Cruise Insurance

Cruise travel insurance

Make sure your travel insurance covers cruises!

Cruise InsuranceTravel insurance companies often consider cruises to be different than your standard vacation. Cruises often pass through different countries and international waters, and have a different set of needs when compared to a tropical getaway or ski trip to the Alps. Medical evacuation while at sea can be more costly than medical evacuation while ashore, and some insurers treat cruises as a separate sort of vacation when selling travel insurance.

Whether you are going on a short Mediterranear vacation or a half year trip around the world, you want the peace of mind that comes with specialized travel insurance.

The risk of falling seriously ill or becoming injured thousands of miles from shore is the greatest reason for purchasing cruise travel insurance as you must be covered in such an eventuality.

While some insurers have cruise travel insurance, others will include cruises in their standard policies. Be careful – some insurers actually exclude cruises from standard coverage, meaning that you must speak with your individual insurer to get specific details.

With the UK and Ireland combined setting targets for 2 million cruise vacationeers in 2017, this growing sector has a specialized insurance industry catering to it. With higher trip cancellation limits, longer time periods for trip cancellations and coverage catering to a mature demographic, cruise insurance could be right for you.

Does cruise insurance cover pre-existing conditions?

Most cruise insurance will cover pre-existing conditions. If you have a pre-existing condition that causes your vacation to be cancelled, you can be reimbursed for the cost of your vacation if you have eligible insurance. In general, there is a requirement that you have no symptoms of your conditions for at least 60 to 90 days prior to payment of your first non-refundable deposit for the cruise. As well, you must purchase travel insurance shortly after the deposit is made. This stops people from having no symptoms prior to the deposit, realizing they have symptoms after the deposit which may cause them to miss the cruise, and deciding to quickly purchase insurance in order to be reimbursed.

Primary versus secondary cruise insurance

If you decide to purchase cruise travel insurance, you may wish to focus on primary insurance policies. These policies come into effect as soon as there is any financial amount required. Compare this to secondary travel insurance policies, which may rely on your homeowner or medical insurance to pay out before you will see a cent from the travel insurance. Often, cruise lines themselves offer insurance policies, but these policies are usually secondary policies.

What questions should you ask with regards to cruise insurance?

While this list is not extensive, here are a few questions that may be important when deciding which travel insurance policy to buy.

  1. Does the insurance reimburse if you are confined to cabin due to illness?
  2. Does the insurance reimburse if you are confined to cabin due to a pre-existing condition?
  3. How long do you need to be symptom free for a pre-existing condition to be covered?
  4. Are all of the countries that you will be visiting covered in your policy?
  5. Does your coverage include trip cancelation due to bad weather?
  6. Does your basic travel insurance cover the cost of a medical evacuation while at sea?

These questions can help you determine whether you need specialized cruise travel insurance.

Can you afford a six figure claim? The top travel insurance claims revealed

Millions paid out yearly

Travel insurance can protect you from the nightmare of astronomical medical bills in foreign countries. But just how much do travel insurance companies pay out? What are the largest payouts in history? We researched a few different travel insurance companies to see what their highest claims of each year were.

It will not surprise you that the US is one of the biggest culprits for extreme medical costs. In 2012, Medibank travel insurance paid out a nearly 450,000€ claim in a case where a traveler suffered kidney disease while in the states. The claim covered both medical expenses and the complete cost to fly the traveler back to Australia. In addition, the entire family of the affected traveler was covered by the policy in that their travel costs were covered as well in the case of unexpected illness in their family.

Medical evacuation is one of the most costly events

most expensive travel insurance claimsThis claim amount might seem unimaginable. The devastation that the amount would have made on the life of the afflicated had they not purchased travel insurance is mind-boggling. And yet, this was not the highest travel insurance claim in the world. In 2015, Southern Cross Travel insurance paid out a 475,000€ claim in which a traveler was flown back to New Zealand after suffering encephalitis in an African country. No one is planning for encephalitis, an acute inflammation of the brain caused by viral infections, and yet when such an event occurs the costs are incredible. While this claim was massive, it is not only the medical care that is to blame for the high costs. Medical evacuation is constantly the most expensive claims paid out, almost always exceed 10,000€ in each single claim. The cost to fly you out with trained doctors and medics is always high, and it showcases the need for travel insurance. Without it, it is very difficult to get back to your home country and the expert medical attention of your homeland. When you look at the medical system of Ireland compared to some less developed countries you may be visiting, especially if you are a backpacker, it highlights the necessity of travel insurance.

While the combined cost of payouts were similar in 2013, the largest claim of the year was less, and yet still crippling in terms of the amount. It was a cruise trip which turned dangerous when a traveler had a cardiac arrest while enjoying the ship. The bill? 230,000€.

You can really see the difference in medical costs worldwide when you see that a brain tumour in Greece cost less than 40,000€. One can only imagine the hundreds of thousands, or even millions it would cost to have such a serious affliction in the United states.

While there are one in a million accidents and serious diseases which can rack up hundreds of thousands of euros in costs, the fact remains that even minor injuries and ailments can be in the tens of thousands. Can you afford to trip and fall while in the United States? What about bumping your head and requiring overnight care at a hospital in Australia? While we hate to think about the possibility, the fact remains that we must prepare for any eventuality when travelling. Travel insurance brings peace of mind. For those who are doing high risk sports, do not forget that you may need special travel insurance such as ski insurance.

We hope that this list of some of the most expensive travel insurance claims has showcased the need for travel insurance!