Have you ever thought that cruise holidays from hell were something that happened to other people and that you were somehow immune? Unfortunately, however, the list of things that might go wrong – from the relatively minor mislaid piece of luggage, to a life-threatening accident or illness – is a risk that any passenger on your cruise may suffer, including yourself.
Cruise protection insurance is designed to take the sting out of things going wrong by compensating you for the financial loss or losses you might otherwise suffer.
What is it likely to cover?
- medical insurance – top of anyone’s list of priorities is likely to be adequate medical protection;
- in the case of a cruise, it may assume even greater importance than other forms of travel insurance, simply because you are likely to be at sea, without any nearby port of call, for several days at a time;
- if you are injured or suffer an illness, use of the on-board medical facilities are likely to incur additional costs, but if you need an ambulance to be standing by when you reach port, or if you need to be evacuated from the ship by helicopter, the bill may reach astronomical proportions;
- as the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) warns, some foreign hospitals may refuse treatment if you lack the funds to pay for it and have no holiday insurance;
- protecting your luggage and possessions – on longer cruises in particular, you might be travelling with a surprising amount of luggage and other personal possessions;
- baggage handlers may misdirect your luggage between connecting flights and the ship or items might be lost, stolen or damaged – in any event, without cruise insurance the cost of replacement is likely to prove a most unwelcome addition to the costs of your holiday;
- cruise protection may also prove invaluable in the event of delays or cancellations by airlines – before you even start the cruise itself;
- if your connecting flight or flights are delayed or cancelled, your ship may naturally leave without you – incurring further costs as you scramble to catch up with it at its next port of call, not to mention the lost days of enjoying your cruise;
- very few cruises are cheap – you are likely to have spent a tidy sum investing in a holiday to enjoy, but cancellation may become unavoidable;
- you may want the protection of cruise insurance if you have an elderly or sick close relative who needs you at their bedside instead of going on your cruise;
- some specialist insurers (one such example is Bengo Travel) may even protect you against the additional costs involved in keeping your pet in a kennel or cattery for longer than originally scheduled, because of delays in your travel arrangements;
- protection might also extend not only to any cash you are carrying, but also to any fraudulent use of your credit card;
- one important area more likely to be covered by specialist cruise insurance rather than standard travel insurance relates to your personal liability for loss or damaged caused to another individual’s property or for their personal injury;
- personal liability claims may assume notoriously expensive proportions and it is for this reason that some insurance providers offer protection for claims of up to £1 million or even £2 million.
Cruise insurance, therefore, recognises that there is a potentially long list of incidents that may happen to you – rather than other people – and is designed to protect you from the ensuing financial fallout.