Some Thoughts on Travel Insurance

If you can’t afford travel insurance, can you afford to travel?

Your tickets paid for, accommodation booked, a car rented and foreign currency in your wallet…the pre-departure check-list for the traveller is never complete until your travel insurance has been arranged.

For some travellers the temptation to leave travel insurance off the list to save money proves too much, but before trimming your travel budget you need to consider if saving a few dollars is worth it should things go wrong. If travellers decide they can’t afford the relatively small cost of travel insurance then they really can’t afford to travel.

“But I’m just travelling to Australia, so I don’t need travel insurance.”

Wrong! If you have an accident or become ill in Australia, you will receive medical treatment, but what happens if you need special medical repatriation to get home? Or an ambulance transfer? If you don’t have insurance, there goes most of your savings.

Or consider the $80,000 cost of a medical evacuation home to New Zealand from one of our Pacific neighbours should you fall seriously ill, or be seriously injured while on holiday. In some countries medical assistance is limited and repatriation to New Zealand for urgent treatment is the only option.

So, before departing overseas on your holiday of a lifetime, ask yourself can I afford to travel without insurance? Despite the risks, a high number of New Zealanders do travel without the appropriate insurance cover and a healthy dose of optimism that they will not be struck by injury or illness while overseas. For example it is estimated up to 60% of people travelling from New Zealand to Asia don’t take out travel insurance.

If you do not have travel insurance, you are expected to pay any medical costs yourself. Some hospitals may be reluctant to provide treatment if payment is not guaranteed.

When purchasing travel insurance consider the comprehensive travel insurance policy which includes medical repatriation to New Zealand. Also be aware there may be certain policy requirements in relation to pre-existing medical conditions and undertaking adventure tourism activities ie. bungee jumping, scuba diving, white water rafting while on holiday overseas. Travel to “High Risk” or “Extreme Risk” countries could also affect the terms and conditions of your insurance policy.

Our preferred suppliers are Allianz and Kiwi Holiday Insurance.

They have a full range of travel insurance, both domestic and international. Click here for details