Cruising without proper insurance is like heading up the creek without a paddle

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Bespoke Risk Solutions launches ‘proper’ cruise insurance

Bespoke Risk Solutions Ltd (‘BRS’) announced today the launch of its new facility to arrange comprehensive travel insurance policies designed for cruises and holidays for people with pre-existing medical conditions. The specialist policies cover world cruises and holidays up to 183 days and can be pre-arranged for cruises and holidays taking place in 2015-2017.

The cancellation cover is up to the full invoice value of the cruise (which can include: transfers, hotels, flights and pre-paid shore excursions). Cruise insurance from other providers has a lower cancellation limit (in some cases as low as £2,000).

Cruises are one of the most popular holidays for the ‘baby boomer’ generation. This year, the UK cruise market passed the one million-passenger mark for the first time according to figures released by cruise body CLIA UK & Ireland*. Statistics show the number of British and overseas passengers joining their cruise at a UK port grew 10% to 1,062,000 in 2013, whilst the Number of passengers on day visits to one of the UK’s 51 cruise ports jumped by 20% to 866,000.

Joining forces with a leading UK tour operator and travel insurer, Bespoke Risk Solutions’ policies also cover travellers in their 80s and 90s, with pre-existing medical conditions, up to a limit of £5,000. Peter Collins (pictured) Director of BRS stated, “World cruise tickets could be in excess of £25,000 per person, so comprehensive specialist cruise insurance is a must-have. We would recommend to any potential cruise passengers that they consider the following”:

  • Have a policy that provides enough cover if traveller falls ill or has any accident.
  • Have a policy that covers airlift to shore for hospital treatment.
  • Have a policy that gives compensation if traveller is confined to the cabin.
  • The policy must cover the entire trip (even before embarkation).
  • The policy must cover missed departures.
  • The policy must cover excursions on land.
  • Insurers should be advised any pre-existing medical condition.
  • Always read the small print in the policy

Peter added, “BRS are experts in specialist travel insurance policies for cruises. These are words of warning to anyone booking a cruise. We are aware that some travel agents advise clients that it is not necessary to purchase insurance now for 2016/17 cruises. However, unless cover is arranged within 60 days of booking the cruise, most insurers will not provide cancellation cover for the higher amounts. Also, some cruise companies insist that any person travelling on one of their ships must have full cover (and that includes cover for any pre-existing medical conditions). If passengers arrive without the correct cover, their holiday of a lifetime could be spoilt. Worst case scenarios is that the passenger might not be allowed to embark the ship without proof of the correct insurance. Some cruise companies request that passengers produce a policy proving that they have full cover before climbing aboard.”

The UK Foreign Office advises**: When travelling overseas it is important to take out travel insurance. An emergency abroad can be extremely expensive. For example:

  • A stomach bug/infection treated in a Californian hospital with return flights cost £100,000
  • A fall resulting in a broken hip, treatment in a Spanish hospital with return flights cost £15,000

Remember: the British Embassy or High Commission will not pay for this. Credit card accident cover, home insurance or private health cover is not always sufficient. If travelling within the European Economic Areas you will need an European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) as well as travel insurance. We have heard stories where hospitals have refused to treat travellers that have neither holiday insurance nor sufficient funds to cover the cost of their treatment. The Daily Mail recently highlighted*** that 20% of UK travellers did not arrange travel insurance. Travellers incorrectly believed that medical costs would be picked up by the UK government when overseas. 17% believed at the European health card (EHIC) would cover the cost of repatriation to the UK – it definitely does not. Credit cards offer a level of cover but only travel insurance offers full protection to cover the wide range of issues that could happen on a foreign holiday or cruise. Comprehensive travel insurance is there to protect travellers in the event that something goes wrong. It is designed to cover medical costs if travellers need to visit a doctor or receive treatment. It can cover holiday horrors from lost luggage to stolen bags or even stomach upsets. Policies offer cancellation cover for travellers in the event that they cannot travel due to peril covered by the policy. Policies also cover a stay in the ship’s hospital until transfer to land, which could cost £6000 per day.
Bespoke Risk Solutions can arrange a comprehensive policy that will include cover for pre-existing medical conditions. Travellers can call a dedicated insurance helpline for advice: 0330 333 4797 or visit

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ABOUT Bespoke Risk Solutions
Bespoke Risk Solutions Limited is authorised by the Financial Services Authority (Firm Reference No. 540579) to conduct Non Investment Insurance Contracts as an Appointed Representative of Kinetic Insurance Brokers Limited (Firm Reference No. 309540). The principal trading address of Kinetic Insurance Brokers Limited is 3rd Floor, PO Box HQ420, St Helen's, 1 Undershaft, London, EC3P 3DQ. You can check this by visiting the FSA website at

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Sarah Brockwell

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