Does normal travel insurance cover cruises?
Some companies, such as LV=, do include cruise cover as part of their standard travel insurance. Others offer normal travel cover that has the option to add cruise insurance to a policy.
Many of the companies on our list of the best travel insurance policies offer cruise cover as standard or an add-on.
We have a group for cruise insurance that includes a member discount. We've also created insurance for people with severe medical conditions that covers river cruises.
In general, travel insurers fall into three categories:
- Specific cruise cover Companies offer policies that are similar to standard travel products but have features that are geared towards cruises or they have specific cover. For example, they'll offer daily compensation if you're confined to your cabin because of illness.
LV= offers this sort of cruise cover as part of its travel policies. Other companies may advertise their policies as cruise travel insurance.
- Cruises are included in the cover but there are no specialist features Some insurers include (or do not exclude) cruises in their travel policies. However, they will not include specialist cruise features such as compensation for being confined to your cabin.
They should cover medical and lost baggage even if you are on the boat. Medical cover is the most important part of travel insurance so these policies can be worth considering.
Some companies that offer these policies will not mention cruises at all in their marketing but some will describe their policies as cruise cover. Aviva does not mention cruises on its website but its policy documents does not exclude them.
- Travel insurance with no cruise cover Some policies will exclude cruises and will say so in their policy documents.
It can be confusing because insurers in the first and second categories may describe themselves as 'cruise travel insurance', but you’ll get different cover. It’s importance to understand exactly what you’re getting and if you’re unsure about anything do contact the company you’re thinking of buying from.
What is cruise cover?
Travel insurance for cruises can mean specific policy features or general travel cover that doesn’t exclude cruises.
Specific policies should include a daily compensation if you’re confined to your cabin because of illness, missing a port departure, rejoining a cruise after an illness and payout per port you miss if there is a change in your itinerary.
Most importantly, more standard features such as medical treatment and luggage will be included while on a cruise.
The policies can be packaged as an add-on to a travel policy or designed as part of a policy.
Other policies may say they cover cruises but this can mean they’re not mentioned as a specific exclusion. This means important cover such as medical treatment will be valid if you’re on a cruise but you may not get specific benefits such as compensation if you’re confined to a cabin.
What is the best cruise insurance?
The best cruise insurance will accept claims for its standard features while the policyholder is on a cruise and offer cruise-specific features such as missed port departure and compensation if you’re confined to a cabin.
It’s difficult to name one company as the best because they’ll offer different cover levels and these levels will be appropriate for different people, for example, someone in their thirties may decide they don’t need the highest levels for a river cruise in Europe.
Some of the companies on our list of the best travel insurance companies also offer cruise cover.
Cruise and package holiday companies may offer their own cover but it’s worth checking how their cover levels compare to insurers’. In the US, Carnival is one of the biggest companies and it offers its own insurance.
If you have travel insurance through a bank account or credit card you should check whether it covers cruises.
Do I need travel insurance for a cruise holiday?
Travel and cruise cover are not legal requirements but can cover expensive claims for medical emergencies, cancellation or lost luggage.
Most travel operators you book through will recommend that you get cruise insurance. They may also try to sell it to you but it’s always best to shop around.
If you are going on a cruise make sure your travel insurance covers cruises and that it has medical cover, this is the most important feature.
Specific cruise cover an be useful for inconveniences that are more likely to occur on a cruise.
Travel insurance can also cover cancellation. It’s worth considering annual cover so that you’re protected for any trips taken during the policy year.
Further information and an offer on insurance are available in our cruise insurance travel group.
Cruise insurance with cover for pre-existing conditions
Many insurers offer travel insurance that includes cover for pre-existing conditions. We’ve listed some of the best companies here. Some should cover cruises but options may be limited and prices higher.
Most companies will require you to complete a medical questionnaire that will determine your price. The cost of cover will depend on the severity of the condition and it can vary massively depending on the issue.
We’ve created a policy for people with severe conditions that covers river cruises. We do not ask you to complete a questionnaire. Get a quote in seconds for our Urgent Medical Travel Insurance.
Where can I buy cruise travel insurance?
We've formed a cruise travel insurance group, where you can get a discount on cruise insurance. It is free to join.
Or check out our list of the best travel insurance companies. Many include cruise cover as standard or as an optional add-on.
We’ve launched a unique travel policy for people with severe medical conditions. It can cover river cruises but not sea cruises and it has no medical screening questionnaire.
We also have a separate article – cruise insurance tips – that looks in greater detail at the differences between policies and notes some important questions that everyone should consider when buying cruise travel insurance.
Cruise insurance for older travellers
Travel insurance for cruises can be complicated if you are a senior traveller.
We've looked at the specific difficulties people face in our article finding travel insurance for the over 70s, 80s and 90s.
Insurers see older travellers as more likely to claim so some providers won’t offer it to people over certain ages. And where they do it is likely to be more expensive.
Goodtogoinsurance.com says it offers cruise cover for older travellers.