Is Princess World Cruise Travel Insurance Good?
Princess World Cruise Travel Insurance - Review
World cruises are a fantastic experience of a lifetime, but expensive.
As a large investment, travelers should consider an insurance policy to cover any unexpected situations. If you buy the cruise line's insurance to protect your trip, it could leave you without the security you thought you had.
Princess is a beloved cruise line among AARDY customers. They deliver a world-class travel experience without breaking the bank. Also, they offer some industry-leading cruise ship adventures and memorable onboard activities. They are an excellent cruise line choice for a grand voyage.
In this review, we compare both Princess Vacation Protection travel insurance plans to other travel insurance marketplace policies for a Princess world cruise.
Princess Travel Insurance Overview
Princess does not require that passengers buy travel insurance, but they recommend it. Travel insurance protects your trip investment.
AARDY recommends travelers buy a trip insurance plan within 10-21 days of the first deposit or payment toward their trip. If you get travel insurance within this timeframe, you can maximize the available policy benefits.
Quality travel insurance plans are comprehensive. They cover the trip cost for cancellation and interruption, pay medical and emergency evacuation benefits, baggage and personal effects, and travel delay. Both Princess policies are comprehensive but are not reliable in critical areas.
Nationwide underwrites both Princess Cruise insurance programs. Aon Affinity Services administers the plan and processes claims.
How to Buy Princess Travel Insurance
If you purchase a policy through Princess, they offer you two choices: Standard or Platinum.
Princess provides a quote on their website at checkout. The choice of plan and cruise cost determine the price of the insurance. For world cruises, Princess charges a flat 7% above the cruise cost for the Standard Plan and 11% surcharge for Platinum.
Our Cruise: 97-day World Cruise: Los Angeles to Ft. Lauderdale
Our sample cruise balcony cabin costs $53,956 for two travelers, ages 55 and 60. Princess Standard insurance costs $4,175.92, and Platinum costs $5,935.16 for this cruise.
In the next part of the article, we delve into the aspects of Princess travel insurance. Also, we contrast them to one of AARDY's most popular world cruise insurance plans, AIG Travel Guard.
We always recommend shopping around and considering other plans. When you do, you will find the best coverage at the lowest possible price.
AARDY's quick quote tool provides an instant, anonymous travel insurance quote. Just enter your trip information and receive multiple options.
We recommend buying a policy that includes a minimum of $100,000 in Medical Insurance, $500,000 in Emergency Medical Evacuation, and a Pre-existing Medical Condition Waiver for overseas travel.
We chose AIG Travel Guard Plus because it is the least expensive plan that meets our minimum recommendations. For this trip, AIG Travel Guard Plus costs $3,311.86 for both travelers.
Next, we present a side-by-side comparison of each policy's benefits available for this world cruise:
Travel Insurance Price and Value
Right away, you can see that both Princess's policies cost significantly more than AARDY's recommended option. Also, they provide a fraction of the coverage compared to the AIG Travel Guard Plus.
Even the most expensive Princess plan, Platinum, costs $2,600 more than Travel Guard Plus, and 1/5th of the medical coverage. Princess's evacuation benefit is 1/20th of Travel Guard Plus'.
Although Princess's plans have slightly higher benefits in areas like baggage, they are trivial. Princess also lacks several essential protections for world cruisers:
- Pre-existing Condition Waiver
- Missed Connection
- Cancel for Work Reasons
- Accidental Death and Dismemberment
Also worth noting, Princess insurance only covers the travel arrangements they schedule for you. For most people, that means the cruise fare.
If you book your own airfare, hotels, excursions, or tours, you need an additional insurance policy to protect those costs. Multiple insurance policies make claims and coverage more complicated.
Overall, Princess's offers low-value sub-standard policies and benefits. You pay through the teeth for almost no protection.
Cancel Your Trip, Lose Money
If there is one lesson experienced travelers and cruisers learn the hard way, things do not always go as planned. Life can throw all sorts of unexpected events that derail even the most meticulously planned vacations.
Sometimes, you must cancel a trip you fully expected to happen. Without Trip Cancellation insurance, you risk losing deposits or final payments before traveling. Travel insurance reimburses 100% of a covered cancellation of your prepaid, non-refundable trip costs.
