Is Cruise Insurance Worth It? 5 Reasons Why You Should Buy It

SingSaver team

SingSaver team

Last updated 08 March, 2024

Taking a cruise comes with unique risks unlike any other holidays, and you may need more comprehensive travel insurance for a smooth sailing experience. 

Learn about the importance of getting cruise insurance coverage for your next maritime adventure through this insightful guide and uncover its vital role in navigating the perilous twists on the high seas.

Best Travel Insurance For Cruises in Singapore: Best Starr TraveLead Travel Insurance | Allianz Travel Comprehensive (Platinum) | ERGO TravelProtect | Sompo Travel Insurance | Tiq Travel Insurance

Best Travel Insurance: TIQ Travel Insurance | MSIG TravelEasy | Allianz Travel Insurance | Ergo TravelProtect | Singlife Travel Insurance | Sompo Travel Insurance | Tokio Marine Travel Insurance | Allied World Travel Insurance | Starr Travel Insurance | FWD Travel Insurance | AIG Travel Guard

Cruises offer a whole other experience that normal vacations would not — 24/7 free flow meals (as long as you don't dine at restaurants that require a top-up), tons of entertainment on board, and a guaranteed oceanview room (if you choose a room with windows).

It's also great if you can only afford a couple of days off work for a short getaway! The opportunity to wake up in a new destination for the next few days without the hassle of repacking makes cruising an incredibly attractive option.

So if cruises are your vacation method of choice, then beef up your travel insurance! There are plenty of terms and conditions when you agree to a cruise, and the circumstances are very different from being on solid ground. Apart from expensive WiFi, there are also unique situations that you want to be aware of before boarding. 

For instance, encountering mechanical issues or power failures while at sea is a unique situation that can impact your cruise experience. These events can lead to delays, changes in itinerary, or in extreme cases, the need for evacuation or rescue operations. 

Unlike other forms of travel, the logistics and costs associated with such incidents on a cruise ship can be significantly more complex and expensive, highlighting the need to buy travel insurance that specifically addresses these potential cruise-specific issues.

This complexity highlights the importance of having comprehensive cruise insurance. It's not just about having financial protection; it's about being prepared for the unique challenges that only arise when you're miles away from the nearest shore. 

But do note of any exclusions of coverage highlighted in the product brochures and policy wordings.

Find out why you’ll want to be extra careful when comparing travel insurance discounts and promotions for cruises.


Table of contents:



 

Compare and purchase through SingSaver for exclusive cruise travel insurance discounts and extra perks!

 



Cruise insurance vs travel insurance: What are the key differences?

Planning a trip can be thrilling, but it's also packed with uncertainties. That's where the right insurance comes in handy, offering you a safety net whether you're cruising the oceans or exploring new cities on land.

Some insurance policies are specially designed for cruises. Known as cruise insurance, these tend to come bundled with your cruise package, or are an optional purchase. Cruise insurance is a special type of travel insurance that addresses the unique experiences and disruptions that can occur while at sea. 

For instance, it focuses on cruise-specific events like missed port connections or itinerary changes due to bad weather. Whether they're good for you really depends on your specific needs. But do note of any exclusions of coverage highlighted in the product brochures and policy wordings.

In contrast, travel insurance is a broader category structured to cater to a wider variety of travel situations beyond cruising. This includes coverage for unexpected disruptions and emergencies encountered when travelling by air, land, and even sea.

The key difference lies in the customisation; cruise insurance caters specifically to the cruising experience. While travel insurance is designed for a wider spectrum of travel experiences. 

Given the distinct nature of cruise vacations often leads to the important inquiry: “do i need to buy travel insurance for a cruise?”. If you want to ensure comprehensive protection and peace of mind while navigating the waters, then yes, travel insurance for a cruise is essential, and definitely worth it.


Reasons why travel insurance is important on cruises

If you’re still debating if you should buy travel insurance for a cruise, let's clarify why it's a resounding yes. In the following sections, we'll explore the critical reasons why securing travel insurance is a key step in ensuring your cruise experience is safeguarded and enjoyable as possible.


1. Medical evacuation is a top priority

If you fall ill or get injured on a cruise, you must know two things:

First, the facilities aboard the ship may not be sufficient to treat you. On most cruise ships, infirmaries are meant to treat minor injuries and illnesses or to stabilise a patient’s condition. Anyone with a serious condition, such as a heart attack or stroke, still needs to be medically evacuated to a hospital.

This is almost always done by air, and the cost can be in the range of S$10,000 to S$15,000.

Second, the medical treatment received on a cruise is "not part of the package". The fees are charged to your cabin. To make it worse, the medical staff are not part of the cruise company: they are considered independent contractors (so you can’t sue the cruise line if they’re guilty of malpractice).

