Why you need cruise insurance

A visit to the doctor on a cruise ship can cost you $150 to $200 – even for something like seasickness. A more serious condition, such as a heart attack, could mean forking out $10,000 to $20,000 for an air ambulance.

Cruise insurance is often the only way to avoid these costs, but it doesn’t cover everything, according to the experts at Comparetravelinsurance.com.au.

What’s covered?

 Medical treatment and evacuation

Accidents (slipping over, broken limbs) and illness (norovirus, heart attacks) are more common on cruise ships than you’d think.

Any trip to the on-board doctor will set you back a few hundred dollars. If you have a serious medical complaint, which involves you being evacuated of the ship, it will cost $10,000 – $20,000 in Australian waters, and anything up to $50,000 if you’re on an international cruise in American waters.

Without travel insurance these bills aren’t covered.

 Delays

You never know what might disrupt your trip. Cruise insurance will cover any delays you may experience because of bad weather, strikes or civil unrest.

Any unforseen expenses due to the delay, such as alternative accommodation or food, will be paid by your travel insurance.

 Cancellations

If the company you’ve booked your cruise with decides to cancel, then it’s their responsibility to reimburse you. However, if you have to cancel your cruise because your flight was cancelled to get you to your ship, that’s when travel insurance steps in.

Luggage and personal items

Imagine getting off your plane, really excited about your upcoming cruise, and then waiting at the luggage carousel for your suitcases to arrive – that never do. In this situation, travel insurance would cover you for any new clothes bought for your trip.

What’s not covered?

 Change of mind

Travel insurance won’t cover you if you change your mind and decide not to go on your cruise.

 Being intoxicated

Travel insurance does not cover you for irresponsible behaviour. So if you fall over and break an arm when you’re drunk, you probably won’t be covered.

Sporting activities on and off board

Not all adventure sports are covered by travel insurance, as some are too risky for insurers to cover.

If you’re thinking of skydiving or rock-climbing, read your insurer’s PDS before your trip which explains exactly what activities they do cover.

 Pre-existing medical conditions

Serious medical conditions, such as previous heart attack or stroke, may not be automatically covered by travel insurance. You might have to fill in a medical questionnaire to see if you can get cover for that particular condition. Or you might be able to pay extra for the added protection. It’s really important to read your insurers PDS to see a full list of medical conditions they cover before your cruise.

 Travel warnings

If a destination has a travel warning from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), you will not be covered by travel insurance.

Regardless of whether you travel regularly or are planning the trip of a lifetime, the unexpected may happen. Being on the end of exposed risk could see your holiday end in financial ruin.

You never know what could happen on a cruise so play it safe, keep your mind at ease and get insurance.

To compare travel insurance for your next cruise, go to comparetravelinsurance.com.au/cruise to compare quotes from 20 of Australia’s top brands.