Cruise travellers urged to check insurance before setting sail

Cruise travellers urged to check insurance before setting sail

With spring around the corner, many of us are starting to turn our thoughts to summer holidays. Cruising holidays attract around 1.8 million Brits a year and while many may presume that a standard travel insurance policy will cover a cruise holiday, new insight from independent financial information business, Defaqto shows that the level of protection for cruise holidays varies considerably across the 878 single trip and 906 annual policies on the market.

Not the best policy

Defaqto has found that only 35 per cent single-trip policies and four in ten annual policies cover cruise travel holidays as standard, meaning those who think it’s a given that a normal travel insurance policy covers a cruise holiday may find themselves severely out of pocket.

Around half of all the travel policies will cover travellers on a cruise, but only if the customer states they are going on a cruise, and pays an additional premium. More worryingly 13 per cent of single trip and 12 per cent of annual policies will never cover a customer on a cruise holiday.

Unlucky travellers who fall ill at sea could be stung by sickening medical costs if they fail to check their travel insurance policies and experience cruise medical expenses such as needing to see a doctor or receiving treatment while away.

Check cover levels

Furthermore, holidaymakers who find themselves confined to their cabin under doctor’s orders during a cruise run the risk of missing out on more than the odd excursion and a few days’ of sun. Less than two-fifths of policies provide compensation benefits in the event of cabin confinement, and those that do would protect for considerably less than the cost of a cruise. The average maximum amount of money an insurer will pay out in the event of cabin confinement is £540 on a single trip, and £545 on an annual policy.

Brian Brown at Defaqto, says: “Anyone planning on a cruise should double check their policy and ensure they have an adequate level of cover. Cruise cover goes beyond normal travel insurance, protecting passengers from incidents such as trip interruption, missed port departures, health assistance services wherever you may be in the world and so on, and it’s vital that holidaymakers realise this before stepping on board. Otherwise they could be hit with unexpected bills on the return home.”

New star ratings for cruise cover

Defaqto has introduced new Star Ratings to help travellers going on cruise holidays make better informed decisions when selecting their insurance cover.  The new Cruise Star Ratings help people to quickly find out what the quality of their insurance policy is. Defaqto analyses over 40 separate features or benefits for every cruise travel insurance policy on the market. Each policy is then scored against those features and assigned a rating based on a scale of 1 to 5. This means you can see at a glance how policies compare.