Expert Advice For Kiwis Buying Travel Insurance
Travel is exciting, but that doesn’t mean you should skip the sensible steps, such as buying travel insurance.
28 October 2021
Tim Grafton, of the Insurance Council of New Zealand, has some top tips for anyone planning travel.
Buy before you fly
Always buy insurance when you book your trip because the sooner you buy, the more you’re covered for. Take the earthquake in Indonesia earlier this year.
Those who bought insurance before the earthquake were covered, but those who waited until it was being widely publicised were not, because insurers did not keep offering cover for it.
It’s worth being insured, even if there are some exclusions
It’s tempting to think that if you’re not covered for a single event, there’s no point buying cover. But that’s not true.
Travel insurance covers you for lots of things, including medical issues, theft or loss of possessions or important travel documents, evacuation, and more.
With any insurance, it’s important to disclose anything that might affect an insurer’s decision to offer you cover – not just when you take out the policy, but right up until you depart.
For travel insurance, this includes:
• pre-existing medical conditions
• previous travel issues
• where you’re going and how long for
• any high value items you’re taking
• whether you plan to do any extreme sports or hire any vehicles while you’re away
• whether you’re pregnant
• anything else the insurer might ask about or that they might find relevant.
If you don’t disclose something, your insurer won’t cover you for it and if the non-disclosure is bad enough, they may void your policy from its start date – meaning you’re not covered for anything.
Disclosing something doesn’t automatically mean you’ll pay more, so it’s always worth erring on the side of transparency and checking with your insurer if you have any questions.
It’s important for the cover you buy to be appropriate for the trip you’re taking. Before you buy, look at the policies of different insurers. Take the time to find one that will cover you for the things you need.
Understand what you’re covered for
There are some things policies don’t cover, such as your liability for any damage you do to accommodation you’re staying in, loss of personal items that have been left unattended, or insolvency of a service provider. If you’re unsure what is and isn’t covered, talk to your insurer.
Keep your receipts
If you need to make a claim, your insurer will need these receipts as proof. Also keep any medical reports, police reports, or other incident reports you receive.
Know what to do in an emergency
Travel insurers provide free, 24-hour emergency assistance. Keep their emergency contact details with you at all times while travelling. In an emergency, you may need to contact them about medical treatment or for advice.
Talk to your insurer
Insurers want to help you have a great trip. If you have any questions, it’s always best to give them a call.
First published 10 September 2018
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