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Travel Insurance for New Zealand sight-seeing, hiking, kayaking, etc

I'll be going to New Zealand with a package tour and seeing north and south islands (NO islands with unpredictable volcanic activity) and wonder if anyone can recommend travel insurance that they've had to actually deal with as far as communication while out of the U.S. and perhaps also with making a claim. It's important to be able to contact them if something actually happens (medical/illness, etc) and I've seen some reviews for some companies that say you can't even get a hold of them when needed, etc.

I'm torn between just the medical/emergency evacuation (which is mandatory for joining the tour) or comprehensive with cancellation and other coverages. I'd appreciate hearing back from any and all and thank you!

Posted by
20569 posts

Keep your medical insurance separate from your travel insurance policy. Have two independent policies and read fine print closely.

Posted by
6018 posts

I've not heard of people having trouble contacting medical insurance companies when having a medical emergency. General travel/trip insurance is another story. I've used both TravelGuard and Allianz for travel medical insurance only but have never had occasion to contact them while on the trip. I've never heard anybody complain about not being able to contact them.

Posted by
3946 posts

I always take out full cover for insurance. My current policy prohibits “dangerous activities” which include kayaking, so check the small print carefully.

Posted by
447 posts

Barbara,

I use TravelGuard Gold. I have had to use them on two occasions, and both times I had excellent communication from overseas and quick reimbursements. My claims were not medical, but delays, hotels, missed day tours, and lost luggage that was never found! Even though the airline pays some, it does not always pay for everything that can go wrong. The airline insurance that you can buy when purchasing your ticket is not enough. Just make sure you keep receipts and any paperwork confirming the delays, hotel receipts, boarding passes, etc, baggage claim slips, any correspondences you have with the airline. You have to upload the documents. Any receipts on new clothing you have to purchase if your bags are delayed or lost (up to $300 for emergency clothing). Also, take a picture of the items you have packed. (Anything worth over $150.00 you will have to provide proof). So any type of new clothing you may have purchased for the trip - hold onto that receipt or pay it by CC so you have a record.

Don't leave home without good quality insurance.

Margaret

Posted by
330 posts

From what I read during a recent trip there, New Zealand has national no-fault insurance for accidents that covers anyone, including foreigners. It won't include illnesses but does include breaking a leg or worse while hiking. So you don't need travel insurance in that country for that particular hazard.

Posted by
72 posts

What Marcia is referring to is called ACC - and covers accidental injury.

https://www.acc.co.nz/im-injured/injuries-we-cover/visiting-new-zealand/?smooth-scroll=content-after-navs

But, I would never visit the US without travel insurance, and for the same reason would never recommend that anyone visits NZ without cover.

It seems a ridiculous thing to try and economise on given the overall cost of a trip to NZ. There are so many things that could impact a holiday and incur significant additional costs.

By the way, the North Island has a number of active volcanoes, so good luck in avoiding them...!

Sorry I can't recommend travel insurance, but I do hope that you get some.