US travel insurance comparison site Yonder has analysed travel insurance policies offered by cruise lines, airlines, and those purchased directly through a comparison site or travel insurance provider. This is in response to several lawsuits in 2018 that accused major cruise and airlines of deceptive practices surrounding the insurance policies that they offer.
Yonder found that travel insurance bought through a comparison site or online travel provider generally offers a lot more cover at a fraction of the cost to that offered by major cruise and airline policies; these often include the most basic coverage and many lack the option to add or increase cover. In addition, many airline and cruise insurance policies also fail to incorporate cover for security evacuation, missed connections and change fees, as well as having only very basic cancellation cover – meaning travellers will lose their non-refundable payments or have to cover all related expenses out-of-pocket.
Statistics revealed that, in comparison to a general retail policy, cruise and airline policies offer: between five and 10 times less coverage for emergency medical expenses, 15 to 18 fewer trip cancellation reasons and 10 to 30 times less emergency medical evacuation coverage.
To put these costs into perspective, Yonder explained: for an elderly couple traveling for a week, with a total trip cost of US$8,000, insurance from a cruise line would cost roughly $1,200 and travel insurance from an airline would cost roughly $760, while general travel insurance would only set them back $550.
It’s clear that, overall, general insurance policies appear to offer better coverage for a better price – arguably the most important aspects for any traveller selecting an insurance provider.