Anyone had to ever use their insurance policy to cancel their cruise?

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#1
4 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
I had the unfortunate problem of having to cancel our family reunion Panama Canal cruise due to my dad's cancer treatment at Mayo Clinic. We bought the insurance thru Princess, which I think was a huge mistake (we should have bought elsewhere probably). We bought the lower tier insurance which gave us 75% back, plus the other 25% back with a valid medical reason. I think the higher tier gives back 100% for any reason (not totally sure on this). Apparently cancer isn't a valid enough medical reason, even though complete documentation was provided by Mayo Clinic doctors. They wouldn't even consider giving the 25% as a cruise credit - so we could reschedule the cruise for 2018. It's sad when older people get stiffed out of their money.

So, I was wondering how other people have made out when using their insurance policy?
#2
New Mexico
14,764 Posts
Joined May 2004
We have had to cancel twice, and both times the insurance policy paid out exactly as described in the Description of Coverage.
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#3
South Florida
4,778 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
You are intermingling the two different types of coverage.

If you cancel for a covered reason you receive a refund of the entire cancellation fee (the cancellation fees are in your cruise contract and are based on how soon before sailing you inform Princess of the cancellation).

If you cancel for a non-covered reason (the "cancel for any reason" coverage) you receive 75% of the cancellation fee as a future cruise credit. Would be 100% if you took the platinum insurance.

Now the question is, what response were you given for being denied a covered reason? My guess is that the cancer was a pre-existing condition. If your father had already been diagnosed prior to purchasing the insurance, or within the first 60 days after the purchase date of the insurance (not the booking date of the cruise) , that is a pre-existing condition. But if his his condition was chronic and did not turn acute during the aforementioned 60 day lookback, he should be covered. Most physicians know how to fill out the claim form in a way that their patients are covered by travel insurance, even policies that limit pre-existing conditions.

You should try again to file the claim with a letter from your father's doctor detailing that his condition was chronic but not acute during the 60 day lookback. But if contradictory information was already submitted you may be out of luck. You now know to look for insurance that convers all pre-existing conditions for your next vacation--and to purchase the insurance at time of booking not at time of final payment (I am speculating that that is also an issue with your claim).
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Debarking is a cruel procedure done to dogs.
Upgrades, Upsellls and Move Over Offers are completely different things.
As are being denied boarding and being disembarked early.
And don't get me started on Port Charges vs. Government Taxes, Fees, and Port Expenses.
The Jones Act is for cargo. The PVSA is "that terrible law" that restricts USA domestic sailings. But without which there would likely be no cruise ships with casinos, duty free shops, and international crew members willing to work fantastically hard every single day.
Lots of people fly in the morning of the cruise and catch crazy early flights home. Why ask us if you can? Just to be harassed by the regulars?
No hotels have free shuttles, free breakfast, free wifi, or free parking. You pay in the rate. And could have found a better deal paying by the piece.
And don't forget: the cruise line is in complete control of the weather, political unrest, medical emergencies, and anything else that delays or re-routes your cruise. Be sure to demand compensation as it is you and only you who were affected.
#4
4 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Thanks. That's good to know. Did you use the insurance provided by Princess (AON) or outside source? I'm trying to get clarification on the 25%, but so far no explanation yet and no letter (got the 75% refund 2 weeks ago). My guess is for older people the 100% coverage is the way to go to avoid problems.
#5
Point Richmond CA
5,281 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Originally posted by dodge55
I had the unfortunate problem of having to cancel our family reunion Panama Canal cruise due to my dad's cancer treatment at Mayo Clinic. We bought the insurance thru Princess, which I think was a huge mistake (we should have bought elsewhere probably). We bought the lower tier insurance which gave us 75% back, plus the other 25% back with a valid medical reason. I think the higher tier gives back 100% for any reason (not totally sure on this). Apparently cancer isn't a valid enough medical reason, even though complete documentation was provided by Mayo Clinic doctors. They wouldn't even consider giving the 25% as a cruise credit - so we could reschedule the cruise for 2018. It's sad when older people get stiffed out of their money.



So, I was wondering how other people have made out when using their insurance policy?


Without knowing all the details of your situation and reading your policy AND knowing whether you purchased the travel/medical insurance within any required PEQ waiver period (e.g. Deposit date, final payment - depending on insurer), it's impossible to know if you were "stiffed."