You have no way of knowing how these independent contractors derive their fees. Unlike, say, a government hospital, there will be no subsidies on treatment or medication. There is also no adherence to cost guidelines, such as the ones stated by the Ministry of Health (MOH) in Singapore. If the contractors choose to charge high prices, there isn’t much you can do about it.

As such, it’s important to get back to a hospital in Singapore, as soon as you can.

Make sure to buy the best affordable travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation. Some cheaper policies don’t provide this at all, and only have coverage for repatriation of remains (i.e. it only covers the cost of sending your body back if you pass on). 

But, don't worry, as there are better policies available that will provide coverage for medical evacuation, with some premium travel cruise insurance plans even offering unlimited coverage for this cost. 

This significant difference highlights why it's crucial to carefully review policy details before buying. Knowing exactly what your coverage includes can mean the world of difference between having full support when you really need it and being hit with hefty expenses from your own pocket.

Related to this topic: 5 Best Travel Insurance Plans for Cruises


2. Bad weather can trigger delays, cancellations

Cruise ships are subject to weather hazards. Whether it’s having to take an alternate route or slow down, this can cause trip cancellations and delays.

It’s already stated in the terms and conditions that the cruise company has a right to cancel the trip (or impose a massive delay of 24 hours or more). How they’ll compensate you is up to their internal policies. You may get your money back, or you may only get a partial refund. For delays, you may get nothing; not even a voucher.

Your only way to be reimbursed for these costs is to get a good travel insurance policy. You have to buy the policy early, not on the exact day of the cruise trip; that way, you can be compensated if the cruise happens to be cancelled a day or two before the trip.

Remember that, unlike airlines, there’s no “alternative flight” you can be booked on (unless your intention is solely transport; but most people who book a cruise want to be on that specific cruise ship).

So, for those looking forward to their dream cruise experience, buying a comprehensive travel insurance coverage is a must, ensuring that unforeseen weather disruptions don't add to your worries and instead offer some relief by mitigating the financial strain.


3. Beware of swells and waves on the high seas 

On a cruise ship, swells and high waves happen quickly and without warning. If you’re climbing a staircase when it happens, or in a corridor with nothing to grab hold of, you face a real fall risk. These are less likely to occur on a plane, as you’re seated most of the time (and will be alerted to belt in when turbulence occurs).

And while it rarely happens, do remember the risk of falling overboard. This is a risk unique to travelling by ship, and some generic insurance policies don’t cover it (check the terms and conditions).

Therefore, it’s crucial to exercise caution on board and set sail with a travel cruise insurance plan with high coverage to provide financial protection against cruise-specific incidents that may occur.


4. Unexpected island stops may not be covered by insurance 

A common feature of many cruise itineraries is island stops. These allow you to visit various islands, where locals sell handicrafts, put on shows and you get some RnR time on dry land. 

If you are relying on non-travel insurance policies, such as a Personal Accident Policy, check if they apply during such stops. Otherwise, you may find there’s no payout for, say, a bad injury suffered while touring one of these islands.

Even if you do get travel insurance, be sure that these stops are covered.

You can choose to stay on the ship if you’re not insured for such stops, but you’d be missing out on part of the entertainment!

To ensure you're fully prepared to soak up the unique cultures and unforgettable moments each island stop has to offer, secure a comprehensive travel insurance coverage for your cruise vacation in advance. This peace of mind allows you to step off the ship and into adventure, free from worry about the "what ifs.


5. No immediate law enforcement on cruise ships

Prosecuting crimes on a cruise ship can be difficult, as it may not be under the legal jurisdiction of Singapore. For these reasons, your travel insurance should have good coverage against theft and injury (in case you are outright robbed or assaulted).

Be warned; some cheap forms of insurance don’t pay out anything for lost cash and have low payouts for electronics (e.g. only S$100 payout for a lost smartphone). Ensure that you at least scan through the policy wording before buying a travel insurance plan.

Sample coverage breakdown

travel insurance policy wording

For instance, some insurers may provide a higher benefit for "Laptops and Mobile Computers" (typically around $1,000). Whereas if you're inseparable with your smartphone, you may wish to spend a little more on a higher tier if you're not comfortable with the basic benefit limits. 

The best form of safety is to not bring valuables or cash on board (most expenses can be charged to your cabin). Only bring such items if you absolutely must, and even then, get the best travel cruise insurance coverage (you can afford) for them.

A robust insurance plan not only provides financial compensation but also access to on-call support that can guide you through the appropriate steps to take in the event of such incidents, ensuring you're not navigating these challenges alone.

