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.
Basic coverage provides a 100% refund for:
- 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 the airport
- Death or hospitalization of your host at your travel destination
- 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 to care for the family member, for a refund to occur.
We frequently talk with Senior Cruise Travel Insurance customers who want cancellation coverage if a friend or family member gets sick before their travel date.
They know that they are not required to care for the family member, but feel as though they should be around to offer support. Basic travel cancellation does not cover this situation.
If you want this level of cancellation flexibility, look at Cancel for Any Reason Insurance. We will cover this shortly.
Cruise Travel Insurance – Cancel For Work Benefits
Many of our Senior Cruise Travel Insurance customers are still employed, so it’s important to cover Cancel For Work Reasons.
In general, there are two types of Cancel for Work Reasons Travel Insurance benefits that are important for a cruise traveler: Rescinded Vacation and Lay Off.
If your employer previously approved your time off and rescinded it before you can leave, then provide proof of this work cancellation, like a letter from HR, and the trip insurer can arrange a 100% refund.
The other concern is a lay-off or downsizing. Provided that the individual is not at fault, the best cruise travel insurance plans offer 100% compensation. However, you must have worked there for a minimum period to qualify. The best policies only require 12 months. More restrictive policies require 36 months of service before this benefit 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, we discovered that our Senior Cruise Travel Insurance customers find it useful.
Typically, our Senior Travel customers are in good health. One reason they can explore the world is that they take care of themselves. Unfortunately, sometimes our Senior customers have friends or relatives who are not in such good health. Instead, if a friend or relative were to get sick, Senior Travelers would want to cancel their cruise to support them.
Let’s take a moment to review how standard travel benefits 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 provides full compensation protection.
In Item 2, the challenge is if the family member’s injury or sickness is not severe enough for a doctor to state that you stay at home to provide support.
In the second situation, regular cancellation protection is not helpful. Cancel for Any Reason allows you to cancel with at least 48 hours notice, and still receive 75% of your non-refundable trip costs. You must insure 100% of all non-refundable trip costs.
Cancel for Any Reason is more expensive than regular trip insurance, but worthwhile if you think you will need to cancel.
Cruise Medical Insurance
Whether you are a Senior Cruise Travel Insurance customer or a teenager, you should still buy Travel Medical Insurance when leaving the USA.
Decent Cruise Medical Travel Insurance is easy to find and inexpensive.
While overseas, local health systems do not provide free treatment to visiting Americans.
Also, the US State Department will not pay for your medical treatment abroad. Medicare and Medicaid do not pay outside the US. If you have a Medicare supplement plan, it may have a lifetime international medical benefit of $50,000. Still, you must pay at least a 20% co-pay.
We recommend you carry at least $100,000 of Travel Medical Insurance when traveling outside the USA.
Even if you are on a cruise ship, people get sick and leave the ship for treatment. Travelers on port excursions get injured. It’s wise to have adequate Medical Insurance 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 $100,000 of medical cover (our more comprehensive plans have much more).
Here is what the major US cruise lines offer:
- Azamara - $10,000
- Carnival - $10,000
- Celebrity - $10,000
- Crystal - $10,000
- Cunard - $20,000
- Disney - $10,000
- Holland America (Standard) - $0
- Holland America (Platinum) - $10,000
- MSC - $25,000
- Norwegian (Standard) - $10,000
- Norwegian (Platinum) - $20,000
- Oceania - $10,000
- Princess (Standard) - $10,000
- Princess (Platinum) - $20,000
- Regent - $10,000
- Royal Caribbean - $10,000
- Silversea - $10,000
- Seabourn - $20,000
- Virgin - $10,000
It’s pitiful. The cruise lines charge such high prices but offer so little. If you have a major emergency, their Medical Insurance will barely cover two nights in a hospital.
If you need Cruise Travel Insurance, please take the time to check the levels of critical coverage. They leave many coverage gaps. Cruise Line policies are inadequate. We cannot recommend any of them as stand-alone cruise insurance policy.
