Insider’s experts choose the best products and services to help make smart decisions with your money (here’s how). In some cases, we receive a commission from our our partners, however, our opinions are our own. Terms apply to offers listed on this page.
The unexpected can happen anywhere, whether you’re traveling via car, airplane, or boat. But if you’re planning a cruise, you’ll want to make sure you have insurance coverage that is specifically geared toward cruising. That way, you can relax knowing you have the financial protection you need in case of travel delays, medical expenses, trip cancellations, and more.
As with any travel insurance, you’ll want to make sure you’re covered for things like medical emergencies. But more cruise-specific coverage will include things like missed port of call and medical evacuation coverage. Luckily, there are a variety of great options available. And to help you find the best cruise insurance for your needs, we’ve compiled a list of the top seven providers.
Compare the best cruise insurance companies
Best overall: Nationwide
- Three cruise-specific plans to choose from
- Annual travel insurance plans available
- Strong trip cancellation coverage
- Cancel for any reason coverage available
- Medical coverage is lower than what some competitors offer
- Trip cancellation coverage of up to 100% of trip costs (for cruises) or up to $30,000 (for single-trip plans)
- Cancel for any reason coverage available
Best for affordable premiums: AXA
- Generous medical evacuation coverage
- Multi-trip annual plans available
- Coverage for lost ski and golf days available
- Cancel for any reason (CFAR) coverage only available for most expensive Platinum plan
- Silver, Gold, and Platinum plans available
- Trip cancellation coverage of up to 100% of the trip cost
- Trip interruption coverage of up to 150% of the trip cost
- Emergency medical coverage of up to $250,000
Best for seniors 80 years and older: Seven Corners
- Strong emergency medical coverage
- Travel delay insurance of up to $2,000
- Annual and group travel insurance plans available
- Non-medical evacuation coverage included with some plans
- No option to insure for high-risk activities like bungee jumping
- Trip cancellation insurance of up to 100% of the trip cost
- Trip interruption insurance of up to 150% of the trip cost
- Cancel for any reason (CFAR) insurance available
Best for a cruise-specific policy: AIG Travel Guard
- Trip cancellation coverage of up to 100% of the cost, for all three plan levels
- Cancel for any reason (CFAR) coverage available
- Above average baggage loss and delay benefits
- High medical evacuation coverage
- CFAR option only covers 50% of trip costs (compared to the 75% most competitors cover)
- Premiums may run slightly higher than competitors
- Trip cancellation coverage for up to 100% of the trip cost
- Trip interruption coverage for up to 150% of the trip cost
- Preexisting medical conditions exclusions waiver must be purchased within 15 days of initial trip payment
- Annual travel insurance plan and Pack N’ Go plan (for last-minute trips) available
Best for high coverage amounts: HTH Worldwide
- Three plans to choose from
- Reasonable premiums
- High medical emergency and evacuation coverage
- Baggage delay coverage not as generous as what some competitors offer
- Trip cancellation of up to $5,000 with the Economy plan and up to $50,000 with the Preferred plan
- Cancel for any reason insurance and missed connection insurance available with the Preferred plan
- Baggage delay insurance starting after 24 or 12 hours depending on the plan
Best for adventure-seeking cruisers: World Nomads
- Coverage for 200+ activities like skiing, surfing, and rock climbing
- Only two plans to choose from, making it simple to find the right option
- You can purchase coverage even after your trip has started
- If your trip costs more than $10,000, you may want to choose other insurance because trip protection is capped at up to $10,000 (for the Explorer plan)
- Doesn’t offer coverage for travelers older than 70
- No Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) option
- Coverage for 200+ activities and sports
- 2 plans: Standard and Explorer
- Trip protection for up to $10,000
- Emergency medical insurance of up to $100,000
- Emergency evacuation coverage for up to $500,000
- Coverage to protect your items (up to $3,000)
Best for long-distance cruises: Travelex
- Travel Select plan covers up to 364 days of travel
- Option to increase medical coverage
- Only two insurance plans to choose from
- Some competitors offer higher medical emergency coverage
- Trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage starting at up to $10,000
- Optional CFAR insurance available with the Travel Select plan
- Trip delay insurance starting at $500 with the Travel Basic plan
- Emergency medical and dental coverage starting at $15,000
When comparing cruise travel insurance providers, we evaluated them based on the following criteria:
- Price: We looked at cruise insurance providers that offered a range of basic to comprehensive coverage options at reasonable prices.
