Overseas Health and Accident Insurance for Cruise Passengers

Two important things to think about whenever you travel overseas are (1) local laws and (2) insurance coverage.

Foreign laws are quite different than U.S. laws and anyone traveling abroad would be wise to study them, especially criminal laws. For example, with marijuana regulation lightening up in America, one might think that the rest of the world is going the same way.

That’s not entirely accurate.

For example, if you are going to Thailand, you may want to know that in Thailand, possession of category one drugs for the purpose of sale carries the death penalty!

People going on a cruise often think that the cruise company will have all bases covered should anything happen, like an illness, accident, or a minor legal issue. That, too would be an incorrect assumption. If you’re on board the ship and have a health issue, most ships have doctors and a medical facility. At a port-of-call you might be on your own.

On a recent B&O Cruise several passengers were injured while off-ship on the island of Vanuatu when their bus struck another vehicle. The report said “of the 12 tourists injured in the accident, 10 of them were seriously injured enough to warrant air ambulance evacuations to Brisbane. Several of the tourists involved in the crash suffered head injuries and multiple fractures.” Brisbane is 1200 miles from Vanuatu, which is quite disconcerting.

So, what can you do to make sure you are covered for any mishaps, accidents, or emergencies that might happen while far from home on a cruise? It might be a good idea to look into some quality insurance coverage.

There are three types of insurance related to international travel:

  • Travel Insurance insures your financial investment in your trip. Typically it covers such things as the cost of your lost baggage and cancelled flights, but it may or may not cover costs of medical attention you might need while abroad.
  • Travel Medical Insurance covers the cost of various levels of overseas medical treatment.
  • Medical Evacuation Services provides air ambulance, medical evacuation or medical escort service coverage for overseas travelers.

Before you buy new coverage, check your own insurance. Some policies will cover you abroad, some will not. The U.S. State Department has a link to a page on their website that offers a list of companies that will provide coverages. Blue Cross offers travel health insurance here.

As you can see, this is all a very complex area to understand. When someone is injured or is the victim of a crime while on a cruise away from the U.S. it’s always a complicated issue.

The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has been dealing with victims of negligence by cruise line companies, foreign medical personnel, hotels, and other transportation providers for over 20 years. We are one of the most highly regarded firms in the area of maritime law and we deal with U.S. and foreign law enforcement as well as insurance companies to make sure our clients are protected. Please reach out to us by calling 954-356-0006 and ask to speak with Gary or Arleen Lazarus.