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cruise insurance SURPRISE!!


C&Dmich

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Cruise insurance! SURPRISE!

 

Planned a cruise on the Sun on March 23, 2010, Copenhagen to St.Pete. Booked thru [a travel agency] and clicked ok on the trip insurance, MY GOOF!, This would have been our 6th cruise in as many years, a few months later we extended the cruise picking up the Sun in Florida for a repo to Copenhagen would have been a total of 24 days cruising how great is that!

 

Unfortunately due to a rather severe financial reversal, we ran into some big time money problems and had to cancel the entire cruise.

 

Advised that we had to cancel by e mail on 12/15/2010 approximately 4 months and 10 days BEFORE the sailing date. Well, you get back the Sun part but TRAVEL INSURANCE

IS NOT REFUNDABLE. Surprise, Surprise!

 

Oh and the insurance broker ITI of Indianapolis will not accept phones calls from indivduals only cruise agencies according to [my travel agency].

So we are out $327.00

 

and by the way on the recap sheet of the booking showing the charges there is no reference to the cancellation charges under [my cruise agency] terms and conditions, #7 travel insurance at least that I could find.

 

Anybody else have these fun and games with their agents and insurance companies or am I the fool for not catching this??

 

C&Dmich

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I have had to cancel two cruises that I purchased insurance for (prior to final pay) and did not get refund on insurance.. Personally not aware of any companies that refund ins. premium if you cancel b4 final but maybe others are. So I don't think you are being "taken"

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Advised Cruise Web that we had to cancel by e mail on 12/15/2010 approximately 4 months and 10 days BEFORE the sailing date. Well, you get back the Sun part but TRAVEL INSURANCE

IS NOT REFUNDABLE. Surprise, Surprise!

 

Oh and the insurance broker ITI of Indianapolis will not accept phones calls from indivduals only cruise agencies according to [my travel agency]

So we are out $327.00

 

 

ITI (iTravelInsured) will most certainly take calls directly from their clients. Obviously, the TA would prefer you didn't. Here's their contact information:

 

iTravelInsured Agency Services

2960 North Meridian Street

Indianapolis, IN 46208

 

For General Inquiries:

T: 866.347.6673 or 317.655.9796

F: 317.655.4505

E-mail: service@itravelinsured.com

 

I just spoke to Gina there and she said "of course we take call from clients."

 

ALL third-party insurance becomes 100% non-refundable after a certain rime period -- usually 10 to 14 days from the date of purchase. However, in my past years of being a TA I never had a problem getting a refund for a client if they were outside that refund period but not yet in a penalty period, within reason of course -- if you bought the policy nine months ago they might balk at that. (We never used ITI -- this was before their time -- but Travel Guard, CSA, Travelex, and others.) The reason was because they wanted to keep ME happy since I sent them lots of business. As I'm sure they would want to keep your TA happy also.

 

The problem is that they won't take that refund request directly from you. It has to be made in writing from the TA who has to agree to give up whatever commission he/she made when the policy was sold. So calling ITI directly probably won't get you too far. The TA is losing the commission on the cruise and is obviously trying to at least keep their commission on the insurance sale.

 

Given that the TA lied to discourage you from even attempting to contact the insurer I wouldn't expect too much help from them. If it was me I'd contact ITI to find out what their refund policies are and at minimum see if the premium can be rolled over to a future trip. Use the email address shown above so you have a written record of what's going on.

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I have had to cancel two cruises that I purchased insurance for (prior to final pay) and did not get refund on insurance.. Personally not aware of any companies that refund ins. premium if you cancel b4 final but maybe others are. So I don't think you are being "taken"

 

This is one advantage to the cruise line policies vs third-party plans. Usually the insurance premium is fully refundable right up to the final payment date when penalties kick in. No harm, no foul.

 

CSA used to have a great plan that allowed you to cancel your trip for ANY reason and get at minimum a refund of the premium. For example, if you cancel when there's no penalty you get the premium back. If you cancel and there is a penalty you get the greater of the cancellation penalty amount or the premium.

 

This was great for cruisers that needed pre-existing condition coverage so they had to buy the policy right away, but hesitated because they night change their plans and were worried about getting stuck with a policy they can't use.

 

CSA has now gone to offering plans that let you get the pre-ex coverage right up until the final payment date of the cruise -- now you don't need to buy a policy until you actually have money at risk.

