We show you what to look for when comparing travel insurance policies to help you make the right choice.
Comparing travel insurance can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. In this guide, we show you what to look for when comparing travel insurance policies. We've included what is covered, what isn’t, terms and conditions to look out for, and a whole heap of useful information to help you make the right choice.
If you can’t afford travel insurance, then you can’t afford to travel. Comparing different policies will help you save money for the more important things, like enjoying your trip!
Peace of mind when you’re travelling is so important. We show you what to look for when buying a policy so you know exactly what you’re covered for, without having to dig through pages of terms and conditions.
At 1Cover, we’ve been in the travel insurance industry for over 10 years. We’ve been trusted by over 1 million travellers worldwide to look after them on their trips both domestic and abroad. If there’s one thing we know, its travel insurance.
Travel insurance is meant to protect you from unexpected losses that are incurred when you’re travelling. Seems simple right? Well you’d be surprised. When comparing travel insurance policies it is important to make sure you know exactly what you’re covered for. When comparing policies, it’s always a good idea to read the product disclosure statement (PDS) in full, but here are just a few things to keep an eye out for.
A comprehensive policy should provide cover for at least the following. Be sure to check the benefit limits in relation to each component of coverage as these can change drastically between providers.
The most important aspect of your cover, after all, you can’t put a price on your health.
This will be a key consideration for any long-term trips you may have planned. Be sure to read the terms and conditions of your policy before paying any deposits for flights, accommodation or with your travel agent.
This should include not only luggage and personal effects but delay expenses and theft of cash.
Should include rental vehicle excess and personal liability as a minimum.
Travel insurance policies are designed to cover you for unforeseen circumstances that could occur when you’re travelling. Most if not all travel insurance policies will not cover the following instances, so keep these in mind next time you are comparing policies.
Not just New Zealand laws, but be aware of local laws as well.
Always check SafeTravel for the latest travel advice
Insurers won’t cover you if you have to cancel your trip because of a natural disaster if you purchased your policy after the event was made public in the mass media.
Leaving your things lying around is asking for someone to take them.
Be sure to use a reputable travel provider, as most insurers won't provide cover for financial collapse.
This can be a grey area, but this is a general exclusion in most if not all travel insurance policies.
Ignorance is not always bliss. Just because you thought something was covered, doesn’t mean it will be. Always read the PDS.
Have you got an action packed trip planned? Remember that insurers take three different approaches to providing cover for activities:
Automatically included in your policy
Can be included at an increased premium
Excluded from cover
* Exclusions apply see PDS for full details.
When comparing travel insurance, where your cover comes from can tell you a lot about the customer service, quality of cover and care you are likely to receive.
Travel insurance is the primary focus of these businesses, meaning they are specialist and experienced in the industry. They are also often the cheapest as they don’t have to pay commissions.
These brands are backed by large, well-known organisations. But travel insurance is rarely their primary focus, so they can be slow to pay claims and are often not customer focused.
Credit card travel insurance can be included in your card fees, however be sure to check the levels of cover and benefit limits of your insurance, as these can be much lower than from other providers.
Insurance provided by your travel agent may be very similar to what direct insurers provide. The catch here is that the travel agent is acting as a middleman for another insurer meaning you could be paying much higher premiums.
On the surface, all travel insurance providers can seem the same, but if you’re going to trust them with your safety and peace of mind on your next trip, it’s important to dig a little deeper. When comparing between different providers, ask yourself the following:
Do they have a 24-hour emergency assistance service?
Are they underwritten by a company you know and trust?
Do they have positive online customer reviews?
Do they manage their own claims?
Do they specialise in travel insurance?
Just pick the cheapest one, right? Well, sort of. There are a few other things you should keep in mind when comparing travel insurance policies based on price.
As a general rule of thumb, the more risky your travel plans are, the higher the cost of your insurance will be. The cost of your travel insurance is determined by a number of variables;
The distance your destination is from New Zealand, and the cost of medical care there will affect the price of your insurance.
The longer the duration of your trip, the more you insurance will cost.
Sorry, there’s not much you can do about this.
Most policies will have a list of automatically included conditions. Applying for cover outside of these may increase the cost of your policy.
Adding extras such as high-value items, ski rental excess cover or heli-skiing cover will increase the price of your policy.
When comparing travel insurance, different insurers have different processes for assessing pre-existing conditions, and this could affect both the level of cover and price that you can receive from your insurer.
1Cover considers the following to be pre-existing conditions:
A condition that you have received treatment, advice or medication for in the last 90 days
Any surgery you have had in the last 12 months
A chronic or ongoing illness
Insurers have different ways of assessing the cost of covering your pre-existing condition. Be sure to raise this issue with your chosen provider when purchasing a policy.
At 1Cover, pre-existing medical conditions are treated under four separate categories.
Some conditions are automatically covered, which means that these will be covered for free under your policy without having to disclose them or fill in any forms
This means that you will have no cover for any medical component of your insurance. Sometimes this is imposed by 1Cover depending on the severity of the condition or you can choose to have limited cover to prevent yourself from having to pay an increased premium.
You have the option of not having any cover which specifically relates to your condition. However you will still be able to make claims on your policy for events not relating to this.
You may be offered full medical coverage relating to your condition, however this will increase the price of your travel insurance.
Be sure to be aware of hidden costs that some insurers can add to your premium. Always find out whether the following will affect the price of your premium.
Unlike car or home insurance, making a claim will not affect the cost of your future travel insurance policies with 1Cover.
No matter how far out from your departure you purchase a policy, 1Cover will only charge you for the duration of your trip.
