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Best Cruise Travel Insurance

Best Cruise Travel Insuranc
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updated: February 28, 2024

Take a mental snapshot of an American on vacation, and you may imagine them on a cruise. The cruise industry is, in fact, booming. Companies such as Royal Caribbean and Carnival are posting record earnings. Travelers are enjoying more destinations, greater amenities, and more choices than ever before.

If your upcoming travel plans include a cruise, you owe it to yourself to consider travel insurance. These are costly trips, and they’re often complex, with multiple legs of travel and international destinations. Insurance can provide peace of mind that, should your travel experience include some hiccups, your wallet won’t take too much of a hit.

Comparison of the best cruise travel insurance companies

Best forPolicy costUnique offeringsTrip cancellationTrip interruptionMedical expense
AIG Travel Guard
Spontaneous travelers
$196
Offers “Pack N’ Go” plan for spontaneous travelers
100% of trip cost
100% of trip cost
$15,000
Allianz Travel
Annual plan
$348
Offers a wide range of plans, including annual plans for those who travel frequently
Up to $10,000
Up to $10,000
$10,000
Berkshire Hathaway
Pre-existing medical conditions
$357
Coverage for pre-existing medical conditions is included
100% of trip cost
150% of trip cost
$75,000
Generali
Concierge services
$502
Concierge offers pre-trip support for sightseeing, activities, airlines, etc.
100% of trip cost
125% of trip cost
$50,000
Nationwide
Cruise plans
$440
Offers multiple cruise-specific plans
100% of trip cost
125% of trip cost
$75,000
Seven Corners
Medical expense coverage
$374
Highest medical expense limits
100% of trip cost
100% of trip cost
$100,000
Travelex
Basic plan
$368
Solid plan with available upgrades
100% of trip cost
100% of trip cost
$15,000

Our recommendations

Best for spontaneous travelers: AIG Travel Guard

AIG

AIG Travel Guard

AIG Travel Guard

Policy cost
$196
Unique offerings
Offers “Pack N’ Go” plan for spontaneous travelers
Trip cancellation
100% of trip cost
Trip interruption
100% of trip cost
Medical expense
$15,000

Why we like it: AIG offers multiple travel insurance options suitable for cruises. Its Essential plan provides a competitive 100% reimbursement of travel costs for trip cancellation or interruption, along with $15,000 of medical expense coverage. And if you decide at the last minute to book a cruise, AIG Travel Guard might be the policy for you. Its “Pack N’ Go” plan helps you save by eliminating trip cancellation coverage. You do enjoy the security of 100% reimbursement for trip interruption, $15,000 of medical coverage, and up to $500 for missed connections.

Pros:

  • The Pack N’ Go plan is ideal for those making last-minute cruise plans.
  • Policies are underwritten by AIG, a multinational insurer with an AM Best A rating.

Cons:

  • $15,000 medical expense coverage with the Essential plan is lower than some competitors.

 

Best for annual plans: Allianz Travel

Allianz

Allianz Travel Insurance

Allianz Travel Insurance

Policy cost
$348
Unique offerings
Offers a wide range of plans, including annual plans for those who travel frequently
Trip cancellation
Up to $10,000
Trip interruption
Up to $10,000
Medical expense
$10,000

Why we like it: If you’re planning multiple trips (including one or more cruises) in the coming year, you might want to look into an annual travel insurance plan. Allianz Travel could be a good choice for that. The company offers a wide range of travel insurance options, including three levels of an annual plan. Its Basic annual plan includes $20,000 of emergency medical, $100,000 of medical transport, and $600 of travel delay coverage.

Pros:

  • Multiple annual plan options, in addition to single-trip travel insurance plans.
  • 24-hour hotline and concierge service included with plans.

Cons:

  • Annual Basic plan does not include trip cancellation coverage.
  • Does not cover trips longer than 45 days.

