Travel Insurance FAQ's

 Travel Insurance FAQ's

What is Travel Insurance?

Travel Insurance is vacation insurance that is designed to protect you and your vacation investment should you have to cancel your travel plans due to covered unforeseen circumstances that may interfere with your ability to travel, or if things go wrong while you are on your cruise.

Travel Insurance covers:

  • Cancellations due to a covered sickness, death, injury of you, a family member, domestic partner or traveling companion
  • Travel delays due to inclement weather or natural disasters
  • Bankruptcy of an airline, cruise line or other travel supplier, when policy is purchased within 14-days of initial deposit
  • Terrorism (domestic and international)

In addition, Travel Insurance covers:

  • Existing medical conditions subject to certain requirements being met
  • Lost, stolen, or damaged baggage and personal effects
  • Covered emergency medical and dental expenses incurred during your trip
  • Expenses incurred if your travel is delayed
  • Emergency transportation to an adequate medical facility, with an escort when medically necessary

If you must cancel your cruise or incur expenses or penalties for any of the covered reasons above, Travel Insurance can reimburse you for covered costs. Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply. Please read your Policy/Certificate of Insurance carefully.

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Should I buy Travel Insurance?

We recommend you purchase Travel Insurance. All cruise lines charge penalties if you must cancel your cruise within their penalty periods. It is unwise to expect that they will make an exception, even under the most dire of circumstances. Travel Insurance will refund these penalties if you cancel for a covered reason.

Another reason to buy Travel Insurance because most Americans have little or no health care coverage when they travel outside the country. When you board a foreign-flagged cruise ship, you physically enter another country. For those who do have health coverage in effect outside the US, medical evacuation may not be included. Airlift transportation from a ship to a qualified medical facility can cost thousands of dollars, and without Travel Insurance, you may be forced to pay out of pocket, up front!

Travel Insurance provides emergency medical transportation for covered illness and injury when necessary. Medical facilities on cruise ships and in resort destinations are extremely limited and may be inadequate for your condition. While the medical facilities on many of the newest cruise ships are state of the art, they are not hospitals. They are designed only to stabilize a patient until more comprehensive care can be obtained. It is not safe to assume that a cruise ship is equipped to treat every illness or injury. If you must be evacuated for a covered reason, your Travel Insurance is designed to cover the costs.

Cruise lines and airlines claim little responsibility when things go wrong. It is not the responsibility of the cruise line to connect you with the ship if you miss it. And if you're flying to the port of embarkation, the airline is obligated only to fly you there. Travel Insurance can reimburse you the additional costs incurred for missed connections and flight delays.

Any one of the above reasons is good enough to buy Travel Insurance, but consider that every one of them applies to everybody all the time! The bottom line is that Travel Insurance is the only way you may get your money back if you have to cancel your cruise for a covered reason.

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What does a Travel Insurance Policy include?

A typical Travel Insurance policy includes three main benefits:

  • Trip cancellation / interruption
  • Medical with medical evacuation
  • Baggage protection

Most policies offer some type of travel delay coverage, but it may or may not cover delays due to strikes or other labor problems.

The trip cancellation benefit is designed to reimburse you up to the total cost of your vacation in the event a covered medical emergency forces you to cancel when under penalty with the cruise line. Trip cancellation benefits apply prior to the start of the cruise, while trip interruption coverage works for you after you have left home. If a covered emergency to anyone traveling, or to those immediate family members left behind, causes you to cut the trip short, trip interruption coverage is intended to reimburse you for the missed portion of the vacation and the out-of-pocket expenses necessary to return home. Without these two important benefits, you have no recourse but to lose both the cruise and the money you've paid for it.

Medical and medical evacuation benefits offer you medical protection outside the area covered by your primary care provider without a deductible for covered illness and injury. In addition, emergency medical transportation for covered reasons, including helicopter airlift, is covered to transport you to a medical facility where you can be treated.

Baggage protection provides you with reimbursement for lost, stolen or damaged luggage. Most people do not consider the repercussions of taking a cruise without their clothing! Baggage benefits can provide you with the necessary cash to replace some of the missing articles during your trip so that your cruise is not a complete fashion emergency.

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What does Travel Insurance cover and not cover?

In general, Travel Insurance covers medical emergencies, such as a covered death, illness or injury to you, your traveling companions and any immediate family members.

It is important to know that most cruise line Travel Insurance policies do not cover existing medical conditions under the trip cancellation clause. An existing medical condition is usually defined as one for which you have been treated within 120 days of purchasing Travel Insurance. However, this exemption does not preclude your need for, or the validity of, the trip interruption and medical benefits.

Business and personal obligations are not normally covered for trip cancellation under a Travel Insurance policy, but waivers may be available through the cruise line that offer credits toward future travel if you must cancel for a non-medical reason. Please discuss your Travel Insurance needs with your booking agent to learn your options.

