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Cruise travel insurance guide

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Oh Buoy! Discovering the world whilst on a cruise can be a truly spectacular holiday experience. Adventure, new discoveries, beautiful destinations and partying at the Captain's table can all be part of life on a cruise.

But, like any holiday, there are risks. With so much time spent on the water, and so much of your journey dependent on various port authorities, the only way to truly relax is to know you’re covered should something go wrong.

Pier pressure when you leave the port

What many people don't realise is that even if you're cruising local coastal waters, once your ship has left port, you are no longer covered for hospital or medical expenses by New Zealand Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) or Australian Medicare.

Don’t get all titanic with medical expenses

Hospital bills can be as much as $5,000 per day. Treatments, consultations and medications on board a ship are charged at private rates. Don't base your insurance decision on the assumption of 'it won't happen to me'. The unexpected does happen.

Aboat time!

If your travel plans include cruising for more than 4 consecutive days, depending upon your insurer, you may have to select cruise cover as an additional option to your standard international policy. Some insurers automatically cover you provided you have selected an international policy. Alternatively you can purchase from a provider specialising in cruise insurance.

Adventure for the adrenaline addict

If you plan on participating in adventure shore activities or sports such as scuba diving or parasailing, be sure to check your chosen policy covers these activities.

With cruise travel insurance you boat dwell if the worst should happen

A good policy will cover you for emergency medical evacuation from ship to shore, along with cover for general medical expenses such as hospital stays, doctor and surgical fees and dental. You will probably want to look at the level of cover for your valuables too, as many holiday makers will have a good camera on board to capture the stunning scenery on offer. Be sure to check that you are covered for any existing medical conditions too.

Good cruise insurance will cover:

  • Medical expenses: Cruise liners have doctors on board, but these are private. If you get a bout of sea sickness (or worse) expect to get a very expensive bill afterwards for any treatment you might need.

  • Medical evacuation: If your condition is too serious to be treated on board, you may need to be evacuated to the nearest – which could cost thousands!

  • Delays: Bad weather, strikes, or even civil unrest could lead to a delay in your plans.

  • Cancellations: Things happen. Life happens. If your flight is cancelled due to bad weather and you miss your cruise, or you have a close family emergency and can no longer go, the right insurance can give you peace of mind.

  • Luggage and personal items: Most people pack a schmick camera to take pics of all those amazing views. You can rest assured that your valuables are covered with the right policy.

What’s not covered with cruise insurance?

Like all travel insurance policies, some things just aren’t covered. Most polices wont cover you for the following:

  • Being a tad tipsy: We know the unlimited supply of alcohol and treats is hard to say no to, however if you’re under the influence of alcohol and drop your clutch bag overboard, or slip on the deck you might find your insurer is less sympathetic than usual.

  • Pre-existing medical conditions: normally conditions that exist before your holiday aren’t covered, but to be sure check your policy wording for a full list.

  • Cancellations: If the cruise company cancels your pre-booked trip then it’s there responsibility to book you on another one, or offer a refund. Travel insurance doesn’t offer compensation when you’re already due reimbursement from the cruise carrier.

  • Cruise company collapse: Many insurers have general exclusions to do with travel company  insolvency, so if you think your cruise company is a bit crafty, consider an insurance policy that covers insolvency.

Cruises are always on sail but not all bargains are created equal

Smart travellers will always spend time doing a cruise travel insurance comparison.

Our comparison compares a platoon of reputable insurers with policies that cover you whilst on a cruise. Make sure that you select an international policy i.e. when cruising local coastal waters such as the Bay of Islands, choose Pacific.

Compare cruise insurance for your next trip to sea today!

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Need some help? Use the search box below to find answers to all those tricky travel insurance questions. We’ve got heaps of travel insurance tips to help you get the best policy for your upcoming holiday!

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