Protection Before Departure

Most travelers who are taking a cruise are primarily interested in insuring the cost of the trip, especially if it is booked far in advance or is an otherwise expensive trip. Trip Cancellation coverage can provide reimbursement if a covered event prevents them from traveling as planned.

Travelers can insure the cost of the cruise, any prepaid expenses that are non-refundable, such as meal and beverage packages, excursions, and onboard entertainment, as well as airline tickets, lodging, and any other travel expenses related to the trip.

Comprehensive policies typically include a handful of other benefits that can be helpful for cruises who have to travel to their ports of call, to include Travel Delay, Baggage and Missed Connection coverage.

Protection at Sea

Receiving medical care while cruising can be an especially high expense that many travelers are unaware of. In the event an evacuation is needed, either from the cruise ship or a port on their itinerary, these costs can quickly become significantly higher.

Because many health insurance providers do not extend coverage outside of the country, cruisers often opt for a travel insurance policy with Emergency Medical and Medical Evacuation benefits. Certain policies can also include coverage for Pre-Existing Conditions.

Comprehensive policies can also offer related benefits that may be applicable to cruisers, such as Trip Interruption coverage, for example, if an illness causes the traveler to miss a prepaid excursion, as well as coverage for adventurous sports or activities popular at many cruise ports.

Travel Insurance Before Boarding

Cruise Cancellation Coverage

Cruise policies with Trip Cancellation coverage can protect a traveler’s investment if they are unable to travel for one of the policy’s listed reasons. Travelers buying insurance for a cruise can insure all expenses associated with the trip. This can include any pre-paid and nonrefundable costs, such as excursions, on-board events and entertainment, food and beverage plans, and other services.

Travel Coverage Reaching the Port

A comprehensive travel insurance policy can include benefits that can help travelers who are inconvenienced on the way to their port of departure. Travel Delay and Missed Connection benefits can provide reimbursement if a traveler’s flight is delayed en route to their port, as well as reimbursement to catch them up to their cruise if the delay causes them to miss a leg of their trip.

Cancel for Any Reason

Cruisers may want the ability to cancel their trip for reasons not covered by a standard policy, to include a cruise itinerary change or poor weather forecast. Cruise insurance with Cancel For Any Reason can offer the most flexibility, allowing the traveler to cancel for these or other reasons and receive up to 75% reimbursement of their prepaid expenses. This upgrade is time sensitive and increases the premium by around 40%.

Cruise Insurance for Covid-19

Some cruise lines may require a negative Covid-19 test prior to embarkation. Most travel insurance policies cover canceling due to contracting Covid-19 prior to a trip, and can provide reimbursement for the entire trip, or remaining expenses, should a traveler receive a positive Covid-19 test and be unable to continue their trip as planned. Cruisers can search for a cruise travel insurance policy that covers contracting Covid-19 here.

Cruise Insurance for Hurricane Season

Caribbean countries are popular cruise destinations, especially during the summer hurricane season. Most insurance policies can provide cancellation coverage if inclement weather impacts a trip. Specifically, the traveler must be prevented from reaching the cruise port, it is uninhabitable, or they are delayed en route. Canceling due to a change of itinerary related to weather is not a covered event on most plans.

Cruise Travel Insurance While At Sea

Medical Coverage for Cruisers

Most primary health insurance plans do not provide coverage abroad. Receiving medical care on a cruise can be an expensive unplanned cost, especially if it requires an evacuation from the ship or port. Insurance plans with Emergency Medical and Medical Evacuation benefits can cover illnesses or injuries that occur during the trip. When buying travel insurance for a cruise, Squaremouth recommends at least $100,000 in medical and $250,000 in medical evacuation benefits.

Medical Coverage for Contracting Covid-19

Most travel insurance providers cover Covid-19 like any other unexpected illness. Travelers who contract Covid-19 while on a cruise may also be quarantined to their room, causing them to miss prepaid portions of their trip. Cruise insurance can cover medical expenses associated with the diagnosis and treatment of Covid-19, as well as reimbursement for prepaid portions of the trip, such as excursions or events that were missed.

Cruise Insurance for Interrupted Trips

Unplanned illnesses, injuries or weather can interrupt a cruise, causing a traveler to forgo all or some of their trip expenses. Trip Interruption coverage is a post-departure benefit that provides reimbursement once the cruise or trip has started. This can include reimbursement for the cost of the cruise if weather prevents its departure, or the cost of excursions if the cruiser is ill and unable to attend, among other reasons.

Baggage Coverage for Cruisers

Comprehensive travel insurance can include reimbursement for luggage that is lost by the cruise line, or an airline taken en route to the port. Baggage Loss and Baggage Delay benefits can provide reimbursement, up to the policy limit, to replace the cost of the lost items, or to purchase necessary items until the baggage is returned to the cruiser. Most policies have a specific max that can be claimed per item.

