Cruise Travel Insurance

Planning a cruise? Thinking about taking out cruise travel insurance? Find out the information you need here.

Last updated on May 4th, 2022 at 03:19 pm by Bill Tsouvalas

Cruise Travel Insurance

If you’re planning a cruise, you should consider taking out cruise travel insurance. Cruise travel insurance comes in a variety of different policies, so it can be difficult to choose the right one. Find out the ins and outs of cruise travel insurance and how to compare your options to get the best policy for you.

What is cruise travel insurance?

Cruise travel insurance specially caters to the most common claims which are made whilst on a cruise holiday in Australian waters or overseas. While cruises can provide the perfect getaway, it’s important you protect yourself in case something goes wrong by taking out cruise travel insurance. Taking out cover for cruise travel insurance will give you peace of mind and allow you to relax on your holiday.

Cover for cruise insurance may be included in your travel insurance policy but usually it comes as an add on. It will provide you with cover in many circumstances but focuses on insuring you for injury and illness, or loss of luggage and personal items. While cruise travel insurance can provide extensive cover, it’s important to remember that claims for incidents or accidents whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs will likely be rejected.

What’s included in cruise travel insurance?

The inclusions of cruise travel insurance will vary between policies. Therefore, it’s important you understand your policy’s terms and conditions and read its Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). Common inclusions for cruise travel insurance can include the following:

Type of cover How it can help you
Overseas hospital or medical expenses and on-board medical expenses

Should you become sick or injure yourself while overseas or on board the cruise ship, cruise travel insurance will provide cover for treatments and services.

Pre-paid travel cancellation costs

If you are no longer able to take part in any pre-paid activities or arrangements due to an unforeseen reason, you could be reimbursed for those costs.

Stolen, lost or damaged personal items and luggage

If you have your personal items lost in transit or stolen/damaged whilst out on a daily activity, your insurance will cover.

Medical evacuations at sea

If you need to be evacuated from the cruise ship due to a serious medical accident or condition, you can be covered for the cost of the medical evacuation.

Rescheduling fees due to trip delays

If you have extra costs due to an uncontrollable delay, your insurance may cover you.

Missed cruise departure

If you miss the cruise departure at the commencement or after a stopover, you may be eligible for cover. 

Cabin confinement

If you’re ill and confined to your cabin for a period of more than 48 hours, you can be covered.

24-hour emergency assistance

Depending on your insurer, you may have access to a 24/7 helpline to answer any emergency questions you have about your cruise travel insurance cover.

Exclusions under each cruise travel insurance policy can vary but will include most of the same exclusions as usual travel insurance. This can include injury, illness or loss due to the following:

Type of exclusion Details of exclusion
Mental health conditions

Like all insurance policies, injuries or illnesses sustained as a result of a mental health condition will be excluded from cover.

High-risk activities or sports

Whilst on a cruise, it’s likely you’ll be taking part in high-risk activities which could result in injury. High-risk activities or sports are excluded from most regular cruise travel insurance policies but may be purchased as an optional extra. These activities can include scuba diving, bungee jumping or water sports.

Stolen, lost or damaged personal items and luggage which were left unattended

If your personal belongings are stolen, lost or damaged due to your own carelessness, insurers won’t approve your claim.

Claims for incidents or events whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs

Like other travel insurance policies, if you’re intoxicated or on drugs when you are involved in an incident or accident, your insurer will usually reject your claim.

Ignoring government advice and travelling

Disregarding government recommendations to not travel will result in any claim whilst your away being rejected.  This will apply with every insurer.

Natural disasters, terrorism or acts of war

Rare events such as natural disasters, terrorism or acts of war are often excluded under cruise travel insurance cover.

What are the benefits of cruise travel insurance?

In taking out cruise travel insurance, there are a range of benefits that you’ll be able to take advantage of. Some of these include:

  • Avoiding the hefty medical bills of on-board medical treatments or services – without cruise travel insurance, the cost of getting on-board medical treatment is immensely expensive. If the unexpected happens, it’s best you have taken out cruise travel insurance for the protection of both your health and finances.
  • Cover the costs if cancellations occur – if you can no longer go on your cruise due to illness or injury, you can be covered under cruise travel insurance. In addition, if you can no longer take part in any pre-paid activities or experiences due to uncontrollable circumstances, your insurance will cover you.
  • Peace of mind – when you’re on a cruise, you want to be able to sit back, relax and enjoy your holiday. Taking out cruise travel insurance will give you peace of mind knowing that, should something go wrong, your cruise travel insurance will cover you.

What should I look for when comparing cruise travel insurance?

Top tips for reducing your cruise travel insurance premiums

Research your cruise travel insurance options broadly

Many people will take out cruise travel insurance for the sake of it without any intention of making a claim. It’s important you prepare for the reality that something may go wrong by comparing your options broadly to get adequate cover which will protect you if you do need to make a claim.

Take out a multi-trip policy if you’re a cruise enthusiast.

If you expect to take several cruises in a year, you should take out a multi-trip policy which will cover you for multiple trips out to sea. This can help you save money instead of having to take out individual policies every time you take a cruise holiday.

Raise your excess amount

If you want to reduce the cost of your cruise travel insurance premium, consider increasing your excess. The higher your excess, the lower your premium will be.

Search for special cruise travel insurance offers

To get the best value and cheapest cruise travel insurance, look out for special offers. This could be free optional extras, gift cards or special discounts on your premium.

Frequently asked questions about cruise travel insurance

Are cruises covered under travel insurance?

Cruises are covered under some travel insurance policies but most often you will have to purchase cruise travel insurance as an add on. If you’re going on a cruise on your travels, make sure you check the travel insurance policy’s PDS before purchasing to see if it’s included or if you have to buy it as an extra.

Will I need cruise travel insurance if it’s a domestic cruise?

Some domestic cruises in Australian waters won’t accept Medicare while some will if the cruise is between domestic Australian ports and the on-board doctor is registered with Medicare. As a result, it’s best you contact the cruise liner or just take out cruise travel insurance to ensure you will be covered for any on-board treatment or if an emergency evacuation is necessary.

Can I still get cover for pre-existing health conditions on cruise travel insurance?

Yes. Under most policies your pre-existing health conditions and the associated treatments or services can be covered under cruise travel insurance. If you require cover for pre-existing health conditions, this will increase the cost of your premium.

If I don’t take out cruise travel insurance, how much will I be charged for visiting the on-board doctor?

If you visit the on-board doctor for your cruise to get any treatment or service, you could be paying as much as $200-$300 for a short appointment. The on-board doctor’s consultations and medications are charged at a private rate and costs can add up quickly.

Am I covered for river cruises under regular travel insurance?

The rules for river cruises vary between travel insurance policies. It’s important you contact your relevant insurer before taking out cover to confirm whether you will be insured for a river cruise.

If my cruise is disrupted by bad weather, will cruise travel insurance cover me?

If uncontrollable weather impacts your cruise and the cruise changes course or misses a particular port of call, you may be able to claim the expense of part of your trip.

Does cruise travel insurance provide cover for valuable items?

Yes. Cruise travel insurance can provide cover for valuable items but you must inform your insurer as it will impact the benefit limits associated with your cover. In turn, this will also increase the cost of your cruise travel insurance premium.

Do I need to tell my insurer about all locations on sea and land that I will visit?

Yes. Be it on land or at sea, you need to correctly inform your insurer of each destination you will be visiting when you take out cruise travel insurance. This will allow them to work out your cruise travel insurance quote and ensure you are covered should something go wrong at a destination you have listed.