|Photo by Freeimages.com/Robert Linder|
There's still a few days left in CLIA's National Plan a Cruise Month, and Allianz Global Assistance is offering a reminder to agents on the importance of travel insurance.
Through October 31, cruise lines are offering travel agents and their clients several perks, including free beverage packages, free shore excursions, credits for massages, free, pre- or post-cruise and hotel stays and shipboard credits.
Travel insurance and assistance provider Allianz Global Assistance recommends that travel agents offer their clients travel insurance to protect their travel investment from losses due to a covered cancellation, travel interruptions and delays, baggage losses and medical emergencies.
A national survey of travelers, including cruise passengers, found that 63 percent reported that they or a travel companion had become sick while on vacation. Some cruisers who become ill or injured may be treated on board for a fee, while others may require treatment or hospitalization in port. Travel insurance can provide coverage for emergency medical treatment on board a cruise ship or in port, as well as emergency medical transportation and evacuation.
Activities sponsored by cruise lines are not without risk. Cruise lines may not be responsible for the actions of independent excursion companies. So before taking a cruise excursion, it’s important to know if:
- The local excursion provider is insured, licensed and properly trained
- The cruise line evaluated the reliability of the local excursion provider
- The cruise line and/or the local excursion provider disclaimed liability for injuries that passengers might sustain during excursions
Whether it’s a covered trip cancellation or a medical emergency, travel insurance can provide important benefits that can prevent cruisers from losing large deposits and will cover them for emergency medical treatment, up to the limits of their policy. It’s also important to remember that U.S. health insurance policies (including Medicare and Medicaid) may not cover international travel; those that do may not cover the cost of medical evacuation.