Recently my wife and I have had a bit of a financial scare.
We have been planning another awesome cruise for a while, but we almost had to cancel it and lose our $500 deposit.
Luckily, we ended up not having to cancel the cruise, but it made us rethink a common decision we always make.
We Never Buy Vacation Insurance
Every time we put a deposit on a cruise, our cruise company representative asks if we’d like to spend anywhere from $49 to $99 per person to buy vacation protection insurance.
The insurance allows us to cancel the cruise at any time for any reason and get most, if not all, of our vacation money back, less the cost of the insurance.
In the past, we’ve always said no to this insurance. To give you a rough idea, the cost of our cruise fare that wouldn’t be refunded in the event of a last minute cancellation ranges from $500 to $1,200 for our previous cruises.
Related: How Much A Cheap Cruise Really Costs
Depending on how late you cancel the cruise without insurance, you could get your money fully refunded if you cancel early enough, lose your deposit, lose a percentage of your cruise fare or lose your entire cruise fare.
We have always figured there are very few, if any, reasons we would cancel an awesome cruise vacation, so we always said no to the vacation protection insurance.
After all, the worst case we could think of would be a hurricane and we’d be happy to meet the cruise ship elsewhere, go to a different set of destinations or accept a full refund if the cruise line cancelled the cruise, which almost never happens.
Related: 10 Hidden Costs of Cruising
Rethinking Buying Vacation Protection Insurance
After almost losing $500 of our hard earned money, we sat down and considered whether or not we should buy vacation protection insurance for future cruises. However, it still doesn’t make much financial sense for us, personally.
So far, including our pending cruise, we’ve been on 5 cruises. For each of those cruises, we would have paid basically $100 or more for vacation protection insurance and so far we’ve never had to use it.
If we bought the insurance on each of our previous cruises we would have been out $500 so far. Granted, if we cancelled our upcoming cruise, we would have had our $500 deposit refunded to us and we would have broken even on our vacation insurance gambles.
We didn’t and don’t foresee us cancelling our cruise now, so in reality we would have been out $500 or half of the cost of our typical cruise fare.
Will We Ever Buy Vacation Protection Insurance?
If we book a special cruise or a cruise that involves us flying to a port, I definitely think we’ll strongly consider buying insurance.
For instance, if we booked an Alaskan, Hawaiian or an overseas cruise such as a Mediterranean cruise or an Australian cruise, I think we’d probably pay for the protection due to the higher cost and higher risk nature of us losing our money.
We won’t be buying vacation protection insurance on our lower cost cruise vacations that only require us to drive to the port the night before. The risk so far just hasn’t outweighed the cost of the insurance, so instead we choose to take on the risk ourselves.
Have you ever booked a vacation and paid for vacation protection insurance? Do you think vacation protection insurance is a scam, or do you think it is a valuable option? Let me know you thoughts in the comments below!