April Travel Protection and a small California insurer are introducing cruise travel insurance plans, making that three insurers launching programs in the first two months of 2019.
APRIL Cruise is now available through the travel insurance comparison site InsureMyTrip.com, including coverage for transportation and other expenses related to passengers who miss their cruise departure due to a flight delay or other unexpected reason.
In addition to paying for travelers to meet their ship at the next port on a cruise itinerary, the plan also features coverage for missed ports of call and several additional upgrades like the enhanced coverage limits for missed departures and baggage, Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) protection, and rental car damage.
“Our research indicates that missing a cruise departure due to weather-related flight delays and cancellations is one of the top concerns for cruisers,” said InsureMyTrip CEO Jim Grace. “This plan addresses those concerns with expanded coverage, designed to help cruisers with missed departures ‘catch up’ to their cruise.”
At about the same time, San Jose, California-based VisitorsCoverage announced the development and launch of SafeCruise, which includes emergency medical evacuation, accident and sickness medical expense, trip interruption, and CFAR coverage as well.
“We are excited to work with VisitorsCoverage on SafeCruiseSM,” said Amanda Winkle, Vice President, International Sales, at International Medical Group (IMG), a global travel insurance company. “The travel industry has seen a rapid increase in demand for cruise vacations and SafeCruise was created to meet the specific needs of those travelers.” VisitorsCoverage is owned by Silicon Valley-based InsurTech.
Both announcements follow close on Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection’s January launch of their new WaveCare program. WaveCare offers similar benefits, including up to $750,000 in medical evacuation coverage, $75,000 in emergency travel medical insurance, and a $500 fixed benefit for when a traveler is confined onboard for more than five hours because a ship has operational issues.
One of the new features APRIL Insurance is offering is more flexible waiver conditions for pre-existing medical conditions. Most traditional travel insurance plans typically allow a 14-day purchase window from initial trip deposit to meet the conditions of a pre-existing condition waiver. As long as this APRIL plan is purchased within 24 hours of the final cruise payment, a cruiser will be covered under this plan.
“With many clients depositing their cruises up to two years in advance of the actual sailing date, this feature allows clients to hold on to their money for an extra 24 months without losing vital benefits,” said Jason Schreier, CEO for APRIL Travel Protection, the Miami-based U.S. division of APRIL Group, a 30-year-old global insurance conglomerate.
Additionally, there are no age limits for the plan, making it ideal for family cruise vacations as well as traditional double occupancy staterooms.
“This is the first niche product created by APRIL, designed with the cruise travelers’ needs in mind,” said Schreier. “The generous coverage policyholders are afforded for missed departures combined with the plan’s benefits for missed ports of call make this a one-of-a-kind offering unmatched in the industry.”
APRIL’s cruise plan is available for all travelers planning cruise or land trips up to 90 days in length, and who require high limits for medical, evacuation and cruise-specific benefits such as missed port of call.
In addition to coverage that makes sense for cruise passengers’ needs, APRIL Cruise features the company’s signature ‘Stress Less’ Benefits, bypassing the claims process for a wide range of policy triggers including injury, sickness, severe weather, natural disasters, terrorism, strikes, supplier default and more. This ground-breaking feature means travelers can enjoy their vacation without worrying about out-of-pocket expenses or a protracted battle for claims reimbursement.
APRIL also offers a variety of support channels for cruisers, such as Skype, texting and live chat.