If you are planning on going on a cruise it is advisable to take out specific travel insurance designed especially for holidays afloat. A policy that covers cruise holidays usually lasts for longer than the usual limit for single trip cover of thirty or sixty days, and offers additional protection for a wide variety of sports and activities. In addition, this type of policy is also valid in a range of countries, worldwide.
Many cruise holidays last longer than the standard fourteen days; in fact, many can span a number of months, or in some cases, a full year. This means that many standard travel insurance policies are not suitable as they feature a thirty or sixty day time limit.
You may think that an annual travel insurance policy could be a viable option if you have decided to go on a cruise holiday. However, although you are able to take as many trips as you would like under this type of policy, each trip is usually limited to a maximum of fifty six days. Also, whilst cruising you can expect to visit quite a number of different countries therefore you need cover that will offer protection worldwide; you may find that some of the countries you intend to visit are not included in a standard policy. Countries that are experiencing political unrest, for example, may well be excluded.
Traditionally, cruise holidays tend to appeal to older travelers, although in recent years cruise holidays have become more popular with people of all ages. If you do fall into the over sixty-five age bracket then you can expect to pay far more for your travel insurance, especially if you have pre-existing medical conditions. In some cases you may find that you will simply be refused cover by some insurers.
Another reason that specific cruise insurance is advisable is that many cruise holidays include the opportunity to take part in a variety of sports and activities whilst on dry land. These activities are often deemed to be a high risk by less specialist insurers, and you may find that they are excluded from a standard policy. However, some standard policies do give you the opportunity to add certain extras to your policy; cover for high risk sports and activities being one of them.
Cruise travel insurance varies considerably between providers so it is important that you compare policies before signing up. The best policy may not necessarily be the cheapest so make sure that you check exactly what each insurance provider has to offer on a like for like basis.
In general, most policies should offer full cancellation cover if your cruise is postponed or cancelled due to poor weather conditions, cover for lost luggage and for theft of your personal belongings whilst on holiday, medical cover of around £2-4 million if you fall ill and need medical attention during your trip, and public liability and emergency repatriation cover.
Another benefit of specialist cruise insurance is that many policies offer extended cover for older travelers; often up to one year for people aged up to 89 years old, and sometimes up to 180 days for people aged over 90.
In general most travel insurance providers treat cruises differently than other types of trip, for example, city breaks, or beach holidays. The risk of delays, disruption, and medical evacuation are deemed to be higher with cruise holidays so insurers create specific cruise insurance policies to take these increased risks into account. In addition, some events that are covered by cruise insurance are entirely specific to this type of holiday, for example, being confined to your cabin due to illness, or missing a destination included on your itinerary as a result of bad weather.
If you do decide to take out a standard policy rather than one tailored specifically towards cruises then make sure that you check the small print first; many insurance providers exclude cruises in their policy terms and conditions. You can save money by taking out a standard policy including cruise cover, but for extra peace of mind you may decide that it is worth paying extra for the more comprehensive benefits that specialized cruise insurance offers.
One thing that industry experts agree on is that travel insurance for a cruise holiday is a must. The majority of cruise holidays present no problems, but the risk of untoward incidents occurring is higher for this type of holiday than it is for many others. Adequate insurance can minimize the disruption presented by these incidents by offering a financial safety blanket, and taking out cover should be a number one priority when booking your holiday.
Travel insurance that is not fit for purpose can ruin your holiday and, in the longer term, cause severe financial hardship. It often pays to consult an insurance broker with experience of dealing with specialized travel insurance policies if you are at all unsure of the type of cover best suited to your needs. This is particularly important if you are an older traveler, or someone with a number of pre-existing health conditions, as policies in these cases can be quite complex, and can be expensive, so it pays to shop around.