What is cruise insurance


Last year, an estimated 1.64 million Britons took a cruise holiday – making Britain the second biggest cruise market in Europe after Germany (where nearly 1.8 million went on a cruise.

Why is cruise insurance such an important consideration for the vast majority of those passengers? It might help to look at what cruise insurance is and just what it covers.

Medical emergencies

Probably the single most important reason for arranging cruise insurance is the cover it provides in the event of your injury or illness whilst on the cruise.

Modern cruise ships have well-equipped medical bays that in some cases might amount almost to a mini-hospital. But the facilities are necessarily limited both by the space available and the availability of medical specialists.

These may be grave shortcomings, especially if you are injured or taken ill when the ship is out to sea and many miles from the nearest landfall. If you need to be airlifted from the cruise liner and flown to the nearest hospital, this is clearly going to cost a considerable sum. If you then need to be flown back to the UK for treatment, the costs escalate still further.

So high may these costs prove that some travel insurers may exclude them from cover. A specialist cruise insurance provider – such as Bengo Travel – however, gives you the assurance and peace of mind in knowing that any such costs are safely covered.

Age and pre-existing medical conditions

Because of the perceived greater risk posed by older travellers (those over 65, for instance) or those with pre-existing medical conditions, some standard insurance policies may make it difficult for such passengers to arrange the necessary insurance.

Specialist cruise insurance providers on the other hand positively welcome such passengers – imposing no upper age limit and asking perfectly normal and widely used questions about pre-existing medical conditions.

Buying your cruise insurance from an independent specialist may also prove considerably cheaper than buying from a travel agent or the cruise company itself, suggests Martin Lewis, the Money Saving Expert.

Length of passage

Standard travel insurance may also be relatively limited in the duration of its cover, compared to the frequently quite long itineraries of many cruises – especially if it is a round the world cruise, of course.

For this reason, too, it may be important to arrange your cruise insurance through a specialist provider.

What else might be covered?

The risks and perils you might want to cover are not all those you might encounter on board, but before you even embark or when you call into port and take an excursion.

Missing your embarkation time or having to cancel your holiday altogether – for reasons beyond your control – may be covered by cruise insurance.

For those visits on shore, you might also be grateful for cover against losses through theft and muggings or credit card fraud.

Further reading: Guide to Cruise holidays

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