Unfortunately, Princess insurance only accommodates a narrow list of cancellation scenarios they will reimburse you in cash:
- Sickness, injury, or death
- Traffic accident
- Disaster at your home
- Jury duty or subpoena
- Military service for natural disaster
For all other cancellations, Princess insurance provides either 75% (Standard plan) or 100% (Platinum plan) in future cruise credit, not cash.
We cover the Princess CFAR Waiver shortly, but let's talk about specific cancellation situations first.
The most common reason people cancel their trips because of medical complications. However, Princess may not compensate you because they do not cover recent Pre-existing Medical Conditions.
Suppose you have high blood pressure controlled with medication. The last time you saw your doctor, she said you were doing well and decreased the dosage. If that doctor's appointment occurred within 60 days before you bought Princess's travel insurance, they would exclude it.
That's right. You can be healthy as a horse, and Princess cruise insurance still will not cover you.
We discuss Pre-existing Conditions in more detail later in the article. They are not limited to cancellations.
Suffice it to say that most people believe Princess travel insurance covers their medical cancellations. Unfortunately, they often find out the hard and expensive way.
Another glaring weakness in Princess's cancellation terms is the lack of bankruptcy protection.
Suppose you pay for the world cruise in full, and then Princess goes bankrupt. You would think you are protected against that, too. Nope!
Imagine receiving $54,000 in future cruise credit from Princess as they announce bankruptcy. How can you use future credit from a company that cannot pay its bills? It's a frightening but realistic concern.
On the other hand, AIG Travel Guard Plus covers cruise line (or airline) bankruptcy for a 100% cash reimbursement. The only requirement is that you own the policy for at least 14 days before the company announces bankruptcy.
Cancel For Work Reasons
We tip our hat for those who still work or own a business but have time to take a world cruise. That's an accomplishment worthy of celebration.
On occasion, employers might cancel an employee's vacation if their presence is required at work. Of course, Princess cruise insurance does not cover this scenario.
AIG Travel Guard Plus offers best-in-class Cancel For Work protections. Even if you are a business owner, Travel Guard Plus can accommodate a work emergency if you must cancel your Princess world cruise. Travel Guard Plus would provide a 100% cash refund in this situation. Naturally, Princess insurance does not cover this either.
Cancel For Work Reason can also include involuntary separation from employment and employer transfers.
AIG Travel Guard Plus also covers cancellations for:
- Medical quarantine
- School year extended
- Common carrier delay
- Natural disaster at destination
- Revoked military leave
As can you imagine, Princess cruise insurance does not cover any of these situations.
Cancel For Any Reason
As promised, let's talk about Princess cruise insurance Cancel For Any Reason provision.
Suppose you cancel for a reason not explicitly named in the policy. In that case, Princess Cruises will issue future credit for the value of your cruise.
Here are a few situations when Princess cruises issues credit:
- A pre-existing condition acts up and prevents your travel
- There is a pandemic at your destination
- Terrorism at your destination
- Crew members strike
- A family member's life-threatening pre-existing condition lands them in the hospital, and you need to be there
- Your pet is too sick to leave alone
- A country on your itinerary rejects your visa application
- Princess's policies aggravated you, and you want to cruise on Celebrity instead
Remember, the above are not covered cancellations. They fall under Cancel For Any Reason and result in no cash reimbursement. Princess keeps your money and issues you $54,000 in future cruise credit.
The problem with future credit is that you may never use it. What if you cannot travel for the next two years? Princess will offer you their sympathies and keep your $54,000. Can they really call it Cancellation Insurance if you do not receive a cash reimbursement?
Cancel For Any Reason should pay cash. Future credit is worthless because you may never get to cruise again. Cash refunds make sense to pay for necessities like medical bills or living expenses.
Princess's Standard plan compensates you with a 75% future cruise credit. For an extra fee, the Platinum plan affords you a 100% future cruise credit. Again, Princess only provides future credit for the non-refundable travel arrangements you booked through them. If you booked flights elsewhere, Princess does not help you at all.
For trips lasting less than 91 days, AARDY offers many Cancel For Any Reason options. Unfortunately, most policies cannot provide CFAR for trips that last longer than 90 days.
Typically, when buying a Cancel For Any Reason plan, you need to:
- Buy the policy within 10-21 days of initial trip deposit
- Insure 100% of all prepaid, non-refundable trip cost
- Provide at least 2 days cancellation notice before your departure date
- Be fit to travel at the time of policy purchase
Go Home Early, Interrupt Your Trip
Similar to Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption reimburses a traveler who must end their trip early due to a covered reason.
