Each year at CANSTAR we research and rate travel insurance policies in terms of both price and features to determine which insurers offer Outstanding Value to Kiwi travellers. Taking the Outstanding Value – Trans-Tasman Travel Insurance Award in 2016 is Worldcare.
We caught up with Harriet Upchurch, eCommerce Sales and Marketing Manager, for some insights into where we go and what we claim while we’re there.
Q: Congratulations on your CANSTAR Award win! Quick question: how do you review your products to ensure that they continue to be competitive on features and price?
A: We monitor the market on a regular basis to ensure that the product and premiums remain competitive.
Q: What are some of the most popular destinations for your customers?
A: More than half of our customers take trips to Australia, which just goes to show the importance of getting cover, even if it’s just across the Tasman. The Pacific Islands are the second most frequented destination, particularly Fiji. We are seeing a growing market in Asia, particularly China and SE Asia.
Q: In terms of travel to Australia, what are some common types of claims that you tend to see? Do they differ from typical claims in other destinations?
A: A lot of our Australian claims relate to cancellation. This is where a customer is not able to take a trip due to unforeseen reasons, such as illness. We do also get our fair share of claims for lost, stolen or damaged personal items. In other destinations hospital expenses make up the largest part of the claim payments, especially in North America where medical costs are so high. We still do get medical costs in Australia, as not everything is covered by the reciprocal agreement. Did you know that an ambulance can cost over $1,000 in Queensland.
Q: What are some questions that travellers should ask themselves when looking for a travel insurance policy?
A: Some important questions to ask are:
- Do I have sufficient cover for medical expenses on my trip?
- Does the policy cover me for my pre-existing medical conditions?
- Can my higher value personal items be covered on my policy e.g. watch, jewellery or electronic items?
- Does my policy have sufficient cover to protect my holiday investment? Not all policies automatically include cancellation cover.
- Does my policy have a 24/7 emergency assistance telephone line to help me if I need help overseas?
Q: Do you have any unusual or funny claims stories you could share?
A: We get weird, funny and tragic claims every day. We have learnt that just about anything can happen, so it’s crucial to be covered for the unexpected.
Some of the more interesting claim stories include being pick pocketed by monkeys (this actually happens more frequently than you’d expect); claiming for loss of enjoyment on a holiday because the hotel room had two single beds; and claiming for additional flights after the customer arrived in Brunei, but actually meant to go to Dubai. Not all of the interesting claims are covered of course.
Worldcare are based in Auckland, New Zealand – so you know you’re dealing with locals who probably enjoy travelling as much as you do.
Worldcare’s travel insurance policies are underwritten by Allianz Australian Insurance Ltd, and Allianz is also the provider for Worldcare’s emergency medical assistance insurance products. Allianz Global Assistance covers all continents, with 40 around-the-clock operation centres in 25 countries.