The cruise ship that was quoted $10,000 for its travel insurance

Exorbitant premiums and complicated policies make it harder for older travelers to embark on their beloved vacation.

Last week, after Cruise Passenger highlighted the issue, thousands of readers read the story and many got in touch about their own personal situation.

cruise passenger Reader Steve Snell, 76, is a longtime cruiser, currently with four itineraries booked. However, trying to find insurance for these trips has not been easy.

“Right now I’m booked for a cruise on the Majestic (princess), November 25, which has been canceled and delayed twice. I started looking into COVID cruise insurance and 1Cover, which came out to $1,062 for a 13-day trip to New Zealand.”

And while the $1,062 fare already surprised Mr. Snell for a short trip on the Tasmania, he was later amazed at the prices he was quoted for the other three cruises.

“We are back in the majestic princess on March 31 to Vancouver. We decided to go that route as we will then fly from there to New York and pick up the cousin in Norwegiansailing to Iceland and then calling at Southampton.

“I had no idea what I was going to get when I looked at the different rates, I went back to look at 1Cover, it came out at around $10,000.

“This afternoon I joined HCF and it cost me almost $9,000.”

Snell says that when it comes to these and other booked cruises, if premiums don’t come down, he just won’t choose to travel.

“We are also in the celebrity edge on January 24. But right now, my wife says we’re not going to pay $10,000 for insurance. And I also agree. This is a death threat to the cruise industry.”

Mr. Snell has also been recommended to try NIB and CoverMore, but has been unable to reach them by phone and explain his situation.

An avid traveler, Mr. Snell’s situation has now reached the point of discouragement and continued reconsideration of traveling the way he loves.

“I find it very discouraging; We were very excited and a lot of work has gone into this. We’ve had four or five cancellations. You start to feel depressed about the struggles and battles you have.

“The big question is, are we going to pay for that kind of insurance for these trips? The answer is no. Otherwise, we’re fine to travel, but we’re cruisers, we’ve got four cruisers booked, you know?

In essence, Snell sees his situation as price gouging and alienation of older travelers.

“I think it is a price increase. I think it’s discrimination. I get that we’re all getting older, but it’s odds and odds, isn’t it? It’s like private health insurance, you pay your money, you can get sick or not. I think there is definitely a price increase.

“You can’t sail without COVID cruise insurance. We’re leaving for Bali in four weeks and Jetstar’s insurance through AIG was only $184 each.

“That was kind of a relief, but it just showed how much is really happening.”

What do the experts say?

compare the market Travel insurance expert Warren Duke says it’s an unfortunate reality that the combination of a cruise in today’s climate and an older traveler can cause premiums to skyrocket.

“Unfortunately, many older travelers have pre-existing medical conditions and covering those conditions comes at an additional cost due to the increased likelihood of a medical claim.

“The cost can be high, but it is crucial on cruise ships where coverage under the Medicare scheme is not affordable. Weather conditions at sea can also create problems for passengers, increasing the likelihood of falls and injuries.

“If you need special medical treatment or treatment that is not available on board, you may be dropped off at a port, which means insurers could consider repatriating you back home. This comes at a considerable cost.”

Duke says that to some extent it’s simply a numbers game for insurers and if claims occur more frequently due to certain demographics, premiums can skyrocket.

“Most insurance companies have a lot of data based on past claims and this helps them determine the likelihood of future claims and how big those claims might be. Insurers use many factors to determine the price at which they are willing to insure a particular person.

Several factors are considered, including your destination, how you will be traveling, how long you will be traveling, as well as demographic factors such as age and whether travelers have any pre-existing conditions.”

Several factors are considered, including your destination, how you will be traveling, how long you will be traveling, as well as demographic factors such as age and whether travelers have any pre-existing conditions.”

As to whether a price increase is happening, Canstar’s Finance and insurance expert Steve Mickenbecker says it’s a tough call.

It has to be expensive. But is it justified at that price? I couldn’t even make that call.

There are many insurers that offer cruise insurance, it is a very competitive market. Is it a price increase? I could not say.

I always expected very significant increases in costs when the insurers came back together.”

For those who insure themselves through other methods, such as health funds and credit cards, Mickenbecker just cautions to be cautious.

“Some of the credit cards, for example, aren’t as good on their policies as others, but you can get reasonable coverage.

Like any other insurance policy, you have to look at the fine print. But in terms of health coverage, they tend to be reasonable.”

As a final piece of advice, Mr. Mickenbecker says it’s probably best to plan even further ahead with insurance at this point and get a quote before you start spending any other money.

“Dating like that, they change the nature of vacations, don’t they? I always tell people, as soon as you start throwing away non-refundable cash, that’s the time to start buying an insurance policy, but that’s probably not perfect in cases like this.

“That’s when you’re planning your trip, that’s the time to at least get the quotes to make sure you can do it, because that becomes a real affordability issue.

You could end up being forced to consider whether other vacations are more suitable.”

Duke says another way to cut costs is to fine-tune your policy.

“Make sure you are adequately covered without going beyond what you need.

You can adjust your policy to make sure you don’t pay for things you don’t need. If you are carrying $2,500 in luggage, it would be excessive to insure your luggage for $15,000.”

Clients can also reduce their premium by increasing their excess, if they wish to take the risk. The tradeoff is that they will have to pay more in the event of a claim.”

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