You might decide to go on a cruise vacation because it is suppose to be fun and carefree, and you won’t be bogged down with planning the whole vacation. Sadly, anyone that cruises regularly or reads the news headlines knows that cruise vacations can quickly go bad. If you’re planning on spending your vacation on a cruise line, consider purchasing cruise insurance before you go. Cruise insurance is similar to regular travel insurance; however, changes are made to the policy to reflect situations that may occur during a cruise. Not all insurance policies are the same, so it is important to thoroughly discuss what is covered under the policy before purchasing cruise insurance. Here are a few tips for selecting the right cruise travel insurance.
Look into Multi-Trip or Annual Travel Insurance: If you travel often, it may be cheaper to find a policy that will cover more than one trip. You may be able to pay for the insurance annually and it is usually more cost-effective to go this route if you travel more than once per year. It is important to make sure that there are no limitations in the policy, as some policies do not cover cruise holidays.
Discover What Limitations There Are: Not all insurers will cover adventurous or water sports activities. If you enjoy white water rafting or other extreme sporting activities, make sure those items are covered in the policy. Some insurers will not cover injuries that occur from activities like this, whilst others will charge an extra premium if you want coverage for extreme sporting activities.
Luggage and Personal Belongings: Although some insurance policies will cover your personal belongings if they are lost or damaged, they may not cover items that are stolen. Your home contents policy may already provide coverage for these items, so it is important to check with your insurance company before purchasing cruise insurance. If you do not have coverage through your home contents policy, ask if you can add an ‘all risks’ cover to your policy.
Medical Expenses: Make sure that your policy will provide coverage if you need to be treated in a hospital whilst on your cruise holiday. The policy should also provide coverage if you incur extra travel fees due to illness or injury. I strongly recommend receiving a copy of the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) if you will be traveling through Europe. You can find this form at the post office and it will help you receive health care services throughout Europe. All of the expenses and fees may not be fully covered, so it is still important to have your own insurance coverage.
Cancellation Policy: Make sure you find out what the cancellation policy is before purchasing insurance. Find out what situations are covered in the event you need to cancel your cruise. You should also make sure that the other individuals who are traveling with you are also covered. If you have coverage, then you should be able to reclaim lost expenses related to your holiday cancellation.
Filing a Claim: Make sure to save receipts and keep notes while on the ship, so you can easily send the insurance company paperwork if you need to file a claim. Don’t wait unit you return home to file a claim, as most insurance companies want to be notified immediately, or they may not provide coverage.
A few other points to consider are personal liability, legal issues, pre-existing conditions and personal accident coverage. I recommend exploring your options to find the travel insurance quote that reflects your needs well in advance. If you make sure that both you and your traveling companions are covered, you will be able to have a more enjoyable and relaxing vacation.