In the news recently, is the story of a Carnival cruise ship that became stranded on the ocean. From what I understand, there was a fire in the engine room that occurred as the cruise ship was heading to Mexico. It has been said that this cruise ship is going to require one or more tugboats in order for it to be towed back to the shore. Fortunately, none of the passengers or crew were hurt in this incident. This kind of event is the last thing that anyone wants to experience while on vacation! Some people are wondering if travel insurance would have been of any use in this situation.
What does travel insurance cover? It gives you some protection in case your trip gets canceled. This means that if you pre paid for your cruise and then experience a major illness that prevents you from going on the cruise, you can get at least a portion of your pre-paid expenses refunded to you. In general, you need to cancel within a set amount of days, and your reason for canceling has to be approved by the travel insurance company.
Travel insurance can also cover the cost of “catching up” to the cruise ship. Travel doesn’t always go as planned. Let’s say your flight got delayed, and this caused you to miss your connecting flight. You are going to arrive in port after the cruise ship has sailed. Travel insurance can cover the cost of another connecting flight, that can get you to the next port of call the cruise ship will stop at. Travel insurance can also provide you with a cash reimbursement if your baggage was delayed, so that you can purchase the essential items that you need as you wait for your bags to catch up with you.
An important reason to get travel insurance is in case of a medical emergency, or in case you need to be evacuated off of the cruise ship. If you become injured while you are on the cruise ship, you are going to need medical attention. This might require you to be flown out to the nearest hospital. That hospital might be located in a foreign country, that will not accept your American health insurance. The travel insurance can reimburse you for the medical care you required while you were traveling, the cost of evacuation, and the cost of taking an emergency medical transport back to where you live. Travel insurance policies, if they are good ones, can provide up to $1,000,000 to cover emergency medical transportation expenses. It is this portion of a travel insurance policy that may have provided some help to the passengers on the stranded cruise ship, if any of them had gotten injured, or were in need of medical attention.
Image by Nick Ares on Flickr