After months of dreaming, planning and organising, you’re finally ready to book your trip and start exploring all those places you’ve wanted to see forever.
Now is a good time to start thinking about travel insurance. That’s the insurance that covers any mishaps related to your travel.
You may be the type who never travels without insurance, or you may be more relaxed about taking your chances.
Either way, it’s useful to consider the pros and cons of protecting your trip with insurance.
There are plenty of factors which may play into your decisions to fork out cash for cover, including where you are travelling, your age, your medical situation, your financial situation, and your appetite for risk.
We’ve outlined some pros and cons of travel insurance below. You can also use our insurance comparison tool here.
Pros of buying travel insurance
You will be looked after: Travel insurance is recommended by the New Zealand Government’s website, SafeTravel, to ensure you are protected in the case of an accident or emergency. Ensuring you are covered will allow you to travel with peace of mind, knowing you will be looked after in the case of unexpected incidents. If something does go wrong, it will likely be highly stressful and upsetting, so it will be hugely beneficial to have the finances covered.
You will save huge amounts of money in an emergency: Insurance covers all sorts of issues, including medical or dental needs, lost luggage, cancellation of travel plans, and repatriation. If an incident does occur insurance can save you tens of thousands of dollars in costs and can, at times, be a lifesaver. Even seemingly small incidents, like having a handbag stolen, can lead to huge costs when you are travelling. If you’re insured, it will cause minimal hassle and cost.
Cons of buying travel insurance
The cost might not fit your budget: Cost is nearly always the biggest con to travel insurance. And how much it costs depends on where are you going, how old you are, if you intend to undertake high-risk activities and the type of travel you are undertaking.
All of this means it may be tempting to skip buying travel insurance, or go for the cheapest options you can find.
Before you do so, however, have a look around our travel insurance comparisons and see if you can find an option that suits your needs, and your budget.
It might not cover everything you want: Countries which are deemed higher risk – those which have higher crime rates, are remote, or have limited healthcare infrastructure, for example – will attract more expensive travel insurance. And some countries on New Zealand’s ‘Do Not Travel’ list might not be covered at all, so make sure you check before making travel plans. If you are going to a country with a good healthcare system and low crime rates, travel insurance should be cheaper.
Factors such as any medical conditions or a history of medical issues, and your age will also affect coverage and cost. If you’re planning high-risk activities like rock-climbing or jet-skiing, make sure you read the insurance fine print – it might not match the cover needed for your adventures.
The claim process may be difficult. Even with a comprehensive insurance claim, providers can differ in terms of their claims process. We recommend looking through Canstar’s ratings research to make sure you are getting a quality provider.
So what should you do?
Even factoring in cons, we recommend taking out travel insurance. It will be a case of finding the right coverage for your needs and budget, but with some research you will be able to find a good match, and be able to travel with peace of mind.