We all know how important it is to have adequate travel insurance in place, not only for when we go on holiday, but also from the time of booking as this can cover monies paid in the unfortunate event of cancellation. I did wonder how many people book standard travel insurance when going on a cruise, as opposed to specific cruise insurance. With that in mind I thought I’d share a few pointers which may shed a little light on the subject.
Cruise insurance is different from standard travel insurance. Cruise insurance is a specific travel insurance policy that covers the specific activities and risks associated with a cruise holiday. For example, cruise insurance may cover you for missed port departures, itinerary changes or increased cancellation cover whereas a normal travel policy possibly wouldn’t.
Although people who take cruises can be of all types and ages, there is a tendency for cruise-lovers to be slightly older than the average holiday-goer. Most standard holiday insurance premiums will shoot up when the applicant is over a certain age (usually 65), and some older applicants may be refused cover by some insurers. Medical issues and treatment are also a big consideration. This is because there may be limited medical supplies on board and you may have to be flown to the nearest hospital which could be quite a distance or in a different country. An air ambulance, for example, can cost tens of thousands of pounds, it is for situations such as this that a specialist cruise insurance policy may save your bacon (and bank account!).
Specialist cruise insurance generally has no age limit, and most medical conditions will be considered. This means cruise insurance may offer more flexibility for those holiday-goers who still want to get the full cruise experience.
Some cruises, especially world voyages or world cruise sectors can sometimes last months, and most single trip travel insurance will only cover you for a holiday lasting between 30 and 60 days. Annual travel insurance policies often have a maximum duration for an individual trip – generally around 56 days, so always check the single trip duration cover.
Even if you already have a travel insurance policy in place – with cruise holidays you may need to take out a specialist policy to make sure you’re properly covered. It’s possible that your standard travel insurance could offer cruise insurance as a bolt-on, so be sure to check if you already have a policy in place.
The features of each cruise insurance policy will vary by provider. Some of the key factors you might want to consider when comparing cruise insurance include:
Gadget cover – see what level of cover you get for gadgets and check your mobile phone, camera or other gadgets will be included.
Travel delay – if you’re delayed, you could claim a set amount for the inconvenience.
Missed port – if a scheduled port visit is cancelled, you could claim.
Cabin confinement – if the ship’s medical officer confines you to your cabin for medical reasons, you could claim reimbursement.
Missed departure – if you miss departure, this will allow you to claim.
Unused excursion – if you can’t use a pre-planned excursion, you might be covered.
Activities – make sure any planned activities will be covered by your policy.
In fact, just 56 per cent of single trip cover and 59 per cent of annual policies include cover for a cruise trip as standard, and if you do get it wrong and end up having to claim you could be left severely out of pocket.
So, if you weren’t aware there was such a thing as cruise travel insurance it may be worth looking into before your next cruise. It may seem like another thing to pay for but believe me, given some of the tales of woe I’ve heard working in this industry it’s very important!
Bye for now.