Travel insurance is an extra expense but strongly recommended by most travel agents. In fact, some agents will have you sign a waiver if you DON'T want the insurance, to protect themselves. In fact, I'm also telling you that I claim no responsibility. You need to check this area out yourself. I have put together a spreadsheet for comparing plans. It's a PDF file you can download by clicking here - Travel Insurance Comparisons.
There are basically three types of places to get insurance - the cruise line itself, your travel agent or an independent company. These types of things you want covered may be:
There are several companies that write this coverage. I personally have used Roam Right, Access America, Travel Guard, CSA and Universal Travel Protection (UTP). I have had claims with Access America and Travel Guard and they were both handled successfully. One was for medical, one a cancelled trip due to illness and the other for damaged luggage. Read over the limits of each policy and see what fits your needs for the price.
Your agent can help you shop for insurance but keep in mind they might be biased as they'll get a commission. Before you accept the cruise line's policy, compare it to the independents. Obviously it can't cover you for trip default if they go broke. But also see if it covers all the things you need and at a price that's competitive. It used to be that cruise line's coverage was very poor but most have changed.
Many policies have a "pre-existing condition" clause that can be waived if you purchase the policy within 7 or 14 days of booking your cruise. So shop fast if that's an issue with you.
Some people choose not to take insurance at all. That's absolutely a personal choice. Only you can decide if you can financially suffer any of the possible losses that could occur. But remember it covers more than just having to cancel the cruise.
SquareMouth - Weird name but a great place for comparing policy prices on many companies
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