From small river boats to floating hotel complexes, everyone can now find something for them in cruise travel. However, according to GoCompare.com, around 37% of annual and only a third of single trip travel insurance policies provide protection while cruising without a specific add-on – so it’s worth looking into specialist cruise travel insurance with your broker if you plan to board. It’ll provide tailored coverage for everything you’ll encounter, aboard or ashore. |
Here are a few of the main things you should look for in a policy.
While the majority of cruises go off as planned, any trip that relies on sea and weather conditions to this extent can be subject to change or mishap. For a trip often costing thousands of pounds, it’s worth making sure the time and expense are secured. Pay-outs can range from £250 to £25,000 per person, so be sure your choice is appropriate for your trip and any excursions you have planned.
Similarly, terms on illness or injury can vary greatly between providers, and even more so for non-specialised policies. Cruise travel insurance often includes pre-existing conditions and help for elderly passengers, which basic insurance doesn’t. Access to doctors and medication onboard can be expensive, as can onshore specialist treatment or repatriation in the event of something more serious.
The level of indemnity the industry recommends is £1 million for a European trip or £2 million for the rest of the world. Seems excessive? The Association of British Insurers puts the total cost of a heart attack on a cruise ship in the Caribbean, including treatment and an air ambulance back to the UK, at around £92,000.
While operators will try their utmost to keep you and your belongings safe, accidents do happen – and if your bag goes overboard, replacing what was inside can be expensive. Of course, specialised cruise travel insurance usually has a facility for lost or damaged luggage, and even formal dining attire, which standard policies may not. Read your T&Cs carefully or check with your broker to find the right level for you.
We mentioned the possibility of adverse weather earlier – it can affect your itinerary too. It’s possible that your trip may be re-routed or certain ports made inaccessible due to variance in sea or weather conditions. All it takes is a sudden squall and you may miss a location where you have trips or excursions planned. Make sure your insurance takes this eventuality into account.
Confinement to your cabin
Illness or adverse weather can prevent you from leaving the ship if you’re affected by them. While most policies will not cover missed trips, or simply missing out on the fun, cruise travel insurance often has a clause for this, from £15 to £1,000 depending on your policy. Just make sure you get a note from the ship’s doctor if you need them.
Insurance T&Cs can vary as much as the cruises themselves, so make sure your policy includes everything you need it to. Cruise travel insurance is just one way you can give yourself the peace of mind to fully enjoy your trip.
Patrick Chong is the Managing Director of InsureMore, an award-winning team of specialists in global single trip, family, annual and cruise travel insurance policies. Besides offering great deals on travel insurance, Patrick also collects and shares the best free travel competitions to help his clients get the most out of their holidays.
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