- Coverage limits: We examined each cruise insurance provider’s coverage amounts for coverages like medical emergencies and trip cancellation, as well as their policy terms.
- Coverage for pre-existing conditions: Any traveler with pre-existing conditions must look specifically for this coverage, regardless of the type of trip you’re taking.
- Cruise-specific coverage: This is important because general travel insurance plans might not cover incidents like a missed port of call or may not offer the appropriate amount of coverage needed to cover cruise emergencies.
- Cancel for Any Reason: The option to add CFAR coverage to your plan.
How to pick the best cruise insurance for you
When buying travel insurance for a cruise, consider the additional risks that are specific to cruising. These include hurricanes and other weather-related concerns, strict cancellation terms, high pre-paid costs of a cruise, and the distance to emergency medical assistance.
To find the policy that’s right for you, it’s best to compare several different cruise insurance policies based on the pricing and coverage they provide. Remember too that all reputable insurance providers will offer a “free-look period.” This allows you to return the policy you’ve purchased for any reason, within a specific time period, for a full refund.
The most important coverages to look for in cruise insurance are:
- Medical coverage — This coverage will pay for medical bills outside the US. But because treatment can be more expensive while onboard, make sure your policy offers sufficient coverage ($100,000+).
- Medical evacuation coverage — This coverage will transport you to the nearest hospital or even back home if you become sick or injured during your journey. But an evacuation from sea will be more expensive than one from land. So you’ll want to make sure your coverage has sufficiently high limits ($250,000+).
- COVID-19 coverage — The coronavirus is now considered a “known” event, meaning standard travel insurance won’t cover issues that arise from COVID-19. So, you’ll want to consider any add-on coverage your provider offers to cover COVID-19 related illnesses.
- Missed connection (missed port of call) coverage — This type of coverage will help you catch up to your itinerary if you miss your port of call for a covered reason, like a delayed flight on the way to the airport.
- Coverage for hurricane warnings — With this type of coverage, you don’t actually need to be affected by the hurricane. You can cancel and be reimbursed for your trip if the NOAA issues a hurricane warning. If you’re cruising anywhere during (or on the tail ends) of hurricane season, this can come in handy. Just note: You can’t buy travel insurance to cover a weather event once a storm or hurricane has been named.
- Cancel for any reason (CFAR) — This is the most comprehensive coverage you can get, as it allows cancellations and reimbursement for pre-paid expenses for any reason. This can be a wise add-on for cruise coverage given the often higher prepaid expenses associated with cruising.
- Preexisting conditions — This coverage ensures that no known health conditions are excluded from coverage.
- Personal possessions insurance — Because of the events and fancy dinners cruise ships hold, you might take more valuable clothing or jewelry with you on a cruise. This type of coverage will insure your belongings against loss or theft while cruising.
- Baggage loss and delay — This coverage will reimburse you up to a specified amount for essentials if your bags are delayed or if your bags get lost en route.
More about our winners
Nationwide is a long-standing and reputable brand within the insurance marketplace that offers cruise insurance plans with solid coverage and reasonable rates.
It has three cruise insurance options: Universal, Choice, and Luxury. The Choice plan, for example, offers $100,000 in emergency medical coverage and $500,000 in emergency medical evacuation coverage.
The right plan for you depends on your budget and coverage needs. But each plan offers cruise-specific coverages like ship-based mechanical breakdowns, coverage for missed prepaid excursions if your cruise itinerary changes, and covered service disruptions aboard the cruise ship.
AXA travel insurance
AXA offers three comprehensive coverage plans: Gold, Silver, and Platinum. Each of these plans offers coverage for issues like missed flights, medical emergencies, lost luggage, and more.
The highest-tier Platinum plan provides $250,000 in medical emergency coverage and $1 million in medical evacuation coverage. The baggage loss coverage is $3,000 per person, and their missed connection coverage is $1,500 per person for cruises and tours.
In addition, travelers can take advantage of AXA‘s concierge service, which provides an extensive network of international service providers. They’ll be able to assist you with things like restaurant reservations and referrals, golf course information, and more. This service could come in handy if you’re stopping at a variety of unfamiliar destinations during your cruise.
The coverage limits on AXA‘s policies are on the higher end compared to other providers. And you can buy coverage for a little as 4% of your trip cost depending on your age, travel destination, and state of residence.
