Holidays, they’re supposed to be about good times, good food, relaxing, seeing the sights and exploring new cultures. However, over the past few months, the risk of travel both at home and abroad have come firmly into focus.
At the end of last year, the tragic events on White Island made worldwide headlines and, this year, the spread of Coronavirus has paralysed economies and global tourism.
While, thankfully, these events are not regular occurrences, they do highlight the need for travellers to prepare for every contingency. Planning for the unexpected in the form of travel insurance should be at the top of your list of holiday preparations.
Every vacation, and every holidaymaker, is unique, and this is reflected in the breadth and scope of the different travel insurance products on the market.
To help you choose the right cover for your travels, Canstar has compiled star ratings of the different insurance products available, according to a range of destinations and profiles.
Those insurance providers offering the best value travel insurance have been awarded our Outstanding Value International Travel Insurance Awards.
Canstar’s Travel Insurance Star Ratings
For Canstar’s 2020 Travel Insurance Star Ratings, we compared 58 travel insurance products from 28 providers over 55 customer profiles. To be eligible for evaluation each product had to meet certain basic requirements including the coverage of:
- $1 million overseas medical and hospital cover per traveller (international destinations only)
- Repatriation and evacuation services (international destinations only)
- Luggage and personal effects
- Cancellation fees and loss of deposit
Canstar’s Travel Insurance Awards
To be considered for Canstar’s Travel Insurance Awards, insurers had to provide extra requirements:
- A 24-hour emergency helpline
- Ability to extend cover while travelling (international only)
- $5 million or more family overseas medical and hospital cover (international only)
- $5 million or more family cover for repatriation and evacuation services (international only)
- Include cover for claims arising from cruising holidays in domestic and international waters (cruise only)
- Available to travellers aged over 70 (senior only).
Taking into consideration the cost and the features included within each travel insurance product, here are the winners of Canstar’s Outstanding Value Travel Insurance Awards 2020:
Outstanding Value | International Travel Insurance
NZ Travel Insurance, Southern Cross Travel Insurance NZ and TINZ
Outstanding Value | Seniors Travel Insurance
ANZ and TINZ
Outstanding Value | South Pacific Cruise Travel Insurance
NZ Travel Insurance and Worldcare
Outstanding Value | Trans-Tasman Travel Insurance
NZ Travel Insurance and Worldcare
What does travel insurance cover?
Travel insurance can cover medical related expenses, cancellation fees and loss of deposit, luggage and travel documents, legal liability and disruption, amongst other aspects. You can also pay extra for specialised add-ons.
You can get a summary of what each provider covers, or excludes, in the benefits table, which is provided in the product disclosure statement (PDS) of each travel insurance policy. Before booking travel insurance, it’s crucial that you read the summaries to see if what you expect from your travel insurance is within the policy you’re purchasing. It’s important to know each travel insurance policy also has a capped amount known as a “Benefit Limit”, and some may also have excess amounts payable toward each benefit.
In addition, you should read the fine print when it comes to pre-existing medical conditions, as some may not be covered. Some providers will list the conditions covered in their PDS document, and may have criteria attached to each condition. For example, a condition may be that you’ve not been hospitalised within a set number of months due to a pre-existing condition, or that you’ve not been diagnosed with a terminal condition.
To find out more about the performance of travel insurance providers in New Zealand, take a look at Canstar’s travel insurance ratings report.