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Nationwide Cruise Insurance Review 2024: Is It Worth It?

Nationwide Cruise review
KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • Nationwide is a well-established travel insurance company with nearly 100 years of experience.
  • The provider offers three different cruise insurance plans to suit a range of travelers.
  • All plans include medical insurance and coverage for trip cancellation, interruption, delays, baggage and missed connections.
  • We found that Nationwide cruise insurance plans cost approximately $11 to $15 per day.
  • Every Nationwide cruise plan includes a 10-day review period during which you can cancel for free (except in New York or Washington).
  • Try using our online comparison tool to view multiple plans at once and find the best to suit your travel needs.
SUMMARY

A cruise can be an expensive vacation, especially when you factor in the flights and hotels in port. Nationwide cruise insurance plans provide comprehensive coverage so you can get reimbursement for unexpected costs due to trip cancellations, delays or medical situations.

Which of Nationwide’s cruise-specific insurance plans is right for you? How much coverage should you get??

In this guide, we’ll dive into the details and cover:

  • Nationwide cruise insurance plans and coverage
  • Add-on coverage options
  • Average cost of Nationwide cruise insurance
Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Plans specifically designed to cover cruises
  • High medical coverage limits on all plans
  • Offers rare non-medical evacuation coverage
  • Access to 24/7 travel assistance support team

Cons

  • Secondary medical coverage only
  • Low accidental death limits
Specialized Cruise Insurance Plans
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4

Main highlights of Nationwide cruise insurance

Cruise lines often require passengers to have travel insurance before boarding in case they need emergency assistance while at sea. Nationwide is one of a few companies in the industry that offer specialized travel insurance for cruises. However, it stands apart as one of the top-rated cruise insurance providers.

Nationwide has 3 different policies to choose from, and all three policies offer great coverage. Unlike other cruise-specific travel insurance policies on the market that offer low coverage levels, all of Nationwide’s cruise plans come with high coverage limits. Plus, you get access to Nationwide’s 24/7 travel assistance support team if you need help before or after you depart.

Each plan is underwritten by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company which has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Also, A.M. Best ranks Nationwide with an A+ Superior, meaning it’s a financially stable insurer. Both of these rankings are important because it means Nationwide is a very reputable insurer.

Let’s take a look at the main highlights, features and benefits you can access when you purchase cruise insurance from Nationwide.

Nationwide cruise insurance plans & coverage

When you buy cruise insurance from Nationwide, you can choose from one of three plans.

UNIVERSAL - Good Basic Coverage

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company

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4
Preferred Plan
Cruise Universal
Covers COVID
YES
Medical & Evacuation Limits Per Person
$75,000 / $250,000
CHOICE - Good for Long Cruises

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company

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4
Preferred Plan
Cruise Choice
Covers COVID
YES
Medical & Evacuation Limits Per Person
$100,000 / $500,000
LUXURY - High limits & CFAR Coverage

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company

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4
Preferred Plan
Cruise Luxury
Covers COVID
YES
Medical & Evacuation Limits Per Person
$150,000 / $1,000,000

Each one covers 100% of the trip cost if you need to cancel for a covered reason, which is a great way to protect your prepaid, nonrefundable deposits. All three plans also include coverage to help you recoup lost costs if your trip is interrupted. You can get reimbursed for 125% of the trip costs for the Universal plan and 150% for the Choice and Luxury plans.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these three options.

1

Cruise Universal:

This is Nationwide’s most basic cruise plan. It’s a good option for shorter cruises that are relatively close to home. You’ll get $75,000 in secondary medical coverage and $250,000 for medical evacuation coverage — that’s critical, especially if you have an emergency while the cruise ship is at sea. This policy doesn’t include coverage for pre-existing conditions or accidental death and dismemberment. When it comes to delays, the Nationwide Universal cruise insurance plan will give you up to $100 per day up to $500 per person. This coverage can help you pay for hotels, food and other costs.

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2

Cruise Choice:

This midrange cruise insurance plan is a great option for longer cruises. It comes with $100,000 in travel medical insurance and $500,000 for medical evacuation, which is useful if you break a leg on shore excursion in Alaska and need to be airlifted to the nearest hospital. This policy also includes $25,000 for nonmedical evacuation. It can help you get home after a natural disaster, a political situation or a security problem. The Choice plan will cover your pre-existing conditions. However, you must buy the policy within 14 days of your first deposit. The policy also includes $25,000 for accidental death and dismemberment. Dealing with a delay? Cruise Choice gives you $150 per day up to $750 to cover the additional expenses. This higher limit can help you save money if you’re stuck in an expensive city, you need to book a new flight to meet the cruise or you lose out on prepaid accommodation bookings due to the delay.

