What you need to know about cruise insurance
Switching to a luxurious cruise holiday for a short getaway to nowhere during a long weekend? Smart choice.
Embarking on a week-long cruise without travel insurance? Not so smart.
Who’s to say what'll happen during the trip. Like, you know, unexpected medical conditions can flare up without warning. It’s no fun to be stranded out at sea naked. In a manner of speech, that is.
Now that you know cruise insurance is actually a thing, let us sail you through a few pointers to help you grasp the importance of it.
Most travel insurance provide cruise coverage
Most private insurers such as AIG do cover for cruises. But cruise coverage is only available under selected travel insurance plans.
The good news is, whatever benefits you would be covered for flights also apply to your cruise mishaps, without any notable exclusions or limits.
You can spend an hour on Google researching the best travel insurance and another hour calling up agents for inquiries, or you can simply spend a few minutes looking through our comprehensive comparison.
Alternatively, if you’re too lazy to do even that, you can just plonk down a few extra bucks on the cruise website to throw in their in-house insurance plan into your holiday itinerary.
Ensure these situations are covered
Regardless if you're going for an in-cruise or the usual travel insurance route, pay special attention to these situations and whether they are covered under the insurance:
- Medical evacuation
- Overseas emergency medical treatment and hospitalisation
- Personal accidents (death and disability)
- Non-medical fields such as travel delays, cancellations and baggage loss
For the first two situations, know this - you are on a trip out in the open sea. What if you only found out about a sea sickness you didn’t know you had while onboard and you literally vomited your gut out? With some cruises, there's the onboard doctor to take care of small matters.
But if you are in urgent need of more medical attention, it's going to require an emergency air evacuation. Whether it’s offshore medical expenses or recovery of sunk costs, it’d be a massive relief to have your insurance paying for these unforeseen circumstances.
With non-medical related situations, such as lost items or luggage, your insurance will come in handy for one reason - you're most likely not going to find it, just like your trips on land.
Not to mention that there are thousands of people on the cruise. So if a thief managed to swipe your belongings, having an insurance can lessen the pain of the loss.
Choosing between in-cruise and travel insurance
In the first place, some cruises don’t offer travel insurance to go with your holiday cruise booking. There are also those who sail the extra mile to offer a little more TLC with their in-cruise insurance.
While their medical and hospitalisation coverages might look overly generous on paper, you’ll have to dig deeper and ask questions. There could be exclusions on refund and cancelation policies hidden somewhere in the T&Cs.
Understand that the cruise operators’ core business is still to sell out their cabins, not to be your friendly neighbourhood insurance agent.
Don’t forget that travel plans by private insurers cover more than just out-at-sea holidays. They also offer premium discounts from time to time.
In-cruise plans do have an edge in medical evacuation claims in the event of serious injuries. You can live to tell the tale of how you managed to hitch a fully sponsored heli-ride in the middle of your cruise.
The scope of coverage may be a little wider for private travel insurance plans, but they may not necessarily have medical claim limits as high as in-cruise ones.
Compare private travel insurance plans that offer unlimited medical evacuation and high personal accident limits. Then compare the premiums against that of the cruises to check for significant differences. From there, you should be able to distill the more worthwhile cruise insurance.
And if you need more help to choose the right travel insurance, whether it's for an upcoming cruise or getaway in another country, we've got you covered.