Coverage For Cruise Excursions

Some cruisers plan to partake in adventurous excursions, including snorkeling, surfing, scuba diving, and other water activities. Some travel insurance plans provide specific coverage for these types of activities, most notably, medical benefits if the traveler is hurt. These plans may also reimburse the traveler if related equipment is lost or damaged. Travelers can search for a cruise insurance policy that covers sports here.

Top Selling Cruise Insurance Providers

Squaremouth ranks the 10 best travel insurance companies for cruises based on policies sold.

If you already have a policy and have any questions for your travel insurance provider or would like to file a claim, please contact your provider directly. Click here to find your provider’s contact information.

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Travelers can insure their prepaid and non-refundable expenses related to the cruise, including food and beverage packages, excursions, on-ship entertainment and services, as well as any related transportation and lodging costs.
Medical and evacuation expenses can be expensive for cruisers. The emergency medical benefit provides coverage for unplanned illnesses or injuries that occur aboard the cruise, at a destination, during an excursion, or any other time during your trip.
Cruise lines may require a negative Covid-19 test prior to embarkation, as well as a quarantine if it is contracted aboard the ship. Most cruise travel insurance policies include several relevant benefits if a traveler contracts Covid-19 before or during their cruise.
Cruises, especially to the Caribbean, tend to be especially vulnerable to hurricane season. Cancellation coverage can provide reimbursement if inclement weather at your residence, port of departure, or destination, prevents your trip.
Cruise insurance policies can include pre-departure benefits, including coverage if your airline is delayed, or if you miss a leg of your trip. These can reimburse expenses during the delay, as well as additional transportation costs to reach the port.
Cruisers often partake in adventurous sports and excursions aboard the ship or at a destination. The best cruise insurance policies include coverage for these types of activities, such as snorkeling or surfing, that may be excluded from standard travel insurance policies.
Compare policies to find the best cruise insurance.

Cruise Insurance Tips and Information

Squaremouth shares their tips and recommendations based on the most
frequently asked questions from passengers.

How do I select the best cruise insurance?

Selecting the best cruise insurance policy can mean saving thousands of dollars. The best policies will have comprehensive coverage for the most common cruise-related concerns, including benefits for cancellations, medical emergencies, travel delays, missed connections, and luggage, among others. Select policies may also offer cruise specific benefits, such as Itinerary Change coverage.

When should I buy insurance for the cruise?

Travelers can buy travel insurance up until the day before they leave for their cruise. However, Squaremouth recommends buying a policy sooner rather than later, as benefits are only available for unexpected events that impact your trip. For example, if a traveler is planning a cruise and a hurricane is in the forecast, it would be too late to buy a policy for that storm.

How much does cruise insurance cost?

In general, a cruise policy with Trip Cancellation coverage will cost between 5% and 10% of a traveler’s total trip cost. The primary factors that determine the cost are the trip cost, the length of the trip, the age of the travelers, and the coverage amounts. Travelers who choose not to insure their trip cost can expect their policy to be less expensive.

Where should I buy my cruise travel insurance policy?

While cruise lines typically offer insurance, these policies are often limited, and only cover expenses purchased directly through the cruise line. For this reason, Squaremouth recommends comparing policies from multiple sources to find the most comprehensive coverage for the lowest possible price. This can include a comparison site like Squaremouth.com, a travel insurance provider, or directly from the cruise line.

What expenses should I insure for my cruise?

Cruisers have the option to insure all, some, or none of their trip expenses when booking a cruise. Squaremouth recommends travelers insurance all of their non-refundable deposits. This can include cruise expenses, such as a down payment and excursions, as well as travel expenses in addition to the cruise, such as airfare and hotel accommodations.

Why do I need higher medical coverage for my cruise?

The cost of receiving medical treatment onboard a cruise ship, even for a non-life threatening illness or injury, can be significantly higher than normal. These costs can escalate even further in the event an evacuation is required. In order for cruisers to have sufficient coverage, Squaremouth’s recommendations - $100,000 in Emergency Medical and $250,000 in Medical Evacuation - are higher relative to standard additional travel.

Cruise News Articles

October 26, 2022 — ...

July 28, 2021 — Countries and cruise lines are turning to travel insurance as a resource to regain tourism. Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, 18 countries have begun requiring visitors travel with insurance for Covid-19. Recently, Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Disney cruise lines announced similar requirements of non-vaccinated travelers. Travel...

June 15, 2021 — Most travelers who had trips impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic weren’t forced to cancel their trips due to contracting the virus, according to travel insurance comparison site, Squaremouth. Less than 30% of the Covid-related claims the company saw were due to travelers contracting the virus. The other 70%...