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Travel is full of the unexpected, which is part of the fun if you travel frequently. A quick trip to another state may involve weather issues depending on the season. When you get on the high seas, your risk grow exponentially. Sea sickness can be the least of your worries should something go wrong. So you’ll want to make sure you have the best travel insurance coverage that won’t leave you exposed in an emergency.
For example, you might not need flight protections if you’re catching a cruise at a port near you. However, medical and cancel for any reason coverage could be critical.
Best Cruise Insurance of 2023
Nationwide travel insurance – Product Name Only: Best Overall AXA Assistance USA – Product Name Only: Best for Affordable Premiums Seven Corners travel insurance – Product Name Only: Best for Seniors Travel Guard – Product Name Only: Best for Cruise-Only Coverage HTH Worldwide Travel Insurance – Product Name Only: Best for High Coverage Amounts World Nomads Travel Insurance – Product Name Only: Best for Adventure Seekers Travelex travel insurance – Product Name Only: Best for Long-Distance Cruises
If you’re buying travel insurance for the first time, you may want other travelers’ perspectives. Personal Finance Insider conducted a 2023 winter travel insurance survey of 971 US adults in December through Momentive AI Audience.
Cruise-savvy travel insurance providers may offer options like missed port of call and medical evacuation coverage. Ultimately, the exact coverage you choose is up to you. We’ve reviewed and compiled a list of the top 10 cruise travel insurance providers to help you along the way.
Compare The Best Cruise Travel Insurance
Methodology: How We Chose the Best Cruise Travel Insurance
When comparing cruise travel insurance providers, we evaluated them based on the following criteria:
We look at ratings from JD Power and other industry giants to see where a company ranks in customer satisfaction.
We check with sites like AM Best or S&P to check its financial stability. In short, is the company likely to be around 10 years from now?
We look at policy types from standard flight protection and baggage loss to cancel for any reason and sports or pet coverage.
We compare average premiums per trip. Some companies also offer annual plans, and we compare policies accordingly.
How frequently do companies pay claims easily and quickly? We check customer reviews and other resources to see which companies honor policies most effectively.
We look at the company’s overall behavior. Is it operating ethically? Companies can earn additional points for such behaviors.
You can read more about our insurance ratings process here.
Cruise Travel Insurance Frequently Asked Questions
When should I buy cruise travel insurance?
If you’re booking a cruise, we recommend purchasing a travel insurance plan when you make your first trip payment. That could be for the cruise itself or an expense like airfare to get you to your cruising destination. This way, if you have to cancel your trip, you’ll have the most extended coverage period possible.
What type of travel insurance do I need for a cruise?
A cruise is a fantastic way to see the world, but only if you have adequate travel insurance. A standard travel insurance policy that covers cruises is sufficient. But insurance plans tailored to cruises with coverage like missed port of call or restriction to your stateroom can be considered for an added sense of security.
How much does cruise travel insurance cost?
As a rule of thumb, you can expect to pay between 4% and 8% of your prepaid, nonrefundable trip expenses for cruise insurance coverage. The price will vary depending on factors like your age, your travel destination, and whether you require additional coverages.
Does my credit card provide cruise travel insurance?
Several great travel rewards credit cards offer trip protection, which can come in handy under certain circumstances. But if you’re planning a cruise and have a lot of prepaid expenses associated with your trip, it’s best to purchase a more comprehensive cruise insurance policy. You can read Insider’s guide to the best credit cards with travel insurance to learn more about credit card insurance coverage.
Best Cruise Insurance Overall
Nationwide Travel Insurance
It has three cruise insurance options: Universal, Choice, and Luxury. The Nationwide Choice plan, for example, offers $100,000 in emergency medical coverage and $500,000 in emergency medical evacuation coverage.
The right plan for you depends on your budget and coverage needs. But each plan offers cruise-specific coverages like ship-based mechanical breakdowns, coverage for missed prepaid excursions if your cruise itinerary changes, and covered service disruptions aboard the cruise ship.
Nationwide Travel Insurance Review
Best Cruise Insurance for Affordable Premiums
AXA Travel Insurance
The highest-tier Platinum plan provides $250,000 in medical emergency coverage and $1 million in medical evacuation coverage. The baggage loss coverage is $3,000 per person, and their missed connection coverage is $1,500 per person for cruises and tours.
In addition, travelers can take advantage of AXA’s concierge service, which provides an extensive network of international service providers. They’ll be able to assist you with things like restaurant reservations and referrals, golf course information, and more. This service could come in handy if you’re stopping at a variety of unfamiliar destinations during your cruise.
The coverage limits on AXA’s policies are on the higher end compared to other providers. And you can buy coverage for a little as 4% of your trip cost depending on your age, travel destination, and state of residence.