 

Best for pre-existing medical conditions: Berkshire Hathaway

Berkshire Hathaway

Berkshire Hathaway Travel Insurance

Berkshire Hathaway Travel Insurance

Policy cost
$357
Unique offerings
Coverage for pre-existing medical conditions is included
Trip cancellation
100% of trip cost
Trip interruption
150% of trip cost
Medical expense
$75,000

Why we like it: Berkshire Hathaway offers generous coverage levels for trip cancellation and medical expenses. It’s also the only insurer in our review to automatically waive the pre-existing medical condition exclusion. So, provided you meet certain criteria in the contract, you can embark on a cruise with a medical condition such as a chronic disease. Other insurers may offer this waiver, but only as an option.

Pros:

  • Offers cruise-specific travel insurance plans.
  • Only insurer in our review to cover those with pre-existing medical conditions.

Cons:

  • Value plan (its most basic plan) offers only $15,000 of medical expense coverage.

 

Best for concierge services: Generali

Generali Global Assistance

Generali Travel Insurance

Generali Travel Insurance

Policy cost
$502
Unique offerings
Concierge offers pre-trip support for sightseeing, activities, airlines, etc.
Trip cancellation
100% of trip cost
Trip interruption
125% of trip cost
Medical expense
$50,000

Why we like it: Generali has three travel insurance plans. Its standard plan provides a generous $50,000 of medical expense coverage on top of 100% reimbursement for trip cancellation and 125% reimbursement for trip interruption. What sets the company apart, however, is its concierge service. Customers can contact Generali for assistance with their travel plans, including sightseeing, air travel, and hotel reservations.

Pros:

  • Extensive list of concierge services included with all insurance plans.
  • Generous $50,000 medical coverage, plus telemedical services included with all plans.

Cons:

  • Does not offer cruise-specific coverage packages.
  • Most expensive company in our review.

Best for cruise-specific plans: Nationwide

Nationwide

Nationwide Travel Insurance

Nationwide Travel Insurance

Policy cost
$440
Unique offerings
Offers multiple cruise-specific plans
Trip cancellation
100% of trip cost
Trip interruption
125% of trip cost
Medical expense
$75,000

Why we like it: Choosing a cruise-specific insurance plan means you get a set of coverages that you know provide the protection you need while on your vacation. Nationwide offers not just one, but multiple levels of cruise travel plans. Its Universal level (which is the entry-level plan) provides 100% reimbursement for trip cancellation, $75,000 medical expense coverage, $500 for missed connections, and $1,500 for lost or stolen luggage.

Pros:

  • Multiple cruise-specific plans.
  • Covers up to $75,000 for medical expenses.

Cons:

  • Cancel-for-any-reason coverage only available with the highest-level Luxury plan.

Best for medical expense coverage: Seven Corners

Seven Corners

Seven Corners

Seven Corners

Policy cost
$374
Unique offerings
Highest medical expense limits
Trip cancellation
100% of trip cost
Trip interruption
100% of trip cost
Medical expense
$100,000

Why we like it: Having adequate medical coverage is crucial when you’re on a cruise. While your personal health insurance may cover you for many domestic travel situations, it may exclude incidents that happen on board a ship or at an international port of call. Those looking to maximize their medical coverage should check Seven Corners. Its Basic plan includes up to $100,000 worth of medical expense coverage, along with up to $250,000 for medical evacuation.

Pros:

 

  • Highest medical coverage limits of any of the companies we reviewed.
  • Covers up to $250 per day for a missed cruise connection.

Cons:

  • Basic coverage plan does not include pre-existing medical conditions.

Best for basic plans: Travelex

Travelex

Travelex Travel Insurance

Travelex Travel Insurance

Policy cost
$368
Unique offerings
Solid plan with available upgrades
Trip cancellation
100% of trip cost
Trip interruption
100% of trip cost
Medical expense
$15,000

Why we like it: Travelex does not have cruise-specific insurance plans in its line up. But it does offer multiple packages plus options allowing you to customize coverage. And it might be a good choice for someone looking for an affordable travel insurance plan for a cruise. The company has been in business for more than 25 years, and in 2016 became a subsidiary of the Zurich Insurance Group, one of the world’s largest multinational insurers.

Pros:

  • Basic plan includes reimbursement of up to 100% of costs for trip cancellation and interruption.
  • Upgrades include cancel for any reason, sports equipment, and other coverages.

Cons:

  • Does not cover pre-existing medical conditions.