Like Trip Cancellation, each policy lists the covered cancellation reasons for Trip Interruption. Most policies cover the same cancellation reasons for both Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption. Be sure to check the policy certificate.
Also, Trip Interruption reimburses you for the extra transportation cost to go home earlier than planned. Some plans include cover up to 100% of the trip cost. Others, like AIG Travel Guard Plus, provide an additional 50% for the transportation expenses.
Both Princess plans provide a 100% trip cost Interruption benefit. Their covered Trip Interruption reasons are:
- Injury, illness death
- Hijacking, quarantine, jury duty, subpoena
- Residents uninhabitable due to natural disaster
- Traffic accident en route to departure
- Called to military service due to natural disaster
The Trip Interruption reasons are almost identical to the covered Trip Cancellation reasons. The difference is that hijacking and quarantine are only named as Interruptions, not Cancellations.
Princess does not offer future credit for interruptions not named in the policy.
Medical Insurance – Covers treatment and hospitalization
Suppose you fell and injured yourself during your world cruise. Or you suffered a heart attack or stroke. In both cases, your doctor is likely to require that you go home early instead of returning to the cruise.
Both of Princess's World Cruise insurance plans have incompetently low Medical Insurance. Standard has $10,000 Medical Insurance, while Platinum has a laughable $20,000. You're going on a world cruise, spending a fortune on a cabin and insurance, and that's the best Princess can do?
AARDY recommends any traveler leaving the US take at least $100,000 Medical Insurance.
If a catastrophe occurs, the travel Medical Insurance puts a buffer between your medical bills and your retirement nest egg. A severe health emergency overseas could financially ruin you.
Travel Medical Insurance pays for medically necessary:
- Urgent care treatment
- Emergency room treatment
- New prescription drugs
- Labs, tests, and x-rays
- Emergency dental
It will cover a new prescription you need during your trip, but it does not pay for refills of existing medications.
AIG Travel Guard Plus provides $100,000 Medical Insurance. Also, it's primary insurance, so it will pay before any other health insurance you have. It meets AARDY's recommended Medical Insurance minimum.
But Medicare Covers Me Outside the US, Right?
No. Medicare does not pay any health providers outside the US, even in emergencies.
Some Medicare supplements offer up to $50,000 of life-threatening medical treatment. You must still pay the deductible and a 20% copay (up to $10,000) out-of-pocket. If your treatment costs more than $50,000, you will pay 100% of it out-of-pocket.
Travel Medical insurance can guarantee payment. Suppose you need treatment or hospitalization in a country that requires you to pay before receiving treatment. In that case, travel insurance takes care of it.
Does Travel Medical Insurance cover Pre-existing Condition Treatment?
Travel medical insurance can cover Pre-Existing Medical Conditions, but not all policies allow it.
Look for a travel insurance policy with a Waiver of Pre-existing Conditions. This clause allows the plan to cover your Pre-existing Condition if you have a covered Cancellation, Interruption, Medical Insurance, or Medical Evacuation.
Shamefully, neither Princess plan offers a Waiver of Pre-existing Conditions.
Suppose you have high blood pressure and your doctor changed your medication last week. During your world cruise, you have a heart attack, Princess insurance covers nothing. It won't help with hospitalization or Trip Interruption. You would have spent thousands of dollars on insurance for a $54,000 trip and received zero reimbursements.
Most people do not buy travel insurance expecting to use it. But they expect travel insurance to cover them in an emergency.
Pre-existing Condition Coverage without a Waiver
Princess travel insurance has very weak coverage, troublesome, and significant gaps in coverage that can cost you tremendous amounts of money.
If your medical conditions are:
- Older than 60-180 days, stable, and unchanged, and
- Under control with medication, and
- No new or changed prescriptions, and
- Receive no treatments or tests, and
- No recommendation for treatment or test not yet performed
then Princess cruise insurance might cover your condition.
However, AARDY recommends everyone, especially seniors, get a Waiver of Pre-existing Medical Condition for any trip. A Pre-existing Condition Waiver guarantees a traveler is fully covered for medical conditions and medical cancellations.
When looking for Pre-existing Condition coverage, pay close attention to when you paid your initial trip deposit and when you must buy the policy. Most plans require that you purchase the program within 14-21 days of paying your initial deposit to qualify for the Waiver.
AIG Travel Guard Plus provides the Pre-existing Condition Waiver when you buy the plan within 21 days of paying the first deposit or payment.
