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We traveled for years without travel insurance never thought twice about it. Two years ago we went on a 50th anniversary cruise for my in laws and they bought insurance for everyone. The cruise goal was everyone goes or cancel and plan another time. Mid cruise a health crises occurred. Norwegian was amazing and the insurance paid very well. Significant medical care on ship, emergency surgery in Cozumel, three people stayed there for a week, flight changes etc. approximately 20,000 dollars of expense all paid for. We will never cruise again without insurance.

 

 

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Did u purchase just the standard plan?

 

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Our main reason for the insurance is for the possibility of medical evacuation. We have been on several cruises where a medical helicopter was involved and the next port was far away. I shudder to think what that cost.

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Like others, we buy trip insurance primarily to get medical, medical evacuation and repatriation of remains coverage. We find that to add in trip interruption insurance is only a few dollars more, probably because we are in our 60's now and the medical portion is the most expensive part of it. If you take more than two or three trips a year there are annual trip insurance plans that cover medical that are cheaper than insuring three separate trips.

 

Most employer provided health insurance does not cover you out of the country, and Medicare does not (some medi-gap policies do cover out of the country). We're not really protecting our trip cost - we've already paid for it so we only lose the experience and not the money if we can't go. We're protecting our other assets from high medical expenses that we might incur overseas. I think the last insurance I purchased cost $35 more or something for cancellation / interruption so we took it.

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What I am most concerned about for trip insurance is the medical evacuation coverage and medical coverage (the limits for these on the NCL policies are lower than what I would want and than what I see normally being recommended in articles about cruising and how much insurance to get that I have read). Many times your own medical insurance coverage doesn't cover this and if it doesn't this IMHO is the main reason to purchase coverage. Something like this could wipe out emergency funds/savings. As for trip cancellation and things like that, I usually will for a cruise get a policy that covers things like that too, but it's the medical evacuation and medical that would be the hardship to cover that I don't want to self insure.

 

I called and got help from a broker on the website, InsureMyTrip and purchased insurance for both my family and my parents. For travel in the US (most of my travel) I don't bother with trip insurance, but for a cruise or travel abroad, I take a close look at medical and medical evacuation and look at it as a necessary cost of traveling.

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I find it interesting that so many keep repeating they get travel insurance only for medical evacuation. OMG. The chances of you dying or almost dying on the ship that you need to be medically evacuated? Those chances are very small. I know the stories make the news but if I am dying on a cruise and need medically evacuated, the price is the last thing on my mind.

Of the millions of people that cruise every year, what is the percent that are medically evacuated? I bet its less than .02%. You have a much better chance of a delayed flight, lost bag, or something coming up in your life that you need to postpone the cruise. I am not mocking anyone but it seems the insurance companies and the constant posting of medical evacuations on cruises on blogs like this have sewn fear into people. Fear is selling those policies. I just could not understand how so many disregard the possibility of a family emergency, getting sick, or an untimely event in your life being outweighed by being medically evacuated on vacation. Very interesting.

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I find it interesting that so many keep repeating they get travel insurance only for medical evacuation. OMG. The chances of you dying or almost dying on the ship that you need to be medically evacuated? Those chances are very small. I know the stories make the news but if I am dying on a cruise and need medically evacuated, the price is the last thing on my mind.

 

Of the millions of people that cruise every year, what is the percent that are medically evacuated? I bet its less than .02%. You have a much better chance of a delayed flight, lost bag, or something coming up in your life that you need to postpone the cruise. I am not mocking anyone but it seems the insurance companies and the constant posting of medical evacuations on cruises on blogs like this have sewn fear into people.

 

Fear is selling those policies. I just could not understand how so many disregard the possibility of a family emergency, getting sick, or an untimely event in your life being outweighed by being medically evacuated on vacation. Very interesting.

$300k medical evac only insurance with $25k (secondary) medical only costs me $15 for a 20day cruise (back to back).

$500k medical evac, $25k PRIMARY medical, and $10k death benefit costs me $21 for same 20 day cruise.

