A brig too far for travel insurance?
With increasing numbers turning to cruise holidays, it is tempting to think a life on the ocean waves does not require travel insurance.
Travel tech specialist Aquarium Software says it is here that insurance can be more important than ever. Insurance can be a life saver should you have a medical emergency, but 24 hour legal advice is vital, too, should you fall foul of the law on board a ship.
A record 1.9m Brits took a cruise holiday in 2016, (many of these under 45 for the very first time), and with 6,000 passengers not uncommon, a cruise ship is effectively a floating city – with all the advantages and disadvantages that make insurance such essential protection.
“Standard travel insurance does not cover all eventualities specific to cruises,” said Aquarium Software Director, Mark Colonnese.
“Checking the small print before you travel is a must, because while a hospital is a car journey away on land, on a cruise ship, you are literally all at sea.
Smart cruisers need cover that will evacuate them safely, while 24 hour legal cover makes a lot of sense, as the law at sea is not quite the same as on land.”
The law in international waters defers to the law of the country where a ship is registered, whose authorities will be obliged to investigate any crime.
If you find yourself accused, you can be confined to your cabin or worse, sent to the brig – until being escorted off the ship and handed to local police at the next port of call.
What happens next, depends on the circumstances and your insurance.
“The captain’s word is law and the walk of shame in police custody is best avoided,” added Colonnese.
“If you do find yourself in the brig and put off the ship, legal cover is vital.
How much help you receive will depend on circumstances,” said Mark. Tech can put insurance assistance at the touch of a smartphone screen and will work on many modern ships with wifi, providing help and advice in real time.
“Legal advice can get you out of a hole, but how much help you get will depend on several factors” added Colonnese.
“While insurance will not payout if you are guilty, or drunk, it will usually help make necessary arrangements for emergency accommodation and to get you home.
You will be liable for costs upfront, but this sort of practical help in your own language is priceless,” concluded Mark.