Cruise has been on hold for some time after becoming a focal point in the early days of the coronavirus outbreak. As cruise lines begin to look to the future, Saga is offering a vital lifeline to ensure the protection of guests onboard its ships.
Saga Cruises is offering a new coronavirus-inclusive travel insurance policy to protect the future of cruise holidays for guests. As cruises look to restarting, the new insurance could be a way to help instil confidence in passengers and ensure the health and wellbeing of everyone on board.
Saga, which specialises in holidays and cruises, as well as over 50s travel insurance, has announced a new COVID-19 specific package of travel insurance policy for all trips from June 1 2020. Though Saga cruises are on hold for now, the cruise line aims to restart holidays from September 1 2020, with the package in place to provide added protection.
While many travel insurance policies have been pushed to write coronavirus out of their terms and conditions amid the chaos of the pandemic, SAGAs new policy will cover both treatment abroad for COVID-19 and repatriation to the UK should a guest contract the virus.
Guests will also be compensated should they fall ill with coronavirus while travelling outside of the UK, including those who have underlying medical conditions.
The cover has been added to standalone travel insurance products and the optional cover offered to all Saga holiday and cruise customers.
Kevin McMullan, head of product, Saga Health and Travel Insurance said: “Understandably, the current crisis has put travel plans on hold for many people.
“However, with the UKs strict lockdown measures beginning to lift, more people may be planning both exciting and much-needed trips away over the coming months.
“We recognise that this may be a daunting process, particularly for customers with underlying health concerns.
“We want to give people the confidence and reassurance that if they were to fall ill abroad, were there to help and get them back home safely.”
In recent months some travel insurance providers have removed COVID-19 coverage from new policies, although existing policies will still be covered.
However, Saga says it will continue to review its product offering to help tackle the ongoing pandemic.
“We know the impact of coronavirus is far-reaching,” continued Mr McMullan.
“Wed encourage customers to contact us directly if theyd like to discuss their individual circumstances and how we can best support them through these uncertain times.”
In a bid to make up for cancelled holidays and cruises, Saga has put in place a “Peace of Mind” policy for gusts due to travel up to the end of August 2020.
It offers the opportunity to transfer to another holiday, or cruise, departing in 2021 along with £100pp off any river cruise, ocean cruise partner or European holiday or £200pp off any long-haul holiday.
The firm has also extended the policy for those due to travel before October 2020, with the offer of £50pp off any river cruise, ocean cruise partner or European holiday or £100pp off any long-haul holiday.
Managing director of Saga Holidays, Chris Simmonds, adds: “We will be contacting you over the coming weeks to explain the options available and what the next steps will be.
“In the meantime though, thank you for your continued support and patience and I hope you all stay safe during these unprecedented times.”
Although the pandemic has rocked the cruise industry, it seems many holidaymakers will not be put off from a future cruise.
Meanwhile, Nigel Banks, managing director of Saga cruises says he is sure the company will “be both stronger and better than before” once the government gives cruises the okay to return to the seas.
Customers who are due to travel will be contacted directly by Saga to discuss their options.