If you are looking at taking a cruise or have booked your first cruise, you may be wondering why you need cruise travel insurance. We have been on many cruises and always have travel insurance as soon as we book, or ASAB as some say!
We’ve teamed up with CoverForYou* travel insurance to answer some of the common questions such as:
- Why do I need travel insurance for a cruise
- What should I look for in an insurance policy
- What are the benefits of ‘Cruise Cover’
- How to choose a travel insurance policy
- Is cruise travel insurance expensive
- … and more
Do you need travel insurance to cruise?
Yes, yes, yes… don’t travel without travel insurance!
Anyone taking a cruise needs to make sure they have travel insurance in place before taking the cruise and ideally as soon as you book. Most cruise lines won’t allow a guest to embark without a valid travel insurance policy.
Why do you need travel insurance for a cruise?
You might be thinking why do you need travel insurance when your cruise may only be visiting ports in your country or quite near to home. But anyone who has used the medical centre on a cruise will know they are very expensive and if you need get to a local hospital, the costs can be astronomical!
Having completed many cruises, we’ve experienced those medical emergency announcements where someone has taken ill, we’ve been on ships diverted to the nearest port to get a passenger to hospital ASAP and seen medical evacuations by helicopter. These things happen on cruises and they are well trained and geared up to deal with them, but having travel insurance will give you peace of mind that the costs for this care is covered!
Standard cruise cover benefits that CoverForYou* provide
These come as standard with any policy you choose and include, but are not limited to, benefits such as:
- Cancellation or cutting short your trip
- Lost and delayed baggage
- Medical emergency and other expenses
- Travel delay benefit
- Cover if you can no longer go on the cruise, or someone you’re travelling with can no longer travel and you decide not to go
What are the benefits of choosing Cruise Cover?
For as a little as £29.98# (single trip policy) you can purchase a cruise cover add-on which provides these extra benefits
- Costs to re-join your cruise if you arrive late at your initial departure point
- Costs to re-join your cruise if you miss your ship at a port of call
- Cabin confinement (accident or illness)
- Missed port due to adverse weather (as long as no alternative port is provided)
- Unused excursions (pre-booked when you have been confined to your cabin)
- Increased baggage allowance
- Cancellation cover of up to £7,500 per person, per trip (£4,000 is the norm for many cruise insurance policies)
- Option to significantly enhance cancellation cover to give peace of mind when you’ve really splashed out on that cruise of a lifetime – cancellation cover of up to £25,000 per person, per trip
How do I choose a good cruise policy?
Think about what you really need and ensure the policy covers those things.
Look at reviews submitted by previous policyholders as this will give a picture of what sort of service you will receive. Plus, choose a policy that is rated either 4 or 5-Star by a ratings agency, such as Defaqto. Cutting corners to save a few pounds is never a good option as medical costs abroad can be extortionate! Especially in the USA.
What mistakes should you avoid when buying cruise insurance?
It is really important that ALL pre-existing medical conditions are declared at the time of purchase as an omission could mean that the whole policy is invalid as the underwriter is not fully able to assess the risk.
Can you get reimbursed if you buy insurance and your trip doesn’t go ahead?
You will have been ‘On Risk’ for cancellation arising from a series of risks, as set out in your policy, including being hospitalised or being medically unfit to travel, from the moment you purchase insurance until you actually start your journey, this can be a number of months. As a result, your policy has been used and insurers will not usually refund the premium. In all circumstances you will be able to get a full refund if you cancel your insurance within 14 days of purchase. Some insurers – including CoverForYou* – are willing to change the dates of your policy at no cost if you have accepted a different holiday.
With insurers that already cover cruises as part of their standard policies, or depending on the level of cruise ‘add on’ you have purchased with policies where cruises don’t come under standard cover, you’ll automatically be covered for cancellation, along with medical needs and evacuation.
Will I be covered by a Single-Trip policy if the cruise company changes the dates of the cruise?
Yes, CoverForYou should be able to amend the travel dates and/or destination, provided no previous claims have been made on the policy. It won’t cost you anything as long as the new travel date starts within a year of your original travel plans on a like-for-like basis.
You will also be able to adjust how long you want the cover for and increase your area of cover if you want to.
Is cruise travel insurance expensive?
The cost will vary depending on the cover required. Expect to pay around £29.98 for a Single-Trip policy for one week.
As we get older we are more likely to need the services of a doctor or hospital. The largest claims in the travel insurance sector are for medical expenses incurred abroad. Those of us who are older are more likely to incur a medical claim and this is the main reason why premiums are higher, they reflect the increased risk that underwriters face. This is no different to the increase in premiums that happen on Permanent Health policies as we age.
Once a policy has been bought, clients are on risk for cancellation claims which can arise from being hospitalised, yet another reason for the increase in premiums.
The logic used by underwriters is based on claims experience, an inverse look at this would be the fact that younger drivers have to pay higher premiums due to their claims experience.
CoverForYou*, and our underwriters, are bound by ‘Treating the Customer Fairly’ rules. CoverForYou* does not profiteer from the older segment of its book. Indeed, there is an element of subsidy from younger travellers to help keep premiums down for older travellers.
What are the benefits of purchasing an Annual Multi-Trip policy?
If you’re planning on taking more than one cruise, or any other type of trip, in a 12-month period then it’s definitely worth considering Annual Multi-Trip policy cover as it can often work out to be more cost-effective. It also means you don’t have to worry about renewing your cover every time you take a trip.
We hope you have found this article useful, if you don’t have your cruise travel insurance sorted yet, please make sure it is on your to do list! Generating a quote with CoverForYou is quick and easy, just click here to start!
- #Price based on a single trip policy for an individual traveller, aged 40, for one week