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I apologize in advance, but I have an insurance question


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I've searched the forums and there are just so many variations of insurance related questions, I was hoping someone could just give me a clear answer or a link to one.

 

This will be our first cruise since 2019.  What is the best insurance policy that could cover us if we simply decide covid numbers are too high right before our sailing (which in this case is September)?  Is there a such thing, or do I need to find one that includes something like a "job requires my presence" kind of thing?  I had used that with Allianz several years ago and we needed to cancel and my work gave me a letter that was sufficient.

 

Advice would be greatly appreciated!

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You can get a CFAR ("Cancel For Any Reason") policy for your cruise, but I'll caution you that they are rather expensive.

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Best advise to to contact a travel insurance broker who you can discuss your specific needs and they can match you with the best policy for you.  Every one of these policies is different and may or may not meet your needs.

 

There are several always recommended here.

 

insuremytrip.com

tripinsurancestore.com

squaremouth.com

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Cruise Care that Celebrity offers gives you cancel for any reason in exchange for a FCC at 90%. It's not a bad option if that's all you need and the 10% loss doesn't bother you. Insurance policies that include cancel for any reason are going to cost near the same amount anyway. 

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I don't know if it will help. But in Canada, through my credit card, I have a basic travel insurance coverage. $2500 per person.

 

When cruising resumed, initially, because in part of the Canadian Government'notice to avoid all cruises.... Finding a cancellation insurance was difficult.

 

Later on, we had one company who developed a Covid insurance program, covering both the Cancellation aspect as a result of a positive test before the cruise and the possible costs associated to a quarantine, either during or after the cruise. When I found that insurer, I was happy, although expensive, I had at least a viable option.

 

Then in March, the Canadian Government removed the "avoid all cruises" notification. So, I called back my credit card insurance group and was pleased with the response. 
 

In their minds, Covid is a known "factor", so, there would be no coverage if the cruiseline cancelled the cruise (In that option, I am relying on the cruiseline to either refund, or provide a FCC). However, since I was healthy at the time of booking the insurance, they would cover any cancellation related costs, if I were to test positive for covid before the cruise. This was fantastic news to me since it would cover the gap between the Celebrity Cruise with Confidence 48 hours program. Furthermore, they would cover also, quarantine associated costs and flight replacement costs if needed.

 

So, for me, I only had to upgrade my coverage from $2500 to $5000 per person, which ended up costing about 30% of the cost of the other insurer's program. So, I was really happy.

 

Hope this little story will help! 

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Most companies require payment within 24-48 hours of your first payment, ie. deposit, for the CFAR coverage. Also most only give you a 10-15 day review period to cancel the policy. When I make a deposit a year out that doen't work for me. Please if I've got any of this wrong feel free to correct.

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A third-party policy with CFAR will not refund 100% cash. You’ll typically get 75%, and you have to buy it within a defined time period after deposit to qualify.

 

If your work is willing to write you a letter to satisfy the insurance requirements, you could go that route for 100% reimbursement.

 

It is always good advice to consult a professional.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, CruisinShips said:

I've searched the forums and there are just so many variations of insurance related questions, I was hoping someone could just give me a clear answer or a link to one.

 

This will be our first cruise since 2019.  What is the best insurance policy that could cover us if we simply decide covid numbers are too high right before our sailing (which in this case is September)?  Is there a such thing, or do I need to find one that includes something like a "job requires my presence" kind of thing?  I had used that with Allianz several years ago and we needed to cancel and my work gave me a letter that was sufficient.

 

Advice would be greatly appreciated!

The best answer for you can depend on the cruise line and your personal situation.  For example, some lines let you cancel up to 30 days before the cruise and get a full Future Cruise Credit (FCC).  These rules were put into effect when post COVID sailings began, and some lines have extended them one or more times.  Based on some responses here, I am guessing you are on Celebrity, and to the best of my knowledge, Celebrity does not offer this.  If I am wrong, or you are on a different line be sure to verify the policy before purchasing anything.

 

As others have said, you need a Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) policy to do what you want.  (I won't advise on having a boss write a cancel for work reason note).  Most third party CFAR policies will pay in cash, but typically only 75%.  Those policies will include cruise costs and other non refundable costs such as hotels.  Most cruise line CFAR insurance will offer a FCC for the non refundable cruise costs.  The percentages vary from 75 to 100%.  Celebrity offers 90%.  If you have other non cruise costs, they are typically not covered by a cruise line policy. 

 

If all you have is the cruise fare and all you care about is CFAR and an FCC is acceptable, Celebrity Cruise Care could be the best and most cost effective option.  However, if you also need medical and evacuation coverage (you probably do if you regular medical insurance does not cover you), then most cruise line coverage is not enough.  Many only cover $10K, although Celebrity covers $25K.  I don't think this is enough, but you may be willing to take the risk.

