With a vast range of travel insurance options available for your trip to New Zealand from numerous companies, it can be difficult to decide what you need and where best to get it from.
Before jumping into what seems like a good deal, take the time to think about what protection you will require for your trip – considering the type of visa you have chosen and the type of activities you’re likely to pursue. If you plan on staying in NZ long term we suggest you check out our other article about travel insurance for expats moving to NZ on a more permanent basis.
Research the right provider for you:
Because of the research that needs to go into choosing your travel insurance, this should be high on the list of priorities, as leaving it until the last minute can mean you overlook something important that can be detrimental to any potential claims. You should also bear in mind that something could happen before your trip that would change your plans entirely, in which case cancellation cover is an important feature.
For example: If you broke a bone in your body whilst rescuing the cat up the tree and you can’t fly then you may need to alter your travel plans or worst case scenario have to cancel completely. Most flight providers do not offer refunds therefore if you claim off your travel insurance in this instance you will not find yourself out of pocket!
That is just one example of what needs to be covered when choosing a suitable provider. It’s also vitally important to be clued up on the fine print and clauses in place, as well as the actual travel package.
The important questions to ask yourself and your provider should be:
- Will my insurance cover all adventure activities?
- What if I want to extend my stay?
- Will it cover any money that’s lost or stolen?
- What is the health care coverage options available to me?
- What about pre-existing conditions? Am I covered?
- Does my insurance cover my luggage?
For a traveler often our personal belongings can be our major concern:
NZ is no South East Asia! If you take sensible precautions you really will be fine! But you really should ensure your travel insurance should cover you for the theft, damage, and loss of your luggage and personal items when you are here. But remember they’ll normally only pay out if you can prove you were acting responsibly with your items close by or secured away.
Essentially you want to check that your insurance provider covers you for the following circumstances:
- Pick pocketing
- Secured belongings stolen (e.g. from a hotel safe)
- Water damage
- Bag theft
- Car crime (if belongings were locked away and out of plain sight)
- Luggage delay
Again check with your provider on these pointers, but generally speaking, you are not covered when neglect is involved. This could be scenarios like:
- Luggage left with the hotel concierge and it got stolen
- Items left behind or forgotten
- Luggage left on conveyor belts
- Items left out of your sight and they got stolen.
- Belongings lost from the hold (typically the transport carrier’s responsibility)
- Bags left with a stranger (just don’t do it, folks!)
- Items lost or stolen when you were intoxicated (leave that passport at home!)
However, remember it does pay to read the fine print on any policies and mention any special items you have, you can get extra cover for that extra expensive camera you are carrying around with you!
Making a Claim – The Process:
Claiming for insurance these days has been made straightforward thanks to the internet and the instant online forms you can submit! But it does require a bit of effort. You’ve got to contact your insurer as soon as something goes wrong. Luckily, most insurers have 24-hour helplines so you can reach them at any time from anywhere in the world.
But it is important to keep evidence of your claim. Whether that’s medical reports, a crime reference number, or a form confirming lost luggage from the airport, it’s important you can back up your claim. As soon as you know you’ll need to make a claim, record all the details of the event.
Essentially it is worth reading the policy details of each insurer you contact to ensure that it’s right for you. Don’t be afraid to give them a call and ask questions, it pays to be organised in these matters! A starting point is World Nomads they offer travel insurance to those visiting NZ, you can click here to get a quote.
*Note* Whilst you can get a fantastic range of cover from your insurance, you should also read in detail what is required from you in the event of a claim. For example, many insurance companies do not cover for any incidents that involve alcohol or drugs, so do get your story straight before claiming!
*Double Note* These pointers are just what we have learned from our time traveling the globe, they are no means legally correct but simply a statement of what elements of travel insurance we believe to be the most important. Do contact the provider you choose for further clarification as each provider does have different terms and conditions.