The Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) has suggested the best time to sort travel insurance and what to look for when buying one – some vital information that brokers may wish to pass on to their clients.
ICNZ said that travel insurance is supposed to cover issues that happen during the trip and those that happen before departure that could affect the trip such as illness and flight disruptions.
However, Tim Grafton, chief executive at ICNZ, clarified that the insurance can only cover flight disruptions if the traveller bought it before they know the disruptions are likely to occur.
“Say you book a trip in May and in June a volcano begins erupting near the city you’re travelling to. Hearing about this on the news, you decide to buy travel insurance. Because the eruption was a known event when you bought your insurance, your new policy won’t cover you for disruptions caused by it. You’re still covered for medical issues, theft of your possessions while you’re away, and all the other important things travel insurance covers you for. But you’re not covered for anything caused by the volcano,” said Grafton.
Grafton reminded travellers that the best time to sort their travel insurance is when they book their tickets and that they should also know what they’re covered for when they buy it.
“To help travellers know what events become excluded from time to time, such as volcanos or storms, travel insurers publish travel advisories on their websites. These advisories explain what’s not covered, from what date, and which policies are affected,” he said.
ICNZ also posts general travel advisories on its Facebook page.
“We recommend travellers check their chosen insurer’s website for travel advisories before buying cover to make sure they know of any event exclusions in advance. And remember: the earlier you buy your insurance, the more likely it is you’ll be covered if things go wrong,” said Grafton.
“The advisory will explain which policies are affected but if you have any questions, we recommend you contact your insurer.”