Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cruise Insurance Myth Busters

Despite a chilling start—Costa Concordia and norovirus outbreaks come to mind—cruise vacations in 2012 are climbing the popularity charts with travelers of all ages. From river cruises to cuisine cruises to the more familiar Caribbean cruise, there's no shortage of floating vacations to choose from. But whether you opt for spirited adventure on the high seas or restful and tranquil sailing, remember to protect your trip from things that go bump in the night with travel insurance.

"Statistically, cruises are considered one of the safest forms of travel, but oftentimes things can and do go wrong," says Jim Grace, President and CEO of InsureMyTrip. "For protection against the unexpected, travel insurance is truly a traveler's best friend." Just like cruises and friends however, there are different kinds of insurance and choosing which one is right for you can be daunting. To clear up some of the mystery, InsureMyTrip investigated the top five travel insurance myths and compiled a list of best practices for protecting all your nautical vacations:

1. I Don't Need It, Nothing Will Go Wrong: Though we hope never to use or need it, travel insurance can provide a tremendous amount of security and peace of mind for a small fraction of the cost of your trip. Travel insurance provides coverage for a wide-range of travel risks including:
— Trip cancellation (if you have to cancel)
— Trip interruption (if your travels are brought to an unexpected end while on your trip)
— Medical coverage (if you need emergency medical coverage or an augmentation of your current health benefits)
— Medical evacuation protection (air ambulance service)
2. All Insurance Plans Are the Same: There are hundreds of insurance policies to choose from and just like snowflakes, no two are exactly alike. The key is to compare, compare, compare. Shop around to get the best plan for your needs at the right price. InsureMyTrip.com offers side-by-side comparisons of policies and prices to help you make smart purchasing decisions quickly and easily.

3. There's No Best Time to Buy Insurance: The early bird isn't the only one rewarded for his timely action.To receive the most benefit from your travel insurance policy and be eligible for optional benefits like Cancel For Any Reason and Pre-Existing Medical Conditions, purchase your policy within 10 to 30 days of your First Trip Payment.

4. I Get All the Protection I Need with Insurance from the Cruise Line: Insurance from a third-party source is easy to buy but more importantly, it offers 1) greater choice of plans, 2) enhanced protection coverage, including Financial Default protection and Missed Connection benefits and 3) better reimbursement benefits that provide financial reimbursement for canceled trips rather than a cruise voucher or credit.

5. All of My Medical Needs Can Be Managed Onboard: It's true that all cruise ships have fully equipped medical facilities and staff onboard to handle most emergencies, still, medical evacuations—transporting a passenger from the ship to a hospital on shore—occurs more often than we realize. The cost of a typical evacuation to the nearest, but not necessarily quality-care hospital, can quickly exceed the limited coverage offered by most cruise lines and leave you with a hefty balance to pay. Medical evacuation policies offering up to $2 million coverage can be purchased from InsureMyTrip as a stand alone policy or a benefit included in comprehensive travel policies. It provides evacuation to the nearest appropriate care facility or, in some cases, to your hospital of choice depending on the company and plan.

To learn more about the travel insurance protection plans that best suit your cruise travel needs, visit Insure My Trip online or call (800) 487-4722 to speak with a licensed travel insurance professional. Whether you simply need one question answered or want step-by-step assistance selecting a travel insurance policy, InsureMyTrip's Customer Care representatives are available to help seven days a week, 365 days a year.

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