Surveys have found that very few cruise passengers opt for cruise-specific insurance, and some don’t purchase any travel insurance at all!
Thankfully this has now been outlawed by updated booking conditions.
Travel insurance is something that you really shouldn’t overlook.
Medical costs abroad can be costly, and even more so if an emergency means you need to be flown from the ship.
If you think travel insurance is expensive, think again! On average, insurance costs just 5% of the cost of the holiday – that’s just a few nights’ bar bill!
How is Cruise Insurance different from Travel Insurance?
At the very least, you should ensure you purchase standard travel insurance before setting sail. However, there is a difference between regular travel insurance and cruise-specific insurance, and, if possible, it’s always better to opt for cruise insurance.
Why? Because cruise-specific insurance includes dedicated cover for accidents, injury and events that could happen at sea.
For example, good cruise insurance should include compensation for major itinerary changes (whereby it can be argued that the voyage does not resemble the trip you originally booked), for cabin confinement due to personal illness or illness on board, and some policies even compensate for unused excursions due to accident, injury, or extenuating circumstances.
If you miss your departure port, you may also be given assistance for arranging travel back home, or to meet the ship in another destination.
Does My Home Insurance Cover Losses?
Many home contents insurance offers protection against losses whilst away from home. Technically speaking, these policies can and will compensate for belongings lost during your cruise holiday.
However, think carefully before going down this route. You are far more likely to lose personal items during periods of travel, and if you need to make a claim, this could increase your annual insurance premium, meaning you could end up paying for the loss for years to come.
Travel or cruise insurance acts as a way of protecting your no-claims reputation with regard to your other policies.
Extreme Sports Cover
Depending on where you travel to, and the activities available in port, it may be worthwhile adding extreme sports cover to your insurance plan.
If you plan to surf, parasail, or go glacier hiking, for example, it’s a good idea to have this additional cover.
Some of the more budget-friendly insurance options won’t automatically cover you for accidents endured during sporting activities.
Fly-cruising is becoming more and more popular, enabling travellers to visit faraway destinations even with limited free time. However, when taking a fly-cruise, you need to make sure that your insurance policy covers you for land, air, and sea mishaps.
For example, some cruise-specific policies focus upon land and sea travel only, and will only compensate for delays relating to flights to or from your home country.
If you’re getting a connecting flight, this can leave you having to arrange, and pay for, your own onwards transportation.
This should be a factor in your consideration when booking flights as part of a package with your cruise line or separately.
If you’re booking flights independently then be sure to check your insurance will appropriately cover you.
What Isn’t Covered by Cruise Insurance?
While cruise-specific insurance offers the most thorough cover in relation to cruise holidays, they don’t cover everything. Before purchasing travel insurance for your trip, be aware of these aspects:
Weather, in any form, will not be covered by your insurance policy. Whether it’s simply a bit of rain whilst you’re in the Caribbean, or a full blown storm, anything that’s classed as an ‘act of God’ will not be covered. This is typically true of all travel insurance policies, and not just those relating to cruising.
Minor Itinerary Changes
Sometimes, cruise lines do need to make minor adjustments to their itineraries, but the odd missed port or change won’t make you eligible to claim.
Sometimes, cruise lines are forced to amend their schedule in advance of the cruise due to issues in the ports themselves that are beyond the cruise lines’ control.
Other times, cruise lines will be unable to visit ports due to external circumstances such as weather.
This is somewhat common on small Caribbean islands that are surrounded by rocks – it is simply unsafe for the ship to approach.
Don’t get caught up in minor changes, just enjoy your holiday!
Undeclared Medical Conditions
On any travel insurance plan, you will not be covered for medical costs relating to diagnosed conditions that have been undeclared.
Some travellers choose to hide their conditions due to increased premiums or the risk of being rejected for cover.
However, there are a large number of companies out there who will cover existing medical conditions without asking personal or invasive questions, and for very reasonable prices.
Saving Money on Cruise Insurance
If you’re looking for ways to save on your cruise insurance, and you travel two or more times per year, it’s well worth looking into annual policies, rather than single trip policies.
For example, budget single trip insurance, worldwide, with cruise cover, costs on average around £25 for a couple.
Annual insurance costs from £35, so it’s well worth choosing annual insurance if you travel twice or more each year.
For a competitive cruise travel insurance quote, please visit our travel partner; Holiday Extras