Dependents under 21 years who travel with a parent or grandparent for 100% of the journey are covered at no additional cost on 1Cover single and family policies.
While comparing price is simple enough, comparing cover can be a little more complicated. Always remember that not all travel insurance policies are the same, and comprehensive does not necessarily mean ‘absolutely everything’ is covered.
The key things you should look out for when comparing policies are:
The benefit limits below apply to medical claims for 1Cover comprehensive policies. These can be used as a benchmark when comparing the medical benefit limits of other policies.
|Overseas Emergency Medical Assistance||Unlimited||Unlimited|
Overseas Emergency Medical & Hospital Expenses*
Includes Dental Expenses (per person)*
Additional Accommodation & Travel Expenses
Includes Family Emergency
Includes Emergency Companion Cover
|Resumption of Journey||$3,000||$6,000|
|Hospital Cash Allowance||$5,000||$10,000|
|Loss of Income||$10,400||$20,800|
The medical benefit limits for 1Cover policies refer to the following situations:
Includes 24-hour emergency medical assistance, ambulance fees, medical evacuations, funeral arrangements, and messages to family and hospital guarantees.
Cover if you are injured or become sick overseas, including; medical, hospital, surgical and nursing.
Cover for your emergency dental treatment for the relief of sudden and acute pain to sound and natural teeth.
Cover for additional travel expenses if you cannot travel because of an injury or sickness (whilst overseas).
Cover for additional travel expenses if your travelling companion, or a Relative of either of yours, dies unexpectedly, is disabled by an injury or requires hospitalisation.
Cover for additional travel and accommodation expenses if your travelling companion cannot continue their Journey because of an injury or sickness.
Cover for the cost of airfares for you to resume your journey if you return home because of the unexpected death or hospitalisation of a relative of yours.
An allowance of $50 per day if you are hospitalised for more than 48 continuous hours while overseas.
A death benefit is payable if you die because of an injury sustained during your journey within 12 months of that injury.
A permanent disability benefit is payable for total loss of sight in one or both eyes or loss of use of a hand or foot (for at least 12 months, and which will continue indefinitely) within 12 months of, and because of, an injury sustained during your journey.
A weekly loss of income benefit is payable if you become disabled within 30 days of an injury you sustained during your journey, and you are still unable to work more than 30 days after returning to New Zealand.
The following benefit limits apply to luggage claims for 1Cover comprehensive policies. These can be used as a benchmark when comparing the benefit limits of other policies.
Credit Card Fraud & Replacement*Includes Travel Documents & Traveller's Cheques*
|Theft of Cash||$250||$250|
|Luggage & Personal Effects*||$15,000||$30,000|
|Luggage & Personal Effects Delay Expenses||$250||$500|
*$100 excess payable
The luggage benefits for 1Cover policies refer to the following situations:
Cover for the replacement cost of your credit cards lost or stolen from you during your journey, and loss resulting from fraudulent use.
Cover for the replacement cost of your travel documents including passports, travel documents or travellers cheques lost or stolen from you during your Journey.
Cover for the following items stolen from your person; bank notes, cash, currency notes, postal orders and money orders.
Cover for replacement of luggage and personal effects stolen, lost or damaged during travel. This includes luggage, personal effects, camera, spectacles and a computer.
Cover to purchase essential items of clothing and other personal items following Luggage delayed and Personal Effects being delayed, misdirected or misplaced by your carrier for more than 12 hours.
The following benefit limits apply to cancellation claims for 1Cover comprehensive policies. These can be used as a benchmark when comparing the benefit limits of other policies.
|Cancellation Fees & Lost Deposits*||
|Disruption of Journey||$1,000||$2,000|
|Alternative Transport Expenses||$5,000||$10,000|
*$100 excess payable
Cancellation benefits for 1Cover policies refer to the following situations:
Cover for cancellation fees and lost deposits for pre-paid travel arrangements due to unforeseen circumstances neither expected nor intended by you, and which are outside your control, such as; sickness, injuries, strikes, collisions, retrenchment and natural disasters.
Cover for additional meals and accommodation expenses, after an initial 6 hours delay, if your Journey is disrupted due to circumstances beyond your control.
Cover for additional travel expenses following transport delays to reach events such as; a wedding, funeral, conference, sporting event and pre-paid travel/tour arrangements.
The following benefit limits apply to ancillary claims for 1Cover comprehensive policies. These can be used as a benchmark when comparing the benefit limits of other policies.
|Rental Vehicle Excess*||
*$100 excess payable
Ancillary benefits for 1Cover policies refer to the following situations:
Cover for legal liability including legal expenses for bodily injuries or damage to property of other persons as a result of a claim made against you.
Cover for additional boarding kennel or cattery fees resulting from your delayed return home, also veterinary fees if your pet is injured while you are away.
Cover for housekeeping services following injury/disablement continuing upon your return home.
Cover for the excess payable on your rental vehicle's motor vehicle insurance resulting from the rental vehicle being; Stolen, Crashed or Damaged and/or cost of returning the rental vehicle due to you being unfit to do so.
When comparing travel insurance providers, the proof is in the pudding. When you go to make a claim you want to know that you’re going to be looked after properly. But how will you know before purchasing a policy? Use the checklist below to find out more about how your chosen provider assesses claims.
Check online to find customer reviews about your provider, paying attention to reviews that have verified claims.
Does your provider manage their own claims or outsource this to another business?
How long does it take your provider to pay claims? You can usually find this in the product disclosure statement.
Pay special attention to the general exclusions in the PDS.
Make sure your travel insurance provider is underwritten by a reputable underwriter.