The Importance of Travel Insurance

7 October 2011

Travel insurance is one aspect of your trip that cannot be overlooked. A well-known saying in the travel industry is "if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel".  In this blog we get travel advice from our experts who answer some common questions related to the importance of Travel Insurance.

Family Holiday - Travel Insurance Flight Centre NZ

Travel insurance is specially designed to address the many situations and potential risks that are involved in travelling and provides you coverage from the moment you leave your home until you arrive back. We cover the importance of travel insurance in foreign countries, and the type of policies to enquire about suited to your travel destination.

Why is travel insurance important?
We wouldn’t recommend leaving New Zealand without it. Even if you’re just heading over the ditch, it’s so important to ensure you’re covered wherever you go. When you’re looking at going on holiday, you should factor the cost of travel insurance into your budget.

It’s more than just loosing your bags or a camera isn’t it?
Absolutely. You need to make sure you’re covered for any unforeseen circumstance. With recent World events it's another reminder of the importance of travel insurance.
Some countries won’t treat you if you become ill or injured in that country unless you have insurance!

If there is a disaster and you need to change your plans or reroute, this is where travel insurance can save you. When the Samoa Tsunami occurred, we were able to work with clients to send them to another holiday destination using their travel insurance.

And what if you got sick or injured in a third world country? What would happen?
Some third world countries aren't equipped to handle critical cases. In some instances you may need to be flown home via an air ambulance, which can costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s important to check what your policy covers.

What type of different policies are out there and where do you get them?
It is really important that your policy is comprehensive. It’s easy to fall into traps of simply buying a policy, but you really need to know and understand what it is you’re covered for.

For example, some policies cover you from the date of purchase, others from the date of departure. Say if you break your leg prior to departing, you may not be covered if you need to cancel your trip. Your Flight Centre travel consultant can explain your policy to ensure you're getting the right cover.

There is a huge range of policies out there and it's important to know what you're buying and what you're covered for. We wouldn't recommend just ticking a box to get insurance - it's so much more detailed than that and important you get the right cover for the trip you're taking. Also knowing what is included and what isn't is key and also declaring any pre-existing conditions up front so you're not caught out. By talking to an expert on insurance you're able to get the right policy to suit your trip.

How do you cover your bases when booking travel insurance to make sure you’re covered when it counts?
Many insurance policies don't include adventure sports like snowboarding or riding a scooter. You can easily add these onto your policy, but you need to make sure you do. A great idea is to check with your insurance company before you do the activity. For example I was in Namibia in Africa when I decided i wanted to go sand boarding and quad biking down their famous sand dunes. A quick phone call to my insurance company and i found I was covered for this activity, others in the group simply rang and added sky diving to their policies.

Guy looking out of Airplane window

Having an expert on ground when you buy your insurance and while you're away is important. You can then ask as many questions and get the right advice.

Flight Centre offers travel insurance protection through it's respected partner, Travelsure. Founded by Kiwis in 1986, Travelsure provides travel insurance for approximately one million travellers each year and has operations in New Zealand, Australia and the UK. For more information see our travel insurance section.

If you need more information on Travel Insurance phone 0800 38 44 38 or contact one of our Flight Centre travel experts – 135 stores nationwide.