We often get asked why we recommend that NZ citizens have travel insurance for one of our tours.
We advise for people to take out comprehensive travel insurance and get asked, “why” or “our insurance company doesn’t offer it” or “doesn’t understand why it is necessary”. Medical is not an issue in NZ for NZ citizens of course. The issues are as follows,
1. Your cancelling out just before the tour at which time fees are non refundable. (the fee refund structure is listed on the booking form). This could be for medical reasons, death in family etc.
Does not happen a lot, but it does happen. We had a customer in 2008 who came back from overseas 2 weeks out from the tour with some sort of an illness. Unfortunately he was much too sick to travel. He and his wife cancelled out but they had travel insurance and therefore got their ferry crossings, accommodation to and from tour start and finish as well as their tour costs refunded by their insurance cover.
2. Vehicle breakdown either on main roads or away from main roads requiring vehicle recovery, replacement vehicle etc.
This also does not happen often. The last time a vehicle broke down it was on a public road. But the customers did have to find a replacement vehicle to continue the tour. Another time we had a vehicle damage a CV joint which necessitated their having to go to a suitable main centre to get it fixed. They therefore had to pay for an unscheduled night’s accommodation while their vehicle was repaired as their booked nights accommodation was in another town that night.
For NZ citizens we suggest that when you talk to your insurance company that you talk directly about everything other than being covered for medical cover while on tour. e.g. If you have to cancel just before the tour starts or vehicle recovery/ replacement which can cause an unscheduled nights accommodation.
The things listed above are what you need to be covered for.
Vehicles. Some insurance companies only cover vehicles for when "on formed roads". Our tracks on properties are of course not "formed roads" and therefore may not be covered without you talking to them first. The arguable issue is really that there is little point insuring a 4WD vehicle if you can't take it off a "formed road".
We have our vehicle’s insurance with State and they are covered as commercial vehicles and our understanding is that we can take them anywhere they are “designed” to be driven.
Most people weigh up the risks and make their own decision as to whether it's really a big risk or not. We do however think it is important that we make you aware of the issues and that you make your own decision about the financial risks for yourself.
It is really no different to travelling overseas, similar money etc. The real difference is that overseas the medical issue is usually a bigger risk than anything else.
We have all our insurance with State and thru exhaustive investigations they put me thru to Mike Henry Travel who have an insurance policy for travelling in NZ, it only goes up to $3000 per person for a cost of around $200.00. They can be found at mikehenrytravel .
Some people pay for their tour by Visa, We are told they get automatic travel insurance cover for tour costs which were paid for by this method? (You would need to check this though) Talking to National Bank Visa they say it is only for overseas travel.
We also rang the National Bank Visa and talked to them, they tell us they only cover bookings made on Gold Cards and it is only for overseas travel.
They did however pass us onto a very helpful lady at Vero who are their underwriters and after some investigation and checking out exactly what we were about and what we do on our tours they have come back with a policy which meets the requirements. They have a policy that will cover you for the risks up to $10.000.00. The cost for this, based on a person of the age of 66 (and this only a very rough guide line), for 7 days travel is about $104.00 with an excess of $75.00 or $141.00 for no excess. They can be found at www.comprehensive.co.nz , top of the page left hand side is a link labelled Quote/Buy policy or for printable info Brochure.
Hope this helps?
If you are not an NZ citizen, then we do of course recommend that you have full travel insurance while travelling at any times overseas.