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Does Travel Insurance cover existing medical conditions?

Travel Insurance by Allianz Global Assistance will cover existing medical conditions if certain requirements are met, including if you purchase the plan on or before your Final Payment Due Date as shown on your original trip invoice. This provision allows you to file for cash reimbursement of the cruise line's penalties.

It is important to know that existing medical conditions are not covered by the cruise line's Travel Insurance plans. However, many cruise lines have a waiver built into their Travel Insurance that provides you with a credit toward future travel.

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What is considered an existing medical condition?

An existing medical condition is one that exists during the 120 days (four months) preceding, and including the day Travel Insurance is purchased. A condition is considered existing if you, a travel companion, or immediate family member has:

1. Received a recommendation for a diagnostic test, examination or medical treatment; or
2. Took or received a prescription for drugs or medicine during the 120-day period.*

*Does not apply to a condition that is treated or controlled solely through the taking of prescription drugs or medicine and remains treated or controlled without any adjustment or change in the required prescription throughout 120-day period before coverage is effective under this policy.

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Is pregnancy considered an existing medical condition?

Pregnancy is not considered an existing medical condition. Travel Insurance may cover complications during pregnancy as a reason for cancellation if the pregnancy occurred after the policy was purchased and can be verified by medical records.

Please notify WMPH Vacations immediately if you or someone in your party is pregnant. If pregnant, you must carry with her a written letter of permission from your doctor. If you are pregnant 22 weeks or more, you will be prohibited from taking the cruise.

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What happens if I get sick or hurt while on my trip?

Travel Insurance can take much of the worry out of a bad situation by paying for covered medical evacuation required to transport you to the nearest hospital. In addition, assistance services are included to verify coverage so that you can be treated immediately. The assistance services can also help you communicate with the doctors if you don't speak the same language.

Without the medical coverage included in a Travel Insurance plan, you may be forced to pay out of pocket up front for medical treatment and medical transportation, and you'll be on your own dealing with the doctors and the hospitals in a foreign country.

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Where can I obtain Travel Insurance?

WMPH Vacations offers Travel Insurance by Allianz Global Assistance, which may provide coverage for existing medical conditions.

All cruise lines offer Travel Insurance, but the coverage amounts can vary greatly from one cruise line to another.

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How much does Travel Insurance cost?

Travel Insurance premiums can be priced in a variety of ways and may depend on one or more of the following factors:

  • Length of the cruise
  • Cabin price including port charges, taxes and fees
  • Total cost of the vacation
  • Your age at the time of travel

Travel Insurance by Allianz Global Assistance is based on 8.25%* of the total cost of the trip including all covered components such as air transportation purchased separately, with a minimum cost of $24.75 per person. This plan is available to persons whose primary residence is in the United States.

The cruise lines use a variety of criteria to price their premiums. For example, Carnival Cruise Line prices its premium based on the length of the cruise, with longer cruises requiring a higher premium cost than short ones. Holland America Line determines its premium amount by calculating a percentage of the cost of the vacation. In addition, some cruise lines offer more than one level of coverage.

This information is available on most cruise line's websites. Your booking agent can provide additional information.

* This plan does not yet apply to guests residing in AK, IN, MA, NY, PA, TX, WA. Clients residing in these states will be quoted the current 8% policy which does not have as extensive coverage. Once these states accept the increase, then guests will be required to accept the 8.25% increase/policy changes.

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What is the difference between Travel Insurance and a waiver in the cruise line's policy?

Travel Insurance offers cash reimbursement for cancellation due specifically to covered reasons. A waiver usually means that you can cancel for any reason, but that a large portion of your payment will be held as a credit toward future cruise travel.

Travel Insurance covers you from the effective date of your coverage until the moment you return home. A waiver usually stops protecting you a day or so prior to the start of the trip.

Many cruise lines offer a combination of both a waiver and Travel Insurance, which provides maximum flexibility for you by offering recourse for a wide variety of both medical and non-medical situations.

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Are there alternatives to the Cruise Line's Insurance?

Travel Insurance by Allianz Global Assistance offers a number of benefits including:

Premium amount is often less than those being charged by the cruise line. Allianz Global Assistance's plan also offers reimbursement for cancellations due to covered existing medical conditions*, which is different from the cruise line policies because they offer credit toward future travel.

Cover Other Travel Products
If you purchase your airline tickets or other arrangements separately from the cruise line, the cruise line's insurance will not cover the separate costs you paid for your airline tickets, hotel or rental car. Travel Insurance by Allianz Global Assistance can cover all travel products as long as the total cost of your vacation was factored into the premium for the insurance.

Existing Medical Conditions* This coverage is included at no additional cost to you and applies if you meet certain requirements and if you pay the premium amount prior to your Final Payment Due Date for your cruise.

$500,000 per person for covered Emergency Medical Transportation* Expenses
Most cruise line policies pay $50,000 per person or less. If you exceed this amount you will pay out of pocket.

