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HAL insurance vs 3rd party?


LovesSaltwater

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Hi, newbie here, racing to make decision about trip insurance before paying deposit. Would love to hear pros/cons over taking HAL's platinum trip insurance vs some outside company :confused: --thanks!

 

I actually like HAL's Platinum insurance. It's great peace of mind especially if you have children or pets or any reason you might have to cancel that would not be normally covered. At 24 plus hours (That's one day before departure) you would get 90% cash back on your credit card and you do not have to give any reason as its "Cancel for Any Reason". I have not seen ANY policy (through the cruiseline or independant) who will give 90% or 95% of your money back in cash. At 31 days it 95% back. My stepdaughter just decided 31 days out she wasn't going with us to the Med and was I glad I had this policy. Note that it does not cover independant air. It covers pre-existing conditions. The negative is that it has to be paid in full at deposit, is not reundable and an issue in my opinion if you are booking a cruise over a year out (but prior to final payment it can be transfered to another cruise).

 

The positives are the Cancel for Any Reason with cash back, $50,000 in medical evacuation, pre-existing conditions covered, and piece of mind. It's also workd out great forilder pasengers as it is nt based on age.

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Thanks, Jade13. I need to call and verify that, being Washington State residents, we'd still get the "for any reason" insurance, because today while researching 3rd party trip insurance, found out wasn't eligible to take that option because of living here. boo hoo, but if HAL does allow, then seems like a slam-dunk to take the Platinum! Anybody else have anything to share on this?

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Anybody else have anything to share on this?

 

Okay, I'll take the other side of the argument. HAL's insurance can be expensive compared to other providers. Since it costs roughly 10% of the fare and only reimburses you for 90% in the last month, you are basically paying 20% of your fare to insure the remaining 80%. Moreover, if you need to cancel your cruise for what other insurance companies consider a covered reason (e.g., illness), then the third party insurer will reimburse you for 100% of your cancellation fees, but HAL will only reimburse you for 90% or 95%.

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I have to agree with the third party option.

It is always best to have insurance coverage coming from "someone" that has no stake in the outcome of a claim. Of course that does not mean that you can't run into grief dealing with an insurance company, but at least you have some faith that any dispuite is related to the policy not the pocket of the cruise line.

I have also found that coverages tend to be lower with cruise line "insurance". $50,000 does not seem to me to be adequate coverage for medical evacuation. When we purchase third party medical evacuation for our cruises we always get $2 million.....and I think if you crunch the numbers you may find that there is good third party insurance available that is cheaper than what the cruise line "insurance" ends up costing.

Just my thoughts.

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I actually like HAL's Platinum insurance. It's great peace of mind especially if you have children or pets or any reason you might have to cancel that would not be normally covered. At 24 plus hours (That's one day before departure) you would get 90% cash back on your credit card and you do not have to give any reason as its "Cancel for Any Reason". I have not seen ANY policy (through the cruiseline or independant) who will give 90% or 95% of your money back in cash. At 31 days it 95% back. My stepdaughter just decided 31 days out she wasn't going with us to the Med and was I glad I had this policy. Note that it does not cover independant air. It covers pre-existing conditions. The negative is that it has to be paid in full at deposit, is not reundable and an issue in my opinion if you are booking a cruise over a year out (but prior to final payment it can be transfered to another cruise).

 

The positives are the Cancel for Any Reason with cash back, $50,000 in medical evacuation, pre-existing conditions covered, and piece of mind. It's also workd out great forilder pasengers as it is nt based on age.

 

That is suppose to say the numbers work out for older passengers as it's not based on age.

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then the third party insurer will reimburse you for 100% of your cancellation fees, but HAL will only reimburse you for 90% or 95%.

 

Yes, well noted and I have a problem with that and think it should be 100% for a medical/covered reason.

