What should cruise travellers be aware of when buying travel insurance for their cruise holiday?
We asked Cruise Travel Insurance expert Kate Huet, managing director of International Travel and Healthcare, for some advice for cruise travellers.
“Around 30% of travellers now buy or hold an Annual Travel insurance policy, to provide the flexibility and freedom of knowing that when ever they want to travel they have insurance in place. What is important is to check that this sort of policy will cover a cruise holiday, not all do. Likewise Trip Travel policies, which are much cheaper, should be checked very carefully to ensure that Cruise Travel is included.
The critical areas to check are as follows:
- Pre-existing medical conditions – this includes waiting for test results, all medications taken in the last 2 years, consultations and also Drs appointments. You should disclose anything health related. Claims for medical treatment will always be refused if you have not made the insurer aware of a pre-existing medical condition when you purchase your insurance and the condition gives rise to a claim.
- Cancellation and curtailment cover – cruises can be high value purchases, often made well in advance of travel dates. Events can happen in this period which would mean you have to cancel your cruise holiday. Most insurance policies do not provide sufficient cover for the expense of a cruise holiday, especially if you add on hotel stays, flights and travel to and from ports or airports. Look for a policy that will cover “to the invoice value”, then you are completely covered for all costs you have committed to at the point of booking your cruise. Annual policies will not cover you against cancellation, if your travel dates exceed the expiry of the policy term.
- Duration – make sure that your policy will cover you for the duration of your entire trip i.e from the time of leaving home to your returning home. This must include the cancellation period and the duration of the trip. Trip Travel and Annual Travel policies have limits on the number of days for which cover will be provide. In the case of an annual travel policy this can be less than 30 days any one trip. Don’t assume, you must always check the policy period of insurance.
- Policy Summary – this document is a shortened version of the full Policy Document, it will quickly summarise cover, conditions and exclusions. You should always receive this with a travel insurance quotation, read it, and be sure it provides what you need. Make only an informed purchase.
- Specialist Cruise Travel policies – are well worth investigating, and the above critical areas are also applicable.”
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