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If you’re going on a cruise holiday, it is usually a condition of the booking that you have adequate travel insurance in place to cover the risk of you needing medical care on board or in a foreign country.
Your insurance must include cover for all pre-existing medical conditions and should also cover emergency evacuation from the ship, shore hospital medical costs and repatriation if required.
Firstly, there are travel insurance policies that don’t cover a cruise; these are obviously to be avoided if you are heading on a cruise as they won’t cover you for a medical emergency on the ship.
Next, there are travel insurance policies that do cover medical treatment on board, but don’t provide any cruise-specific extras, such as compensation payments if you are ill or confined to your cabin and miss pre-booked excursions.
Finally, there are cruise specific travel insurance policies that provide a comprehensive level of cover.
As well as medical expenses on board the ship and medical evacuation from the vessel, a cruise specific policy will cover reimbursement for cabin confinement, missed departure cover (if you are ashore and the ship sails without you because the shore transport has broken down) and missed port cover (if the ship is unable to dock at designated itinerated ports due to adverse weather conditions).
We would recommend you choose the comprehensive, cruise specific travel insurance if you are taking a cruise holiday. This will offer the most comprehensive cover and best peace of mind.
We recommend that you are insured for the full cost of the cruise, per person, before departure.
There would be nothing worse than falling sick before you set sail, having to miss the trip and not being able to claim the cost of the cruise back.
We also offer attractive nil excess policies which are very popular. This means you would not have to contribute towards the cost of your claim. Instead, the full cost would be covered by your insurer.
Before you buy a policy, it’s important to understand what you’re covered for and what you’re not.
Cancellation cover is designed to pay back any pre-paid expenses that would be lost if you’re forced to cancel your holiday before you travel.
It’s important to make sure that you choose a policy with enough cancellation cover for the costs you would need to claim for.
Travel insurance is designed to pay the costs for a medical emergency while you’re on holiday. You may have to pay an excess contribution to the total costs or you can choose a ‘nil excess’ option if you wish.
Some policies will cover emergency dental treatment if it’s for the immediate relief of pain.
All policies will pay to bring you back to the UK when this is recommended.
Treatment in a private hospital or clinic abroad is not usually covered if a suitable public or state facility is available.
PayingTooMuch meets the eligibility requirements for inclusion on the Money Helper travel insurance directory, which the FCA has confirmed meets its criteria for a 'medical cover firm directory'. The Money Helper customer contact centre freephone number is 0800 138 7777.
Do I really need travel insurance?add remove
It is not a legal requirement to take travel insurance but if you don’t, and you require medical treatment while you’re away, you would have to pay the bill, which could run into thousands of pounds.
By taking out a comprehensive travel insurance policy, if the worst happens you would be covered, giving you peace of mind to relax while you are on holiday.
What is the difference between Single trip and Annual Multi Trip cover?add remove
A single trip policy is designed to cover one specific holiday.
An annual multi-trip policy is designed to cover all your holidays within a 12-month period.
So if you are a frequent traveller an annual multi-trip policy could work out cheaper.
What medical conditions do I need to declare?add remove
All the travel insurers have a required list of conditions that must be declared.
They will also need to know about any condition that you’ve received medication, surgery, tests or investigations for, within the last 2 years.
Failure to declare pre-existing conditions could void your insurance and you could find your claim is declined which you definitely want to avoid.
Our travel insurance service makes it easy to declare any medical conditions you may have and all the quotations presented will include cover for these disclosures.
If you have any questions please call our friendly experts using the number at the top of this page as we provide travel insurance online and by phone for added peace of mind.
Will I be covered for private treatment?add remove
In general, most insurance companies do not cover treatment in a private hospital, but they can make allowances in exceptional circumstances.
Before receiving any medical treatment, you (or your representative, in an emergency) should telephone the claims line for authorisation, unless its life or death when you should seek immediate treatment.
The claims handler will then get in touch with the hospital, to ensure you receive the correct care.
The claims handler will also arrange to bring you back to the UK if special assistance is required.
I live in the UK and only holiday in the UK, do I need travel insurance?add remove
As UK residents have access to free healthcare via the NHS, medical insurance is not required.
UK Cruise Holidays
Travel insurance will still give you valuable repatriation cover. This is usually a requirement of UK cruise holidays where you might need to be transported from a ship at sea to a land hospital in an emergency.
Travel insurance will also provide cancellation cover in the event you fall ill before the holiday and therefore cannot travel. Baggage cover may also be important if you are separated from your baggage during your travel within the UK.
What is an excess?add remove
An excess is the agreed amount you will pay towards a claim and is set per person.
We are able to offer attractive nil-excess policies. This means you would not have to contribute towards the cost of your claim. Instead, the full cost would be covered by your insurer.
What is repatriation?add remove
Repatriation cover means that if you need to be brought home following an illness while you are on holiday, the travel insurer will make the arrangements and cover the costs.
Travel insurance claims handlers are experts at making these arrangements and their help is valuable if you find yourself needing their support.
Repatriation following a medical emergency can be very expensive and this cover is one of the main benefits of your travel insurance.
Why is cruise cover more expensive?add remove
Cruise holiday insurance claims are higher than land holiday claims because there are extra costs associated with being ill on a ship.
For example, moving you off the ship if you have a medical emergency would be a significant cost to the insurer which won't occur on a land based holiday.
There are also extra cruise specific benefits that can be added to the policy to cover missed ports, stateroom / cabin confinement, unused pre-booked excursions, and Itinerary changes.
It may also be necessary to buy a higher level of trip cancellation cover to cover the additional cost of a cruise holiday.
How do I make a claim?add remove
If you need to make a claim, you should contact your insurance provider as soon as you can. There’ll be a deadline to make a claim from the time of the incident. You’ll find this in your policy documents. For more information regarding claims, and to find the phone number you will need to ring, click here
Is private medical treatment covered abroad?add remove
You should be aware that travel Insurance is not private medical insurance, in that it only covers unavoidable, unexpected emergency treatment. You are not covered for private medical treatment if there are medically capable public facilities available. If you become unwell, or sustain a minor injury whilst abroad, you must call the 24/7 assistance team so that they can help you find appropriate treatment locally. However, you should call the local emergency services immediately, 112 in Europe, 911 in the USA and Canada or the local equivalent to 999, if you have any symptoms that might require emergency treatment including, but not limited to, difficulty breathing, chest pain, seizure (fit) activity, decreased level of consciousness, heavy bleeding, sudden swelling of the face and lips, signs of a stroke or any other life-threatening condition. You must, in all cases call the 24/7 assistance team to authorise cover. Failure to do so may invalidate your claim.