First time cruisers are urged to take out travel insurance
Australia continues to be one of the fastest growing cruising markets globally, with new data from online travel insurance provider InsureandGo reporting a staggering 36 per cent increase in cruise policies sold between the months of November and February, compared to the rest of the year.
Mr Jonathan Etkind, Commercial Manager of InsureandGo said: “The summer season and school holidays go hand-in-hand with cruises and it does seem to be becoming one of Australia’s favourite holidays. But there are certain risks associated with a cruising holiday that may not be covered by a typical basic travel insurance policy, such as cabin confinement or a missed cruise departure, which first-time cruise-goers may not be aware of,” said Mr Etkind.
Mr Etkind recalls one example of a person that missed their port due to a delayed flight. As the passenger had the correct policy he was able to be covered for the additional flights for himself and his wife, which would have cost them $1,820 without travel insurance.
Look for a specialised policy to provide cover for almost any cruise. The cruise policy should cover Australians in the event of missed ports, trips cut short due to medical emergencies or baggage cover before boarding (this applies to people travelling from a different city in Australia for up to 72 hours before the cruise departs).
“Cruising has quickly become a popular holiday for many Australians who enjoy the fact that their holiday starts from the moment they set foot on board the boat.” said Mr Etkind,
“But while cruising is a great way to relax and unwind over the warmer months, it’s important that Australians are doing their bit to protect themselves and their wallets in the event something does go wrong,” he concluded.
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia Managing Director Joel Katz said cruising is booming in Australia.
“The Australian cruise industry has experienced double digit growth for the past decade and now more than one million Australians enjoy taking a holiday at sea each year,” he said
“As with any form of travel, unforeseen circumstances can arise in the most unlikely of places so travel insurance is just as essential on a cruise as during a land holiday.”
With so many Australians taking their first cruise this summer season, InsureandGo highlights three benefits of choosing a cruise-specific travel insurance policy.
- Keep on schedule
Missing a bus or train can be an inconvenience, but missing a cruise departure can be a nightmare for holiday-goers. People often don’t realise that they can be covered in the unfortunate event of delayed flights due to poor weather conditions, a car breakdown or even a mechanical accident on their way to a cruise causing them to miss their departure. In the event this happens, the right travel insurance policy can cover accommodation and travel expenses if you do end up missing your port departure due to circumstances like this.
- Cabin fever
There’s nothing worse than not enjoying a holiday because you’re sick. For cruise holidays specifically, travel insurance can provide cover if you are confined to your cabin for medical reasons by a medical officer. For example, InsureandGo will pay cruise insurance policy-holders up to $75 for every 24 hours you are confined.
- Onboard medical emergencies can happen
Whether you’ve hit the dancefloor too hard or simply have a pre-existing medical condition that flares up, onboard medical emergencies can be a part of cruising. Be sure to look into different insurance policies to see what you are covered for, particularly if you know you have a pre-existing condition. And if you do have a pre-existing condition (even if it seems minor), ensure you declare it so that you may have the option to get cover for it.