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3

Cruise Luxury:

When you’re traveling to a far-flung destination or taking a very long cruise, the Luxury plan can help protect your investment. It includes trip delay insurance of $200 per day up to $1,000, so you’re covered if you miss the cruise departure and need to catch up. You can also opt for cancel for any reason (CFAR) coverage for additional peace of mind. The Nationwide Luxury cruise insurance plan is also ideal if you have health concerns. It covers pre-existing conditions as long as you purchase within 14 days of the first cruise payment. Plus, you’ll get $150,000 in medical coverage and $1,000,000 in medical evacuation. If you fall ill on a cruise to the Galapagos or Antarctica, this coverage ensures you’re not stuck with the cost of a medical flight back to the mainland. Like the Choice plan, this plan offers $25,000 for accidental death and dismemberment.

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Here’s a comparison of the benefits and per-person coverage limits for each Nationwide cruise insurance plan.

? Cruise Universal Cruise Choice Cruise Luxury
Trip Cancellation 100% of trip cost 100% of trip cost 100% of trip cost
Trip Interruption 125% of trip cost 150% of trip cost 150% of trip cost
Travel Delay $100 per day, $500 per person $150 per day, $750 per person $200 per day, $1,000 per person
Missed Connections $500 after 3-hour delay $1,500 after 8-hour delay $2,500 after 6-hour delay
Pre-Existing Condition Coverage No Yes; must buy policy within 14 days of first deposit payment Yes; must buy policy within 14 days of first deposit payment
Emergency Accident and Sickness Medical Expenses $75,000 (secondary coverage) $100,000 (secondary coverage) $150,000 (secondary coverage)
Accidental Death N/A $25,000 $25,000
Medical Evacuation & Repatriation $250,000 $500,000 $1,000,000
Nonmedical Evacuation N/A $25,000 $25,000
Baggage Delay $250 per person after 8-hour delay $500 per person after 8-hour delay $1,000 per person after 6-hour delay
Baggage and Personal Effects $1,500 per person, $300 per item $2,500 per person, $300 per item $2,500 per person, $500 per item
Cancel for any reason (CFAR) available No No Yes
Interruption for any reason (IFAR) available Yes, $250 Yes, $500 Yes, $1,000

Optional?add-ons

If Nationwide’s base policies don’t provide all the coverage you need, it’s possible to buy extra coverage for an additional fee.

Here are two optional add-ons that Nationwide offers with its cruise insurance.

Cancel for any reason (CFAR) coverage

When you purchase the Luxury Cruise plan from Nationwide, you have the option to buy CFAR coverage. If you cancel the trip for a reason that isn’t covered by the original policy, this add-on reimburses you for up to 75% of the cost of your trip. This can come in handy, considering the base policy excludes things like mental or emotional disorders (unless you’re hospitalized). With the CFAR add-on, you’ll be covered if you need to cancel the cruise due to a bout of depression or anxiety

Interruption for any reason (IFAR) coverage

Need to leave your cruise early? The IFAR add-on reimburses you for costs that include lost payments and deposits and airfare to get home (minus any credits from the original ticket). Keep in mind that this coverage has limits — the Universal Cruise Plan will make reimbursements up to $250, the Choice Cruise plan covers up to $500, and the Luxury Cruise Plan reimburses you for up to $1,000. If you need to leave to take care of a work emergency on the second day of a $5,000 cruise, you’ll only be able to recover a small portion of the costs.

Things not covered by Nationwide cruise insurance

Nationwide’s cruise policies come with a list of exclusions, or things that aren’t covered. These situations can vary from policy to policy and even between coverage types — in other words, the exclusions for baggage delay insurance might be different from those for medical insurance.

It’s always important to read the fine print, but for reference, here’s a list of common Nationwide cruise insurance exclusions:

In addition, Nationwide excludes anything not specifically listed as covered in your policy.

Cost of Nationwide cruise insurance plans

Based on our research, we found that Nationwide cruise insurance costs around $11 to $15 per day.

To give you a better idea of how much Nationwide cruise insurance costs, we got quotes for each of the three cruise insurance plans for five popular cruise destinations. We then took the average of each quote.

Average Cost of Nationwide Cruise Insurance

Plan Average cost Average cost per day
Cruise Universal $79 $11
Cruise Choice $82 $12
Cruise Luxury $103 $15

Bear in mind that the cost of cruise insurance depends on several factors, such as your age and the trip cost, so your premium will differ from those listed above. To find out how much you’ll pay for insurance, use our online comparison tool to get a quote.

Methodology for reaching these averages

We applied these details to our quotes:

Passport and Plane Ticket

Nationwide cruise insurance reviews from customers

Nationwide has an overall rating of 4.01 out of 5 on Squaremouth. We read through hundreds of reviews to help you understand the overall attitudes toward the company’s policies. Bear in mind that these ratings come from all Nationwide travel insurance reviews, so they’re not all cruise-specific.