 

for the $1000 (before taxes/mandatory tips) im paying for the 20day, $21 is is a drop in the bucket and well worth the cost for peace of mind.

thats the purpose of insurance.. peace of mind.

 

also, if something comes up and i have to miss the cruise, i can afford to eat the $1000 cost.

i cant easily eat a $25k medical evac cost.

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I find it interesting that so many keep repeating they get travel insurance only for medical evacuation. OMG. The chances of you dying or almost dying on the ship that you need to be medically evacuated? Those chances are very small. I know the stories make the news but if I am dying on a cruise and need medically evacuated, the price is the last thing on my mind.

Of the millions of people that cruise every year, what is the percent that are medically evacuated? I bet its less than .02%. You have a much better chance of a delayed flight, lost bag, or something coming up in your life that you need to postpone the cruise. I am not mocking anyone but it seems the insurance companies and the constant posting of medical evacuations on cruises on blogs like this have sewn fear into people. Fear is selling those policies. I just could not understand how so many disregard the possibility of a family emergency, getting sick, or an untimely event in your life being outweighed by being medically evacuated on vacation. Very interesting.

 

 

 

For me the difference is what I can afford to lose. If I have paid for the trip, I can afford to lose that amount. I’ve already paid it; canceling and losing money I had already paid won’t affect my financial situation.

 

What I can’t afford is to be on my $3,000 vacation and end up getting sick or hurt and end up with tens of thousands in medical bills. And I certainly don’t want to be in a situation where I get hurt or sick and let the costs determine whether or not I get treatment.

 

For me, I think the chance of using either is incredibly small. To date, I’ve never been close to feeling like I needed to cancel a planned trip. I have gotten sick once on a trip and sought medical treatment. It’s all about risk and cost and for me. The cost of full trip coverage isn’t worth the potential risk of losing money I always planned to pay. The cost of medical coverage is sometimes (depending on where we are going and what we are doing) the risk of running up an enormous medical bill that I haven’t budgeted for. For example, the time when I got the medical coverage was when we were in the Serengeti in Africa. There are no doctors or pharmacies there. Something as small as a tooth ache or decent laceration would have required a medical evacuation to the nearest city. And if I had had any semi serious issue issue requiring hospitalization would have wanted to be evacuated to Europe. I don’t routinely get this coverage for a caribbean cruise.

 

 

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Of the millions of people that cruise every year, what is the percent that are medically evacuated? I bet its less than .02%. You have a much better chance of a delayed flight, lost bag, or something coming up in your life that you need to postpone the cruise. I am not mocking anyone but it seems the insurance companies and the constant posting of medical evacuations on cruises on blogs like this have sewn fear into people. Fear is selling those policies. I just could not understand how so many disregard the possibility of a family emergency, getting sick, or an untimely event in your life being outweighed by being medically evacuated on vacation. Very interesting.

 

Hard to find any real statistics. This paper (PDF) says that one in six Americans had their travel plans disrupted between 2013 and 2014, but it's from an industry trade group and from a survey, and includes pre-trip and while on the trip itself. I found a couple of references to Americans being evacuated from cruise ships at 10 to 20 a week, but no references to where the stat comes from.

 

The reason medical costs take precedence in my mind is that by the time I miss the trip for whatever non-medical reason, I have very little financial impact. The money has already been spent. I have already afforded it. I don't have to insure that money, because it's gone. I may miss some fun or not get to see a city that's on my bucket list and have to attend to my mother's funeral arrangements. But I'm likely to actually save money over going on the trip because I won't be buying keychains in Dublin. It's a loss, but a minor one in the grand scheme of things.

 

Now, being on vacation and getting sick brings in additional costs. $25,000 medical evacuation from the ship. $50,000 in a hospital in Costa Rica or Mexico. If I'm in Europe or China add up to $100,000 for medical evacuation. Without reimbursement those costs eat into my other assets, and reduce the amount of time I'm able to live relatively comfortably in retirement.

 

So, yeah, I do fear those costs, and insure against them. Insurance to protect against huge financial loss is prudent in my mind.

