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Cruise insurance is a specific type of travel insurance that you can take out in preparation for your holiday, you can get a single person policy, couple, or family policy when taking out cruise insurance.
Until 2018, the UK ocean cruise industry grew at a positive pace, but in 2019 it grew at a negative rate for the first time. In all, cruise passengers from the United Kingdom and Ireland totaled almost two million in 2019. Cruises remain a popular holiday choice as cruise ships are normally very luxurious, providing passengers with an on board holiday.
Cruise insurance covers travellers in the event of anything that might occur on board a vessel, such as missed port departures and itinerary changes.
Cruise insurance policies sometimes offer increased cancellation cover where a normal travel policy wouldn’t. Cruises, unlike regular holidays, tend to last a lot longer - whereas a standard single-trip policy will allow you to travel for up to 60 days, cruises can last several months at a time - sometimes even a full calendar year.
That being said, cruise insurance tends to come at a higher premium due to the extra cover and increased period of time it is needed for. Destinations that are experiencing political unrest can be excluded from cruise travel insurance policies, so it’s important to check the details before committing to a policy.
Each policy will provide a different level of cover with varying factors included in the policy, however, most cruise insurance providers should offer the following as standard:
This covers you in the event of an accident or if you experience a health problem onboard. As most cruise-goers are typically 65+, this is a common part of cruise travel insurance.
Choose the right cover limits – to cover all eventualities, we recommend the minimum amount of medical cover you should choose is £1m for Europe and £2m for the rest of the world.
Should you miss the departure from a port connection or be held up for a reason that is not your fault, this can cover the costs for extra accommodation and travel expenses.
In the event that you are required to be confined to your cabin by the onboard medical advisor this will cover you for any unexpected expenses - if you can’t leave your cabin you could be able to get £15-£1,000 a day.
If you are unable to make a pre-booked excursion due to cabin confinement or delays in the cruise itself, this cover will provide you with money back from those excursions.
If you lose your baggage or have the contents stolen, this cover will provide you with an agreed sum on the policy to replace the items.
In the event that the cruise is cancelled or curtailed due to unforeseen circumstances, this will cover you up to a certain amount which will be stated on your policy. It is wise to choose a policy that covers the cost of your cruise, as payouts can range from £250-£25,000.
If you miss the departure port due to carelessness or lack of time keeping, there are few insurance policies that will refund the cost of the trip. Injuries or losses caused by alcohol are never insured, because if you drink too much and injure yourself, and the medical notes confirm it, the insurer won't pay for your medical bills.
Unless you bought a cancel-for-any-reason policy, you may not be covered for any reason you’re held up due to civil unrest; this could be being held up by protests or the transportation sector striking, causing you to miss the departure port.
Whilst you are covered for any accidents with emergency medical protection, if you have issues with your braces, dentures or any other dental issues - most insurance policies have limited coverage for dental care.
As these are considered very high risk activities, even with the added sports cover, insurers are more reluctant to insure for scuba diving and parasailing excursions. Some insurers can make an exception for cruise customers, so check with your provider before committing to a policy.
If your beloved family pet falls ill before your cruise and you are unable to attend, it is unlikely that they will have a full cancelation procedure in place.
Premium cruise travel is one of the dearest policies you can take out, this is due to cruises being very expensive, so it is important to make sure you are covered as you could lose a lot of money if your trip is cancelled.
The best cruise insurance will provide you with all of the aforementioned factors, but it is important to consider these optional extras to tailor the policy to you and your needs.
If you’re going on a transatlantic route and you plan to go a little further, this can cover you if you choose to stay on-board for longer and don’t want to pay out for further insurance policies. If you’re 70 and under, you can extend your 50 day trip duration limit to 100 days for one trip.
If you miss your flight due to a delay out of your control within the itinerary of the cruise, this covers any expenses you might receive.
With cruise travel insurance you are usually covered for things like missed ports and cabin confinement, but it’s important to check you have cruise cover with your insurance provider.
If you need to make a claim whilst you’re travelling, having an excess waiver means you won’t have to pay any excess for each item you’re claiming for.
This cover is available for an unlimited number of gadgets for up to £1,000, including mobile phones, cameras and personal computers for things like: accidental loss or theft, accidental or malicious damage, liquid damage, unauthorised call, text or data usage.
Available when playing non-professional golf, this covers your golf equipment, emergency equipment hire, non-refundable golfing fees, and hole-in-one cover.
You’ll need to describe the item you’re covering as this option increases your personal baggage cover beyond the standard £400, up to £1,000.
If there has been a terrorist act in the past 42 days within 40 miles of where you’re going, this covers you if you choose to cancel your planned holiday.
This is important to have if you plan on going on a winter sports-based holiday. This cover can help you if you have a medical emergency, and also help with reclaiming expenses for hospital bills or the cost of loss or damage to your equipment.
Similar to standard travel insurance, it may be possible for you to get cruise insurance if you have a pre-existing medical condition.
Travellers with pre-existing medical conditions are encouraged to inform their insurer of anything, even mild, that you might be suffering from or receiving treatment for. It might increase the cost of your quote, but without declaring the information, you run the risk of having your claim rejected.
Cruise insurance is essential because cruises are among the most expensive holidays, and for good reason: they're luxurious and a great way to travel to several destinations.
Cruise cover comes in all shapes and sizes, and most policy providers will offer three levels of cover which are tailored to what your needs are. These are typically basic, comprehensive, and comprehensive with cruise plus packages and will vary from the number of days you need cover for to the level of voluntary excess you’re willing to pay.
Check with your provider to decipher what type of cover you need, or compare up to 30 quotes at Quidco for accurate price comparisons and up to *£33 cashback.
Cruises typically span over several countries, and by ensuring you have cruise insurance that covers you in each country, you will save you money and time over getting several different insurance policies.
You should always check the list of countries included in your policy to make sure you are covered in all of the allotted exclusions. There are a number of countries that will push insurance premiums up due to the higher cost of health care, these include: North and Central America (including the USA), China and Hong Kong and EU countries such as: Greece, Malta, Spain and Cyprus.
There is no limit on cruises, some can last 30 days, others a few months, and others can last up to one calendar year. It is important when booking your insurance policy to include any add-ons should you want to travel longer, this could be the 100-day upgrade add-on.
Non-essential and international travel is not currently permitted before 17 May 2021 at the earliest (dates subject to further confirmation from the government).
By comparing different policies and insurance companies, Quidco can provide access to cheap cruise travel insurance quotes with up to *£33 in cashback. Simply work out the type of cover you need for your trip, then use the comparison tool to get instant quotes and find the ideal cruise travel insurance.
Unfortunately, if advice from the FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office) warns against non-essential travel to your destination when your trip starts, you won’t be covered if you still go away or decide to cancel for this reason. It is important to make sure you check the latest FCDO guidance before you travel.
*Based on a couple aged 30 with no pre-existing medical conditions, taking annual multi-trip cover for Europe. Cover starts on 4th March 2022 and ends on 3rd March 2023. Prices correct as of 3rd March 2022.
If you're struggling to find suitable cover, the Money and Pension Service (MaPs) also provides a list of specialist insurers on the MaPs directory website – or you can call the British Insurance Brokers Association on 0370 950 1790. https://www.moneyhelper.org.uk/en/everyday-money/insurance/travel-insurance-directory