Medical Evacuation and Cruises

I’d have to say that the second most important kind of insurance to have on a cruise is Emergency Medical Evacuation Coverage. If you have a emergency injury or an illness that the on board medical facility is unable to deal with, you’ll more than likely be transported off the ship by whatever means are available, whether that’s another ship coming to get you or a helicopter coming to airlift you off. Needless to say that pick up service isn’t going to be cheap. The price for lift off from a cruise ship can start out around $10,000 and balloon up quickly from there. A year ago or so, I had a phone call with a woman whose primary interest was getting evacuation insurance for her cruise. Turns out that she had a friend who did get airlifted off a ship and the bill was in the neighborhood of $80,000 and the poor woman didn’t have any insurance. That’s a bitter pill to swallow.

For evacuation coverage, you really don’t need to look any further than the Comprehensive Policies since they all include evacuation. Consider $50,000 the absolute minimum that you would want, and in this case higher is definitely better. Remember that the pre-existing conditions exclusion applies to emergency medical evacuation as well. So if you do have a pre-existing condition, you would want to get that waived by insuring for your full, non-refundable travel expenses and buy the insurance within the 10-21 day time period after you have made your initial deposit. If you’re past the 10-21 day time period, but still have not paid off your cruise, you can still purchase either the CSA Freestyle Luxe plan, or the HTH WorldWide Trip Protector and Trip Protector Gold plans. All three of them offer the waiver as long as you purchase the insurance prior to, or within 24 hours of making your final trip payment.

If those plans don’t work for you, you can always look to purchase those plans that don’t exclude pre-existing conditions when it comes to emergency medical evacuations. There aren’t many companies that offer that, but here’s the ones that do: Seven Corners Round Trip and Round Trip Choice and Travel Insured International Worldwide Trip Protector Comprehensive and Worldwide Trip Protector Comprehensive Gold.

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