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Like others, we buy trip insurance primarily to get medical, medical evacuation and repatriation of remains coverage. We find that to add in trip interruption insurance is only a few dollars more, probably because we are in our 60's now and the medical portion is the most expensive part of it.

If you take more than two or three trips a year there are annual trip insurance plans that cover medical that are cheaper than insuring three separate trips.

 

Most employer provided health insurance does not cover you out of the country, and Medicare does not (some medi-gap policies do cover out of the country). We're not really protecting our trip cost - we've already paid for it so we only lose the experience and not the money if we can't go. We're protecting our other assets from high medical expenses that we might incur overseas. I think the last insurance I purchased cost $35 more or something for cancellation / interruption so we took it.

the $500k medical evac, $25k Primary medical and $10k death benefit plan costs me $21 for 20day cruise (back to back but counts as 1 cruise to them).

the cheapest annual plan for me costs $100.

 

so to just breakeven, i need 5 cruises. :o

and that annual plan doesnt have a death benefit. it does have more medical ($50k) but it's secondary.

 

i have 2 more cruises lined up this year and i probably will take at least 2 more next year but i'm sticking with the $21plan instead of the annual plan.

 

even if i take 6 cruises in a 12month period and save $26, i'd rather pay the $21 per cruise.

having them be primary medical and saving the hassle is worth the extra $26.

 

if the trip insurance is secondary medical, im assuming this is how it works:

i submit to my own health insurance, wait a month or 2 for their statement, then i need to submit whatever they're not paying to the trip insurance people.

meh.. saving $26 over 6 cruises is not worth that hassle to me.

 

i also dont need the annual plan's pregnancy coverage since im male. :p

Edited by fstuff1

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I find it interesting that so many keep repeating they get travel insurance only for medical evacuation. OMG. The chances of you dying or almost dying on the ship that you need to be medically evacuated? Those chances are very small. I know the stories make the news but if I am dying on a cruise and need medically evacuated, the price is the last thing on my mind.

Of the millions of people that cruise every year, what is the percent that are medically evacuated? I bet its less than .02%. You have a much better chance of a delayed flight, lost bag, or something coming up in your life that you need to postpone the cruise. I am not mocking anyone but it seems the insurance companies and the constant posting of medical evacuations on cruises on blogs like this have sewn fear into people. Fear is selling those policies. I just could not understand how so many disregard the possibility of a family emergency, getting sick, or an untimely event in your life being outweighed by being medically evacuated on vacation. Very interesting.

 

I would advocate for both medical and trip interruption/cancellation coverage. While with a cancellation, you are only out the cost of the trip (which most people *might* be able to eat the cost of), trip interruption can rack up some pretty hefty charges. I have seen multiple posts from people on the Star who incurred $4-5k in additional expenses due to the delay in disembarkation. Last minute international flights are NOT cheap! Plus hotels, ground transportation, and maybe even lost wages from extra days off work.

 

But then when you start talking about things like medical evacuation, overseas hospital stays/surgery, repatriation.... now you are talking tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. Almost no one could afford to eat those costs. Sure, the chances of that are "low", but there is still a chance. And to whoever said "medical emergencies can happen anywhere", exactly! The difference is, in my normal life, if I am hospitalized and need emergency surgery, my health insurance covers it. Most health insurance does not cover overseas medical expenses. Also, if I have a heart attack at home, an ambulance ride is maybe a couple thousand dollars? A medical helicopter ride it tens of thousands of dollars.

 

And whoever said, "I don't plan jump or fall of the ship," I genuinely hope you were joking. As if that is the only medical emergency you might have at sea? Heart attacks, strokes, aneurysms, embolisms, contagious illnesses, falls, accidents, injuries.... any of those things could happen to you at sea or overseas. Many people, while on vacation, do things like parasailing, jet skiing, zip lining, heck, even scooter rentals! Do you genuinely believe you are immune to accident or injury while doing those things?

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We always purchase the standard insurance. Who knows what will ever happen.