Satisfaction Guarantee
Allianz Global Assistance will refund your Travel Insurance premium if you cancel your plan within 10 days of purchase, depending on your state of residence, and you haven't started your trip or filed a claim.

*Please review the Certificate of Insurance/Policy for terms, conditions, and exclusions which may apply.

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When do I have to buy Travel Insurance?

We recommend that you purchase Travel Insurance when you book/deposit your trip. However, Travel Insurance by Allianz Global Assistance must be purchased on or before your Final Payment Due Date listed on your trip invoice; otherwise certain benefits may not apply.

If at any time you purchase additional services such as air travel, ground transportation, hotel accommodations, etc. as part of your planned trip, you should contact WMPH Vacations within 14 days of purchase so that the cost of these items can be added to your Travel Insurance policy. Additional premium costs will apply. Failure to do so may result in the denial of your claim by the insurance provider. Also, in the event that you extend or alter your travel dates you should alert WMPH Vacations, Allianz Global Assistance, or alternate provider; otherwise your insurance plan may not cover any claims you may have.

If you have elected to purchase Travel Insurance through one of the cruise lines, you must include the premium amount with your final payment. However, there are a few cruise lines that require the premium to be paid with the deposit. If this is the case, your booking agent will advise you properly prior to booking.

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Who can buy Travel Insurance?

U.S. residents are eligible to purchase Travel Insurance.

Non-US residents should obtain Travel Insurance from a company doing business in their home country.

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What if I have to cancel and file a claim?

If you become ill or injured, first see a doctor. Then if you find that you need to cancel, contact WMPH Vacations immediately. We will speak to the cruise line on your behalf, cancel your cruise and advise you what to do next.

Whenever possible, we will request the necessary forms to assist you in starting the claims procedure. You must complete the appropriate forms and return them to your insurance provider with documentation to support your claim, so it is important to have visited the doctor first.

In situations when only one member of the party is unable to travel, contact WMPH Vacations to learn what options are available without having to cancel your cruise altogether.

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How do I make a decision about Travel Insurance?

First, review the cancellation and refund policies applicable to your trip so that you know what the penalties are and when they will go into effect. This includes fees/penalties charged by all vendors including cruise lines, airlines, hotels, transfer companies, tour operators, etc. Next, take a look at what insurance coverage you may already have in place and decide if it is adequate for you. Take the time to compare the cruise line's policy against WMPH Vacation's Travel Insurance offered by Allianz Global Assistance so that you can make an informed decision about which one is best for you.

Contact the insurance provider directly if you have specific coverage questions. At WMPH Vacations we are happy to assist you in understanding the general provisions of a Travel Insurance policy, but are unable to actually determine how those provisions will apply to your personal situation.

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What else can I do to increase my chances of a trouble-free vacation?

In addition to purchasing Travel Insurance, consider flying to the city of embarkation a day prior to the sailing date. This will help offset weather or airline mechanical delays, and you'll arrive onboard your cruise more rested. This is especially important if you are traveling internationally or across several time zones.

If affordable, consider booking your airfare through the cruise line as part of the total cruise package. Most people want to compare the price of the cruise line's air add-on with the price charged directly from the airline. Saving money is important, but you would need to save a lot of money to offset all the advantages offered through the cruise line if something goes wrong.

Make sure all of your baggage is clearly labeled. Consider keeping a separate, written inventory of all the items you are taking with you including cameras, jewelry, clothing, etc., as well as their approximate values and descriptions. If you do have something that is lost or stolen, it could be easier to locate if you have this information. Additionally, it ensures that you do not forget to file a claim for something.

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How can I learn more about my policy?

You will receive a comprehensive Certificate of Insurance/Policy following your insurance purchase.

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What if I have problems during my trip?

Your Travel Insurance plan will include both US and International 24-Hour Emergency Telephone Numbers to call in the unlikely event you may encounter a problem during your trip.

Please document everything carefully. This includes date, time, names, supervisor names, locations, stores, facilities, phone numbers, people you spoke with, etc. Be sure to save all receipts and keep them organized so that you can file your claim later. The more thorough you are, the quicker your claim will be processed.

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If I must cancel, when will I get my refund?

When you cancel, you must begin filing a claim with the Travel Insurance provider. This involves paperwork.

If you had to cancel for medical reasons, you will be expected to provide proof from physicians. If you experience travel delays or lost baggage, you'll be expected to provide copies of all receipts for expenses as well as a summary of events and actions taken to resolve your issues.

Upon reviewing all of the material you submit, and upon approval, the insurance company will send your reimbursement check within 30 - 60 days of approval.

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What if I have more questions?

If you have more questions about Travel Insurance, please call WMPH Vacations Client Service Department at 1-800-439-1909 (listen to the prompts) or call Allianz Global Assistance directly at 1-800-497-0363.

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