As you prepare for your cruise, it is important to know that most of the gastrointestinal disease outbreaks on cruise ships come from food or water consumed while on the ship. Cruise travel insurance will allow you the ability to seek medical treatment for an unexpected bout with food poisoning.
|Covered Benefits||Provided With Atlas Travel®||Atlas Travel® Competitors|
|Guaranteed Acceptance||Yes: Medical underwriting is not required for eligible individuals. See the Description of Coverage for full eligibility.||Yes. Some companies offer guaranteed issue policies.|
|Coverage for pre-existing conditions (excludes chronic and congenital conditions)||Limited: Up to medical coverage maximum lifetime for eligible medical expenses for the acute onset of a pre-existing condition. See the Description of Coverage for more details.||Coverage Varies. Some companies offer non-U.S. citizens no coverage or very little coverage for pre-existing conditions and coverage amounts can be as little as $2,500.|
|100% coverage for accidents and injuries outside the U.S.||Yes: We will pay 100% of eligible medical expenses after the deductible, up to the overall maximum limit of the policy. See the Description of Coverage for more details.||Coverage Varies. Some companies expect members to pay coinsurance outside the U.S. even when using their PPO network|
|100% coverage for accidents and injuries inside the PPO||Yes: For eligible expenses within the PPO Network. See the Description of Coverage for more details.||Coverage Varies. Some companies expect members to pay coinsurance even within the PPO.|
|Sports coverage at no additional charge||Yes: Coverage for eligible injuries or illnesses related to sports activities. See the Description of Coverage for limitations.||No. Up to 20% additional cost to add coverage for sports|
|Emergency medical evacuations available 24/7||Yes, up to $1,000,000 regardless of policy maximum||Yes, but coverage amounts for medical evacuation are much lower.|
|Complete online enrollment capabilities & immediate fulfillment||Yes: Selecting 'Yes' to online fulfillment when purchasing will ensure your policy information will be available to print once your application has been processed and your credit card approved||Varies.|
|Crisis response benefit||Yes: $10,000 certificate period maximum covering losses resulting from kidnapping or express kidnapping.||No. Competitor travel medical plans do not include a crisis response benefit.|
|Personal liability benefit||Yes: $10,000 lifetime maximum covering losses due to a third-party injury or damage/loss of third-party personal property or related-third-party personal property. This benefit applies only for court-entered eligible judgments or approved settlements.||No. Competitor travel medical plans do not include a personal liability benefit.|
It appears that a getaway on the open water is steadily gaining in popularity. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the number of passenger nights booked on North American cruises hit a record high in 2011, with 18.2 million passenger nights. It is important to take precautions to stay healthy when venturing on a cruise.¹ Here are five tips for a healthy journey:
1. Wash Your Hands
Sometimes people need to be reminded of the obvious. Washing your hands is arguably the most effective safety precaution that can be taken by people on a cruise – or anywhere. Washing your hands with warm water and soap does not actually kill potentially harmful microbes, but it can reduce their number to a relatively safe level. Antibacterial soaps and alcohol-based lotions are more effective at eliminating microorganisms, which can spread quickly aboard cruise vessels.
2. Eat well and drink plenty of fluids
Good nutrition helps to maintain a strong immune system and can significantly improve the healing process. In fact, poor nutrition has been found to delay the healing process tenfold. Consuming sufficient quantities of protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals is essential for maintaining good health on a cruise. It also is important to drink plenty of water, which is the nectar of life. Drinking too little water dehydrates the body, leading to symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness and even seizures. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, most U.S. citizens go on cruises to relatively warm parts of the world, such as the Caribbean and Mediterranean. Excessive exposure to strong sunlight can rapidly dehydrate the body, putting it at greater risk of injury or illness.
3. Avoid sick passengers
Influenza and gastrointestinal conditions can spread quickly among passengers. It is always best to take precautions to avoid contact with people who are visibly ill.
4. Do not drink too much alcohol
Research suggests alcohol can substantially diminish the human immune system by suppressing important immune responses that are necessary for fending off pathogens. Alcohol can also result in dehydration and injury, the latter of which accounts for up to 18 percent of all medical visits aboard cruise ships.
5. Visit the doctor and dentist before a trip
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claims dental problems requiring urgent treatment are not uncommon on cruises. In many cases, medical evacuation to the nearest suitable hospital is required, which is why it is important for all passengers to have sufficient travel medical insurance. Many illnesses on-board cruise vessels can be avoided if passengers visit their doctors and dentists before setting sail. Vaccinations can be administered several weeks before a cruise.
¹ Slaten, Douglas D. and Mitruka, Karen, “Cruise Ship Travel”, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2012/chapter-6-conveyance-and-transportation-issues/cruise-ship-travel.htm (Accessed August 11, 2011); “Hand Washing: Reducing the Risk of Common Infections”, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/diseases/washing_hands.html (Accessed August 11, 2011); Vorvick MD, Linda J., “Dehydration”, U.S. National Library of Medicine, http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000982.htm, August 8, 2009; Calderdale and Huudersfield, “Nutrition and Hydration”, Joint Web-Formulary, http://www.formulary.cht.nhs.uk/pdf,_doc_files_etc/APC/Wound_Formulary_2ndEdn/8_Nutrition.pdf, (Accessed August 11, 2011); Roselle, Gary A., “Alcohol and the Immune System,” CBS Interactive Business Network, http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0847/is_n1_v16/ai_13364229/, 1992. ² “Traveler’s Health”, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel,(Accessed June 30, 2011).
HCC Medical Insurance Services, LLC (HCCMIS) is a service company that is a subsidiary of HCC Insurance Holdings Inc. HCCMIS is regulated by the State of Indiana in our capacity as Third Party Administrator. HCCMIS has authority to enter into contracts of insurance on behalf of the Lloyd's underwriting members of Lloyd's Syndicate 4141, which is managed by HCC Underwriting Agency Ltd.