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Dandro, who was that, if I may ask? I have not had a chance to call HAL yet about their insurance, but since I'm in WA state I'm thinking that we can't get the "for any reason" no matter who it is. Anybody live in WA or OR (or NY) where the "for any reason" is not valid, who's found somebody who covers for that? On the other hand, given that it would be for one of the usual reasons (illness, death), is there a reason to care about getting extra medical coverage, if one already has medical insurance? We were thinking that the only reason to get the coverage was for trip cancellation. Anything else would just be incidental frosting on the cake.

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HAL's insurance is expensive. Also you must buy their insurance when you put down your deposit. Should you decide to cancel the cruise for whatever reason no matter how many months -- weeks -- days -- from the cruise -- you lose the cost of the insurance.

We buy third party insurance and pay for it when we make our final deposit knowing that we can cancel any time up to final payment and not lose any money.

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Just spent some time on phone w/ HAL & Berkeley who administers the insurance part of their plans (not the cancellation up to 24-hrs). Was directed to area on HAL website that had info on cancellation plans and it turns out that sailing after 1 Sept 09 gives a better situation than prior to that date ("for any reason") which is not affected, according to Berkeley, by being in WA state. I want to talk to HAL again and see if I get another answer. But I'm still interested in investigating 3rd party insurance...I've looked at the TripInsuranceStore online and my head was swimming....I'll look at any that anybody recommends -- Krazy Kruisers, who do you buy from? Thanks!!

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Went to Insuremytrip.com and got on live-chat, quick and responsive. Person said only way to get "cancel for any reason" was thru 2 companies of the whole list (becuz live in WA state). Compared them and the price was WAY above what would pay to HAL. :eek: Lucky, all of you who got better prices for 100% refund...I have yet to find that golden goose. Looks like we'll be forced to go with HAL if only because 90-95% for any reason (becuz cruise is after 1 Sep) for only $79.25 apiece, is sounding pretty good right now. But still will be checking in here through tomorrow, to see if anyone can share some info that might open my eyes to a better deal...??

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Yes, mamaofami, I saw that NY, Oregon, and Washington were the 3 states that are so afflicted. bummer! Did you go through Holland America, or did it turn out that that also affects HAL's? They haven't said so, and since they say it is their own thing, not really insurance, I'm hoping that it won't affect their plan. Did you end up with insurance?

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Went to Insuremytrip.com and got on live-chat, quick and responsive. Person said only way to get "cancel for any reason" was thru 2 companies of the whole list (becuz live in WA state). Compared them and the price was WAY above what would pay to HAL. :eek: Lucky, all of you who got better prices for 100% refund...I have yet to find that golden goose. Looks like we'll be forced to go with HAL if only because 90-95% for any reason (becuz cruise is after 1 Sep) for only $79.25 apiece, is sounding pretty good right now. But still will be checking in here through tomorrow, to see if anyone can share some info that might open my eyes to a better deal...??

 

It was unbelievable a few years ago when we also bought our air through HAL as in that case the cost was only based on the cruise but also covered the air. I still can't believe that 24 Plus hours in advance we could have had our air refunded at 90%...

 

You can also look at the CSA Luxe policies.

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While thankfully I have never had to use it we went with HAL's Plat. Insurance the last 2 cruises. We do have the cancel for any reason available in Nevada which is why I purchased it. Also HAL's insurance is no longer that expensive they have dropped the price.

The other thing I have noticed and this could be just coincidence but I found that both times I purchased the HAL insurance and I had a guarantee cabin I was upgraded a bit better than others. Now I have been watching and keeping track and even asked a few posters when they said they got a nice upgrade and those that did had purchased the HAL insurance. Please do not take this that I am saying this guarantees a good up grade but the possibility exists ;)

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Really? You can not purchase HAL's Platinum Plan?

 

Hi Jade. Hope you're well. Actually, we never asked about HAL's insurance. Our TA got us the insurance as cancel for any reason with travel guard and then told us we couldn't purchase it because of the New York State exclusion. I'm sure it must apply to HAL too since it is a New York State law. But, i'm going to check it out. I will say that Travel Guard was wonderful when we had to cancel our last cruise this January. Lots of paper work, but it was all fair and we received a refund in a timely manner.

