Group Travel Insurance: Does Everyone in the Group Need It?

Yes … and no. It’s not strictly necessary for everyone in your group to purchase a travel insurance policy, but you’ll receive more comprehensive protection if you do. The first thing to know is that your insurance policy only protects you; if you want the rest of your family or travel companions to have the same protection if things go wrong, then they must be added to your policy (or take out their own). The one exception is that some policies cover children under 17, travelling with an insured guardian, at no additional charge. Check the travel policy’s fine print.

However, one of the most appealing aspects of travel insurance is the fact that travelling companions and family members (spouses, domestic partners, children, grandparents, grandchildren, daughters- or sons-in-law, nieces and nephews, etc.) count when it comes to covered reasons for cancelling your cruise. If your travel companion falls ill and can’t make the cruise, or your aging mother is rushed to the hospital, your policy will reimburse you for cancelling your trip.

Let’s take this example: Sarah and Jack are travelling together. Sarah buys an insurance policy, but Jack does not. A week before the cruise, Jack gets appendicitis and must cancel his trip. Since he doesn’t have trip insurance, he forfeits all of the money he’s paid to the cruise line and airline. Since Sarah has insurance, she can cancel her trip and make a claim on this “event” (her travelling companion getting sick and cancelling). She can do this since her policy includes travelling companions in its cancellation coverage.

But it gets trickier. Say it’s Jack’s father, not Jack, who gets sick, forcing Jack to cancel his cruise. In this case, Sarah, despite her insurance policy, is also out of luck. That’s because her policy protects her if something happens to her travel companion and he’s forced to cancel — but not if he cancels because something happened to a member of his family. However, if they both had travel insurance, Jack could be reimbursed for cancelling his cruise because his father’s illness is covered, and Sarah would also be reimbursed because her travel companion cancelled for a covered reason.

Always do your research before purchasing travel insurance to make an informed decision.

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