When you are shopping for travel insurance to cover your next cruise, here are a few important questions that may determine if your claim would be covered. Let’s take a look at the cruise travel insurance questions and answers:
Q: What if I get injured while intoxicated?
A: Most injuries onboard ship or even during a shore excursion might be covered by travel insurance. However, be advised that it is highly UNLIKELY for any insurance policy to pay a claim for injuries if you are intoxicated. This is likely written in the small print (or sometimes large print) on any legitimate policy you could purchase. And, a medical exam will state whether you were intoxicated at the time of the injury. Over-indulging and spraining ankles while stumbling around deck is going to be one of those exclusions to your cruise travel insurance coverage.
Q: What if I get injured during shore excursion activities?
A: You will have to purchase a policy that specifically covers (or does not exclude) ‘high risk’ activities. This could include scuba diving, zip lining, bungee jumping, or any other adventure sports activity. Most standard policies do NOT cover these circumstances; but insurance companies are expanding their offers to include those of us who like adventure and adrenaline. Keep in mind that most of these new policies may not cover you for injuries sustained in an organized competitive sports event. Read the fine print.
Q: Am I covered if I rent a vehicle and have a wreck?
A: Wherever you rent a vehicle (prior to the cruise as transportation to the port or during a shore excursion), you would need to purchase specific coverage for this eventuality. Do not depend on your personal automobile insurance, or you could face an unpleasant surprise. Also, due to the potentially expensive nature of the items, it is advised to purchase coverage either from your travel insurance company or from the company renting you the vehicle. While the additional fees in the latter circumstance may seem steep, weigh them against the costs of a wreck to make your decision.
Q: Will cruise travel insurance pay if I miss the ship’s departure?
A: The decision to reimburse you in this instance will depend on ‘why’ you were late and missed the ship. Was your airplane delayed, or did the shuttle to the port get caught in traffic or break down on the way? If so, insurance would likely cover this type of ‘common carrier delay’ scenario. Also, if you have an unexpected illness that prevents you from traveling, you’ll be glad that you purchased a policy. If, however, you were just late because that’s how you roll, then cruise travel insurance will not be sending you a reimbursement.
Q: What if I suffer a serious injury or fall overboard?
A: It’s common to purchase medical coverage with your travel insurance. Your personal health insurance may or may not help with costs if you are out of the country. (Entering international waters during a cruise does count as ‘leaving the country.’) If you are not inebriated or suicidal, medical treatment onboard and/or on shore and possibly a flight home would be covered in the event of a serious injury. If you survive a fall overboard with the same exceptions, all treatments and care would also be covered. For the worst case scenario, your estate could be reimbursed under what is generally known as a ‘medical evacuation and repatriation’ clause.
Q: What should I do if the cruise line offers me ‘freebies’ for my pain and suffering?
A: Any compensation you accept will be deducted from the reimbursement amount you file in a claim. For instance, you may get an offer for free upgrades on your next cruise, onboard credits for dining or alcohol, and other perks. These types of offers are considered ‘in-kind compensation,’ and could prevent you from collecting the comparable amount in a cash reimbursement.
Keep in mind that generally all reimbursements from travel insurance policies are for those fees that you have paid in advance with currency.
All insurance information provided is intended as an informational guide and should not replace advice from professionals in the insurance industry. Consider these questions and read our other articles on the types of travel insurance and what is NOT covered to prepare before you purchase a policy.