Jul 012010
 

By Mic Anderson

Welcome to the third installment of my insurance primer. In this final installment, we’re going to explore insurance on cruises, focusing on Disney Cruise Line and their policies. Again, please remember I’m not an insurance agent in any shape or form, nor have I played one on TV. This is coming from my personal experience and my experience as an airline employee and travel agent, and should all be taken as suggestion only.

If you missed the first and second installments on the safety net offered by travel insurance, check them out. The first installment of this series covered travel insurance basics. The second installment focused on Walt Disney World and Disneyland trips.

Now, on to cruise insurance. Like land packages, the cancellation policy is important and you need to familiarize yourself with it, but there are other reasons to have insurance when on a cruise. You are going to be traveling in foreign countries and it would be so much easier to call your travel insurance company and find out where to go to get your poison ivy treated, than it would trying to figure out how to say it in Spanish. You might mistakenly say something like "burp on my bolt" (eructo en mi perno), when you meant to say "rash on my leg" (erupción en mi pierna). And you do not want to get caught with the bill if you needed to be airlifted due to a medical condition. Also, while medical concerns are my biggest issue when we cruise, a cruise is an expensive mostly prepaid vacation. You do not want to lose that money if you have to cancel.

Disney Cruise Line Cancellation Policy:
Cruises Less Than 10 Days (Except Alaska Cruises)

Days prior to Vacation Commencement Date

Fee Amount

·45 days or more

Deposit per Guest for Suites or Concierge staterooms is always non-refundable.

· 74-45 days

Deposit per Guest for Non-Suites or Concierge staterooms

· 44-15 days

50% of vacation price per Guest

· 7 days or less

No refund

Cruises of 10 Days or More & Alaska Cruises

Days prior to Vacation Commencement Date

Fee Amount

·45 days or more

Deposit per Guest for Suites or Concierge staterooms is always non-refundable

· 89-45 days

Deposit per Guest for Non-Suites or Concierge staterooms

· 44-8 days

50% of vacation price per Guest

· 14 days or less

No refund

A very important thing to note: Disney Cruise Line considers changes to the vacation commencement date, land/sea components, or changes of Guest names to be cancellations.

One of the things I like about the travel insurance offered by Disney and most of the other major cruise lines is that you can add the insurance on at any time prior to final payment. (These policies are always in a state of change, so make sure and check your specifics for your cruise line.) Also many of the cruise lines (although not Disney at this time) offer different levels of insurance, with a basic, and one or two levels of upgraded service offering more benefits. One thing to keep in mind, however, are pre-existing conditions. Most basic policies will not cover circumstances that result from a pre-existing condition; the upgraded policy often will.

One thing I do not like about the cruise line policies is that they only cover what you buy from the cruiseline. If you purchase your cruise, your airfare, and your pre-cruise hotel night through Disney Cruise Line, you can get it all covered with their insurance. However, if you purchase it separately (and I really am not a fan of purchasing airfare through the cruise line for a variety of reasons, first off the cost), then only cruise will be covered.

Shop at www.insuremytrip.com to compare different policies and rates. If you are going to go this route, you do not want to wait to purchase the insurance, as many policies will add a surcharge if you do not buy it within a certain time frame (i.e. five days) from when you booked your cruise. At least check into it right away when booking your cruise and get the information. They also have an 800 number for those of us who like to ask a lot of questions.

So that’s it! With the basic information from this three-installment series on travel insurance, you have the general knowledge you need to make educated decisions about when and if you’ll need it. It’s a safety net, a safety net you should at least consider as part of your vacation-planning process.

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