As the nights get longer and the days get colder, we all feel the temptation to beat the winter blues. Many of us give ourselves something to look forward to by booking an escape to a warmer climate. If you’re really lucky you may even take an extended break, indulging in a lengthy cruise in the sunshine.
However, if you are considering taking a cruise, you should also be thinking about taking out insurance. In some instances regular travel insurance may be fine, but this is by no means a given. Some standard travel insurance policies specifically exclude cruises, while others only include limited levels of cover. You can also get specialist cruise insurance, but you’ll probably have to pay extra for it. Moreover, it’s not always clear what kind of travel insurance policy you have without reading the small print.
Exclusions and limits
Unless they specifically exclude cruise holidays from cover, most standard travel insurance policies will cover you on short cruises, usually up to 31 days. Generally, though, they will only cover you for one destination, not several. If you’re going to multiple destinations, you may not be covered in all of them. There may also be further exclusions and limits.
Cruise-specific insurance will include cover for incidents that are only likely to happen on a cruise. Cabin-confinement cover is one example. This means you may be entitled to compensation if you’re ill and the ship’s doctor confines you to your cabin for all or part of your voyage. Similarly, a policy may include missed departure cover, in case you miss your ship’s sailing through no fault of your own. It may also include itinerary change or missed shore cover, if unforeseen circumstances cause one or more destinations to be missed out of your cruise schedule.
Cruise insurance may also have higher medical limits, in order to cover you if you need to be taken off the ship by helicopter and flown to the nearest hospital. Make sure that you declare any pre-existing medical conditions. In some cases this may increase your premiums, but if you don’t mention them, you may not be covered for medical treatment in some countries, which could prove extremely expensive, should you need it.
You may also want to check that you’re covered for other cruise-specific situations, such as cancellation, medical emergencies (such as the outbreak of an infectious illness on board), terrorism and natural disasters. As conditions may vary from one policy to the next it’s best to use an independent broker to make sure you have the travel insurance that’s right for your next cruise.
If you’re about to take a break and want to make sure you have appropriate travel insurance, our personal lines team can help. Whether you’re taking a cruise, romantic weekend away or adventure escape, just give us a call, we’ll make sure you have the right cover.