What Does Cruise Insurance Cover?

Cruise insurance covers many issues that may arise during your cruise, including medical expenses, travel delays, severe weather, and more.

Nick Dauk
Written byNick Dauk
Nick Dauk
Nick Dauk
  • 6+ years writing about insurance, travel, and personal finances

  • Contributor to brands like Credible

In addition to insurance, Nick specializes in writing about business, entrepreneurship, personal finance, and travel. He’s been featured in myriad web publications, including Fox Business.

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Danny Smith
Edited byDanny Smith
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Danny Smith
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 4+ years in content creation and marketing

As Insurify’s home and pet insurance editor, Danny also specializes in auto insurance. His goal is to help consumers navigate the complex world of insurance buying.

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Updated October 18, 2023

Reading time: 4 minutes

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All travelers should understand that many cruise lines don’t offer refunds for cancellations, even for a legitimate reason, like a family emergency or a travel disruption during hurricane season. That’s why it’s a good idea to purchase cruise insurance.

Cruise insurance offers varying options designed to cover reasons why you might miss your cruise. You can purchase cruise travel insurance so you can recoup some or all of your trip costs if something goes wrong. The cost of cruise insurance typically ranges between 5% and 10% of your total out-of-pocket expenses.[1]

What is cruise insurance?

Cruise insurance is a type of trip insurance coverage tailored to your travel needs. Cruise travel insurance plans can include coverage for issues during your cruise, such as medical insurance, and before and after your cruise, such as a travel delay cancellation due to severe weather or hotel cancellation expenses.

Some coverages to consider include cruise insurance policies for total trip cost reimbursement, insurance coverage for medical services in a foreign country, and medical evacuation coverage back to the United States.

What cruise insurance covers

Like other forms of insurance, cruise trip insurance is available in a variety of coverage options for different prices. Your next trip, whether it’s international or domestic, may have coverage for things such as:

  • Medical and dental expenses

  • Trip cancellation

  • Trip interruption

  • Bag loss, damage, or delay

  • Emergency evacuation

  • COVID-19/epidemic

  • Trip change

Consider CFAR Insurance

You should also consider “cancel for any reason,” or CFAR, insurance. CFAR insurance can reimburse you between 50% and 100% of your trip cost for things like prepaid, unused, or non-refundable expenses that aren’t listed as covered losses in your trip cancellation insurance. This policy offers extra flexibility and covers more unexpected disruptions to your trip.[2]

What cruise insurance doesn’t cover

Each policy is different, but unless it’s specified in the information provided with your travel insurance policy, cruise insurance may not cover:

  • Pre-existing medical conditions

  • Known events, such as named storms, epidemics, and acts of war

  • Family emergencies

  • Unlawful or dangerous activities

  • Problems created while you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol

  • Pregnancy

  • Mental illness

  • Non-monetary costs

Is cruise insurance worth it?

Only you can decide whether the cost is worth not having to worry about unexpected travel emergencies.

You may consider cruise insurance worth it if:

  • You or a family member has a medical condition that can result in a medical emergency.

  • You’re sailing during a season or in a region where inclement weather could interrupt the trip.

  • You have valuable personal items in your luggage and would benefit from baggage loss coverage.

  • You feel more comfortable knowing that you don’t have to worry about losing your trip expenses if a covered loss occurs throughout your trip, not just during the cruise.

However, cruise insurance may not be worth it if:

  • You already have a type of coverage available through your normal insurer or credit card company.

  • You’re taking a short trip, such as from Port Canaveral to the Bahamas, and aren’t worried about disruptions.

  • You’re worried about a non-covered loss occurring, such as a death in the family.

How to find the best cruise insurance

You have multiple options for finding the best cruise travel insurance available. Some policies, like those through Generali Global Assistance, are available through your travel agent. Other cruise vacation insurance plans, like the WaveCare plan through Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection, can be purchased directly through the insurer itself.

Here are a few tips for shopping around to find the right policy for your specific needs:

  • Get a travel insurance quote from multiple types of insurers. You can get quotes from a travel insurance company, like World Nomads, and a more traditional insurance company, such as Nationwide, to see which ones best meet your travel needs.

  • You may already be eligible for certain travel protections by using a credit card with benefits automatically included. For instance, the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card offers perks like trip interruption coverage, emergency evacuation and transportation, and travel accident insurance if you purchase your cruise with your credit card.

  • Always look beyond the cruise insurance cost for whatever coverages you believe are essential. A low price doesn’t always equate to the best travel insurance policy. Consider paying extra for higher benefit limits if you need coverage for specific medical issues, such as dental coverage, or additional transportation costs if you have a travel companion with a disability.

Cruise insurance FAQs

Below, you’ll find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about cruise insurance.

  • Do you need a cruise travel insurance plan?

    Unless your cruise company or tour company requires it, no, you don’t need a cruise travel insurance plan to go on an international cruise. However, you may want to purchase cruise coverage in case you need to go to a medical facility in a foreign country or if you were to miss getting back onto the boat in a port city.

  • How do you get cruise insurance for a long-duration cruise?

    Cruise insurance policy limits vary by insurer. One way to get cruise insurance for a long-duration cruise is to look into the insurance policies provided by the cruise companies themselves. You can also ask your homeowners or car insurance company if it offers long-duration cruise insurance or request a quote from different insurers that offer travel insurance plans.

  • Can you buy cruise insurance after booking?

    Yes, you can purchase cruise insurance after you book the cruise. Most travel insurance companies suggest purchasing the policy as soon as you book your cruise and flights so you don’t forget. In most cases, you can purchase cruise insurance from the minute you book it up until 24 hours before the cruise ship departs.

  • What happens if you cancel a cruise without insurance?

    Depending on the cruise line and when you cancel in relation to the departure date, you might be charged a cancellation fee and lose some or all of your deposit. Some cruise lines may refund you certain prepaid expenses, such as shore excursions, while others may refund only taxes, fuel supplement charges, or other applicable fees.[3]


  1. Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection. "How Much Does Cruise Insurance Cost?."
  2. WorldTrips. "Cancel for Any Reason Travel Insurance for COVID."
  3. Princess Cruises. "Standard Policy for Guest Cancellations, Refunds & Final Payment."
Nick Dauk
Nick Dauk

Nick Dauk is a freelance writer specializing in business, entrepreneurship, personal finance, and travel. His work has been featured in Fox Business, BBC, The Edge, Business Insider, and Bisnow. Nick is a first-generation college graduate, having majored in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Central Florida. His eclectic coursework, combined with previous managerial roles in the retail and broadcast television industries, have helped him develop an interdisciplinary approach to writing.

For nearly a decade, Nick has created content for mom-and-pop businesses and global corporations. As a travel writer, his global adventures have also been featured on Inside Hook, Houston Chronicle, Culture Trip, and Matador. When he's not traveling, Nick can be found in Orlando spending time with his wife and toddler.

Danny Smith
Edited byDanny Smith
Photo of an Insurify author
Danny Smith
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 4+ years in content creation and marketing

As Insurify’s home and pet insurance editor, Danny also specializes in auto insurance. His goal is to help consumers navigate the complex world of insurance buying.

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