Getting on board with travel insurance

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UK-based financial information provider Defaqto has urged cruise travellers to check their insurance before setting sail.

According to the company, while many cruisers may presume that a standard travel insurance policy will cover their holiday, the level of protection for cruise trips varies considerably.

Defaqto found that only 35 per cent of single trip policies and 40 per cent of annual policies cover cruise holidays as standard, and has warned that those who believe a standard travel insurance policy covers a cruise holiday may find themselves severely out of pocket. The company’s findings show that around half of all surveyed travel policies (455 single trip and 441 annual travel policies) will cover travellers on a cruise, but only if the customer states they are going on a cruise, and pays an additional premium.

Importantly, 117 (13 per cent) single trip and 105 (12 per cent) annual policies will never cover a customer on a cruise holiday.

“Travel insurance policies vary greatly in the level of protection they offer for cruises – and some don’t offer cruise cover at all,” warned Brian Brown, head of insight at Defaqto. “Therefore we urge anyone planning on setting sail on a cruise this year to double check their policy and ensure they have an adequate level of cover before they go away.”

According to Brown, cruise cover goes beyond normal travel insurance, protecting passengers from incidents such as trip interruption and missed port departures, and providing aid if health assistance services are required, wherever they may be in the world. “It’s vital that holidaymakers realise this before stepping on board,” he said. “Otherwise, they could be hit with unexpected bills on the return home.”