That said, a cancer "treatment" is different than a cancer "diagnosis." Without a PEQ waiver, any "look back" period of X months prior to your cruise deposit (or other PEQ waiver deadline) becomes a key consideration. If the cancer was first diagnosed during that look back period, it is now a PEQ (preexisting condition). Then, any "change" in that condition including modification of medications/treatments/etc. from the effective date of your insurance up through the end of your trip will NOT be acceptable as a reason for trip delay, interruption or cancellation. Of course, if the cancellation was due to a different reason occurring after the look back period (e.g., car accident requiring hospitalization on the way to embarkation port), that would not be a PEQ.

Further, you mention "family" trip. Read your policy and it should describe which, if any family members qualify as a companion/cabin mate, etc and if their costs are/are not insured. Not to sound insensitive but, YOU don't have cancer. So, you could have gone on the trip.

Other considerations: The MD letter is important and always should say that traveling at that specific time requires that you do not travel and then specifies why.

In 2016, we had a surprising diagnosis (after having made our final cruise payment) that required a surgery ASAP. Flying could cause an extreme (and deadly) complication and post surgical recovery would continue to well after the cruise dates. Although we had a PEQ waiver, it was not a factor since the diagnosis came after the "look back" period.

With complete documentation (we even bolstered the MD letter with a copy of the surgical report), we received a check for 100% of all of our non-refundable expenses (including airfare, cruise cost, etc). Other refundable expenses including prepaid excursions (both ship and private) and even "non-refundable" show tix in London (a very nice gesture) were quickly refunded in full after submitting copies of the same support docs. Oceania also gave us cruise credits for the missed trip (no cost to them but a smart customer loyalty item nonetheless).
BTW, both the airlines and the cruise ship company will/should refund any taxes, even if you were in the 100% penalty period.

And, if you have a travel oriented credit card, like United Airlines Explorer Visa, know that travel charges on that card are insured up to a stated limit though there may be no PEQ waiver.

Fortunately, we fared well with our medical emergency: Surgery a complete success with issue resolved and excellent prognosis/recovery. Total reimbursement topped $20k and the consolation was that it paid for our next booked cruise Sydney to L.A. in May/June 2018.

I wish your dad a complete recovery.


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#6
Brooksville FL
3,631 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Sounds like a Pre Existing Condition when the insurance was purchased ?
That would default coverage of the claim to Cancel for any reason .
Just a guess that seems logical to me?
#7
South Florida
4,778 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
Originally posted by dodge55
I'm trying to get clarification on the 25%, but so far no explanation yet and no letter (got the 75% refund 2 weeks ago). My guess is for older people the 100% coverage is the way to go to avoid problems.
Again it appears from your query you are intermingling the two types of coverage. They are mutually exclusive.

To help you calculate what you are entitled to receive back we need to know exactly how many days before your cruie your cancelled. And who you received the refund from--directly from Princess or from the insurance carrier?

Unless you cancelled fewer than 14 days before sailing you will still receive a percentage of your cruise fare as a refund from Princess, along will the entire Government Taxes, Fees and Port Expenses. What remains of what you paid (the cancellation fees per the schedule on your cruise contract) are submitted to the insurance for reimbursement. If denied your claim for a covered reason you would recieve 75% of that amount as a future cruise credit.

But if as you say you did receive money from the insurer then you were considered filing as a covered reason. So the 'cancel for any reason' coverage is moot in that case.

Please clarify those two issues for us (cancellation days prior to cruise, and refund recieved from whom to this point).

I will also add that I as well have cancelled using Princess insurance for both covered and non-covered reasons and were refunded or credited quickly and accurately. Though again, you can't claim under both coverages for the same cruise.
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Debarking is a cruel procedure done to dogs.
Upgrades, Upsellls and Move Over Offers are completely different things.
As are being denied boarding and being disembarked early.
And don't get me started on Port Charges vs. Government Taxes, Fees, and Port Expenses.
The Jones Act is for cargo. The PVSA is "that terrible law" that restricts USA domestic sailings. But without which there would likely be no cruise ships with casinos, duty free shops, and international crew members willing to work fantastically hard every single day.
Lots of people fly in the morning of the cruise and catch crazy early flights home. Why ask us if you can? Just to be harassed by the regulars?
No hotels have free shuttles, free breakfast, free wifi, or free parking. You pay in the rate. And could have found a better deal paying by the piece.
And don't forget: the cruise line is in complete control of the weather, political unrest, medical emergencies, and anything else that delays or re-routes your cruise. Be sure to demand compensation as it is you and only you who were affected.
#8
Greenville, SC, USA
52,419 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
Four years ago my wife was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus about 30 days before we were scheduled to cruise. With the higher tier Princess coverage, we got 100 percent refund. No hassles. We submitted the claim andgot the check.
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Paul
#9
Point Richmond CA
5,281 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Originally posted by dodge55
Thanks. That's good to know. Did you use the insurance provided by Princess (AON) or outside source? I'm trying to get clarification on the 25%, but so far no explanation yet and no letter (got the 75% refund 2 weeks ago). My guess is for older people the 100% coverage is the way to go to avoid problems.


