With hopes of a tourism rebound, countries and cruise lines are making safety a top priority. Although vaccines, safety precautions, and COVID-19 test requirements are helping to prevent the spread of Covid, theres one more safeguard that cruise lines in particular are counting on: mandatory travel insurance. This isnt a requirement for all countries or all cruise lines, but regardless, its a smart idea to purchase travel insurance for your upcoming vacation.
Whats the Advantage of Having Travel Insurance?
Generally, cruisers describe their vacations as smooth sailing. But if something were to happen unexpectedly, things can quickly take a turn. Because of this, purchasing travel insurance is just as important as packing your camera, passport, or phone charger.
Its important for travelers to realize that regular health insurance may not provide coverage during the cruise. If any illness, injury, or other health issue were to take place on board or during the trip, it may not be covered, which would result in high medical expenses for those involved.
Travel medical insurance, on the other hand, helps ensure that travelers have the proper medical coverage and that they can get the medical attention that they require.
Likewise, although cruises may have medical staff on board, these resources are generally limited. Staff on board may only be versed in general medical care, and not specialized treatment. Even if they are able to treat you, the cost involved can be very high, and this isnt usually included in the price of your cruise.
In these situations, travel medical insurance can help cover the costs and provide peace of mind in the event that a serious health issue occurs.
Which Cruise Lines are Requiring Travel Insurance?
Recently, a number of cruise lines have announced that unvaccinated passengers will be required to purchase travel insurance for cruises departing from Florida. These cruise lines include:
- Royal Caribbean: Royal Caribbeans website states that as a condition of boarding, each guest 12 and older departing from a Florida homeport on a Royal Caribbean International cruise must provide proof of a valid insurance policy that has a minimum of (a) $25,000 per person in medical expense coverage and (b) $50,000 coverage for emergency medical evacuation and no Covid exclusions. Please note that guests who can provide documentation of full vaccination will be exempt from this requirement. The mandatory insurance requirement pertains to sailing from August 1 through December 31, 2021.
- Carnival Cruise: Starting July 31, 2021, guests who are sailing from Florida and have not received a Covid vaccine will be required to purchase a policy with a minimum of $10,000 in medical expense coverage and $30,000 coverage for emergency medical evacuation without Covid exclusions. Additionally, Carnival will charge $150 per unvaccinated person to cover the cost of a Covid test. Unvaccinated guests who are unable to provide proof of insurance will not be able to sail and no refund will be provided.
- Disney Cruise Line: For guests 12 and older on cruises departing from Florida through December 31, 2021, travel insurance is required. Guests must provide proof of a policy that has a minimum of $10,000 per person in medical expense coverage and $30,000 coverage for emergency evacuation with no Covid exclusions.
Which Countries Require Travel Insurance?
Just because your cruise line doesnt mandate travel insurance doesnt mean that the country youre traveling to wont require it. Here are a few popular cruise destinations that require travel insurance:
- Bahamas: As of November 14, 2020, travel health insurance is required for all visitors. All visitors have to apply for the Bahamas Travel Health Visa; the cost for the mandatory insurance for the Bahamas is included in this price.
- Bermuda: To enter the country, visitors must apply for a Covid Travel Authorization 1-3 days before departure. Proof of a negative Covid PCR test along with proof of health insurance must be submitted to qualify for the authorization.
- Cayman Islands: To enter the Cayman Islands, tourists must apply for permission through the Travel Cayman portal. Part of the application process is to provide proof of travel insurance with coverage for Covid related expenses.
- Mexico: Rules for travel insurance vary depending on where in Mexico youre traveling to. Be sure to do your research to determine if the specific cities youre visiting require insurance.
SafeCruise: The Smartest Choice for Cruise Travel?
While many travel insurance policies will provide the minimum coverage needed for cruise lines and countries, our proprietary plan SafeCruise offers handpicked benefits that not only satisfy all the travel requirements, but also give travelers peace of mind to set sail confidently.
Not only does SafeCruise provide medical coverage, but it also offers coverage that will protect your financial investment of your vacation if you decide you have to cancel your cruise.
SafeCruise offers the following benefits:
- Trip Interruption: covering up to 150% of your total trip cost
- Trip Cancellation: covering 100% of your trip cost, with a maximum of $50,000
- Accident and Sickness Medical Expense: covering up to $250,000
- Medical evacuation for unforeseen emergencies
- Connection to next port if you miss boarding at the departure port
Before you set sail on your cruise, make sure you do your research and double check on the travel insurance requirements for every port of call on your itinerary. Regardless of whether you need travel insurance or not, purchasing cruise insurance is a great way to ensure smooth sailing.