What is cruise insurance? When you book a cruise trip, your cruise line will often offer you a prepackaged travel insurance plan to go along with it. This can seem like an easy solution to your insurance needs, but be warned: cruise insurance plans are designed to be “one size fits all”—they are not customized to cover your individual needs. In fact, they are typically designed for American travellers as a supplement to their existing insurance and will not properly cover Canadian travellers.
The bottom line? Cruise insurance plans are simply not enough to cover you in the event of a medical emergency on board a ship.
Watch this video to find out why!
Cruise insurance: Quick facts
Why are cruise insurance plans not suitable for Canadians?
- With American cruise lines, the plans are typically intended for American travellers who already have insurance coverage from elsewhere.
- These plans have low coverage limits: only $10,000 to $25,000 in medical/hospital benefits.
- By contrast, medically evacuating a patient from a cruise ship by helicopter can reach as high as $150,000.
- They only cover evacuation to the nearest health care provider, not a passenger’s home country—meaning passengers could be stranded in a hospital far from home.
Why can’t I rely on the cruise ship’s medical staff if I get sick?
- Medical facilities on cruise ships are typically modest.
- Doctors and nurses on cruise ships are usually independent contractors, not employees.
- Visits to cruise ship infirmaries can be as expensive as seeking treatment on the mainland.
What do I need to look for in my travel insurance plan before I go on a cruise?
- At least $500,000 in coverage.
- Benefits that include accidental injury, hospitalization abroad, and medical evacuation at sea.
- Coverage for trip cancellation and interruption—in case you get sick before leaving or miss the cruise due to bad weather.