With Seven Corners cruisers enjoying their golden years can travel knowing they’re covered in the event of an accident or emergency. While other providers do offer coverage to those 80+ years old, Seven Corners is known for its affordable premiums while offering above-average medical expenses and medical evacuation coverage limits — two areas of coverage that are even more important as we get older.
Seven Corners also offers the option of a preexisting conditions waiver and CFAR insurance at an additional cost, plus “Trip Interruption for Any Reason” coverage, which you won’t find on many policies.
You can choose between the RoundTrip Basic or RoundTrip Choice plans, with the higher-tier Choice plan costing more but providing more coverage.
AIG Travel Guard
AIG Travel Guard offers coverage specifically designed for cruising with three different plans: Deluxe, Preferred, and Essential. When you get a quote online, the first question you’ll be asked is whether you’re flying, cruising, or doing both or neither. Choose cruising, and you’ll be covered (up to the allowed amount) for things like trip delay, interruption, and cancellation. Along with coverage for inclement weather and damaged, lost, or stolen baggage and travel documents.
As an example, the middle-tier Preferred plan offers $50,000 in medical emergency coverage and $500,000 in emergency evacuation coverage. The Preferred and Deluxe plans also offer CFAR as an upgrade.
HTH Worldwide offers three levels of trip protection: TripProtector Economy, Classic, and Preferred. The higher the tier, the more coverage you’ll get for things like baggage delays, trip delays & cancellations, and medical expenses. But their premiums remain reasonable even at the highest tier of coverage.
Not only does the HTH Worldwide Trip Protector Preferred plan offer higher-than-average medical emergency and evacuation coverage limits ($500,000 and $1 million, respectively), but you’ll also get a baggage loss coverage limit of $2,000 per person and coverage for trip interruption of up to 200% of the trip cost. You also have the option to add CFAR coverage for an additional cost.
For many years now, World Nomads has been a top choice for comprehensive travel insurance. And it’s a great option when it comes to cruise coverage, too.
Even the most basic Standard Plan comes with $100,000 in medical emergency coverage and $300,000 in emergency evacuation coverage. And you’ll get higher coverage limits with their Premium Plan. Plus, unlike many other providers, World Nomads trip cancellation and emergency medical coverage includes COVID-19-related issues.
What sets World Nomads apart from many other insurance companies is that its policies cover 200+ adventure sports. This can be important for adventurous cruisers who plan to take part in activities like jet skiing, scuba diving, or parasailing during their cruise.
Travelex Insurance Services offers two different travel insurance plans, the Travel Basic plan and the Travel Select Plan. What’s a bit unique about the Travel Select plan is that it will cover trips of up to 364 days, making it a great option for long-distance cruising. Many providers only offer coverage for trips of 30 days or less.
With the Travel Select Plan, you’ll be covered for up to $50,000 in medical emergency costs and for up to $500,000 for medical evacuation and repatriation costs. You’ll also have the option to pay for increased medical emergency coverage of up to $100,000, increased medical evacuation coverage of up to $1 million, and CFAR insurance.
Cruise insurance — frequently asked questions (FAQ)
When should I buy travel insurance for a cruise?
If you’re booking a cruise, we recommend purchasing a travel insurance plan when you make your first trip payment. That could be for the cruise itself or an expense like airfare to get you to your cruising destination. This way, if you have to cancel your trip, you’ll have the most extended coverage period possible.
What type of insurance do I need for a cruise?
A cruise is a fantastic way to see the world, but only if you have adequate travel insurance. A standard travel insurance policy that covers cruises is sufficient. But insurance plans tailored to cruises with coverage like missed port of call or restriction to your stateroom can be considered for an added sense of security.
How much is travel insurance for cruises?
As a rule of thumb, you can expect to pay between 5% and 10% of your prepaid, nonrefundable trip expenses for cruise insurance coverage. The price will vary depending on factors like your age, your travel destination, and whether you require additional coverages.
Does my credit card provide travel insurance?
Several great travel rewards credit cards offer trip protection, which can come in handy under certain circumstances. But if you’re planning a cruise and have a lot of prepaid expenses associated with your trip, it’s best to purchase a more comprehensive cruise insurance policy. You can read Insider’s guide to the best credit cards with travel insurance to learn more about credit card insurance coverage.