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Dandro, who was that, if I may ask? I have not had a chance to call HAL yet about their insurance, but since I'm in WA state I'm thinking that we can't get the "for any reason" no matter who it is. Anybody live in WA or OR (or NY) where the "for any reason" is not valid, who's found somebody who covers for that? On the other hand, given that it would be for one of the usual reasons (illness, death), is there a reason to care about getting extra medical coverage, if one already has medical insurance? We were thinking that the only reason to get the coverage was for trip cancellation. Anything else would just be incidental frosting on the cake.

 

Lovessaltwater you did not say what the ports of call were on your cruise, so we really can't give you very accurate info...

But are you are positive that your Medical coverage will cover Medical Evacuation...Medical Evacuation from a ship to either home or even a nearby Hospital can cost Thousands of dollars & is not normally covered by private insurance unless you have a travel rider..

We had a discussion on Cruise Critic sometime last year about Evacuation costs from various ports & it was an eye opener for me..The costs were astronomical...To be transported home on a Medivac plane, they must have an ambulance or Medical Helicopter transfer you to a nearby Hospital first, before they can get you on a Medivac flight home..Then an ambulance is needed to get the patient to the airport...On the Medivac flight they usually send a Dr. & an RN to accompany the patient..Again an ambulance & Nurses at the home port is needed to to transfer the patient to a Hospital..

May I suggest that you check out your Medical coverage very carefully. Also if the patient is on Medicare, your Medical is not covered by Medicare outside of the United States..

We don't purchase HAL's insurance usually as it's expensive..We normally go on Insure my trip.com & either purchase Access America or Travelex..You can do comparisons of several policies on-line..

Hope you find a good policy & welcome to Cruise Critic..

cheers..Betty

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Thanks for input...we're going on 1-week Alaska out of-into Seattle. Ports of call just in Alaska + Victoria 1 evening. Strongly leaning towards HAL's Platinum because the prices I saw thru InsuremyTrip & another, were quite high. Will take advice to double check on our med-coverage, yes hubbie is on Medicare but we have secondary/backup also.

 

Mamaofami, I tried to get ahold of HAL to double check whether the "cancel for any reason" was good despite the WA state thing, but couldnt reach anyone, will try in a.m. But I notice they specifically say on the website description, that the Platinum CANCELLATION PLAN is NOT INSURANCE, so maybe they get around it that way, and you and I would be able to have "cancel for any reason" thru HAL Platinum despite wacky state rules. Except I'm thinking it would be only up to the 24-hrs prior to sailing, because at that point BerkelyCare takes over the cancellation plan and then it IS thru an insurance company. When I called Berkely the lady made a point over and over to talk to HAL about the cancellation plan part of it, that they (the insurance company) did NOT handle that until the last 24 hours and then during the trip for the medical and trip interruption, etc. insurance part. So I'm banking that we'd at least get "for any reason" for the months leading up to the day before. Hope that makes sense to you!

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Yes, well noted and I have a problem with that and think it should be 100% for a medical/covered reason.

 

We just had to cancel our Westerdam trip and had HAL Platinum. I called them and they refunded all but the cost of the insurance, which is to be expected, and $40.00 per ticket. They did not require proof to be submitted and we had our money back in days. We were VERY pleased, and the cost of the policy was under $100.00 per person.

 

Our air was booked independently and I still haven't been able to file the claim or get anyone who can help me at the insurance company, and it's been 5 weeks. Plus, they are going to want all kinds of documentation (which I had expected HAL to want).

 

I don't know how well the 'cancel for any reason' plan might work, or if it would be as satisfactory, but we were very happy with the medical cancelation. I don't want to have to 'shop around' for insurance, or jump through hoops if we have to file a claim, and since I know HAL is good, I'll stick with them.

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