What you need to know about domestic cruises and travel insurance
If you’re about to set sail on a cruise from Australia – even if it’s a five-day voyage from Sydney Harbour up the East Coast – you need international-grade travel insurance, or cruise insurance, to cover you for potentially exorbitant medical bills.
Why? As soon as your ship sets sails, you are no longer covered by Medicare or your private health fund, even in Australian waters.
Out on the open sea, you could be exposed to very high medical costs if you fell ill, fell overboard, or are injured. The doctors on cruise ships are private practitioners – there’s no such thing as bulk billing, and the fee for a simple consultation could cost hundreds of dollars.
And what about if you needed more serious medical attention? Emergency evacuation from a cruise ship to dry land can be extremely costly. An air ambulance in Australian waters could set you back up to $20,0001. This figure skyrockets further afield, and if you get flown to an overseas hospital then you will have to pay hospital bills incurred.
These costs are simply not worth the risk. That’s why it’s smart thinking to plan ahead and consider taking out cruise or travel insurance.
More than just medical cover
Cruise travel insurance gives you more than just the peace of mind that you’re covered for any medical expenses that crop up during the cruise. Most policies will have you covered from ship to shore for:
- Possessions –if your luggage gets lost, stolen or damaged while out at sea or during day-trips to various ports.
- Delays – if bad weather or advice from a port authority wreaks havoc with your travel plans.
- Cancellations –if you fall ill before you are due to set sail. Your insurance should cover the cost of your cruising holiday.
When you are shopping for travel insurance for your cruise, check the fine print on their policies. Some have specific rules about pre-existing medical conditions – for example, if you have had a heart attack before, then you may not be covered for heart conditions on the cruise (or, they may ask you to pay a higher premium).
A good read of the policy disclosure statement will also tell you if sports like scuba diving and sailing are covered.
Get ready to set sail
If you need help finding the right travel insurance for your next cruise, iSelect can help you find the right travel insurance for your needs. We’re here to help you get ready to set sail.
You can also find more information on Cruise Travel Insurance here.
The information in this article is intended for general information only. iSelect does not compare all products in the market. Not all products are available at all times.