Related to this topic:
Travel Insurance Policies that Cover up to S$2,000 for your Laptops
Travel Insurance Plans For Stolen/Lost Phones: Claim Up To S$2,000


Buy the best travel cruise insurance

Navigate through the best cruise travel insurance options below to find the ideal match for your unique travel requirements.


Tiq Travel Insurance

Tiq_Etiqa_LogoLockUp-02

A plan that offers reasonably priced cruise travel coverage is Tiq Travel Insurance. There are three tiers of plans - Luxury, Savvy, Entry. The plan covers up to S$1 million for medical expenses, and S$10,000 for post-trip medical expenses. Notably, it also includes coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, ensuring travellers with prior health concerns are adequately protected.

Premiums (single traveller, single trip to ASEAN, 3-day duration): 

  • Luxury: S$47
  • Savvy: S$39
  • Entry: S$27

SingSaver's Exclusive TIQ Travel Insurance Promotion: 

Single Trip: Use the promo code TIQSINGSAVER to get 40% off. Valid till 31 May 2024.

Annual Trip: Use the promo code TIQSINGSAVER to get 60% off your COVID-19 rider. Valid till 31 May 2024.

Also receive a Complimentary lounge access during flight delays. Valid till 1 July 2024 8:59 am. 

Key in the promo code under the coupon code section on the next page after selecting your destination and dates. The prices shown are before discounts.

Receive coverage for trip cancellations, medical expenses, and more when you purchase the COVID-19 Rider. T&Cs apply.


Starr Travel Insurance

Starr-Insurance-Companies_logo_PR-1024x535

Another plan that offers decent add-on coverage for cruise is Starr Travel Insurance. There are three tiers of plans of well - Bronze, Silver, Gold.

Medical expenses are covered up to S$1,000,000, while trip cancellation or curtailment is covered up to S$15,000. Any travel delay will have you reimbursed up to S$800, S$100 for every six hours.

Premiums (single traveller, single trip to ASEAN, 3-day duration): 

  • Bronze: S$36.60
  • Silver: S$45.00
  • Gold: S$54.60

SingSaver's Starr TraveLead Exclusive Promotion:  

Single Trip: Enjoy 58% discount when you use promo code SS58. Valid till 30 June 2024. T&Cs apply.

 

  • Complimentary lounge access during flight delays. Valid till 1 July 2024 8:59 am. 
 
 

Increase COVID-19 medical expenses coverage and protection against trip cancellations due to COVID-19 when you select either the Gold or Silver plans. T&Cs apply.

 

Related to this topic: 6 Best Travel Insurance Plans for Cruise-to-Nowhere Holidays

When choosing between cruise insurance and buying regular travel insurance, never assume the former is better. Check the terms and conditions carefully; it’s possible that regular travel insurance provides better payouts, or has wider coverage. When in doubt, ask your financial adviser to do a comparison.

Remember, just because it’s bundled with the cruise doesn’t mean it’s better.

Do compare the best travel insurance plans on our site, and make sure you sign up fast to take advantage of the ongoing promos!

With special travel insurance for a cruise, you're not just insuring your vacation investment but also ensuring that you and your loved ones have access to the necessary support and resources in any situation, making it an indispensable part of your travel checklist.


Looking to receive insurance coverage on your cruise experience? Use SingSaver's handy cruise travel insurance comparison tool to discover which insurers have travel insurance policies that cover cruise adventures.


So, do you need special travel insurance for a cruise?

Absolutely! Buying special travel insurance for a cruise isn't just recommended, it's essential. Here's the deal: cruising is a blast, offering a unique blend of leisure and adventure, however there are certain experiences that you won’t get when travelling on land. 

Consider the scenarios unique to cruises as outlined above, such as medical emergencies at sea that may necessitate airlifts to the nearest hospital, unexpected port cancellations, or even something as simple yet disruptive as losing your luggage before boarding. These aren't just hypotheticals; they're real situations that can significantly impact your experience and your wallet.

A comprehensive travel insurance for a cruise is crafted with these distinct incidents in mind, offering protections tailored to the maritime environment. Whether it's covering the cost of a missed connection due to a flight delay or ensuring you can get medical care in the next port, this specialised insurance policies and available add-ons do make sure you're covered. 

So, to safeguard your finances and ensure your travel bucket list vacation stays dreamy, you will definitely need special travel insurance for a cruise.

Start your travels on the right note—compare and purchase the best cruise insurance deals with SingSaver today.

At SingSaver, we make personal finance accessible with easy to understand personal finance reads, tools and money hacks that simplify all of life’s financial decisions for you.

FINANCIAL TIP:

Use a personal loan to consolidate your outstanding debt at a lower interest rate!

Sign up for our newsletter for financial tips, tricks and exclusive information that can be personalised to your preferences!