(52) Protect Your Cruise Investment with Travel Insurance

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(52) Protect Your Cruise Investment with Travel Insurance

When was the last time you knew in advance that you, a traveling companion, or a family member would break a leg or get sick? When the last time you knew in advance a storm would close the airport and stop all travel or you would open the mailbox and find a summons for jury duty just days before your dream cruise? Travel is expensive and it pays to spend a few dollars more to protect your cruise investment.

Research insurance you already have. Many seniors are not aware that Medicare does not provide coverage outside the United States. If your personal health insurance does cover you, call customer service or visit their Website for international claims procedures. Many companies have special international claims forms. Print copies of them to take along on all trips outside the U.S. Some homeowner's policies offer protection for baggage loss or theft. Some credit card providers offer medical benefits or include an accidental death benefit if you charge your trip on their card. It's critical to know what insurance protection you do and do not have.

Medical travel insurance covers you in the event of illness or injury during your trip and, if necessary, for medical evacuation. In developing countries, medical care is limited and you may need medical evacuation to get adequate care. Medical evacuation costs $35,000 to $50,000 or more on average. Trip cancellation/interruption insurance offers protection in the event something unexpected forces you to cancel or interrupt your cruise. Most policies cover trip cancellation/interruption due to illness or death of you, immediate family, or your travel companion (even if not related). You are also protected if your travel agent, tour company or cruise line defaults. You are covered if weather or certain other external forces cause you to miss your trip. This coverage also includes baggage loss and delay protection. A comprehensive travel policy covers both medical and trip cancellation/interruption events.

Watch for pre-existing medical condition clauses. If you or an immediate family member has a chronic medical condition, check a potential cruise travel insurance policy carefully to be sure you are covered. Most waivers of pre-existing conditions require purchase of the insurance within seven days of booking your trip. Plan ahead!

Least expensive is not the only criteria you should use to select a cruise insurance policy. Policies are priced by type of coverage, length of trip, cost of trip, and sometimes travelers' ages. Average cost of comprehensive travel insurance is approximately $65.00 per $1000 of the trip cost.

Visit www.worldtravelcenter.com or www.insuremytrip.com to research and compare travel policies from a multitude of companies. Compare benefits, options and restrictions to select the policy that best meets your personal travel needs. As with all travel documents and agreements, read policy information carefully before you purchase.

Pack your travel insurance certificate and emergency numbers in your carry-on bag with other important travel documents. Make an extra copy to leave at home with family.

Hopefully, travel insurance is protection you will never need; however, it can be a lifesaver. Don't leave home without it.



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