what you need to know about travel insurance for cruise holidays

going on a cruise holiday is an exciting adventure, offering a mix of relaxation, exploration, and luxury. cruise holidays help to take away the stress of planning out the day to day and allow us to focus on what matters – enjoying our holiday and creating memories. so, it’s no surprise cruise holidays have increased in popularity in recent years and are not showing any signs of slowing down.

did you know, the global cruise market was worth $7.25 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow 11% from 2022 to 2028¹? with this popularity, we’re sure there’s many of you planning your next cruise holiday and getting excited to set sail. however, don’t overlook the importance of getting suitable travel insurance to help protect your next cruise adventure. we would like to tell you about what travel insurance when embarking on a cruise holiday should include, to help ensure you’re well-prepared and protected for your next journey on the seas.

why travel insurance for your cruise holiday is essential

travel insurance is very important for any trip, including a cruise holiday. failing to have adequate travel insurance for your next cruise trip could result in you having to pay for a variety of unexpected and potentially high costs. these could include medical bills, repatriation (bringing you back home if medically necessary in the event of illness or injury), trip cancellations, lost or stolen belongings, missed port departures, and travel delays. without insurance that covers cruise trips or allows for a cruise trip extension, these expenses can quickly add up, turning your dream cruise holiday into a financial nightmare. it is important to note that most travel insurance policies don’t automatically cover cruises, you have to either buy a specific cruise policy or add an extension to the main insurance policy, so ensure that you are aware of this at the time of purchase.

travel insurance for your next cruise holiday can also help provide peace of mind from the beginning to the end of your trip. suitable travel insurance will help to provide peace of mind through protection against many unforeseen circumstances that may arise, allowing you to know that you won’t be left facing high out-of-pocket expenses if the reason for claiming falls within the scope of the policy. as well as this, knowing that you’re protected for a variety of risks allows you to relax and enjoy your cruise without the constant worry of potential problems.

what to look for when purchasing travel insurance for a cruise holiday

when choosing travel insurance for your next cruise holiday, there are several main areas you want to ensure are covered to provide suitable protection for your trip. these key areas will help protect against common risks and potential issues that can occur during a cruise holiday, so are helpful to look out for when choosing your next travel insurance policy:

adequate medical cover: while medical cover is typically included as standard on a travel insurance policy, it’s important to ensure that the level of cover provided meets your specific needs. the first step in securing suitable medical cover is to be open about current and pre-existing medical conditions, as well as any medications used, when getting a quote. this transparency allows your travel insurance provider to accurately assess medical conditions and offer the appropriate level of medical cover for your trip. failing to mention all medical conditions can have serious consequences. if you need to make a claim, any undisclosed conditions may not be covered, potentially leaving you responsible for a portion or even the entirety of your medical expenses.

trip cancellation & interruption: in the lead-up to a holiday and during your time away, many unforeseen circumstances can arise that result in the cancellation or interruption of your trip. it’s essential to choose a travel insurance policy that provides cover for unexpected events such as the death, injury, or illness of yourself, an immediate relative, or someone traveling with you, as well as enough cancellation cover to provide protection for the cost of the cruise trip per person. if you’re looking to increase your trip protection then an optional large-scale events extension can also be added to your travel insurance policy to extend cover for events that could disrupt your travels, such as acts of terrorism or natural catastrophes, check your policy wording for the full details of cover. while it’s disappointing to have a holiday you’re excited for cancelled or interrupted, it’s far worse to face these unfortunate events without adequate cover. to avoid this, make sure to choose a travel insurance policy that gives you the right level of cancellation cover for your next cruise trip.

personal belongings & baggage: another important factor to consider when choosing travel insurance for your next cruise holiday is baggage and personal belongings cover. ensure that the policy covers either the full or a significant amount of the personal items you plan to bring on your trip. this includes cover for the cost of replacing personal items that are lost, stolen, or damaged during your cruise. additionally, check if the policy covers money and travel documents such as passports, and what level of gadget cover is provided. you might also consider adding an optional gadget extension for extra peace of mind as not all travel insurance policies cover this as standard. this should be considered especially if you are bringing valuable electronics. please ensure that all your belongings are well protected, allowing you to enjoy your cruise without worrying about potential losses.

cruise specific issues: while most travel insurance policies will cover the areas we’ve mentioned, cruise-specific issues may not be included as standard. ensure your travel insurance policy clearly covers cruises or offers the option to add this cover as an extension to your main travel insurance policy. without notifying your insurer about your cruise trip, you may find that certain areas are not covered under a standard policy, including:

• missed departure and missed connection: cover for missing the ship’s departure or connections at ports.

• cabin confinement: compensation if you are confined to your cabin due to illness or injury and cover for any excursions/activities that have been booked and cannot be used while confined to your cabin.

• missed port visits: cover for missed port visits due to itinerary changes.

• evening dress: protection for if your formal cruise attire is delayed or if your formal cruise attire is lost, stolen or accidentally damaged.

common exclusions in travel insurance

it’s also important to be aware of what is likely not covered on your next cruise holiday to prevent any unnecessary surprises if you have to make a claim. typical exclusions in travel insurance policies may include:

• undeclared medical conditions: failing to declare medical conditions can significantly impact your travel insurance cover. if you need to make a claim due to a current or pre-existing medical condition or any associated treatment and medication that hasn’t been fully disclosed accurately when you took out your policy, your claim will most likely not be covered. your cover may be cancelled or only partially honoured, leaving you responsible for potentially substantial medical expenses. always ensure that all medical conditions are fully declared to avoid these issues.

• high-risk activities: certain sports and activities may not be covered under a standard travel insurance policy because they are deemed too dangerous or likely to result in an accident or injury, increasing the likelihood of a claim. to ensure you have appropriate cover, cross-reference any activities you plan to participate in during your cruise holiday against the policy wording activity list. this will help you determine if your planned sports and activities are covered or if you need to find extra cover for high-risk activities. always make sure if the sport or activity is provided by a local operator; you must ensure they are appropriately qualified and licenced and provide the recommended safety equipment for you to wear.

• alcohol-related incidents: incidents that occur under the influence of alcohol may not be covered under your travel insurance policy. this means that if you require medical treatment due to injuries caused by drinking alcohol, your travel insurance may not cover these expenses, leaving you responsible for paying the bills. please be aware of this when consuming alcohol during your cruise holiday and drink responsibly.

• unattended baggage: while personal belongings and baggage are typically covered, it’s important to note that if you need to make a claim for the loss of items left unattended, this may not be covered by your insurance. leaving your belongings unattended increases the risk of theft or loss, and travel insurance policies often exclude cover for such situations. therefore, it’s essential to take precautions to look after your belongings and avoid leaving them unattended, especially in public areas or while going ashore at ports.

when it comes to selecting travel insurance, the number of choices can feel overwhelming, making it challenging to determine which policy is most suitable. the important thing to remember is to choose a policy that suits your needs and will help to best protect your next cruise adventure every step of the way. declare your medical conditions, read policy wordings carefully to learn what is and isn’t covered to help with decision making. ensure your travel insurance policy explicitly covers cruise travel or offers a policy extension to cover this at the time of purchase, and check what levels of cover will be available for your cruise trip for specific areas, such as missed departure and missed connection, cabin confinement, missed port visits and evening dress. at albert & eddie we compare our travel insurance brands using our smart technology, to remove the risk of seeing too many options, and can then offer you products based on your individual needs and requirements. click here to get a quote today and bon voyage!

¹ https://www.forbes.com/sites/judykoutsky/2024/02/22/cruise-industry-continues-to-grow-strong-post-covid/?sh=4022d8405766