Everything you need to know about cruise insurance
Before setting sail, getting the lowdown on cruise insurance is a must. Standard travel insurance might not cut it, so making sure you have the right protection is key.
If scenic ocean views and exotic ports are calling, the last thing on your mind is probably the potential pitfalls that might arise. Delays, lost luggage, unexpected illnesses – yuck. But these are just a few of the uncertainties that can turn your dream holiday into a nightmare. Finding the right insurance can be your anchor, providing you with a safety net for the challenges that can arise on the high seas. Let us help you navigate through the depths of cruise insurance, making sure you’re well prepared for a cruisey voyage.
Cruise-specific insurance matters
It’s important to recognise that not all travel insurance policies automatically cover cruising and all related activities. Reading the fine print probably won’t be the highlight of your trip planning, but it does pay off, as inclusions can vary among providers. Failure to secure the right cruise insurance may leave you exposed to risks after having wasted your money on pointless protection.
Do you really need it?
We get it – you’ve already forked out your hard-earned dollars for the cruise, so the thought of shelling out more might not be music to your ears. But – like any insurance, cruise cover is, at a minimum, an investment in peace of mind.
Amidst the myriad of potential cruise disruptions, from unexpected medical emergencies to last-minute plan changes, insurance provides financial protection, sparing you from potentially hefty out-of-pocket expenses – a far less appealing scenario than not spending the money in the first place.
Even if your cruise doesn’t venture into international waters, the moment your ship bids farewell to the port, Medicare or your trusty private health insurance won’t be coming to the rescue. Cruise insurance isn’t just a fancy add-on; it’s your shield against unexpected waves of medical bills, last-minute cancellations, and other unforeseen sea shenanigans.
Common inclusions in cruise travel insurance
Cruise insurance goes beyond typical coverage to address the unique challenges of seafaring journeys. Some common inclusions are:
- Overseas and onboard hospital and medical fees.
- Medical evacuations at sea.
- Cancellation fees for pre-booked trips: Reimbursement for cancelled arrangements in unforeseen circumstances.
- Delays, missed connections, or rescheduling fees.
- Missed departures or pre-paid onshore trips.
- Coverage for lost or stolen belongings: Financial protection for your essential personal belongings.
- 24-hour emergency assistance.
- Marine rescue diversion: Assistance in redirecting the cruise for unforeseen situations.
- Legal liability: Coverage for legal responsibilities or mishaps during the cruise.
What’s not covered
While most cruise insurance offers extensive coverage, it’s important to be aware of exclusions that may leave you unprotected. Some common exclusions include:
- Incidents related to terrorism or labour strikes.
- Reckless behaviour or irresponsible actions (like losing your bag after a few too many drinks).
- Dangerous activities that are not typical for cruises.
- Government actions leading to damage or loss (such as customs confiscations).
Things to double-check
Of course, most insurance companies offer customisable insurance options. Here are some things you may like to double-check or add to your policy:
- Activity coverage + offshore adventures.
- Disruptions and quarantine due to COVID: Australia’s rules around COVID and cruising have recently changed, so be sure to check the current regulations.
- Pre-existing medical conditions. Check out our article on travel insurance when you have a medical condition for more information.
- Coverage for valuables.
- Travel companions/family.
- Civil unrest, war, or terrorism.
Special considerations for adventure seekers
Adjusting your insurance to match your cruise plans is a must. If you’re into adventure sports, scuba diving, snorkelling, or even just having a blast on waterslides, take a moment to review and possibly amp up your policy to ensure you’re covered for all onboard and offshore activities.
Depending on your cruise itinerary and planned activities, you might need to up your coverage for specific adventure sports or activities. Think scuba diving, snorkelling, and even things like water sports and other similar activities. Ensure that both onboard and onshore activities are considered in your policy to avoid any gaps in coverage.
Selecting the right region
When you’re swept up in the excitement, make sure you choose the right region, so you’re adequately covered. If you’re exploring the Pacific, including New Zealand, Bali, South West Pacific, or cruising around Australia – opt for the Pacific region. The Asia region has you covered for locations across Asia, bar Russia and Japan.
For European adventures, encompassing Europe, Russia, and the UK, go for the Europe region. If your cruise spans across the globe, reaching destinations like Japan, the US, Canada, Africa, and the Middle East, then opt for Worldwide.
When to secure cruise travel insurance
Once you’ve hit the booking button on your cruise, get ready to secure your travel insurance. Doing so not only covers you during the cruise but can safeguard against deposits, alterations, or cancellations made before departure.