Everything about travel insurance, and do we really need it

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I get this asked a lot, ‘do we really need travel insurance?’, this is one of the question that you cant answer with a yes or no as it depends on you and few other factors. I have tried to explain what travel insurance covers and what it doesnt; and few tips and suggestions that you should consider when you are shopping around for a travel insurance cover.

Here’s a comparison of the top travel insurance companies in nz, and here’s a guide for a more extensive comparison for those who live to dive deeper.

So what is travel insurance for?

Its purpose is to cover the cost of medical services and other losses and costs arising from events such as illness, accidents, lost or stolen luggage and cancellations out of your control. You might have medical and hospital benefits cover in your country, but that cover most likely will not cover you internationally. But even in your home country you can incur other losses while travelling, such as missing flights due to illness, and lost or stolen luggage.

 

Lot of people ask, Do i need travel insurance?

You have your trip planned with flights, hotels and tours booked. All done! Not quite.
An accident or illness could leave you destitute. Are you also willing to forgo your responsibility to relatives and friends? It’s not just about you. Even the best plan can go wrong.
Every international traveller needs travel insurance—unless you have money to burn—and often it is desirable to have insurance cover for travel within your own country.

If you can’t afford travel insurance you can’t afford to travel!

 

What travel insurance policies cover and don’t cover

Risks commonly covered

*Medical emergency (e.g. sickness, accident)

* Lost or stolen passport, travel documents, baggage

* Flight cancellation, delay, missed connecting flights due to flight schedule, etc.

* Flight curtailment, i.e. cutting short your trip.

* Baggage delayed due to fault of the flight carrier

* Personal liability if you cause injury or damage property

Risks commonly NOT covered — or might be for an extra fee

* Emergency resulting from a pre-existing health condition (e.g. heart condition, asthma, diabetes)

* Terrorism and war

* Natural disasters (e.g. earthquakes, volcanos, floods) in specific high-risk regions or countries

* Adventure sports or high-risk activities (e.g. SCUBA diving, mountain climbing, surfing, jet skiing)

* Accidents or other losses when you are under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs

 

Is there something that a travel insurance policy will not cover?

There will always be a common sense element when it comes to an incident.
* Most policies will not be cover if you are in the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs e.g. if you are involved in an accident or had your baggage stolen and you are under the influence of alcohol.
* You have to take reasonable care of your belongings and you
You will be expected always to act reasonably, use common sense and take reasonable care of yourself and your belongings.

Avoid unpleasant and costly surprises: declare activities you are planning to do (adventure sports, skiing, etc.) and declare expensive items or equipment to ensure your policy will cover you as you expect.

 

Shopping for travel insurer

You can purchase travel insurance through your travel agent, an insurance broker, your employer’s insurance provider, your credit card company or your bank. Usually you can purchase travel insurance for your specific trip when booking your trip, or you can purchase multi-trip insurance for multiple trips within a specified period.

You should research travel insurance companies to ensure they can be trusted to pay on claims, but also trusted to provide all necessary support in the case of emergencies.

We can help you with the daunting task of comparing plans. Just use our comparison of popular plans offered by New Zealand travel insurance companies. Different companies cover different risks with different levels of cover and different options and at different costs.

Check our travel insurance compare guide.

 

What should we look for when shopping for a travel insurance provider?

* find a good price, but take care because cheaper policies might not provide all the cover you want;

* determine whether multi-trip insurance is best for you, saving you money if you make several trips a year;

* determine whether the company is reputable—review feedback about its claim history;

* discover whether cover provided by you credit card company is enough (when you use their card to pay for your travel). Always check and compare all details of cover provided;

* find out whether the company can be contacted internationally 24-7;

* determine whether they would pay upfront or you would be reimbursed later; and

* determine whether they exclude certain regions or countries you might visit.

Check our travel insurance compare guide.

 

Having selected your travel insurer:

* It is your responsibility to know the terms of your insurance policy. Don’t gloss over the policy details as most people do. Read the fine print to ensure you know for what and when your insurer is obliged to pay.

* Provide all necessary information accurately and fully; never lie about your medical history because that could make your claim null and void.

* Take the insurer’s contact details with you on your trip, and give them to a personal contact back home to ensure quick action is possible in the case of an emergency.

Author: nzbackpacker

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