Is travel insurance worth the money?

Posted: Updated:

SURPRISE - Maryellen Gerberry is an experienced cruiser.

“We've gone on probably about 10 cruises, Alaska, Tahiti, Hawaii, Mexican Riviera,” she said.

Her most recent trip was supposed to be this October when she and her two sisters planned a 7-day fall foliage cruise to New England.

“We wanted to see the leaves turn, go up to Canada, Nova Scotia,” she said.

Maryellen made reservations through Carnival Cruise Lines.

She paid the $930 deposit when she booked the trips last year.


Because she booked so far in advance, Maryellen decided it was best to buy travel insurance.


“Well, now we're in our 60’s and 70’s. We go, you know, who knows? We don't know what's going to happen tomorrow we'll go ahead and book the insurance,” Maryellen said.


Well, something did happen.


Earlier this year, one of Maryellen's sisters was diagnosed with Raynaud's disease, a condition that severely limits the use of her hands and feet.

“She was advised to stay out of cold climates because it would irritate and flare up,” she said.

So, Maryellen decided to cancel her reservations.

She says she didn't think getting a refund on her $930 deposit would be a big deal until she called Carnival Cruise Lines.


“She goes well you booked that far in advance and there's no refund,” Maryellen said.


No refund?
What about the traveler's insurance Maryellen purchased in case something like this happened?


“It isn't worth the paper it's written on,” she said. “And they insist they go you really out to have it.”


A spokesperson for Carnival Cruise Lines tells 3 On Your Side because Maryellen booked her vacation so early, she got a deeply discounted promotional price, the terms of which stipulate that the deposit of $250 per person is non-refundable.


However, Carnival says it did give Maryellen and her sisters a $200 towards a future cruise.


But, there's still a problem.


“There won’t be another trip!”


Maryellen says she had no idea she booked any special promotional fare, and that if she'd known she wouldn't get her deposit back, she would've thought twice about paying all that money at once.


Maryellen was refunded the cost of the travel insurance itself which was $180.


But, she's still out about $750.


3 On Your Side tried to get Carnival Cruise Lines to make an exception, but our request was denied.