Personal Injury, Illness Biggest Cause Of Cancelled Trips
Personal Injury And Illness The Biggest Cause Of Cancelled Trips - Book Your Travel Insurance Early Warns Scti Boss
Most Kiwi travellers are leaving themselves open to bearing the financial cost of a cancelled trip by delaying the purchase of travel insurance.
Only 27% of New Zealand travellers booked travel insurance at the same time as they booked overseas travel last year, according to a Colmar Brunton survey, and Craig Morrison, SCTI CEO, is puzzled as to why it’s an after-thought.
“It’s a no-brainer; it doesn’t cost any more to book insurance well in advance of a trip commencing and it can save a whole heap of grief if something unexpected occurs that means you can’t go on your trip. I don’t know whether there’s a public perception that they will have to pay extra but that’s certainly not the case with our policies,” says Morrison.
Morrison strongly advises would-be travellers to book their insurance the moment they pay non-refundable deposits towards flights or accommodation. That way if anything ‘unexpected’ crops up between the date of purchase and the date of travel - you’re covered. Travel insurance should not be an after-thought.
“It pays to think logically about what could possibly happen to affect your travel plans – not just what could happen once you start the trip,” says Morrison.
According to SCTI the three main reasons for trip
cancellations are unexpected:
1. Personal illness and injury
2. Illness of a family member
3. World events such as Hurricane Sandy, Queensland flooding and Chilean ash cloud.
Weather isn’t a surprising one, says Morrison. A Colmar Brunton survey carried out late last year shows that Australia remains the top holiday destination for New Zealanders with 54% choosing to holiday across the Tasman, followed by the Pacific Islands 15% and Asia 13%.
“We know weather systems can hit these regions fast and strong causing travel delays and cancellations. We always have a spike in travel insurance purchases after a large weather event. What more people need to realise though, is that if you take out travel insurance after an alert has been issued it’s not classed as unexpected so you can’t receive coverage for that event.
The other common occurrences are travellers who suffer from illness or an accident prior to their journey start date, that leaves them unable to travel.
“I wouldn’t wish it on anyone but it only takes for a traveller to come down with a gastro-bug or for a child to fall off a swing and break their arm to put a stop to a long-planned family holiday. We can’t offer cancellation coverage if the policy is taken out after onset of illness or the accident has already occurred.”
“There’s nothing worse than hearing about someone losing the cost of their trip because they simply didn’t realise they could have been covered. It’s easy, it doesn’t cost you any extra, it should be done the moment you know the details of your trip.”
Established in 1982 SCTI has become one of New Zealand’s leading travel insurers, providing policies to over 225,000 travellers in the last year. The company is part of the Southern Cross Healthcare Group and is 100% New Zealand owned, but operates as a separate legal entity to the Southern Cross Medical Care Society.