It could happen to you: Why having travel insurance is a must for cruise trips

Whether you have been a consistent buyer of travel insurance when you go on your cruise or if you have always thought ‘it will never happen to us’ and have never purchased travel insurance: bad things can happen to good people.

 If you are a regular cruiser, you have probably had wonderful memories of your cruises with souvenirs, photos and gained new friends. You may have a cruise operator, or cruise liner, of choice, somewhere that offers exactly what you want and need from your cruise.

 However, as we all know, bad things can happen to good people.

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(Thanks to Jorge in Brazil for the image, via Flickr)

 There is so much that could potentially go wrong on your cruise holiday, you have to rely on a number of people and processes to ensure that your cruise can run smoothly. It is not just people and processes that you have to rely on, you are also at the mercy of ‘mother nature’. Natural events, the weather for example, could turn your cruise heaven into a cruise hell.

 Considering all these elements, the people, the processes, the cruise line and cruise operator, mother nature and everything in-between, travel insurance is now a must.

 However, like with any other insurance policy, travel insurance can be confusing, so it is important that you know exactly what you get in your policy before you depart. Travel insurance should meet your individual requirements, both for you and your cruise.

 Cruise operators like Cruise 1st can offer travel insurance as part of their booking process, other operators do not, and you will have to take out your travel insurance separately.

 This guide to travel insurance will help you define what you can be protected against when on your cruise, what elements could be covered and how it could save you a fortune.

 What Does Travel Insurance Cover?

An old misconception is that travel insurance is for travellers that are sick or in ill health, who travel with expensive items with them or those who plan to participate in ‘high risk’ activities. For today’s traveller travel insurance is a must and helps protect a wide range of people, and against a multitude of scenarios.

 Trip interruption:

Imagine your next cruise, and you are sitting on deck and suddenly an announcement comes over the public address system “the ship is experiencing a serious mechanic issue and we will be detouring to the nearest port, where the cruise will be terminated”. How does this make you feel, especially if you have not taken out any travel insurance? If you have taken out travel insurance, you could be covered for hotel stays and flights back home. Your cruise operator will assist where they can, but your travel insurance will cover your costs and most other out-of-pocket expenses.

 Trip cancellation:

You are a few days away from your cruise holiday, and you suddenly, and without warning, become ill and far too sick to travel. Not only will you miss your cruise, but you will also have to cancel it and have to pay some excessive fees and charges. If you have taken out travel insurance, you can claim these costs back, meaning you will not be left out of pocket.

 Trip delay/missed connection:

If you have booked a cruise where flights are involved, it adds more people and more processes to your cruise experience, where potentially things can go wrong. If you were to miss your flights, and therefore miss your cruise, travel insurance will cover you, for delays and missed connections, should this happen to you.

 Baggage delay/loss:

Again, if you have flights booked as part of your cruise experience, then baggage delay and loss could make your trip a little more stressful. If the airline loses your baggage, or misdirects it, then travel insurance will help you cover any losses you have experienced.

 Medical expenses:

Should the worst happen, and you injure yourself whilst on your cruise, then medical costs and treatment can be very expensive. Whether you injure yourself onboard or at one of your destinations, some travel insurance policies include covering your medical expenses. In other countries, you will be expected to pay any medical costs upfront, before you receive any treatment, but having travel insurance means that you can claim these medical costs back and will not leave you out-of-pocket.

 Cruise operators going out of business:

Unfortunately, the world we live in is a tough one, especially for businesses. It is not surprising that companies sometimes have to throw in the towel, and this can leave any potential cruise you have them ‘dead in the water’. If this ever happens, you could be protected through your travel insurance.

 Onboard emergencies

A cruise ship is like a town, floating on the seas, taking you to different destinations of interest. The cruise ship has nearly everything onboard that you could ever need. However, like with most towns, it will not offer everything. For example, in severe medical emergencies, if you suffer a stroke or heart attack, you may be required to leave the cruise to get to a hospital that can care for you more adequately. Your travel insurance could cover you against any costs for onboard emergency procedures would normally charge.

 Losing your job:

If you have booked yourself and a friend on a cruise, something in which you have been planning for over a year and your friend suddenly loses their job and can no longer avoid going. You will be left with paying additional supplements and may have to pay other charges just so you can still enjoy the cruise. If you take out travel insurance, any job loss could be covered within your policy.

 War or terrorism:

The world has changed, it can be a more frightening place than it ever has been previously. Unfortunately, we have all seen what terrorism can do, and the damage it can cause. Some travel insurance policies will cover costs in relation to these acts of terrorism, not just those that affect your cruise, but also those that affect your hometown.

 If you are planning on booking a cruise, make sure you have travel insurance before you depart. It could save your life, as well as your bank balance.

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