Here’s what reviewers are saying about Nationwide.

What customers like

Customers who are impressed with Nationwide travel insurance policies often mention:

  • Helpful customer service
  • Reasonable prices
  • Easy to set up a policy

Here are a few comments from positive Nationwide cruise insurance reviews:

“We had to cancel our cruise because of COVID…the claim process was smooth and efficient.” - James

“Nationwide handled our trip interruption extremely well. The service provided by One Call International was thorough, and we were treated well.” - Gary

What customers don’t like

Unhappy Nationwide customers often mention:

  • Slow response times for claims and customer service
  • Excessive documentation requirements for claims
  • Long claim process

Here are a few comments from negative reviews:

“Difficult claim process and no information back.” - Lauren

“They were impossible to reach by phone, and it took approximately 6 to 8 weeks to get a response via email.” - Flash

Is Nationwide cruise insurance worth it?

Nationwide cruise insurance is a great option if you are looking for specialized cruise coverage. Nationwide’s plans are definitely worth the money and even the cheapest policy offers higher-than-average coverage limits.

The main drawback of Nationwide’s cruise insurance plans is that they offer secondary medical coverage. This means in the event of a claim, you pay first and then wait for reimbursement from the insurance provider.

While other travel insurance companies offer plans that can cover cruise vacations, it’s important to remember that many companies exclude certain coverage for cruises. The benefit of choosing one of Nationwide’s policies is that it takes the guesswork out of determining whether a policy applies to cruises.

Which plan is right for you?

The Universal Cruise plan is an affordable insurance option for basic coverage. Although it has the lowest medical coverage limits of the three plans, they are higher than most basic policies on the market and are suitable for cruises close to the US like Alaska and the Caribbean.

Consider the Choice Cruise plan for longer or farther-flung cruises as the limits are higher and are sufficient for most travelers.

If you prefer all the bells and whistles, the Luxury Cruise plan may be right for you. It’s ideal if you’re taking an expensive trip like a round-the-world cruise.

If you’re looking for cruise insurance with primary medical coverage or higher coverage limits for baggage and delays, here are some alternative options from our list of best travel insurance providers.

Other options for cruise insurance

Advertiser Disclosure
Best Overall

AXA Assistance USA

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4.22
Preferred Plan
Platinum
Covers COVID
YES
Medical & Evacuation Limits Per Person
$250,000 / $1,000,000
Affordable Robust Coverage

Seven Corners

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4.37
Preferred Plan
Trip Protection Choice
Covers COVID
YES
Medical & Evacuation Limits Per Person
$500,000 / $1,000,000
Budget Cruise Coverage

AEGIS

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4.07
Preferred Plan
Go Ready Choice
Covers COVID
Yes
Medical & Evacuation Limits Per Person
$500,000 / $500,000

FAQ: Nationwide cruise insurance

Who underwrites Nationwide cruise insurance?

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and its affiliated companies underwrite the provider’s cruise policies.

Do Nationwide cruise insurance plans cover COVID?

Nationwide cruise insurance covers COVID-19, assuming it falls within the other terms of the policy. If you catch COVID-19 on board the ship, for example, your policy covers a doctor’s services, lab tests, hospitalization if necessary and medications. If you get sick before you leave, your trip cancellation insurance should cover lost costs up to the maximum benefit — however, you will likely need documentation from a doctor that says you shouldn’t travel because of the illness.

When should I buy Nationwide insurance for a cruise?

You should buy a Nationwide cruise insurance policy as soon as possible after making your first payment on the cruise. That way, you’ll be covered if something happens to cancel or interrupt your trip. Plus, some plans have time-sensitive benefits. If you have pre-existing medical conditions, you can get coverage under the Choice and Luxury plans — but only if you buy a policy within 14 days after you make the first deposit and opt to cover the whole cost of your trip.

How do I file a claim with Nationwide cruise insurance?

If you need to file a claim with Nationwide, you should always start by calling the Cruise Claims Administrator. They will ask about your issue and send you the correct forms and documentation requirements. At that point, you can submit all paperwork by email or standard mail.

Elizabeth Smith is an experienced travel and finance writer who specializes in topics including credit cards, travel insurance, and personal finance. Travel insurance, in particular, has both professional and personal significance for Smith. She’s traveled to 73 countries, and has extensive experience choosing and using various policies — she understands how valuable the right plan can be in an emergency, and loves to help readers find the perfect fit.

Smith comes to the world of finance from a scientific and technical background. She spent more than 10 years writing about engineering, science, and technology for universities and private companies. When she’s not writing or traveling, Smith can usually be found hiking or Nordic skiing.

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