If you’re planning to head off on a cruise, it’s vital that you get your travel insurance right.
Cruises are often very different from ordinary holidays, so you’ll need cover that takes this into account.
Why you need cruise insurance
In most cases, cruises are longer than typical holidays. Many cruises span several months if not a whole year. Unfortunately, standard travel insurance tends to be limited to 30-60 days.
On a cruise, you’re likely to be visiting many different countries, which means your travel insurance must cover you worldwide.
Often, insurers will exclude countries involved with national or international conflict, so you should read the fine print very carefully to ensure that all your destinations are covered.
You must also take your age into account. If you’re over 65, you may find that your insurance premium is very high or that your insurer simply refuses to cover you. The same may be the case if you have a pre-existing medical condition.
Standard insurance also excludes many sporting activities. It’s common to take part in activities such as diving, kayaking, canoeing and jungle trekking. You need to declare these activities to your insurer to make sure you’re covered.
Some insurance companies make it possible to add cruise travel and any other extras as “bolt-ons” to their policy.
Additional benefits of cruise insurance
Ideally, you should find an insurer that offers specialist cruise insurance.
Cruise insurance usually covers travellers up to the age of 89 for a year (or 180 days for travellers aged 90 or over). It’s unusual to be refused cover for having an existing medical condition, but double-check the small print to see where you stand.
Specialist cruise insurance also offers cover in the eventuality of the cruise being postponed or cancelled completely due to adverse weather. Some policies may even insure against natural disasters.
You’ll also be covered if your luggage is lost or misplaced. A comprehensive policy will also cover theft and public liability. You should look for a policy that offers emergency repatriation cover and medical cover in the amount of 2-4 million pounds.
Getting a European Health Insurance Card
If your cruise takes place within the European Economic Area (which is the free trade zone between countries belonging to the European Union and includes Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland), you need to apply for your European Health Insurance Card (or EHIC) and take it with your in your suitcase.
The EHIC replaces the old E111 paper and will allow you reduced cost or even free medical treatment in any country that is part of the European Union.
It should be noted that the EHIC only covers you for medical care up to a certain point and won’t protect you from unforeseen events or emergency repatriation, even if there is a serious accident.
Therefore, you need to make sure that your cruise insurance is fully comprehensive. Your EHIC card can supplement your cruise holiday insurance, not replace it.
Get a travel insurance quote today
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