With the busy late-winter travel period getting underway, ICNZ is reminding all travellers that the best time to sort their travel insurance is when they book their tickets – and to make sure they know what they’re covered for when they buy it.
Travel insurance doesn’t just cover you for things that happen on your trip; it also covers you for things that happen before you leave that could affect your trip – like flight disruptions or illnesses — but it can only do this if you’ve bought it before you know those disruptions are likely to occur.
Tim Grafton explains: “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.”
“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,” said Grafton. “These advisories explain what’s not covered, from what date, and which policies are affected.”
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.”
If a travel advisory is released after a traveller has purchased their insurance, the event exclusion is unlikely to apply to them.
“The advisory will explain which policies are affected but if you have any questions, we recommend you contact your insurer,” said Grafton.