AXA Travel Insurance Review
Best Cruise Insurance for Seniors
Seven Corners Travel Insurance
Seven Corners also offers the option of a preexisting conditions waiver and CFAR insurance at an additional cost, plus “Trip Interruption for Any Reason” coverage, which you won’t find on many policies.
You can choose between the RoundTrip Basic or RoundTrip Choice plans, with the higher-tier Choice plan costing more but providing more coverage.
Seven Corners Travel Insurance Review
Best for a Cruise-Specific Policy
AIG Travel Guard
As an example, the middle-tier AIG Preferred plan offers $50,000 in medical emergency coverage and $500,000 in emergency evacuation coverage. The Preferred and Deluxe plans also offer CFAR as an upgrade.
AIG Travel Guard Insurance Review
Best Cruise Insurance for High Coverage Amounts
Not only does the HTH Worldwide Trip Protector Preferred plan offer higher-than-average medical emergency and evacuation coverage limits ($500,000 and $1 million, respectively), but you’ll also get a baggage loss coverage limit of $2,000 per person and coverage for trip interruption of up to 200% of the trip cost. You also have the option to add CFAR coverage for an additional cost.
HTH Worldwide Travel Insurance Review
Best Cruise Insurance for Adventure-Seeking Travelers
World Nomads Travel Insurance
For many years now,
Even the most basic Standard Plan comes with $100,000 in medical emergency coverage and $300,000 in emergency evacuation coverage. And you’ll get higher coverage limits with their Premium Plan. Plus, unlike many other providers, World Nomads trip cancellation and emergency medical coverage includes COVID-19-related issues.
What sets World Nomads apart from many other insurance companies is that its policies cover 200+ adventure sports. This can be important for adventurous cruisers who plan to take part in activities like jet skiing, scuba diving, or parasailing during their cruise.
World Nomads Travel Insurance Review
Best for Long-Distance Cruises
With the Travelex Travel Select Plan, you’ll be covered for up to $50,000 in medical emergency costs and for up to $500,000 for medical evacuation and repatriation costs. You’ll also have the option to pay for increased medical emergency coverage of up to $100,000, increased medical evacuation coverage of up to $1 million, and CFAR insurance.
Travelex Travel Insurance Review
How to Pick The Best Cruise Insurance for You
When buying travel insurance for a cruise, consider the additional risks that are specific to cruising. These include hurricanes and other weather-related concerns, strict cancellation terms, high pre-paid costs of a cruise, and the distance to emergency medical assistance.
To find the policy that’s right for you, it’s best to compare several different cruise insurance policies based on the pricing and coverage they provide. Remember too that all reputable insurance providers will offer a “free-look period.” This allows you to return the policy you’ve purchased for any reason, within a specific time period, for a full refund.
The most important coverages to look for in cruise insurance are:
- Medical coverage — This coverage will pay for medical bills outside the US. But because treatment can be more expensive while onboard, make sure your policy offers sufficient coverage ($100,000+).
- Medical evacuation coverage — This coverage will transport you to the nearest hospital or even back home if you become sick or injured during your journey. But an evacuation from sea will be more expensive than one from land. So you’ll want to make sure your coverage has sufficiently high limits ($250,000+).
- COVID-19 coverage — The coronavirus is now considered a “known” event, meaning standard travel insurance won’t cover issues that arise from COVID-19. So, you’ll want to consider any add-on coverage your provider offers to cover COVID-19 related illnesses.
- Missed connection (missed port of call) coverage — This type of coverage will help you catch up to your itinerary if you miss your port of call for a covered reason, like a delayed flight on the way to the airport.
- Coverage for hurricane warnings — With this type of coverage, you don’t actually need to be affected by the hurricane. You can cancel and be reimbursed for your trip if the NOAA issues a hurricane warning. If you’re cruising anywhere during (or on the tail ends) of hurricane season, this can come in handy. Just note: You can’t buy travel insurance to cover a weather event once a storm or hurricane has been named.
- Cancel for any reason (CFAR) — This is the most comprehensive coverage you can get, as it allows cancellations and reimbursement for pre-paid expenses for any reason. This can be a wise add-on for cruise coverage given the often higher prepaid expenses associated with cruising.
- Preexisting conditions — This coverage ensures that no known health conditions are excluded from coverage.
- Personal possessions insurance — Because of the events and fancy dinners cruise ships hold, you might take more valuable clothing or jewelry with you on a cruise. This type of coverage will insure your belongings against loss or theft while cruising.
- Baggage loss and delay — This coverage will reimburse you up to a specified amount for essentials if your bags are delayed or if your bags get lost en route.