It’s quite often we hear friends, family or Worldcare customers claiming that they don’t take travel insurance when they head to Australia. Indeed an estimated 15% of the New Zealand population is with them in thinking they don’t need cover for travel to our neighbour. Unfortunately experience has told us time and again that this isn’t the case with claims paid out from a few dollars to over $20,000.
As it’s not the most glamorous of pre-travel purchases – not a fab bikini nor an outfit for that swanky dinner you booked – it’s not hard to imagine why Kiwi travellers don’t feel that travel insurance is a necessity. With a reciprocal health agreement in place, a large chunk of risk disappears as any emergency hospital care is covered meaning those huge medical bills that scare any traveller from another destination aren’t going to happen to you, but there are other costs to consider and they can rack up quickly.
Here are our top three costs incurred in Australia that we pay claims for:
That Ambulance Ride
Whilst your emergency medical hospital treatment is taken care of, getting to the hospital for treatment isn’t. Depending on how far you are away from the nearest hospital you could be billed as much as $3,000. The more rural your destination, the higher the likely costs.
That Person to Hold Your Hand
Should the worst happen and you end up in hospital, our Comprehensive policy will pay for your partner, family member or travel companion to stay near you in hospital. The provision in our Worldcare policy allows for accommodation expenses, travel to and from the hospital and necessary additional expenses such as meals. We paid over $20,000 for the partner of one traveller who was not fit for travel for three months after a heart attack. We paid for the partner to remain by their side throughout the medical ordeal. The joint cost of their travel insurance policy was less than $100 and they were very grateful for level of care they received.
That Rental Vehicle Collision
If you’re hiring a car to zip around Australia then it is generally well worth the cost of our insurance policy to avoid the rental vehicle excess of the hire car company. When you hire a car you typically have two choices – take the basic cover that comes with the car or purchase excess reduction insurance from the rental company.
Should an accident occur, you’ll be expected to pay an excess somewhere between $3,000 and $5,000. Taking the car hire company’s insurance can cost up to $40 a day for each day that you have the car. Your alternative is to take Worldcare Comprehensive Travel Insurance which covers not only up to $6,000 rental vehicle excess cover (the highest cover available of any NZ insurer), but also a whole range of other benefits including medical, cancellation and luggage.
Unfortunately the list above isn’t exhaustive – repatriation costs, cancellation due to illness, stolen luggage, replacement of travel documents and more can all set you back. The NZ Embassy and the NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs also suggest that Kiwis travelling to Australia don’t travel without insurance as there is limited assistance they can offer if your holiday goes pair shaped. Their advice, coupled with our own experiences serving New Zealanders over the past ten years, leads us to recommend that you head to our Compare Plans page and a grab a quote to decide for yourself if travel insurance for Australia is a holiday investment that’s worth making.