 

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Make sure you fully understand the complete terms & conditions of that "standard policy".

 

There is no "standard coverage" in terms of travel insurance.

 

Each policy can be very different in terms of what is covered - or not - compared with other policies, in a variety of ways.

And the allowed coverages can vary by state (for USA-based travelers), and some policies can't be sold in all states.

 

GC

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Make sure you fully understand the complete terms & conditions of that "standard policy".

 

There is no "standard coverage" in terms of travel insurance.

 

Each policy can be very different in terms of what is covered - or not - compared with other policies, in a variety of ways.

And the allowed coverages can vary by state (for USA-based travelers), and some policies can't be sold in all states.

 

GC

Thanks....

I already know this.

 

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if the trip insurance is secondary medical, im assuming this is how it works:

i submit to my own health insurance, wait a month or 2 for their statement, then i need to submit whatever they're not paying to the trip insurance people.

meh.. saving $26 over 6 cruises is not worth that hassle to me.

:p

 

It depends. If you DO have coverage from your regular health insurance, but your trip insurance is primary, the trip insurance will pay up to the coverage amount. Of the remainder, your regular health insurance will first apply any deductible or share of costs to the remainder. So you could be out whatever your deductible and share of costs are if your trip insurance doesn't cover the full bill.

 

HOWEVER, if your regular health insurance is primary and the travel insurance secondary then the regular health insurance applies the deductible and share of costs, then pays up to the coverage maximum. Then, your trip insurance kicks in and pays ANY out of pocket cost, including your deductible and share of costs from your primary insurance, up to that policy's coverage amount.

 

So there are cases where having the trip medical insurance secondary makes more sense.

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My mother and her friend had to cancel a trip because my sister was hospitalized a couple of weeks before the trip and was going to need my mom taking care of her after she was discharged. Mom had the NCL insurance and we had to provide some documentation from the hospital and my sister's doctor, but they refunded both fares pretty swiftly, everything done via email. I think the only money she lost was the cost of the insurance and some other small item.

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It depends. If you DO have coverage from your regular health insurance, but your trip insurance is primary, the trip insurance will pay up to the coverage amount. Of the remainder, your regular health insurance will first apply any deductible or share of costs to the remainder. So you could be out whatever your deductible and share of costs are if your trip insurance doesn't cover the full bill.

 

HOWEVER, if your regular health insurance is primary and the travel insurance secondary then the regular health insurance applies the deductible and share of costs, then pays up to the coverage maximum. Then, your trip insurance kicks in and pays ANY out of pocket cost, including your deductible and share of costs from your primary insurance, up to that policy's coverage amount.

 

So there are cases where having the trip medical insurance secondary makes more sense.

well, trip insurance primary medical is $25k.

if i need more than $25k worth of medical during the cruise... :o

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I would advocate for both medical and trip interruption/cancellation coverage.

While with a cancellation, you are only out the cost of the trip (which most people *might* be able to eat the cost of), trip interruption can rack up some pretty hefty charges.

 

I have seen multiple posts from people on the Star who incurred $4-5k in additional expenses due to the delay in disembarkation. Last minute international flights are NOT cheap!

Plus hotels, ground transportation, and maybe even lost wages from extra days off work.

my $21 medical evac plan for my 20day cruise also comes with $750 trip interruption (airfare only).

yes, i wish it was more, like $2500 worth and not just airfare. (ie: hotel, ground transportation)

but at least it;s something.

 

too bad my evac plan doesnt have an option to buy more trip interruption. :(

 

and the annual medical evac insurance plans with $10k trip interruption costs $188.

i need 9 cruises in a year to break even with that plan!

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"And whoever said, "I don't plan jump or fall of the ship," I genuinely hope you were joking. As if that is the only medical emergency you might have at sea? Heart attacks, strokes, aneurysms, embolisms, contagious illnesses, falls, accidents, injuries.... any of those things could happen to you at sea or overseas. Many people, while on vacation, do things like parasailing, jet skiing, zip lining, heck, even scooter rentals! Do you genuinely believe you are immune to accident or injury while doing those things?

