Is Disney travel insurance worth the cost?

(NerdWallet) A Disney vacation can be the trip of a lifetime. It can also be the most expensive trip of your life.

For many, buying travel insurance should be as essential as buying a churro while you’re wandering down Main Street. After all, we are still in the midst of a pandemic. But that’s not the only reason you might cancel. You may have booked a vacation but later lost your job; You may want to delay until you have regained a stable income. Your child may have broken a leg and you want to rebook when it heals.

Trip insurance can be purchased from a dedicated travel insurance company, or you may already have one by carrying certain credit cards. Otherwise, you can buy it directly from Disney, which offers insurance as an add-on to vacation packages at its US theme parks.

Is Disney travel insurance worth it, or are there better deals?

What does Disney travel insurance cover?

If you’re heading to Walt Disney World in Florida or Disneyland in California and book a vacation package (meaning hotel and theme park tickets), you’re eligible to purchase a Disney Travel Protection plan. Guaranteed by Arch Insurance Company, available for purchase by US residents and US citizens living abroad who book through the Disney website.

Exact coverage and benefit availability vary based on where you live, but typically include:

  • Trip cancellation or interruption: Prepaid travel reimbursement up to the total cost of the trip for covered causes, including illness, injury, job loss, or military service.
  • flight delay: Eligible expenses are reimbursed up to $200 per day ($600 per trip).
  • Baggage loss: Compensate up to $2,000 for lost, stolen or damaged baggage.
  • bag delay: Reimbursement of your purchases of essential items if your bags are delayed by 12 hours or more.
  • Emergency Medical Expenses: Provides coverage of up to $25,000 if you get sick or injured while traveling.
  • Rental car damage: Reimbursement for repair costs of up to $25,000 in the event of collision, theft, damage or vandalism.

How much is Disney travel insurance?

While Disney doesn’t explicitly state their prices, a NerdWallet analysis of several travel packages found that they cost a flat rate of $82.50 per adult and $6 per child.

Flat rate travel insurance can be good for expensive trips, but it’s a bad deal for budget trips.

Enjoy a seven-night stay during Christmas Week 2022 for a family of four (two adults and two children) at Disney’s luxurious Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Book it along with six-day theme park tickets with all add-ons—like entry to the water park—and you’ll pay about $12,000. Adding travel insurance will cost $177, which is 1.4% of the total cost.

But let’s say you instead plan a trip at the end of September when the kids go back to school. Two adults can stay at Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort with base tickets for two days for just $850. Adding Disney insurance will increase the cost of your package to over $1,000, which is an overall price increase of nearly 20%.

Travel insurance that comes in at just 1.4% of the total cost of your trip is a bargain, but 20% is far from that. After all, most travel insurance costs 4% to 8% of the total trip, according to the American Travel Insurance Association.

Reasons to get travel insurance from Disney

Flat rate travel insurance, as offered by Disney, is very rare. Most policies are priced based on factors including the length of your trip, your destination, and the policyholder’s age.

Here’s why you’re making a good deal:

Flat pricing is best for more expensive flights: If an expensive trip is going to result in equally expensive travel insurance, opting for flat pricing is smart. And it’s not just a fancy hotel and Disney theme park tickets with all the add-ons like entry cards up front. Consider other non-refundable trip items, such as airline tickets and prepaid rental cars. If you’re flying first class, or have been hit by high rental car prices, flat rate insurance is especially attractive.

You are an older adult: Travel insurance costs depend on the risk, and insurance is more expensive for older travelers, who are more likely to have health problems, according to Allianz Travel Insurance.

Since Disney’s only age difference is child versus adult, its plan may be cheaper for seniors than going with an independent insurance company.

Several other policies do not cover theme park tickets: Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Disney has asked travelers to make advance reservations to enter theme parks in the United States. Gone are the days of buying tickets first thing in the morning. On popular days, you often have to book your tickets months in advance. But while most insurance policies cover cruises, airline tickets, accommodations, and tours, it’s hard to find policies that cover theme park tickets.

Given the high cost of Disney tickets (and the fact that most Disney tickets are non-transferable and non-refundable), you’ll likely want to be covered as well.

Reasons to skip Disney travel insurance

But most people would be better off skipping Disney’s insurance. Here are some of the reasons:

The maximum coverage is relatively low: Disney insurance will pay a maximum of $25,000 in the event of accidental death and dismemberment, while it’s common to find coverage of up to $500,000 elsewhere.

Likewise, the Disney policy covers up to $2,000 in lost baggage. That might not be enough if you’re packing a fancy camera. With other insurance policies, coverage of at least $3,000 is common.

Disney rental car coverage only covers repair costs of up to $25,000. Especially with the price of cars rising, it may not be enough for serious accidents.

Coverage is limited: In fact, getting reimbursed from Disney travel insurance can be difficult. Covered events are limited to narrow situations, including injury, death of a family member, or jury duty. In addition, you must provide evidence, such as a court order or a death certificate. Disney insurance will also not cover pre-existing conditions.

Don’t want to book a Disney hotel: Disney insurance is only available to travelers staying at a private (expensive) Disney resort. If you’re going to Disney World on the cheap, staying out of the property is always cheaper. Don’t let eligibility to purchase Disney insurance convince you to book a Disney resort outside of your ideal budget.

Better Alternatives to Disney Travel Insurance

Before your Disney trip, compare travel insurance quotes from several providers. And don’t overlook these other types of travel insurance:

Cancellation of coverage for any reason

The slight increase in COVID-19 cases may prompt you to consider travel. Or maybe an injury prevents you from traveling, but you don’t have a doctor’s note to prove it. Due to the limited number of reasons eligible for coverage, it may be best for you to get “cancel for any reason” coverage, which covers you regardless of the reason for cancellation.

Look at your credit card

Some credit cards offer travel insurance as a feature, as long as you purchased the trip with that card. Given the high cost of travel insurance, this benefit alone can be worth the often high annual fees these cards charge.

Check with your bank to see what it covers. For example, insurance offered via many Chase credit cards will not explicitly cover theme park tickets.

When is Disney travel insurance worth it?

Given the uncertainty around travel these days, even a quick weekend getaway should have a certain degree of insurance. But you may not need to pay for Disney travel insurance.

As long as you agree not to secure your theme park tickets, travel insurance offered through many credit cards is probably a better bet, and it may not cost you anything just by holding the card. If you really want the guarantee of coverage, paying for a cancellation for any reason may be better.

Leave a Comment