5 things you must know about cruise travel insurance
Learn some quick facts on what is – and isn't – covered by cruise travel insurance.
On Sunday, international cruise ships will be allowed back in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria for the first time since March 2020.
According to Finder research, some 2.7 million Australians are eager to go on a cruise this year. With that in mind, here are the key points on insurance.
You usually have to opt in to cruise insurance
Most insurers offer cruise cover optionally. Finder looked at 24 travel insurance policies and 18 of them didn't include cover for cruises automatically (2 didn't offer it at all).
If you want cruise insurance and it isn't offered to you as standard, you need to add it on to your policy. And, yes, you'll pay a fee to do so.
You can't always claim for COVID
Recent Finder research found only 5 travel insurers offered COVID benefits for cruises. Where insurance is available, it can include medical expenses if you get sick with COVID-19 and quarantine costs if you need to extend your trip.
While we fully expect more brands to get on board and offer COVID insurance as the industry reopens, the lack of cover is a reminder why it's so important to read your policy wording carefully. Ask an insurer directly if you still feel unsure.
Not leaving Australia? You still need cover
Smartraveller says all Australians should get cruise-specific travel insurance, regardless of whether or not they leave Australian territory.
Cruise cover goes much further than standard insurance. It can pay costs for medical evacuation, cruise delays and cancellations, missed port departures, pre-existing conditions (in some cases), on-board dental expenses, cabin confinement and the cancellation of onshore activities such as tours.
Medicare won't help you if you get sick
You can't claim on Medicare or with your health fund once you've left Australian shores. Even if you only travel between Australian ports, there might not be a Medicare-eligible doctor on board. This means you'd still be out of pocket if you get ill.
So, getting cruise travel insurance with unlimited medical expenses is a no-brainer.
There are some exclusions to be aware of
It's understandable that many will want to let their hair down after such a long time away from cruises. But as with any travel insurance, you'll need to keep in mind a range of common policy exclusions.
Examples include leaving your valuables unattended and excess drinking – the latter could void your insurance claim if you injure yourself or others while under the influence. Policy exclusions will be stated in the product disclosure statement (PDS).
Cruise travel insurance can cost just a few dollars a day and give you invaluable peace of mind. Get a quote now.