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Oh and the insurance broker ITI of Indianapolis will not accept phones calls from indivduals only cruise agencies according to [my cruise agency].

 

From the TA's web site:

 

"7. TRAVEL INSURANCE: CW STRONGLY RECOMMENDS THE PURCHASE OF TRAVEL INSURANCE. You may contact a CW representative for a price quotation on travel insurance. However, CW can only offer insurance pricing & purchase, and general travel insurance information. Should you have specific questions concerning coverage under different circumstances, you must speak directly to the travel insurance supplier, or must request a copy of the travel insurance policy in writing."

 

Kinda funny that when you want a refund, suddenly they claim the insurer won't take your call.

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We always purchase travel insurance directly through one of the companies on the web or through the travel supplier such as the cruiseline or tour company. The premiums are never refundable. You purchase insurance to cover you for cancellations. Most cruiselines/tour companies have schedules for refunding based on how many days from the start of the cruise/tour you cancel. You are buying peace of mind. That is why the premiums are not refundable. :(

 

sorry to rain on your parade.

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The premium not being refundable outside of a short (usually 10-day) "free-look" period is a pretty standard part of a policy; this is not a nefarious doing on the part of your insurer or travel agency.

 

That said, the TA should have sent you a full copy of the policy immediately after booking so that none of this came as a surprise. And telling you that you can't call the insurer is incompetence on their part.

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OP - you aren't being "ripped off". You're merely paying for something you used. You had this insurance policy from March 23, 2010! You were covered for losses from this date. The insurance company was at risk for you until you cancelled this policy. The fact you made no claim during this time is not relevant. It seems very difficult for people to understand this concept.

 

You aren't out $327; you're just paying for a policy you had. If you had an auto policy for ten months without a claim, and then sold the car, would you honestly expect to get your entire premium back?

 

Sometimes you are able to transfer a policy to a different trip when the original one was cancelled. I've done this several times with Travelguard. You may want to check into that possibility.

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Cruise Critic's guidelines don't allow for discussion of a particular travel agent or naming of TA's in discussions.. Because this discussion has merit I have asked for clarification re whether it can stay since the TA isn't the specific topic here, the insurance question is.

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Caroline,

Perhaps it is just me, but the multiple mentions of the TA in OP's origin post made me think that he is blaming the TA for not adequately explaining that insurance is non-refundable. (Four mentions of TA name in post, yet only one mention of the insurance company name) Which makes me think the post was intended more as a slam against the TA than an insurance complaint. That would be a clear violation, and in the past has been cause for removal of the entire thread.

 

Is there any way to edit the post at your level to remove the TA name and leave the gist of the discussion? I agree that the discussion has merit, but the use of names detracts from that.

 

I look forward to hearing the outcome.

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Thanks for the many replies. Re, if you had insurance on your car for ten monthes etc. This in my mind is an entirely different deal, please help me to uinderstand this. I buy a trip and trip insurance, TRIP insurance 10 months in advance. The policy ONLY covers the Trip associated costs, plane, luggage cruise etc. which do NOT come into play until either the ship leaves the dock or I fly into the port. which is a day? maybe a week or two at best before the ship sails. As far as I can see there is nothing in this policy that would pay me until the ship sails. What am I missing?? I can even understand a 30 day window before the ship sails but 4 months and 15 days?

By the by, sorry about the TA naming etc. I apologize

 

C&D

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Thanks for the many replies. Re, if you had insurance on your car for ten monthes etc. This in my mind is an entirely different deal, please help me to uinderstand this. I buy a trip and trip insurance, TRIP insurance 10 months in advance. The policy ONLY covers the Trip associated costs, plane, luggage cruise etc. which do NOT come into play until either the ship leaves the dock or I fly into the port. which is a day? maybe a week or two at best before the ship sails. As far as I can see there is nothing in this policy that would pay me until the ship sails. What am I missing?? I can even understand a 30 day window before the ship sails but 4 months and 15 days?

By the by, sorry about the TA naming etc. I apologize

 

C&D

 

Many of us purchase insurance immediatly after deposit for coverage of pre-existing medical conditions, job loss coverage, airline strike coverage, public transportation disruption, etc,etc.

For those purposes, the insurance company is immediatly providing coverage as a service.

As soon as you purchased insurance, they were protecting you from a miriad of situations that could have caused you a financial loss. If you didn't need or want that protection or service, then you could have waited until making final payment.