Medical Evacuation Insurance
Fortunately, it is unlikely that you will ever need to rely upon comprehensive Medical Evacuation protection. If you need a Medical Evacuation, something on your trip has gone seriously wrong!
One of the reasons Medical Evacuation insurance is so inexpensive is because Senior Cruise Travelers rarely use it. However, when you need it, you need it! Medical Evacuations generate some of the highest costs in any travel insurance claim.
For example, it’s rare to require a private jet Medical Evacuation with an onboard medical team, but it happens every day. Air evacuations can easily cost $250,000 or more. If you travel to a remote destination like the polar region or Galapagos, you should take at least $500,000. It could take days at sea to return to a hospital. Air evacuation saves lives.
Again, US cruise lines fall woefully short of these minimum levels of cover.
- Azamara - $25,000
- Carnival - $30,000
- Celebrity - $25,000
- Crystal - $50,000
- Cunard - $50,000
- Disney - $30,000
- Holland America (Standard) - $0
- Holland America (Platinum) - $25,000
- MSC - $50,000
- Oceania - $25,000
- Norwegian (Standard) - $25,000
- Norwegian (Platinum) - $50,000
- Princess (Standard) - $25,000
- Princess (Platinum) - $50,000
- Regent - $50,000
- Royal Caribbean - $25,000
- Silversea - $50,000
- Seabourn - $50,000
- Virgin - $25,000
Remember, $250,000 of Medical Evacuation coverage as a minimum, $500,000 if traveling remotely.
Pre-Existing Medical Condition Exclusion Waiver
Many Senior Cruise Travel Insurance customers worry that they cannot qualify for Travel Medical Insurance because of a Pre-Existing Medical Condition.
Please, do not worry. Most travelers do not have an excluded medical condition. And those that do are usually covered through a Waiver if they reserve travel insurance promptly.
A Travel Insurance Carrier will define a Pre-Existing Condition as one that is a:
- New medical condition
- Change in an old medical condition
- New recommendation for treatment
- Change in medication
If you experienced any of these during the Look Back Period, then the policy typically excludes these Pre-Existing Medical Condition from coverage.
The best Look Back Period is the shortest, and the best plans only require a 60-day Look Back.
Therefore, if your medical condition is older than 60 days, your doctor has not changed medication or treatment, then the Travel Insurer will cover it. They consider your condition stable, so you are covered.
If you have had a new medical condition, or change in condition or treatment, or new medications, then travel insurance can still cover you. Just get Cruise Travel Insurance within the Time Sensitive Period after your initial trip deposit. Usually, you have 14-21 days to buy your travel insurance and be issued a waiver, if one exists in the policy.
In short, you probably don’t have a Pre-existing Medical Condition, according to the travel insurance company.
If you do, don’t worry. As long as you are medically fit to travel on the day that you book your travel policy, you can get a Waiver. Just buy your travel insurance quickly after your First Trip Deposit or Payment. We recommend you buy the policy within 14 days, if possible, 20 days maximum.
Remember, even if you only paid $1, travel insurer only cares about the date that you first paid money towards your trip.
Early Booking Travel Insurance Benefits
You receive many benefits from booking travel insurance quickly after your initial trip deposit.
- Once you have your policy, your cancellation benefits become active
- Any Cancel for Any Reason cover is activated (if selected)
- A Pre-Existing Medical Condition Exclusion Waiver triggers
If you are going to buy Cruise Travel Insurance, buy it early.
Best Value Cruise Travel Insurance
AARP provides consistent Senior Travel Insurance advice: search the market to compare prices and cover from a range of Travel Insurance Carriers.
Of course, we have been giving comparative quotes for years for Senior Cruise Travelers.
You will find that our prices are the same as 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 laws forbid it.
We will always do our best to recommend the least expensive policy that fulfills your needs.
AardvarkCompare is the World’s Fastest Growing Travel Insurance Marketplace.
**Please Note: AARP does 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 to bring world-class travel insurance to our customers, so they can compare and contrast multiple insurance plans to find the right plan for their travel needs, and travel with confidence.