This is one of those posts that i intended on writing earlier in the year but just never got around to it and I was reminded about it this morning whilst watching the Paul Henry Show. One of his guests today was Blair Vernon from AMP with whom he had a discussion about travel insurance with.
2.2 million Kiwis travelled overseas last year…but remarkably, 15% of them or around 300,000 didn't take out travel insurance..
— Paul Henry (@PaulHenryShow) August 17, 2015
What originally spurred me to write about travel insurance was a conversation I had with an acquaintance who works in the industry and some of the issues that policy holders that she has had to deal with have faced when caught up in various situations whilst travelling overseas. These situations ranged from missed flight connections, loss of personal belongings, minor medical emergencies all the way through to loss of life.
A recent example of where appropriate cover came into play was when a colleague was travelling through Fiji and witnessed a friend of theirs get involved in a major motor vehicle accident that left the victim with life threatening injuries and in a coma.
Luckily enough, this individual had travel insurance which meant that they could be medevaced back to New Zealand pretty quickly and given the best possible medical care. If this had not been the case, they may have been stuck in a medical facility in Fiji racking up an astronomical medical bill and thats if everything needed to manage their injuries was available there.
The example above is on the more extreme side of things but something as simple as missing a flight or losing your belongings can cause unnecessary headaches that could ruin what was or what could have been a good holiday.
So, why bother to write about this? Insurance is one of those things that is so easy to skimp on. You just might not deem is necessary or you may see it as giving away money that could go towards having a little extra spending money. But, not taking out insurance and being unfortunate enough to get caught up in a situation could see you out of pocket by a lot!
Costs will vary depending on destinations and depending on your affiliation with certain providers such as financial institutions and general insurers, you may be eligible for a discount. Whatever the case may be when looking around for the best options for your travel insurance, you need to make sure that you understand what you are signing up for and knowing what you are and aren’t covered for so that you pick the policy that best suits your needs.
There are various avenues through which you can get travel insurance and these include but aren’t limited to:
- Credit Card Travel Insurance – The term complementary makes it seem very appealing but you need to ask yourself about how comprehensive the cover is. Another thing to note is that the cards that do offer insurance may come with various conditions, excursions and restrictions such as having to have paid for part or all of the travel with the card in order to be eligible for cover.
- Travel Agent – The travel agent through which you book your travel may offer it to you when booking. From past experience, they do a pretty good job at outlining the policy
- Do-it-yourself Travel Insurance Search – This could simply doing an online search, seeing whats on offer from various providers, comparing the policies and choosing the best one.
To sum up, one thing that should not be an option is not taking out travel insurance. The world we live in is filled with so much uncertainty and spending a few extra dollars is something you shouldn’t have to think about as it could see you not having to fork out thousands of dollars later down the line.