Why Have a Passport and Travel Insurance?

True:  You do not need to have a passport if you are going on a cruise that starts and ends in the  same United States port.  A certified birth certificate will suffice for a roundtrip Seattle cruise to Alaska (even though you’ll be stopping in several Canadian ports), a rountrip Long Beach cruise to the Mexican Riviera (even though you’ll be going to several places in Mexico), a roundtrip Miami Caribbean cruise (even though you may be going to a bunch of foreign ports).

And no one buys insurance of any kind because they are planning to need it.  Insurance is for what you do not expect to happen.

But what happens if the unexpected occurs.

Consider a mother and her son who recently went on a Western Caribbean cruise with only birth certificates and no travel insurance.  The 12-year old son had an attack of appendicitis when they were in Mexico.  Their original schedule called for them to sail back to the United States port from which they started; and, of course, having a medical emergency was not part of their vacation plans.  They were faced with emergency surgery in a foreign hospital; plus, now, they were going to have to fly back to their home in the United States, which would require a passport.

The family wound up having to give the hospital $3,300 before they would perform the necessary operation, and their medical bill, which involved complicated surgery and treatment plus $900 per day for the hospital stay, reached $14,000  before he was flown to Houston, Texas for more hospital care.  During their time in Mexico the mother had to obtained passports through the United States embassy, and after the boy’s hospital release, purchase one-way airline tickets to Houston for approximately $6,000 (remember, one-way tickets are often more expensive than roundtrip, and any airline ticket purchased on short notice is extremely expensive).  As of this date, they still have not gotten home to Dayton, Ohio.

If they had acquired passports and purchased travel insurance, things would have gone much more smoothly and the costs would have been covered.

Ask yourself:  How many things in my life have worked out exactly as planned?  Travel insurance is for the unexpected.  A passport for anyone leaving “the good ole U.S.A.” should be considered a must.

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