With summer fast approaching, many New Zealanders will be planning to get away from it all with a break overseas. But before you hit the road, check out these top tips from IAG’s General Manager for Travel, Michelle Boulger. To give you a little extra spending money for your holidays, until November 29 we’re offering 5% off travel insurance purchased online through State, AMI or Mike Henry. Simply insert the promo code: ‘IAGBlog’ when prompted to receive your discount.*
*Please note this offer only applies to travel insurance policies brought online through AMI, State and Mike Henry and cannot be used in conjunction with any other discount or offer. Offer valid from Wednesday, 29 May 2013 to Friday, November 29, 2013.
Michelle’s top travel insurance tips
1. Planning a short break to Oz? You still need travel insurance (but it’s not all bad – kids can go free)
It’s a common misconception that you don’t need travel insurance for trips to Australia. While Aussie may be our nearest neighbour, travelling without insurance still leaves you open to the same risk as it would to any other country. Together with our offer of 5% discount, travel insurance through State, AMI or Mike Henry can cost as little as $19 per person- that’s barely more than the cost of a couple of coffees. What’s more, all their policies include kids free of charge. So for a family four, including two children, a three day trip to Australia between 31 May and 2 June works out at $38.
2. Hiring a car? Don’t pay extra on excess
Public holidays can also be a bumper weekend for rental car companies, so make sure you aren’t paying over the odds at the rental desk. Hiring a car can be a great way to see the sights, but people can get bamboozled into paying extra for the “rental vehicle excess” when collecting a car. Put simply, this is the amount of money you would lose in the event of an accident and how much a rental company ‘holds’ – usually on a credit card- and gives back to you once the car is returned to them in the same condition it was rented. This is a cost you can avoid if you take out travel insurance as we cover this up to $2,500. Rental company excesses vary so make sure your policy is high enough to cover the value for the car you are renting. Also, read the fine print to check the limits of your cover i.e. your may not be insured if your car weighs more than 3,500 kilograms.
3. Reciprocal health agreements are not full coverage
The Ministry of Health has reciprocal agreements with Australia and the UK, which means as a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident you are entitled to use some of their public health systems. However, none of these agreements provides full coverage, so travellers should hold comprehensive travel insurance including health insurance. For example, if emergency strikes, the agreement doesn’t cover ambulance charges, medically supervised flights home to New Zealand, or any flying doctor’s costs if you happen to fall ill in the Aussie outback. Nor do they cover you if you are rushed to the nearest private hospital in an emergency and unless your condition is urgent, you’ll also be liable for costs of GP visits or prescriptions.