Why You Need Cruise Insurance

Why You Need Cruise Insurance

Taking a cruise is an exhilarating experience, combining sailing the open waters with discovering new destinations around the world. Millions of people board cruise ships each year, and while no one wants to think that the unexpected can happen on the ocean, accidents and illnesses are always a possibility.

While cruise ships take extra precautions to ensure the safety of their passengers and crew, it’s important for cruise goers to consider taking an extra step in safety by purchasing cruise travel insurance, which can protect both your nonrefundable trip expenses and provide benefits in the event of illness or injury on the seas.

What Is Cruise Travel Insurance?

Cruise travel insurance is a safeguard for travelers which allows them to insure their prepaid and nonrefundable cruise and travel expenses.

Cruise insurance is essentially a trip insurance plan, so you can expect coverage for trip cancellation, interruption, delay, and benefits such as accident and sickness coverage or emergency medical evacuation.

Check out SafeCruise, a cruise travel insurance plan designed specifically for cruise goers.

What Does Travel Insurance for Cruises Cover?

Cruise insurance is short-term travel coverage that can help provide support for trip issues like cruise cancellation or trip delays, as well as medical coverage should the policyholder become sick or injured while on board.

Similar to other types of trip and travel insurance, there are a range of different plans available. So, how can you choose the best cruise insurance?

Travelers can choose the right plan for them depending on the amount of coverage they need, the length and distance of the trip and other key factors.

Depending on the cruise insurance plan that travelers choose, their coverage could include:

  • Trip cancellation: Make sure your travel insurance comes with a Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) add-on so you can cancel your trip for literally any reason and still recoup some of the costs.
  • Trip delay: This can happen when flights to the initial departure location are canceled or delayed causing a passenger to miss boarding. It’s possible that you may be able to schedule a later cruise or  have to unexpectedly cancel the trip altogether.
  • Baggage loss: Similar to trip delay, if baggage is lost or delayed during the flight to or from the cruise ship, the traveler's policy can help ensure that he or she isn't left without clothes or other basic items. Plans that include baggage-loss coverage can help travelers replace their essentials until their baggage arrives.
  • Medical coverage: If a passenger falls ill or is injured during their cruise, his or her insurance policy will also help cover the cost of medical services. These medical expenditures can add up quickly so this coverage can help ensure that passengers don't have to pay out of pocket to get the medical assistance they need.
  • Emergency evacuation: Cruise ship accidents, inclement weather or illnesses do happen, and can impact travel plans. These situations could require an emergency evacuation, which, similar to medical expenses, can result in a very costly bill. A policy could cover most or all of the cost.

Why Do You Need Cruise Insurance?

There are several reasons why you should consider cruise ship travel insurance if you are scheduled to embark in the near future.

No Domestic Health Insurance Coverage

There are few critical reasons why cruise ship passengers should purchase a cruise insurance policy. Chief among them is the fact that a traveler's regular health insurance may not provide coverage during the cruise.

If this happens, any illness, injury or other health issue that takes place on board or during the trip may not be covered, resulting in incredibly high medical expenses for those involved.

A cruise insurance policy, on the other hand, helps ensure that travelers have the proper medical coverage and can get the medical care they require.

Support for Medical Emergencies

While large cruise liners have an on-board medical center or similar health resources, even the most well-staffed and equipped cruise medical center cannot handle every medical emergency. While there are regulations that dictate how cruise liners provide medical care, many onboard medical centers have limited hours of operation and may not be accessible in the evening.

In addition, the doctors that staff these medical centers may only be versed in general medical care, and not specialized treatment. If a serious illness or injury takes place, these professionals may only be able to stabilize the patient and not provide full treatment.

Even if the medical center is open and staff members there are able to provide medical assistance, the cost involved can be very high, and typically isn't included in the price of travel.

In these situations, a cruise insurance plan can help cover costs and also provide peace of mind that if a serious health issue emerges, travelers can get the care they need, even if it includes emergency medical evacuation.

Missed Departure

Many cruise passengers take a flight to meet their ship at its departure destination. If travelers miss that flight or it's delayed for any reason, they could miss the window to board their cruise.

The only option is to meet the cruise ship at its next stop, but making these arrangements (which could include an overnight hotel stay and another flight) can be very expensive.

A cruise insurance policyholder, however, has peace of mind that these costs would be covered or later reimbursed under covered reasons.

Coverage for Lost or Stolen Belongings

While cruise ships are known for their low crime rates, incidents like a stolen credit card or ID card can still happen. Similarly, a lost bag could also mean the loss of important documents and paperwork, which could lead to identity theft.

Surprisingly, some cruise insurance plans can even help travelers cover fraudulent transactions and recover from identity theft.

When and How to Purchase Travel Insurance for a Cruise

As with any type of travel insurance, it's best to purchase a policy around the same time that you book your cruise. That way, your accommodations and your cruise insurance plan are in place and you can prepare confidently for the cruise. 

Stipulations can change depending on the policy, but travelers can sometimes purchase a policy up until the day before cruise departure.

When it comes to the process of purchasing the policy, it's always advisable to compare the different options available, including the different types of coverage that policies include.

Cruise travel insurance can be purchased easily online through VisitorsCoverage. Click here to view cruise travel insurance plans.

Should You Avoid Buying Cruise Line Insurance?

When booking your cruise, you may be prompted to purchase the cruise line’s brand of insurance. However, it is important to do your research before opting into this suggested insurance rather than purchasing independently. 

Oftentimes, cruise line insurance is heavily weighted in favor of the cruise line rather than you, the passenger. Additionally, these plans may not offer adequate coverage and rarely pay cash benefits. They may not include medical coverage or coverage for emergency medical evacuation, which is crucial for cruise protection.

The VisitorsCoverage Advantage

The SafeCruise plan, offered exclusively by VisitorsCoverage, provides all the necessary coverage essential for cruise-goers to mitigate the unique risks posed by cruise travel.

Ready to get cruise insurance? Compare plans for your vacation on our cruise insurance page or contact our Customer Success Team.

Frequently Asked Questions


Is cruise insurance worth it?

Cruise insurance can offer a vital safeguard for travelers, protecting your trip expenses and offering coverage for unexpected medical emergencies.


What does cruise insurance cover?

Cruise travel insurance can offer reimbursement for trip expenses in the event of an unexpected trip interruption or cancellation, and also offers coverage for emergency medical care and evacuation.


How much is cruise insurance?

The cost of cruise insurance will depend upon the cost of your prepaid and nonrefundable trip costs. Typically, trip insurance can range from 4-10% of your trip costs.


Does my health insurance cover me on a cruise?

Since cruises travel on open seas, domestic health insurance typically wouldn’t provide coverage for travelers.


Should I buy cruise insurance?

If you want to protect your prepaid trip expenses and have peace of mind knowing that you can be covered in the event of a medical emergency, you may want to consider cruise travel insurance.