I am ready to book a November 2009 cruise on HAL. Problem is, I can't book air or hotel until November or December of this year. Does this mean I have to do two separate policies? If I wait until I book air and hotel, will I be able to include the cruise at that time?
Depending on the insurance provider, you may not have to worry about the insurance until all your ducks are in a row. Some providers have a window of time starting from the date you book your cruise to add a policy or lose pre-existing condition coverage. Some will let you add the insurance anytime before the penalty period begins and still get full coverage. I'd look for a company that has the latter rules rather than the prior. That way you can book your cruise, air, hotel and whatever else and not have to actually purchase the policy until about 90 days before your cruise. No need for insurance anyway until there are actually penalties that need to be covered.
Why not go ahead and get the policy now to cover pre-existing conditions and just add on the air to the policy at a later date. Maybe you don't have a pre-existing condition now. However; if you wait until November to take out insurance, and meanwhile in June something happens to you, then you've just created a pre-exisitng condition.
I don't normally bother with getting insurance until I have purchased something non-refundable.
With cruises, you can get your money back until a set number of days before the cruise if you cancel. That is whe nyou should buy insurance.
And if you buy it from a website, they ask how much the trip costs per person. So you could just include an amount for the future airfare and get the policy before the airfare. But again since you can get your cruise fare returned if you have to cancel up to 70 days before sail date (check your cruise because they can differ on the number of days), why buy the insurance unless you have purchased something non refundable?
I agree completely with Jim. However, since you're looking at a HAL sailing be careful on one thing. They have two promotional codes that go into 100% penalty the day you book your cruise. If your promo is a Flash (FA1 or FA2, often called a 3-day or 5-day sale) or SWAT promotion you'll need the insurance from day one. Ask your agent if you're looking at either of these as your promo code. If you're not on one of these promos ask if one of them is available. When they run them you can see some huge savings over normal or even other promotional rates. They don't always publicize these or even offer them direct in every case, even when available. You have to ask specifically for this promotion to get it. Most T/As will always ask for you at they time of booking and some agencies have lists of which sailings are available. The lists are electronically updated to many agencies and easy for an agent to find when they book your cruise.
The insurance I usually suggest to my clients now has some extra coverage you can purchase, but only if you buy the insurance within 2 weeks of making your first deposit on the cruise. Not only will you be covered for cancellations due to pre-existing medical conditions in yourselves and your immediate family, but you can now also be covered for cancellations due to work reasons, and get partial reimbursement if you cancel for any reason. This insurance also covers financial default of the cruise line if purchased within 2 weeks, but I don't think you have to worry about that with HAL.
As mentioned, the down side is paying now for insurance for a cruise in 2009, when your deposit will be refundable until about 75 days prior to sailing. You can modify the policy to cover non-refundable costs of the airfare and hotel, if any, at whatever time you book those things. There are pros and cons to both buying now and waiting, unless you want to be covered for pre-existing conditions.
Ok, Here's the scenario. The cruise is purchased today 16FEB for 1DEC08. Final payment for lets say 15SEP08, which on that date penalties start. So they have up until 14Sep08 to cancel without buying the insurance. On 5JUL08 said person has an incident which requires them to see a Doctor. Still plenty of time before the cruise, things are looking good, no reason to cancel the cruise. On 15SEP they take out the insurance, and pay their final payment. On 1NOV the incident from July returns and is causing problems. Treatment of six weeks will be necessary. You have to cancel your cruise. Guess what, it was your pre-existing condition that caused you to cancel and your not covered because you didn't take out the insurance right away.
Don't ask me to play Doctor and give you a case where this can happen. Just believe it can happen.
This is funny, we all seem to use different providers and we all know the ins and outs of the one we're familliar with. Sandy's so far sounds the most appealing to me with coverage for things like work related issues, i've never heard of that from outside the cruiseline coverage, which sometimes has "Any reason cancellation protection". The problem with cruiseline coverage is, it's either 80% or 90% coverage and is sometimes in the form of a future cruise credit instead of real $$$. There are so many policies out there and all of them different. Some only cover pre-existing conditions if you buy then within X# of days of booking. The one I have available at work covers pre-existing conditions no matter when you book your cruise, no exceptions, if you buy their policy prior to penalty. Since everyone who is posting is knowledgable about cruising and some form of insurance, the best advice I have is shop to see what company and program you're likely to buy insurance from and be sure you buy it in the time frame required by that provider to get all of the coverage you're paying for. Shop them all and find one that is a good value and coverage for your needs.
Sandy, I'd love to know who your provider is. Can you PM me with it? I'm very curious about it for my own cruising. I'm very happy with the one I've always used but the coverage for work related issues is a real benefit from my perspective.
the travel insurance company that I always use ( I have taken about 25 cruises) also covers work related cancellations. you must but this extra coverage (which is minimal) within 14 -15 days from the time you take out the policy. This also covers pre-existing conditions.