Emergency Medical Evacuation – Ground or Air Transportation
Travel insurance also includes coverage for Emergency Medical Evacuation. Emergency Medical Evacuation pays for transportation costs to get a traveler to the nearest medical facility to treat their medical condition.
Suppose you fell and broke your leg during the trip. Emergency Medical Evacuation pays for the ambulance cost to get them to the nearest ER. Once at the hospital, you receive a full leg cast. It is challenging to ambulate, and won't fit in an economy airplane seat.
Insurers employ Emergency Medical Evacuation teams. They work closely with your attending physician so you can safely go home as soon as possible. In the instance of a full leg cast, you might return home on a medically necessary first-class flight upgrade.
Conveniently, the doctor and the insurer arrange all the necessary transportation. If you know you will make a claim, it's essential to contact the insurer as soon as possible.
AARDY recommends a minimum of $500,000 Emergency Medical Evacuation for world cruises. AARDY advocates this limit to prevent a traveler from the financial responsibility of costly transportation.
An air evacuation that brings you back to your home town can cost $15,000 to $25,000 per flight hour. If returning from Italy, you could receive a bill for $250,000. From Asia, it would be closer to $500,000. Fortunately, the insurer arranges it for you, so you do not have to pay out-of-pocket.
Travel insurers want to bring you home as soon as possible if you need additional treatment. Also, most people prefer to receive treatment in the US and with their own doctors. Once you return home, your private insurance or Medicare plan resumes paying for medical care.
On any cruise, especially a world cruise, you never know where a medical emergency may occur. You deserve to have a policy that provides adequate Medical Evacuation insurance.
The Princess's travel insurance has abysmal Medical Evacuation amounts. Standard provides a mere $25,000, while Platinum has $50,000. Those amounts are disgracefully low for an elegant world cruise, much less a weekend vacation in Mexico.
Reassuringly, AIG Travel Guard Plus pays up to $1,000,000 for Emergency Medical Evacuation. Best of all, the Travel Guard Plus costs a fraction of the vast Princess prices. It's almost painful to compare these plans.
We are disappointed that Princess insurance does not include a Missed Connection benefit.
Imagine your flight to the cruise port is delayed by 13 hours. You arrive late and the ship already left. Unfortunately, with the fickle nature of air travel, we should expect delays.
Consequently, you buy a flight to the next port and pay for a hotel, food, and local transportation while you wait for the ship to arrive. These bills could cost hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Missed Connection insurance pays for:
- Transportation to catch up to the cruise ship
- The unused portion of your trip costs (cruise days missed)
Sadly, Princess cruise insurance offers no compensation.
Like all policies at AARDY, AIG Travel Guard Plus includes a Missed Connection benefit. It reimburses you for up to $1,000 per person for additional transportation costs to meet the cruise.
Also, AIG Travel Guard Plus provides a travel delay benefit of $200 per person per day, up to a maximum of $1,000 for the reasonable expenses:
- Local transportation (taxi, bus, rideshare)
- Phone calls
Missed Connection is a valuable benefit for anyone planning a cruise or tour.
Accidental Death and Dismemberment
As the title suggests, most travel insurance policies include an accidental death benefit. Suppose a traveler dies in a car wreck, fall, or other random accident. Then, the insurance pays a modest amount to the beneficiaries.
Dismemberment coverage pays a flat amount if you lose an arm, leg, finger, eye, or hand in an accident on your trip.
Princess travel insurance lacks an accidental death and dismemberment benefit. AIG Travel Guard pays up to $50,000 if an accident occurs anytime during the trip except on a flight.
Princess Travel Insurance Fails Their Customers
Overall, Princess cruise insurance offers very little protection for a high price. There is too much money at stake to risk betting on Princess's travel insurance.
Both Princess Cruises' plans fail to adequately cover you for a Medical Emergency overseas. Neither includes a Waiver of Pre-existing Conditions, leaving you at significant financial risk.
Disguised as an anemic list of covered cancellation reasons, Princess' Cancel For Any Reason provision will never refund your money. It can only provide future cruise credit subject to limitations.
Can I find a better deal with the insurer directly?
No. Travel insurance is highly regulated, and prices are fixed. Insurers are not allowed to sell a policy for less than a marketplace like AARDY.
AARDY makes it easy to compare dozens of plans from several insurers.
You'll always find the best value and price.
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