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Cruise report: Getting sick remains top travel concern

WARWICK, R.I. – InsureMyTrip, the travel insurance authority, announced the results of its travel survey of 2,289 U.S. respondents. The poll reveals that a vast majority of cruisers have experienced some kind of travel itinerary disruption during a trip. Twenty-four percent polled had filed a travel insurance claim for a cruise-related issue. Health reasons also led the majority of those claims with travelers.

Summary

  • Illness or injury affecting a trip is a top concern for most cruisers
  • Medical issues drive majority of travel insurance claims
  • Cruise itinerary and reviews are key deciding factors when booking a cruise
  • The Caribbean and Europe are preferred destinations for cruisers

Getting sick or injured tops concerns
Cruisers are more concerned about an illness or injury affecting a trip than bad weather or terrorism. Fifty-two percent worry most about themselves or a family member getting sick or injured (3 percent increase from last year). Twenty-nine percent worry most about bad weather affecting a cruise. Twenty-four percent have experienced seasickness or a stomach illness during a voyage.

Tip: When comparing travel insurance, look for a comprehensive travel insurance plan that includes emergency medical coverage and trip interruption coverage.

Unexpected schedule changes are common
During a voyage, 38 percent experienced an unexpected itinerary change. Despite this type of disruption, most cruisers are pleased with their overall experience. Sixty-one percent stated a cruise always met their expectations.

Tip: When comparing travel insurance, look for a comprehensive travel insurance plan geared for cruisers.

Itinerary and reputation are deciding factor when choosing a cruise
The cruise itinerary (60%) is the top reason why travelers choose to book a particular cruise. Other top factors included reputation and reviews (17%). Price (14%) is also a consideration.

Trip cancellations, medical issues top claims

Travelers, who voluntarily participated in this survey, had all researched or purchased travel insurance within the past 24 months. Out of those polled, 24 percent had filed a travel insurance claim for a cruise-related issue. Here are common reasons for filing a claim:

  • Medical care required during a cruise
  • Medical issue forced a trip cancellation
  • Bad weather forced a delay or cancellation of cruise
  • Missed flight led to a delay or cancellation of cruise
  • Items were stolen or lost during a trip

Tip: Comprehensive travel insurance provides a variety of benefits including emergency medical coverage, emergency travel services, baggage protection, and trip cancellation and interruption coverage.

More understand domestic health insurance abroad
This year, cruisers report a better understanding of whether their health insurance works outside the US. Thirty-six percent said their domestic health insurance would provide coverage, while 37 percent believed their insurance plan would offer no coverage. Twenty-seven percent polled were not sure whether their domestic health insurance plan would cover any doctor or hospital visits while traveling out of the country, a decrease when comparing results from last year.

Tip: It is important for travelers to know about any limitations of domestic health insurance for emergency medical coverage while out of the country. In most cases, there are gaps in coverage. Some gaps are significant. Travel insurance is recommended because it can act as supplemental or primary coverage and also provide emergency medical evacuation coverage.

River cruising maintains momentum
Eighty-one percent of those polled have either been on a river cruise or would like to go on a river cruise. Eleven percent have no desire to go.

The Caribbean and Europe are hot spots
The Caribbean and Europe are favorite cruise destinations while 12 percent chose Alaska as a top place to visit.

  • 35.4% Europe
  • 33.9% Caribbean
  • 12.4% Alaska
  • 18.2% Other

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