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Travel insurance is insurance cover for emergencies or accidents that might happen to you or your belongings while you are on a holiday away from home. Travel insurance will cover you for different things, depending on whether you are taking a trip within New Zealand or overseas.
New Zealanders often start their travel planning with a bucket list of destinations and experiences – but you can be sure an expensive medical mishap is not on anyone’s list!
The New Zealand Government website, SafeTravel, recommends travel insurance for anyone taking a trip away from home, especially overseas. If you don’t have travel insurance and you lose your luggage or have an unexpected accident, medical emergency, or legal incident, you and your family will have to pay for all the costs on your own.
Things like changing flight plans can be expensive, but hospital bills are even worse. A medical emergency can cost you thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars – and chances are you have not brought that much money with you on your trip. If you have travel insurance, on the other hand, you can travel confidently knowing you can get financial help in an emergency.
For overseas travelers, you should also check the SafeTravel Travel Advisories page to see what the risk of travelling to your chosen countries is. If a country is flagged as “do not travel”, be aware that you may not be able to obtain insurance for the trip.
Next, you should register your plans with SafeTravel, so that someone knows where you’ve gone and how to reach you in an emergency.
Make sure you have a copy of all your documentation with you – and that you leave a copy of all your documentation with someone back home.
Also, keep on hand the contact details of the New Zealand Embassy in your country of destination – just in case you need it.
There are two types of travel insurance cover policies.
According to Statistics New Zealand, as at March 2018, domestic tourism is on the rise and is worth $23 billion to the economy. This is an increase of 6.5%, compared to March 2017. New Zealand domestic travelers tend to have very specific local excursions in mind, such as finding a local spot for skiing or cycling.
But Kiwis are not assured a mishap-free trip just because they are keeping their venture to home soil. It’s definitely worth thinking about insurance in case you get stuck.
Domestic travel insurance policies usually cover you for events such as:
One thing domestic travel insurance does not include is medical cover. However, that’s not a big problem because, as long as you’re in New Zealand, you can still use your private health insurance if you have it.
Domestic travel insurance policies also typically exclude certain “hazardous pursuits” from your coverage. If you’re doing dangerous activities on your holiday, like skiing, scuba diving, bungee jumping or rock climbing, you need to disclose it on your application. However, even if you disclose it, you still might not be covered for an accident that happens because of that activity as it may be excluded from the policy. Ensure that you read your policy terms and conditions carefully.
International travel insurance policies usually cover you for events such as:
No travel policy will cover you for every single thing that might go wrong while you’re away, so it’s important to read your policy terms and conditions carefully and know what is not covered.
Some common international travel insurance exclusions are:
When you compare it to the cost of your airfares, accommodation, and activities, travel insurance is a tiny add-on that could save you a lot of stress. The cost of international travel insurance depends not just on who you’re travelling with, but on the destination you’re headed for.
Based on Canstar’s most recent Travel Insurance Star Ratings, for a 14-day overseas trip…
New Zealand singles can expect to pay average travel insurance premiums of:
New Zealand couples can expect to pay average travel insurance premiums of:
New Zealand families can expect to pay average travel insurance premiums of:
Several factors affect how much travel insurance will cost you.
The following travel insurance providers were included in Canstar’s most recent Travel Insurance Star Ratings:
Trans-Tasman Travel Insurance Providers
Some more travel insurance reads…
Insurance Ombudsman: Don’t Skip The Fine Print!