Cruising is a spectacular way to see the world. But like any holiday, there are some risks involved. If you’re planning on jumping onboard a cruise ship in the near future, you need to consider what type of travel insurance is needed.
What is cruise insurance?
Travel insurance is purchased by holiday-goers to cover themselves for any financial loss they may incur on their trip. This can include anything from travel cancellation or interruption, to medical expenses and personal property damage. Travel insurance is an essential part of international travel – it’s just as important as remembering your passport.
When travelling on a cruise, you need cruise insurance. Cruise insurance can protect your possessions on board, provide you with benefits like cancellation cover if the weather or port authorities cause you to miss your pre-paid holiday, and offer 24/7 medical assistance. You can usually get policies that cover individuals, couples or families, so it doesn’t matter who you’re travelling with, you’ll all be covered.
Do I need cruise insurance?
The short answer is yes. Many people don’t know that once your cruise ship has left the port in Australia, you are no longer covered by Medicare or private health insurance (even in Australian waters). It’s great to have cruise insurance to offer yourself peace of mind that any medical expenses will be taken care of.
If you’re going in with the mindset that ‘it won’t happen to me’ you could end up facing a hefty bill at the end of your trip, should something go wrong.
The benefits of cruise insurance
Not all cruise insurance policies are the same, so shop around to find the one that best suits your needs. Most commonly, cruise insurance will cover the following:
1. Medical expenses
If you’ve never been on a cruise before, you may find yourself getting a little seasick. Sometimes people even need emergency medical transportation.
Avoid high medical charges on board the ship and ensure you’re covered. It’s important to note, existing medical conditions aren’t usually covered by insurance. So, if you have a medical condition which will likely prevail for when you go on the cruise, ensure you read the insurance policy in detail.
Cruises can be cancelled for a number of reasons – bad weather, safety problems or political unrest at the destination. The great thing about cruise insurance is that it’ll cover you if the cruise liner needs to cancel your trip before you go.
A cruise may also be delayed due to bad weather, staff strikes, industrial action, or mechanical problems. If this happens, you can rest assured that your cruise insurance will reimburse you for any accomodation, meal or other expenses that you incurred during the period of delay.
4. Personal items
If your bag or any belongings (think, underwater camera!) become lost, stolen or damaged during your cruise, you may be able to claim the cost of this too.
Things to consider
The number one thing to consider when purchasing cruise insurance is to buy it as soon as you book the cruise. If your cruise is cancelled before you have purchased the travel insurance, or you need to cancel your booking for some unforeseen reason, you risk losing the money you spent booking the cruise.
It’s important to note what isn’t covered by cruise insurance. Here are some other things to think about when choosing your cruise insurer:
1. Wild nights
Cruises are all about having a good time, relaxing and letting your hair down. But be aware that your cruise insurance may not cover you from loss that occurs as a result of intoxication. If you’re a bit tipsy and drop your bag overboard or slip and fall on the dance floor, your insurer may be less sympathetic.
2. Adventure time
You should check to see if your insurance policy covers adventurous activities. If you’re an adrenaline junky and your cruise features activities like surf machines and zip-lining, make sure the cover you choose includes these types of activities.
3. Going under
A lot of insurers have general exclusions in relation to company insolvency. If the cruise company you choose seems a little sketchy, think about getting an insurance policy that covers insolvency, in case the company goes under and your booking is cancelled before the date of your cruise.
4. Bun in the oven
If your expecting a child, you may not be able to board the cruise. Even if you’re covered by insurance, most cruise lines won’t allow women on board who are more than 24 weeks pregnant.
For more important information about cruise travelling, take a look at this guide to essential Fiji travel information.
Gain peace of mind, and get insured before you book your next cruise. If you’re dreaming about your next island getaway, check out our holiday packages at Captain Cook Cruises Fiji. If you have any queries, contact us here.