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Freighter cruise insurance.

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Good evening all, I'm new here and hoping someone can help me.


I had/have booked a Transatlantic trip on an ACL freighter from Canada to the UK. ACL is a subsidiary of Grimaldi and I have had an exchange of emails with their passenger services girl in Naples. 

I needed insurance, specifically insurance to cover repatriation in case of death. I asked for recommendations, but they said that basically any would do, so I purchased insurance from Aviva that would cover me for my flight to Canada, cover when in Canada and for the cruise element of the journey back to the UK.  10 million quid's worth of medical & repatriation.


So far so good......well I emailed them the policy details and the conditions etc which clearly showed what the cover extended to but it wasn't good enough. They wanted a form, ie a single piece of paper showing my name, policy and the repatriation cover.......Back on the blower to Aviva and they said they would send me an email detailing my name, cover policy and repatriation element.......Good I though, that would do the trick, so I forwarded this email and kept my fingers crossed. Nope, not good enough 😞 I spoke to Aviva again and they would not do any more for me. (I don't entirely blame them either) 


So luckily I hadn't paid for the cruise or flight, and there's plenty more on a continuous basis. But what the hell can I do, someone here must have had similar issues? Any recommendations would be gratefully received.


Regards Julian.

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Without knowing the specifics and the small print in your Aviva policy, my best guess is ACL has concerns with some of the exclusion clauses.


From reading your post, it appears ACL are requesting an insurance policy to repatriate remains in the event of death. Most likely, they will be requiring no exclusions, so if on the death of a passenger, the remains will be repatriated.


Many medical policies include pre-existing conditions clauses that insurance companies use to refuse to pay claims. Your Aviva policy most likely has a pre-existing condition clause, which could be the concern. If the insurance company determines an illness & subsequent death was the result of a pre-existing condition, they would refuse coverage.


No guarantee this is the reason, just my best guess.

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Good evening all, I thought I would bring you all an update, I'm still flogging a dead horse though.


So yesterday I phoned the  BIBA (British Insurance Brokers Assoc.) as recommended by Avanti.

I  told them my story and the odd request and they put me through to a broker who they suspected would help me.

I explained everything, they made a note of my phone number and email address and said their team would look into it and I would hear back from them within an hour or two if they could help.


No return communication was forthcoming.


So I had another idea, I'd email the Grimaldi booking girl again and ask for the name of a British insurance company that had provided acceptable cover in the past, after all, a Brit must have traveled on an ACL vessel in the past. So below is my email and the reply that I got:


Good morning Luciana, you may well remember our exchanges from a week or two
ago regarding the format of the travel insurance requirement.

So far I have failed in my search and have involved BIBA (British Insurance
Brokers Association) but who have, as yet, failed to find a broker for me
who can arrange a one page sheet for my cover (as you demand)

Please can you assist me by checking your records and naming a British
travel insurer who has provided the information in the format that you
demand. You must have had many British people travelling as passenger on ACL
vessels. If you could give me the company name(s) then I could contact them

Kind regards Julian


The reply:


Good morning,

I'm so sorry but we don't have this informations because the passenger must provide - by themselves - theis assurance in order to travel on our cargo vessels .

Remain at your disposal.

Best regards

Luciana Scotto di Frega
Passenger Department


Right, well I'm well and truly properly stumped now! What the blooming hell are they after? I'm at a loss here. I'd be very grateful for any thoughts that directly relate to this matter.



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Maybe passenger sailings on their freighters are so far and few between that they don't care, and you're more a hindrance to their office life than anything else.


Even CMA-CGM which promotes the fact they carry passengers has fewer than 1,000 passengers each year (and more importantly, don't really care what your insurance looks like).


You might want to book through (if your French is any good  sea and trips dot info).  They certainly offer this voyage and see if they can help.


vers l’Est Canadien REF 8707

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CC, you say they don't care, but they have a minimum of two people in their passenger department. One who appears to deal with the ACL stuff and and another that deals with their European Grimaldi Ro-Ro stuff as initially I was looking at a 7 day round trip from Portbury.


My French is dreadful I'm afraid, I failed my 'O' level and hated it, good job I was good at science subjects.


There is an English company that offers assorted trips, including this one so maybe I'll have a crack at booking it through an agent.





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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 6 months later...

I have also booked a crossing on Atlantic Container line from Halifax to Liverpool using "The Cruise People"  from London as my cruise broker.   

I got my insurance through Travelex.  I am a US citizen, but the Travelex website indicates that they provide insurance to residents of just about any country.  I haven't sailed yet, but my insurance was accepted by the cruise broker.  

I am responding to this old link because I found it when I was searching the same question.  I also had some trouble finding compliant insurance.  Other travel insurance companies were not able to quote insurance that fully complied with ACL's requirements, or they got really confused by the need for flexible dates(Freighter sailing dates are not guaranteed).  I do business with AAA, AARP, and State Farm.  None of these entities were able to quote this insurance to me for one reason or another.  The backpackers insurance that could be found on the web will not work for anyone over 65.  Travelex did not seem at all phased by any of the complications.  

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Hi MazFan. 


I managed the OK from Liverpool to Halifax and had a good time on the Atlantic Sun.


Regarding the insurance, all ACL need is standard travel insurance that covers the minimum liability and repatriation cover in case of death. Standard travel insurance is fine, I purchased for one year as it wasn't much more. All you have to do is produce a ''facts sheet'' ie a statement of cover on one piece of paper, I did this as a pdf for them and it was instantly accepted, there was no magic involved in the end, the problem was one of poor communications (bad English by the Naples agent although my Italian is worse so i can't really complain!)


If you've got any questions then please ask.


Regards Julian.






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  • 8 months later...

Hi Julian,


My wife and I are in the exact same position as you. We are due to travel from Liverpool to Halifax in March. The company that was advised to us that could give the required certificate statement was IMG Global but their website has been down for two weeks. 

Someone else suggested Alpha Insurance. 


Can I ask who you went with on the end and how easy it was to mock up the pdf you sent to Grimaldi.


Many thanks, Jamie

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