 

Yes, a good travel insurance broker will be useful.  But few if any of them will offer and advice on the cruise line plan.

 

Hope this helps.  I wish it was a simple answer.

 

Edit:  I just noticed you are from South Florida, so airfare and hotels are probably not a concern for you.  

Edited by Jersey42
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9 minutes ago, Jersey42 said:

The best answer for you can depend on the cruise line and your personal situation.  For example, some lines let you cancel up to 30 days before the cruise and get a full Future Cruise Credit (FCC).  These rules were put into effect when post COVID sailings began, and some lines have extended them one or more times.  Based on some responses here, I am guessing you are on Celebrity, and to the best of my knowledge, Celebrity does not offer this.  If I am wrong, or you are on a different line be sure to verify the policy before purchasing anything.

 

As others have said, you need a Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) policy to do what you want.  (I won't advise on having a boss write a cancel for work reason note).  Most third party CFAR policies will pay in cash, but typically only 75%.  Those policies will include cruise costs and other non refundable costs such as hotels.  Most cruise line CFAR insurance will offer a FCC for the non refundable cruise costs.  The percentages vary from 75 to 100%.  Celebrity offers 90%.  If you have other non cruise costs, they are typically not covered by a cruise line policy. 

 

If all you have is the cruise fare and all you care about is CFAR and an FCC is acceptable, Celebrity Cruise Care could be the best and most cost effective option.  However, if you also need medical and evacuation coverage (you probably do if you regular medical insurance does not cover you), then most cruise line coverage is not enough.  Many only cover $10K, although Celebrity covers $25K.  I don't think this is enough, but you may be willing to take the risk.

 

Yes, a good travel insurance broker will be useful.  But few if any of them will offer and advice on the cruise line plan.

 

Hope this helps.  I wish it was a simple answer.

 

Edit:  I just noticed you are from South Florida, so airfare and hotels are probably not a concern for you.  

Thanks for that well written response.  Yes, Celebrity, and yes no airfare/hotel needed.  Looks like Celebrity Cruise Care will be the way to go.  Thanks again, and thanks to all who responded (except for the person who told me to look it up for myself 😉 ).

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2 hours ago, sasset said:

Most companies require payment within 24-48 hours of your first payment, ie. deposit, for the CFAR coverage. Also most only give you a 10-15 day review period to cancel the policy. When I make a deposit a year out that doen't work for me. Please if I've got any of this wrong feel free to correct.

 

Many policies will include CFAR coverage if the insurance is started within 10-20 days of the FIRST payment (refundable deposit or other), and that depends in part on state of residence.  (Insurance is regulated at the state level.). That gives one considerable time to deal with this.

Note:  We try to get the policy in place asap once we've made a deposit.  The reason is that one must be "fit to travel" the day the policy is started.  If one waits until, say, the day before the deadline, and *that's* the day one lands in hospital and breaks a leg or gets pneumonia, that's not going to work.  Unlikely, but still... better safe than sorry.

 

Usually, you only need to insure the amount of that initial deposit (and any additional non-refundable payments).

And at least for some policies, if you cancel the cruise without any loss (e.g., the cruise is cancelled and any payments refunded), one can apply the policy to another trip (perhaps within certain deadlines).

 

But as always, double check about whichever policy *you* are thinking about getting, given that there are differences.  Working with one of the insurance brokers mentioned will help with the selection process.  

We use www.TripInsuranceStore.com and they are terrific about answering questions.

 

GC

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So, I can insure just the deposit to get under the 10-20 review period, then increase the insurance after final payment to cover the actual cruise cost?

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2 hours ago, sasset said:

So, I can insure just the deposit to get under the 10-20 review period, then increase the insurance after final payment to cover the actual cruise cost?

 

That is how it works for the policies that we get, but you need to double check that the policy you are considering would work that way.

Actually, if one makes more payments between initial deposit and final payment, one needs to up the coverage to include that new added amount, also within that same time window.  But we only need to add insurance to cover the new total.

 

And also double check what that advance window is, such as 10 days or 20 days, for your state and your policy type, etc.

 

Also check if the coverage you want requires that you include ALL pre-paid costs or just some.  That can make a huge difference (if you get it wrong, it might invalidate the coverage, which would be... not good at all!).

 

We try to use hotels (pre/post-cruise, etc.) that will allow a reservation that is "guaranteed by a charge card, but the card is NOT actually charged". 

If you are using awards for air travel, ask how that is covered for whatever policy you get.  For ours, we only need to insure the "change fee" (if we change flights or cancel entirely), so that doesn't add much at all.

 

A travel insurance broker can answer these questions for you for the type of insurance that will work for *you*, and also perhaps ask about any other factors that might affect your coverage.

 

GC

 

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