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Why doesn't travel insurance cover cruises? What you must do before you travel

Author: Harriet Mallinson

Published on:

Updated on:

Cruise travel insurance is hugely important when you sail away but many find themselves confused by the ins and outs of what to look for when it comes to cover.

Travel insurance should always be bought whenever you book your holiday to ensure you benefit from it as soon as possible should anything go wrong.

The problem, however, with cruise holidays, is that travel insurance rarely automatically covers sailings - additional cover is often required.

We spoke to Angela Dove, a travel insurance expert at MoneySuperMarket to unearth the latest travel advice and find out why cruising isn't included in cover.

"Travel insurance doesn’t cover cruises for several reasons," said Angela.

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The main explanation is the price of medical attention.

"Firstly, medical treatment on board a cruise ship can be expensive and if you need to be transferred from the ship to a land-based hospital for treatment then this can be also costly," the MoneySuperMarket expert explained.

"However, cruise cover is usually an optional add-on, and this means that only travellers who need this cover pay the additional costs for their trip.

So what should you look for when buying travel insurance for your cruise?

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Travel insurance: Cruise cover is usually an optional add-on. Credit: Shutterstock

"Begin by examining your policy wording to be sure of exactly what is covered," Angela advised.

"If you’re in any doubt or have any queries, then call your insurance provider to clarify and double-check exactly what is included."

- READ MORE: Can I get travel insurance if I don’t have a Covid vaccine? -

You might want to check with your cruise line what the worst-case scenario could be.

"It’s worth asking your cruise operator how an outbreak of COVID-19 on board the ship might affect your holiday and check with your insurer to see if this would be covered by your policy," said the pro.

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Travel insurance: "Begin by examining your policy wording to be sure of exactly what is covered." Credit: Shutterstock

"Make sure you declare any pre-existing medical conditions and keep an eye on FCDO advice before you book because your insurance provider won’t cover you if you travel against their advice."

Be sure to acquaint yourself with the minutiae of your policy.

"Another thing to check is that you are covered if you miss your departure or don’t make it back to the ship in time if you’re unexpectedly delayed on a stop off," recommended Angela.

- READ MORE: Top seven things you must do before travelling -

"Lastly, if you are taking expensive items, like jewellery or formal evening wear then make sure the level of cover included in the policy is sufficient or maybe consider insuring high-value items elsewhere."

Next week, the traffic light system is set to change, with experts predicting it will be reduced to just a green and a red light to simplify matters.

Latest green list
Credit: World of Cruising

Nevertheless, doing your research remains primordial.

"Irrespective of any changes to the traffic light system, it’s essential to keep up to date with the newest travel guidelines if you’re hoping to get abroad this year," urged Angela.

- READ MORE: Latest travel advice & traffic light updates for holiday destinations -

"Do your research on where you are thinking of visiting, including any entry requirements then plan ahead and organise the right travel insurance for your trip.

"Also, check the relevant UK traffic light system for the country you live in as your travel insurance does not cover you for any costs associated with testing or quarantine on your return."

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