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Do you need special cover for cruise holidays?

cruise ship 1108961 640Around two million Britons go on cruise holidays every year. And not all of them are over 80. I know of at least two families with school age children who go on cruises. It’s not my idea of a good holiday but that’s because I am chronically seasick and also a bit claustrophobic. However, those who love it enthuse about the ease of entertaining and feeding the kids – and not having to suffer the hell of airports in holiday season.

But did you know that if you go on a cruise you need special holiday insurance? I only found this out when reading through a very comprehensive guide to holiday insurance from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office: anything to avoid doing the housework frankly. This covers every eventuality concerning travel insurance with particular reference to the challenges of the current Brexit climate. The FCO points out that it is a holidaymaker’s responsibility to ensure you can cover the costs of medical treatment abroad adding ‘remember that the nearest embassy, high commission or consulate will not pay these costs’. And it adds: ‘Cruises generally require additional cover due to the difficulty in getting travellers to hospital for treatment. If you are going on a cruise, make sure your travel insurance covers this’.

So one size holiday cover doesn’t fit all. As many people rely on annual cover and even policies which come as part of their packaged bank accounts, this could be a concern. There is special cruise insurance which covers you for eventualities including missed port departures, changes of itinerary, missed excursions and even if you have to be confined to your cabin because you are unwell.

In addition, Moneysupermarket* points out that cruise holidays tend to last longer than other trips and annual holiday policies might have a maximum duration for an individual trip of 56 days: not much use if you’re off around the world. Also, as you’re likely to be visiting multiple countries on your cruise, you need to make sure you are covered for everywhere you go.

I’m certain that cruise companies make it abundantly clear that you need extra cover and experience cruisers know they need special insurance for their trip. But it’s a good reminder that annual policies or ‘free’ ones from packaged accounts may not be sufficient. Do check your policy whatever kind of holiday you are going on: better safe than sorry. And if you are buying cover, use a comparison site such as comparethemarket*, confused.com, moneysupermarket.com* or uSwitch*. And consider buying via a cashback site such as Quidco* or Topcashback*.

See our guides to holiday insurance here

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Friday, 19 April 2019