They provided you the service you paid for.

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Thanks for the many replies. Re, if you had insurance on your car for ten monthes etc. This in my mind is an entirely different deal, please help me to uinderstand this. I buy a trip and trip insurance, TRIP insurance 10 months in advance. The policy ONLY covers the Trip associated costs, plane,An example of coverage you received,,,,, I don't know when your cruise was so this is only an example,,, You purchased your air on 10/31/2010 from airline XYZ. The pilots ANNOUNCE that they are going on strike on 11/1/2010.... You are protected. Had you purchased air on 11/2/2010 AFTER the strike announcement, you would not have been protected. Just a minor nuance that some people don't realize till stuff hits the fan.. luggage cruise etc. which do NOT come into play until either the ship leaves the dock or I fly into the port. which is a day? maybe a week or two at best before the ship sails. As far as I can see there is nothing in this policy that would pay me until the ship sails. What am I missing?? I can even understand a 30 day window before the ship sails but 4 months and 15 days?

By the by, sorry about the TA naming etc. I apologize

 

C&D

 

Hope all this helps you better understand that you didn't get ripped off.

In the future, if you don't feel you need the coverage/protection, you can always wait until you make final payment. But there are risks...

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As far as I can see there is nothing in this policy that would pay me until the ship sails. What am I missing?? I can even understand a 30 day window before the ship sails but 4 months and 15 days?

 

 

C&D

 

Omce you've the penalty period for the cruise you have money at risk of loss if you have to cancel. So from that point on the insurer is on the hook to pay your covered losses.

 

But there's another risk they have right from the start -- financial default. Say you put down $250 per person to hold your cabin. Maybe you're booking 6 months prior to sailing so there's a period where you can cancel without penalty and get your money back. But what if the cruise line goes bankrupt a week after you give them your money and you lose that deposit? You'll be 100% expecting the insurer to make good that loss. If the insurer has money at risk immediately they're going to assert their premium has become fully-earned immediately.

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Thanks for the many replies. Re, if you had insurance on your car for ten monthes etc. This in my mind is an entirely different deal, please help me to uinderstand this. I buy a trip and trip insurance, TRIP insurance 10 months in advance. The policy ONLY covers the Trip associated costs, plane, luggage cruise etc. which do NOT come into play until either the ship leaves the dock or I fly into the port. which is a day? maybe a week or two at best before the ship sails. As far as I can see there is nothing in this policy that would pay me until the ship sails. What am I missing?? I can even understand a 30 day window before the ship sails but 4 months and 15 days?

By the by, sorry about the TA naming etc. I apologize

 

C&D

 

If all you covered was your cruise, you would have received no benefit other than the default insurance. However, your non-refundable plane tickets are being covered the entire time. Remember, the "penalty period" for your plane tickets starts immediately (or one day) after you book. If you become unable to take the cruise for a covered reason two days after your policy becomes effective (say, a heart attack or cancer diagnosis) you are covered. You'll need this coverage, even if your cruise is still months away.

 

In addition, you don't necessarily have to cover the whole cost of your vacation prior to paying for it. I know TravelGuard anyway only requires you to insure your current payments to receive pre-ex waivers and default insurance. You don't have to insure the final payment for the cruise until the time you make it. So, you can insure the deposit + plane tix right at booking, and then only add the final payment a day or two before you make it. (Not all insurance providers are this flexible however.)

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Ok, many thanks for all your replies. In the future my rule will be no insurance until the final payment is due and/or when I buy transportation to the pier. You live and learn.

 

Next time, cruise #6 I deal directly with the cruise line and buy insurance on line. I swear that their posted fares are just as good if not better in some cases than the various TA sites and no surprise fees and taxes. No more agents for me.

 

 

Thanks again for all your feed back and Happy cruising.

 

C&D

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Ok, many thanks for all your replies. In the future my rule will be no insurance until the final payment is due and/or when I buy transportation to the pier. You live and learn.

 

 

Keep learning. If you wait to purchase at final payment, you will not have coverage for any pre-existing conditions (for you or any family members). Usually to receive this coverage at no cost, you have to purchase insurance within 15 days of your initial trip deposit.

 

You also won't have the option to purchase or receive Cancel for Any Reason or Cancel for a Work Related reason.

 

Agree that you should purchase independently of your TA or cruiseline.

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