There is an open secret in the world of travel insurance – different types of trip require different types of coverage.
This shouldn’t really be any kind of secret at all. It is just a fact that different types of holiday and the activities you can take part in carry different types of risk which need to be accounted for.
Sadly, not all insurance providers are very proactive in explaining this to holidaymakers. They are happy to sell general travel insurance policies often without ever asking what type of trip the customer is going on. According to gocompare.com, just a third of standard travel insurance policies offer the type of cover suitable for a cruise, leaving you with a two in three chance of of not being protected.
If you are going on a cruise, you should buy a bespoke cruise travel insurance policy. It will cover you for added extras you won’t get with standard travel insurance, such as missing excursions or stopovers because of a change in itinerary, or because of illness.
More importantly, it will give you the added level of cover you need if you fall ill at sea and need medical attention.
Cruise medical coverage
Alongside cancellation coverage and insurance for lost or stolen luggage and personal possessions, one of the main reasons you should take out travel insurance is in case you fall ill or have an accident while abroad. Wherever you go in the world, if you need medical treatment, you have to pay for it. It is often very expensive.
This is especially true on cruises. If you fall ill at sea, it can be a long, long way to the nearest hospital. If your condition is bad enough and the ship has to divert to port, the costs of changing itinerary to the cruise operator will be enormous. In the most serious cases, you may have to be airlifted.
In these circumstances, tens of thousands of pounds are added to your medical bill. Without specific allowances in the small print, many insurance policies simply will not pay out.
Another type of medical coverage you only get with bespoke cruise travel policies is known as cabin confinement. If you do fall ill or hurt yourself, the on-board doctor might say you are not well enough to leave your cabin. As well as not being able to enjoy your holiday, you might miss pre-paid excursions. Specialist cruise travel insurance will cover you for the missed trips, and pay out a daily amount for the duration you are confined to bed.
More allowances, fewer exclusions
A cruise involves moving around a lot, visiting lots of different places and taking part in lots of different activities. When you are heading off ship on different stopovers and excursions, there is a heightened risk of luggage or property being lost or stolen. Many cruise insurance policies account for this with higher luggage cover allowances.
Equally, cruise policies are more flexible regarding the types of activities you are covered for. Travel insurance generally sets out very specific exclusions for the types of activity it won’t cover you for. But on a cruise, there is lots to do and plenty you might not have anticipated at each place you visit. If you want to go diving, deep sea fishing or cliff climbing, a bespoke cruise insurance policy is more likely to cover you than a general policy.