From our one experience in needing to use our travel insurance, I can say it is a good idea. Ten years ago, and before we became internet travel savvy and started making our own schedules, we booked a very complicated cruise/excursion trip through our neighborhood travel agency.
Because of the length of the trip and expenses involved, we were persuaded to take out a comprehensive travel insurance policy. The premium added about 5% to our cost. As events unfolded, it proved to be a good investment.
On the morning of our flight schedule, we arrived at the airport on time and checked in. As flight time approached and there was no boarding announcement, we realized something was wrong. We were informed that our flight was delayed because of an iced-in airport where we were scheduled to change planes. We waited for improvements, but after several promises, our flight never left.
Because there was the possibility of missing a cruise sailing time out of Fort Lauderdale, we called our travel agency and asked for help in getting a different flight schedule. I’m sure the agents tried hard, but because ice conditions covered much of the US that day, nothing could be done with any airline flying out of our city. Even all the airport stand-by lists were too long and getting longer.
Finally, after six hours in the airport frantically trying to make other flights, the time passed when it would have been possible to get to the cruise ship before it sailed. Another call to our travel agent got us the offer of an alternative plan. We would fly to the ship’s second-day port of call in Bogata, Colombia.
The long series of flights would’ve taken about eight hours with four stops and plane changes along the way. Considering the winter weather conditions, that schedule had no guarantees. We simply refused the whole mess and went home.
We applied for and received cash from the insurance company equivalent to the high price we had paid for the cruise/excursion. No questions, no problems. But that isn’t the end of it. The unhappy story concluded happily when the cruise company offered us a free cruise, which we accepted and enjoyed six months later.
Is cruise insurance worthwhile? In our case, I can state a resounding yes!