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Planning a trip? What you need to know about travel insurance

With travel restrictions now mostly a thing of the past, many New Zealanders are planning to go on holiday. Whenever you’re planning to leave NZ, travel insurance should be the first thing you pack.

We get it - no one wants to think about what could go wrong on their holiday. Sadly, all too often things can and do go wrong. Travel insurance can give you peace of mind.

Whether your holiday is disrupted by illness or injury, or the inconvenience of lost luggage, delayed flights, or a traffic accident, having travel insurance means you don’t have to worry: help will be available when you need it.

With the right coverage, NZ travellers can have complete peace of mind that your holiday won’t be ruined. And the right travel insurance doesn’t have to cost the earth either.

Assessing different travel insurance options post a global pandemic can be tricky to navigate. Many insurers have reviewed their Covid-19 exclusions and some are now providing limited coverage. For example, some now include provision for additional expenses if the insured tests positive for COVID-19 whilst on holiday and is required to self-isolate as per the current local health authority regulations. There is also cover available from some insurers if you catch Covid prior to your trip and can’t fly.

Getting the right policy is really important. Many people think they’re covered only to find out that their policy excludes the very thing they need the most. So, it’s essential to understand your policy and make sure you’re covered for the important things. This can include flight cancellations, stolen valuables, medical expenses, and even the loss of your NZ passport.

Here are five factors you should consider when looking for the right insurance:

  1. Consider your destination and your potential activities. If you’re travelling to a country like the United States where medical care is prohibitively expensive, you’ll definitely need your medical bills covered. And, if you’re engaging in “high-risk” activities, you’ll need to make sure your policy covers you for that too. Check the policy wording carefully to see what needs to be done to ensure cover is in place. You should also make sure that the policy covers the activities you’re planning on doing during your trip and find out if you can take out extra cover if you think you need it.

  2. Take out cover as early as possible. It is important to purchase travel insurance as early as possible, typically when you book your flights. This is important to ensure that you have loss of deposits coverage available immediately.

  3. Review the different policy options available with a broker and choose one that covers you thoroughly. Each insurer’s policy wording is slightly different and one might suit you and your travel plans better than another. It’s important to consult an expert who will read the fine print so you know exactly what’s covered and what’s not. Some things may be covered in certain circumstances but not in others. Read the policy carefully so you can determine whether it’s right for your needs.

  4. Don’t be fooled by low premiums; you usually get what you pay for. Sometimes, people choose to pay the lowest possible premium for a policy to save money. However, these policies are often fairly basic and you could find out you’re not covered just when you need to make a claim. It could be worth paying a slightly higher premium to avoid costs and make sure you’re fully covered.

  5. Cover can be subject to limitations or meeting certain conditions There may be limitations on certain travel destinations. There might also be conditions you have to meet in order to be eligible for cover. The conditions often include:

    • declaring all pre-existing medical conditions, undertaking a medical examination, or paying an additional premium

    • activating the travel insurance policy

    • not travelling for longer than a specified period

The best way to make sure you get the right coverage for your holiday is to talk to a BWRS broker. Our insurance brokers can share their expertise and advise the best travel insurance solution for your holiday.

Planning to lie on a beach in Australia? Experience jetboating or horse riding in Brazil? Take artistic photos in Canada? Don’t risk it; contact a BWRS broker today to find out how we can help you get the right insurance for your needs.

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