The "way to go" is to never purchase insurance from the same company against which you may file a claim.


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#10
4 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
OK. I just got a better clarification of the claim. And 'fishywood' and 'flatbush flyer' were very close to dead on.

In July, my dad got diagnosed with cancer, in which it was taken out in August at Mayo Clinic with no further treatment necessary. So, the insurance company does consider this a 'preexisting condition' at the time of full pay (we booked in Feb, but paid in full in Sept). The issue was not that it was a preexisting condition, as the cancer had been taken out. At the time of having to pay in full, there was no plans at all to do any preventative treatment. The cancer was gone. So, I went ahead and paid for the cruises. Then, soon thereafter, Mayo Clinic decided it would be safer to go ahead and do preventative Proton Beam treatment in Oct/Nov just as an extra precaution. Still no problem. Then, they moved it to Nov/Dec. because of scheduling conflicts. Which overlapped our cruise. Despite my dad's objections, they would not move it up to Jan or later because of other scheduling conflicts. The choice to pay for the cruises was based on information I had at the time, which obviously changed, in which I had no control over. Obviously, it would have been very risky to pay in full, if treatment was scheduled at all - so I wouldn't have done that. So, it obviously is nobody's fault, just a lesson learned. I had just hoped that Princess would have given us a 25% cruise credit to reschedule the cruise for 2018. That's 5K that was lost.

This was a family reunion of sorts and an 80th B'Day celebration for my mom and dad. Yes, we could have gone on the cruise without my dad, but there was no way 5 out of 6 people were going to go with him in treatment. (Me, my wife, my dad, my mother, and my aunt). That's not how our family works. So, it was a no brainer to cancel. Just wish it had turned out a little better.

And, it does appear my dad is cured, at least in the near term.

Thanks to all for responding.
#11
2,004 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
OP - I'm sorry about your dad's cancer. I went through the same thing with my dad twenty years ago. Review your policy and determine what section of the policy may govern this situation. Is there a pre-existing condition waiver? If yes, that's good. If no, that's bad - if you plan to use the medical provision.
#12
12,983 Posts
Joined Apr 2001
Originally posted by Flatbush Flyer
The "way to go" is to never purchase insurance from the same company against which you may file a claim.
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Amen to that! Biggest mistake.
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#13
2,004 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
Originally posted by dodge55
OK. I just got a better clarification of the claim. And 'fishywood' and 'flatbush flyer' were very close to dead on.

In July, my dad got diagnosed with cancer, in which it was taken out in August at Mayo Clinic with no further treatment necessary. So, the insurance company does consider this a 'preexisting condition' at the time of full pay (we booked in Feb, but paid in full in Sept). The issue was not that it was a preexisting condition, as the cancer had been taken out. At the time of having to pay in full, there was no plans at all to do any preventative treatment. The cancer was gone. So, I went ahead and paid for the cruises. Then, soon thereafter, Mayo Clinic decided it would be safer to go ahead and do preventative Proton Beam treatment in Oct/Nov just as an extra precaution. Still no problem. Then, they moved it to Nov/Dec. because of scheduling conflicts. Which overlapped our cruise. Despite my dad's objections, they would not move it up to Jan or later because of other scheduling conflicts. The choice to pay for the cruises was based on information I had at the time, which obviously changed, in which I had no control over. Obviously, it would have been very risky to pay in full, if treatment was scheduled at all - so I wouldn't have done that. So, it obviously is nobody's fault, just a lesson learned. I had just hoped that Princess would have given us a 25% cruise credit to reschedule the cruise for 2018. That's 5K that was lost.

This was a family reunion of sorts and an 80th B'Day celebration for my mom and dad. Yes, we could have gone on the cruise without my dad, but there was no way 5 out of 6 people were going to go with him in treatment. (Me, my wife, my dad, my mother, and my aunt). That's not how our family works. So, it was a no brainer to cancel. Just wish it had turned out a little better.

And, it does appear my dad is cured, at least in the near term.

Thanks to all for responding.
So glad it appears your dad is cancer-free!
#14
4 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
'fishywood'
Refund all from Princess. 78% back. 31% back to CC, 47% back as cruise credits. Nothing from Insurance.
Cancelled 3 weeks prior to cruise.