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narovirus insurance


currach

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We used to love to cruise. We haven't cruised since boarding the Golden Princess as they announced the ship had narovirus on board. We considered leaving the ship at that point but knew, despite having travel insurance, that we would lose everything we paid for the cruise; it was an $7,000 cruise. Only those who have cruised on an infected ship have any idea how miserable the experience is. :(

 

My question is: Is there any type of cruise insurance compensating for cruises on infected ship? I mean a policy that would allow the insured to cancel at the last minute or bail out mid-cruise? Should such a policy exist, we would definitely cruise again.

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Bail out mid-cruise? No. (Although I guess Carnival has their "If you want to go home before we hit our first foreign port, we'll take care of it and refund you" policy...)

 

Cancel before the cruise starts? Sort of. There are many policies with a Cancel for Any Reason rider available, however most (all?) of them require you to provide some notice before canceling, like 48 hours. And the policies that pay in cash will not pay 100%. Provider-sold policies issue the payment in the form of a cruise credit, but may pay 100%.

 

All that said, I don't think fear of norovirus should keep you from cruising. Given the limited number of outbreaks every year vs. the thousands and thousands of sailings, it really doesn't happen that often. And norovirus and food poisoning can easily strike land-based vacations too.

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Dear Sirwired

 

Thanks for your response, but obviously you haven't been stuck on a cruise ship that should never have left port. Food poisoning is considerably different, since some form of medical insurance would cover a severe case and with a mild case, you'd get medical assistance and be over it in a few days. With norovirus the cruise lines get to keep your money while delivering a miserable experience for both passengers and crew for the duration of the cruise. If norovirus struck on land, say at an all-inclusive resort, I suspect the health authorities might force the vendor to shut down until it was under control. No health authorities at sea.

 

But, I believe you're correct when you say on a percentage basis, it's relatively rare. Can't help but wonder why there isn't any insurance for it.

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Can't help but wonder why there isn't any insurance for it.

 

I'm not sure I understand hat you want to be insured against. Noro is covered just like any other illness by travel insurance so it will pay any medical bills incurred and if you need to cut the cruise short because of illness the trip interruption coverage would apply. In a severe case the plan's emergency evacuation coverage would kick in.

 

But no insurer will ever cover you against a "miserable experience." It's just too subjective. No ship hit with noro is allowed to sail until the proper authorities (CDC I believe) gives the OK. But who decides what constitutes a miserable experience? Food sucks? Entertainment is lousy? Noisy cabin? The insurer all consider a lousy experience to be something that the passenger has to take up directly with the cruise line itself. You will NEVER be able to buy insurance against the annoyance of dealing with an enhanced sanitation program.

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I've been on on a sailing when passengers contracted norovirus and the disruption was really minimal and mainly confined to the restaurant areas ..more sanitzers about but nothing that made the trip "miserable" except for the unfortunate folks who were ill. Neighbor's child had the virus on a cruise last spring, they were confined to cabin for 48 hours but that is to be expected.. You can get sick from this anywhere, esp. planes which are quite confined air space.

 

If you contract this during a cruise and have purchased the medical insurance (or have your own that covers you while traveling) your expenses for treatment at the med center will fall under a "covered condition."

 

If you are truly that concerned about this spoiling a cruise vacation for you, although odds are slim when you consider how many sail each week, perhaps a land-based vacation would be better (although obviously not "guaranteed") bet for you as you may not be as confined.

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