Planning an overseas getaway? Here’s what you need to know about travel insurance


With border restrictions now eased, travel-hungry Kiwis are heading overseas in droves. It could be a long-overdue visit to family in Australia or adventures in far-flung exotic locations. Whatever is on your travel radar, insurance is more important than ever. Covid has changed international travel, making things more complicated for holidaymakers.

Here’s what you need to know about travel insurance.

What does travel insurance cover?

Insurance providers offer a vast range of policy options. And while the devil is in the detail, in general, travel insurance provides protection for the following situations:

  • cancellation and loss of deposit
  • medical expenses
  • costs for returning home in specific emergencies
  • loss of luggage and personal belongings
  • personal liability (except for deliberate acts or use of vehicles)

So, if your bags go on holiday without you or you break a leg overseas, your insurance will kick in.

What about Covid?

Many insurers have now added Covid cover to their policies. However, coverage varies widely, so reading the fine print is essential.

For example, some insurers require you to be fully vaccinated. And most will not pay out if travel is disrupted because of a government lockdown or border closure.

However, many insurers will provide cover if you are forced to cancel or change your travel plans after being diagnosed with Covid. Furthermore, accommodation and transport costs are usually included if you have to isolate because of the virus. Some also cover emergency medical care if you become ill with Covid.

How do I get the right cover for me?

Cheapest is not always best. Comprehensive insurance is the best option if you can afford it. However, there are budget policies out there offering good coverage for the price. The important thing is to ensure your policy covers you for all the activities you plan to do. So, if scuba diving or bungy jumping are on your must-do list, make sure your insurer is aware.

I have pre-existing medical conditions. Do I need to tell my insurer?

It’s vital to be upfront about any existing ailments or medical conditions. Insurers expect you to be honest. Inaccurate or misleading information could see your claim turned down when you most need the help. And while it’s still possible to get travel insurance with medical conditions, you may need to shop around.

 Buy before you fly

You cannot buy travel insurance once you have left the country. So, make sure you purchase insurance as soon as you book your tickets. That way, you're covered if something happens in the run-up to your trip. And when Covid can throw you a curve ball at any time, it’s a sensible move.

If you’re planning an overseas getaway, get in touch with your Insurance Market adviser. We have the up-to-date knowledge and expertise to ensure you’re adequately covered. All you need to worry about is how to spend your days on holiday.