Travel insurance is an insurance that covers unexpected expenses you may incur if disaster strikes while on holiday. Regardless of whether you're travelling abroad or just within New Zealand, investing in a policy can be significantly cheaper than having to pay out of pocket for unexpected emergencies.
There’s a lot more to travel insurance than considering a lost or stolen camera. One of the most important risks to be covered for is personal liability and emergency medical expenses. Paying a few hundred dollars for a policy is a hell of a lot cheaper than being on the receiving end of overseas medical costs running into tens of thousands of dollars.
You may be tempted to forgo cover, thinking it won’t happen to you, but in the real world, accidents do happen and can happen to anyone!
So how can you tell a good travel insurance policy when you see one? The decent policies are going to cover at least the following situations - and more:
- Around the clock assistance and service for travel and medical emergencies.
- Rescue and transport during a medical emergency, including being evacuated to other countries for care not available in your travel region.
- International health and medical coverage, including doctor/office visits, hospital stays, medications, surgery, dental emergencies and any other health or medical related service you might have a need for.
- Personal Liability coverage is a must. Especially if you're going to be driving or partaking in activities where you may cause damage to another person or property.
- Personal Property coverage to compensate for lost luggage or other personal items that may go missing on your trip.
- Compensation for expenses incurred due to travel delays - like meals, accommodation, alternate flight tickets - in the event your trip is disrupted due to unforeseen circumstances that could end up costing you hundreds if paying out of pocket.
Travel insurance is a safety net in case well-laid plans fall through. It is not intended to cover travellers who experience loss or injury by negligence on their part or by partaking in activities that are likely to result in injury or loss. Most of the non-covered events are common sense things like:
- Travelling in areas where the New Zealand government has issued “Do not visit” warnings
- Emergencies created from being under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Leaving items unattended for prolonged periods of time in perceived unsafe conditions
- Injuries and death related to extreme sports not covered by the policy
- Generally adrenaline fuelled activities are risky and excluded from standard policies, so check whether your planned activities are covered. For instance if you’re planning on going Snowboarding, you’re likely to require a winter sports add on, or specialist policy.
Choosing the right policy
Not all policies are the same and with so much variety on the market, choosing the right policy can be a confusing. That’s where we come in. One simple form and you can compare travel insurance from several reputable insurance brands to find a policy to your holiday needs.
There are a variety of different policies and inclusions available to meet the needs of just about any traveller. Prices will vary according to your age, destination and length of trip. Additional premiums may be added to cover pre-existing medical conditions or riskier, out of the ordinary activities.
It’s important to not only compare the price, but make sure you know what you're paying for. Cheaper policies tend to have lower levels of cover and benefits, which is perfectly fine if you have basic needs for your trip. It’s important to look at the exclusions when choosing a policy to make sure you’re getting the right one for your needs.
Regardless of which policy you choose or which insurer you buy a policy with, take your time to read the Product Disclosure Statement carefully. If you have any queries or concerns, contact the insurer directly for clarification.