Cruise Insurance

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Jan 13, 2019
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#1
I have booked a cruise to Alaska. The cruise line offers insurance through Aon Affinity (underwritten by Nationwide). I’ve usd CSA Generali in the past (not for a cruise), so I called them just to have a comparison. The benefits are very different. For example, Aon Affinity pays $50,000 for emergency evacuation and CSA will pay up to $250,000 for the same thing. I’ve never had to file a claim, so I have no way of judging either of these companies or their benefits. The CSA policy is about $100 less than the one from Aon Affinity.

Does anyone have any advice?
 
Jan 30, 2018
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#2
Do you need medical coverage? If so, compare those amounts. I think $50,000 in evacuation coverage is low. I personally would go for the $250k coverage. With what you are probably spending for the trip, an extra $100 is not so much.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
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Maui Hawaii
#3
Remember that your medical insurance does cover you in Alaska (assuming you live in the US), but probably does not cover you on the ship or in Canada if that is part of your itinerary. Most Alaska cruises travel routes that are not close to major medical facilities, hence the possible need for medical evacuation. $50,000 is a low end for a short medical evacuation flight on the US mainland. It is much more expensive if remote areas are involved. Go for the higher med evac amount and check carefully to see that you have medical insurance, which you are much more likely to need that evacuation flights.
 

Neil Maley

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#4
Look at all the benefits side by side. How long is trip delay coverage? Some policies are 12 hours, some 24. How much emergency evacuation coverage do both offer? How much in delayed or lost baggage do they both offer? Are both primary coverage or secondary coverage? (That’s a huge thing to look at)

Both companies are good companies for insurance. Don’t go by just one piece of coverage, look at everything side by side.
 
Sep 6, 2015
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#5
I have had much better experiences using an outside travel insurance company such as Allianz (there are others as well). I don’t believe most of the insurance provided by the cruise lines are in the passenger’s Best interests, and adhere more to the carriage on contract than do the others. On our honeymoon 35 years ago, I became critically ill at the end of the cruise (we didn’t know how serious it was until my surgeon told me what would have happened if the cyst (internal bleeding that caused my ovary to grow to the size of a softball, containing about two units of blood). We did not even know trip insurance existed, but because we didn’t have it, I had to ride in a taxi from NYC and not an ambulance (our original plan was to take the train and have my parents pick us up at the train station, something my surgeon said would likely have killed me). Fortunately for me, my illness didn’t really start affecting me until the last night of our cruise (i would have required a helicopter evacuation if it had started earlier). I think with specialized travel insurance companies, their job is to take care of you. The cruise line’s insurance just isn’t worth it when you can get other policies for just a few extra (sometimes the same) dollars. The peace of mind for me is worth it.
 
Likes: Neil Maley

Neil Maley

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#6
I have had much better experiences using an outside travel insurance company such as Allianz (there are others as well). I don’t believe most of the insurance provided by the cruise lines are in the passenger’s Best interests, and adhere more to the carriage on contract than do the others. On our honeymoon 35 years ago, I became critically ill at the end of the cruise (we didn’t know how serious it was until my surgeon told me what would have happened if the cyst (internal bleeding that caused my ovary to grow to the size of a softball, containing about two units of blood). We did not even know trip insurance existed, but because we didn’t have it, I had to ride in a taxi from NYC and not an ambulance (our original plan was to take the train and have my parents pick us up at the train station, something my surgeon said would likely have killed me). Fortunately for me, my illness didn’t really start affecting me until the last night of our cruise (i would have required a helicopter evacuation if it had started earlier). I think with specialized travel insurance companies, their job is to take care of you. The cruise line’s insurance just isn’t worth it when you can get other policies for just a few extra (sometimes the same) dollars. The peace of mind for me is worth it.
Which is why emergency evacuation is imperative, even if you have your own health insurance. It isn't free to have a helicopter land on a ship to evacuate someone who needs immediate medical attention. And remember - in Alaska, it can take a very long time to get to a hospital even if you are on land when something happens.
 
Likes: Tricia K.
Sep 6, 2015
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#7
Which is why emergency evacuation is imperative, even if you have your own health insurance. It isn't free to have a helicopter land on a ship to evacuate someone who needs immediate medical attention. And remember - in Alaska, it can take a very long time to get to a hospital even if you are on land when something happens.
Not to mention impossible in some weather conditions. We were on an Alaskan cruise this summer. We were scheduled to go into Glacier Bay, but due to a critically ill passenger, the captain had to get him to shore as quickly as possible as the fog was too thick even for a Coast Guard helicopter. And before we even had a chance to complain about missing one of the highlights of our trip, after making sure the passeneger was offloaded and under good medical care, the captain had turned the ship around and high-tailed us back to Glacier Bay for the full experience. I don’t know if the passenger survived or not, but if he didn’t, it certainly wasn’t for lack of trying on the part of the captain and crew.
 

Neil Maley

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#8
I’ve been on three cruises where there were emergency evacuations while sailing. Two were actual helicopters landing on the ship to take the passenger, one was a tug that pulled along side the ship and offloaded two passengers on gurneys. (I think that was scarier to see than the helicopter).

We had a client that had a heart attack on a ship and was taken off in South America. He had over $100,000 in bills after it was over and insurance reimbursed all of it. Make sure any policy you buy offers plenty of emergency evacuation and medical.
 
Likes: ADM
Sep 20, 2015
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#9
My personal take on it is to never use the travel provider's insurance offer...even if there isn't, it reeks of collusion, and the provider is making money off of it. I find the policies offered by 3rd parties in general to be better, often less expensive and/or with better coverage. And you can shop around or in your case, use a company that you have experience with and trust.