63% of cruise passengers report sickness on holiday - are you covered?

If you’re embarking on a luxury cruise over the Easter break, Allianz Global Assistance's Medical Director William Brady said travel insurance should be a high priority.

With 63% of cruise passengers reporting that they or a travel companion had become sick while on vacation, Brady explained that a travel insurance policy can provide peace of mind, especially in countries where hospitals may request cash payments in the thousands before treatment even begins.

Mozo also recommends searching the travel insurance market for a policy that covers the cost of medical evacuation.

When you're lounging on the sun deck, Brady said it's easy to forget you may be hundreds of miles from the nearest properly equipped medical facility, “and while you may be in perfect health, you can never predict when you might break an ankle, suffer a heart attack or catch the flu."

"Most ship doctors provide prompt medical care, but for serious health emergencies, passengers may need to be transported to the nearest appropriate medical facility for treatment," said Brady.

Brady also warned that accidents don’t only happen on board, but can also occur on cruise excursions, where activities may be sponsored by a cruise line, but they may not be responsible for the actions of independent excursion companies.

Here are Brady’s top questions to ask before taking a cruise excursion:

  • is the local excursion provider insured, licensed and properly trained?

  • has the cruise line evaluated the reliability of the local excursion provider?

  • have the cruise line and/or the local excursion provider disclaimed liability for injuries that passengers might sustain during excursions?