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Top Tips for Buying Cruise Cover

Cruise holidays are on the rise. If you want to travel the world in luxury, visit multiple countries in one trip or travel down the world’s most beautiful rivers, then a cruise should be right up your alley.

There are cruises for every budget. However, without proper travel insurance, you could spend a lot more than you bargained for.

Here’s are our top tips to avoid common mistakes when purchasing cruise cover:

High Levels of Cover for Medical Treatment Including Repatriation

Travellers often wrongly believe that onboard medical facilities are free to passengers. Still, doctors on cruises are usually private practitioners. Meaning that the cost of any tests, treatment or prescriptions could be very high.

The Association of British Insurers highlighted such a case where a traveller on a cruise in China suffered a brain haemorrhage and had to be flown back to the UK on an air ambulance from Hong Kong. Luckily, they had insurance in place which covered their £200k bill.

So, it’s essential to make sure your policy includes high levels of covers for medical bills and repatriation. You can get up to £15 million of cover with an AllClear cruise policy.


Cover for All Your Destinations

You’re likely to be visiting, stopping off or at least sailing by several countries and you need to make sure your cruise insurance covers them all.  

It’s also important to think laterally. For example, if you are on a European cruise, visiting ports in the Mediterranean there may be points where Africa is closer than mainland Europe. If they aren’t included in your policy, you could end up with expensive medical bills.

It’s worth reading your policy documents carefully to make sure your insurance covers the right countries, you could also consider a worldwide policy to make sure you’re covered no matter what.

Declare Any Pre-Existing Medical Conditions You Might Have

It’s also important to declare any pre-existing medical conditions you might have. Failure to do so might invalidate any claims related to that condition. Some cruise companies will not allow you to board your cruise if your existing medical conditions have been excluded from the policy.


Above-Average Cancellation Insurance

The next thing to look at is the level of cancellation cover you need. Cruise holidays cost more on average than other trips. So, you need to make sure you get the right level of cover.

The moment you buy your policy (or from the date you decide with an annual policy) you are covered. So, the earlier you buy, the better you’re protected should you need to cancel.

Specialist Policies and Add-Ons

Some travel insurers offer special cruise policies or add-ons. Such policies or add-ons feature cover for things that you don’t get with a standard policy. This may include;  Cabin Confinement, Cruise Interruption, Missed Port Departure, Unused excursions and Itinerary Change.

These extras can be useful so you should consider them if the following cover options are worth it when buying.

  • Missed port departure – This can cover you for accommodation and travel expenses that you may incur to reach your cruise ship at its next docking port if you miss your scheduled port departure due to no fault of your own.
  • Cabin confinement – If you fall ill while on a cruise, the ship’s medical officer can order you to stay in your cabin until the illness has passed. For each 24 hour period that you are confined to your cabin, you will be compensated.
  • Unused excursions – If you are limited to your cabin, you might miss out on pre-booked excursions. This cover offers reimbursement for any pre-booked excursions you can’t use as a direct result of being confined to your cabin due to an accident or illness.
  • Itinerary change – Changes to the itinerary, such as missing a port or cancelling a port departure, due to adverse weather or timetable restrictions can be covered with most insurers offering you a payment for each missed port.
  • Cruise interruption – If you fall ill and need hospital treatment on dry land, interruption insurance can cover expenses such as flights and hotel rooms paid for to help you re-join your cruise.

Could we help you with specialist medical travel insurance, why not check out our specialist cruise travel insurance?

Join over 3 million holidaymakers who have trusted AllClear, start by comparing up to 61 prices online.

Written by: Lydia Crispin | Travel Insurance Expert
Last Updated: 1 March 2023

[1] Based on Trustpilot reviews of all companies in the Travel Insurance Company category that have over 30,000 reviews as of January 2023.