Methodology

We reviewed travel insurance plans from several leading providers. While most of these providers offer multiple plans, our study focused on each company’s most economical offering. We noted coverage levels, and options that would make each company appealing for a traveler preparing for a cruise. Our policy cost information is based on actual quotes for a family of four (two adults, two children) on a seven-day trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands, at a total trip cost of $10,000.

How to choose a travel insurance company for a cruise

The good news is that when it comes to travel insurance, you have many choices. The bad news is that, well, you have many choices—and it can be difficult to sort through all of them. So, when looking for coverage for an upcoming trip, start by considering the following:

You may already have some coverage

If you use a credit card to pay for your trip, check to see if it includes some travel insurance. The Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve cards, for example, provide trip cancellation, trip interruption, and other coverages.

Some companies offer cruise-specific coverage

While a cruise-specific plan is not really necessary, it may make getting the coverage you need much easier. Berkshire Hathaway’s cruise insurance plan includes specific coverages such as cruise disablement and diversion that anticipate some of the potential problems that are unique to a vacation at sea.

Your medical insurance may exclude cruise travel

Your private medical insurance plan may be very limited when it comes to being on a cruise. It’s rare, for instance, for medical insurance to include incidents that happen outside of the United States. You’ll want to understand what your plan does and doesn’t cover, and consider this when choosing your travel insurance medical coverage.

Look for optional coverages that fit your needs

Our review has focused on companies’ most economical travel insurance plans. But be aware that many companies offer optional coverages that allow you to customize your cruise travel insurance policy to your specific needs. These options may include adventure sports coverage, rental car coverage, or cancel-for-any-reason coverage.

Shop around

As our review shows, the cost of a policy varies among insurance companies. Be sure to shop around to get the best combination of coverage and price. All of the cruise travel insurance companies in our review offer fast online quotes.

You can also use services such as Travelinsurance.com or Squaremouth. They make comparison shopping easy by allowing you to get quotes from multiple travel insurance companies.

Which factors determine the cost of travel insurance for a cruise?

Several factors affect the amount you pay for travel insurance for a cruise. These include the following:

  • Traveler age: According to insurer Berkshire Hathaway, older travelers are more likely to cancel their trip and file a claim.
  • Number of travelers: While a single policy can cover multiple travelers, those additional travelers will drive the cost of the policy.
  • Trip cost: Expensive cruises cost more to insure than cheaper cruises.
  • Trip length: A longer cruise costs more to insure than a shorter cruise.
  • Plan and coverage options: A basic plan with minimal coverage levels and no optional coverages will cost less than a “deluxe” plan with higher amounts of coverage and options such as “cancel for any reason.”

TIME Stamp: Protect your cruise investment with travel insurance

A cruise can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It can also be a costly and complex trip that can set you back financially if something goes wrong. You can protect your vacation investment with cruise travel insurance. Many companies offer travel insurance that is reasonably priced and that provides peace of mind so you can enjoy your vacation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What insurance is best for a cruise?

The best travel insurance for a cruise will depend on your needs and budget. Our review covers travel insurance from several providers. Each offers multiple plans and coverage options at different price points, with some offering cruise-specific insurance plans.

Do I need extra travel insurance for a cruise?

Cruises are often complex trips requiring a significant financial outlay. A snag in your travel plans could result in losing any nonrefundable payments. Your credit card might provide some travel insurance. But if that’s not enough to cover those nonrefundable payments, you should consider buying extra travel insurance.

When should I buy trip insurance for a cruise?

There are advantages to buying travel insurance long before you leave on a cruise, and advantages to buying it shortly before you leave. Buying well before means you have time to investigate plans thoroughly. Buying shortly before you leave means you may know more details about your trip, such as the weather.

Does travel insurance cover cancellation of a cruise?

If a cruise line cancels a cruise, it typically offers passengers a refund, according to USA Today. It may also reimburse for any related travel expenses, such as airfare.

Travel insurance primarily covers situations in which you decide to cancel—for example, if you get sick prior to departure or have a death in the family. It provides reimbursement for expenses that are not refundable. Some plans do, however, offer limited coverage for delays or cancellations that are the fault of the cruise operator.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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