 

 

You are using the fear factor again. Of course anything can happen to you at any time. I took a trip to Canada and saw Niagara falls. I did not buy additional travel insurance and I survived. I had no heart attacks and did not fall over the falls. You see my point. People travel all the time all over the world and don't buy this travel insurance like they do on cruise ships. If something happened and I needed to go to the hospital, the cost is far less than medical care in the United States. We had a medical dental emergency on a cruise once. We cancelled our excursion and saw a dentist in St Maarten and the doctor was fantastic. Saw us right away and was cheap. If they sold additional tidal wave insurance, would you buy it? There is a chance of a tidal wave.

I am buying insurance for my next trip. My point remains, some cruisers are way too concerned about things that can happened to them on any trip. However, they don't insure themselves. As someone that has bought travel insurance, I do see the other side that most of it is unnecessary or a rip off. I don't go to either extreme. I am in the middle and plan accordingly.

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You are using the fear factor again. Of course anything can happen to you at any time.

 

I am not trying to push the fear factor. I am saying, we have health insurance in the US because anything can happen at any time. That health insurance, in many cases, does not extend to foreign countries. All of the same reasons you have health insurance in the US should be the same reasons you get health coverage for foreign trips. Being in a foreign country doesn't necessarily make you any MORE likely to experience a medical emergency, but it doesn't make you any LESS likely either. If you "buy into" the concept of insurance enough to have it at home, why would you not "buy into" it enough to get coverage for when you're abroad?

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I always buy insurance but I’m British and we do not usually pay for healthcare. I’ve heard too many stories of brits trying to claw to together large sums of money to fly their injured relatives home. I pay the small amount upfront for the security of being covered if anything out of my control may happen.

 

 

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well, trip insurance primary medical is $25k.

if i need more than $25k worth of medical during the cruise... :o

 

I think $25k would cover the vast majority of accidents or health care needed on board or in most places we've gone. This article has a few costs broken down by country for UK passengers, but starts by saying that most medical claims against insurance is in the $2,000 range. Anything quoted over about 19,000 pounds is over $25,000 USD. The real high costs come in if you have to be evacuated back home, or can't fly commercial because of health reasons. Sometimes the policies have that broken out separately with a higher amount than just the medical.

 

What am I most likely to suffer? Heart attack, pancreatitis, DVTs and pulmonary embolisms are probably on the list for an overweight white male over 60 like me (who has had a DVT before). Those are among the most expensive things in that article, depending on where you are in the world.

 

I don't insure for trips mostly in the US and Canada, like an Alaska cruise or a Pacific Coastal. I didn't insure our Disney World trip (and we had a medical claim, but our health insurance took care of it). I did insure on our trip to British Isles we start out on tomorrow because the trip is expensive, and my health insurance doesn't cover us there, and it's a 14 day trip.

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If something happened and I needed to go to the hospital, the cost is far less than medical care in the United States. .

 

 

Yeah, but the difference between the US and some other countries (including many of the ports on a Caribbean cruise) is that if I get rushed to a hospital in the US with appendicitis, they will ask for insurance but even if I can’t provide they will treat me and work out billing later. What I’ve consistently heard from some other countries is that if you get rushed to the hospital with appendicitis, you aren’t getting treated until you plop down a credit card or some other means to pay. The travel medical insurance I’ve used does advertise that they will pay out straight to the hospital as a primary plan and then you can submit to your insurance later. That has value to me, even if it doesn’t to you.

 

 

 

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Medicare does not cover you outside the US. Some supplemental policies do cover incidents outside the US but others do not.

We have Medicare and a Plan N supplemental policy. We are not covered for any medical coverage outside the US. We therefore buy a travel insurance policy that has medical coverage that covers us outside the US. Just going to the ship's doctor is tremendously expensive. On a cruise, my wife had a few visits to the ship's infirmary and receives some medication. The bill was well over $1,000 and the medical part of the travel insurance covered it all..

In our case the travel insurance part of the policy is incidental to the essential medical coverage.

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