In­sur­ance fine print im­por­tant


Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

I’ve just spent an hour try­ing to imag­ine the worst hol­i­day from hell a trav­eller could suf­fer.

The rea­son for my cruel flight of fancy was to il­lus­trate some of the things travel in­sur­ance does not cover you for.

Sen­si­ble folk head­ing over­seas, even as close as Aus­tralia, need travel in­sur­ance to cover cat­a­strophic risks and for travel in­sur­ance that is med­i­cal treat­ment and med­i­cal evac­u­a­tion, which can cost tens of thou­sands of dol­lars.

But it seems there are more aw­ful in­ci­dents not cov­ered by travel in­sur­ance than ones that are.

And there is some­thing pos­i­tively par­si­mo­nious about that.

Poli­cies con­tain more than a pinch of ‘‘thou shalt not’’, and many of the ex­clu­sions would please the most hard­line of pul­pit moralis­ers.

So here’s the hol­i­day from hell I dreamt up.

Your job is to tell me what claims the poor hol­i­day­maker was suc­cess­ful with un­der a pol­icy from one lead­ing travel in­sur­ance provider.

Things go wrong from the very start for our hap­less hol­i­day­maker. The taxi crashes en route to the air­port. Though un­hurt, the hol­i­day­maker is made by po­lice to give a state­ment.

That meant he missed his flights and is forced to book on the next avail­able one to his des­ti­na­tion. Will his in­sur­ance pay for the new flight?

The beach­side Caribbean par­adise ho­tel he booked is lovely. Lock­ing his things in his room, he goes for an ocean swim. When he gets back, his ex­pen­sive watch has been stolen along with his cash. Thank­fully his credit cards were un­touched. Are the stolen items cov­ered?

A few restora­tory drinks in the ho­tel bar and things no longer seem so bad but on the way back to his room he trips and falls, break­ing his wrist.

This led to an ex­pen­sive trip to the lo­cal hos­pi­tal. Is he cov­ered for the am­bu­lance and med­i­cal bills?

Next day one of his teeth starts to ache. He’s in agony by day three and is forced to visit a lo­cal den­tist.

A pol­icy is a con­tract. You are bound by ev­ery word

Take the min­i­mum with you. Ex­pen­sive jew­ellery stays home

Get a good hid­den, water­proof cash and card pocket. Will in­sur­ance cover the trip? Tooth ag­o­nis­ingly root-canaled, our hol­i­day­maker re­turns to his ho­tel and gets his last shock.

The phone rings. His old Dad’s had a mas­sive heart at­tack. It’s not the first time but this one has proven fa­tal.

Our man dashes to the air­port to fly back early for the funeral. Will the ticket be paid for by in­sur­ance?

As you may have guessed, the an­swers to the ques­tions were: No, no, no, no and no.

Fail­ure to check in is not cov­ered. Nor are thefts of cash, cards and jew­ellery from a ho­tel room if a ho­tel safe is avail­able.

Nor is any claim con­nected with the ‘‘in­flu­ence of al­co­hol’’. Nor is treat­ment for tooth de­cay.

Nor are claims con­nected to pre­ex­ist­ing con­di­tions.

There are lit­er­ally dozens of ex­clu­sions in travel poli­cies and hol­i­day­mak­ers must be aware of them.

Trag­i­cally, many are con­nected with fun, but kinda-risky stuff.

Get lucky and in­vite that cute Cuban back to your room. Beware gen­eral ex­clu­sion 10 pro­hibit­ing claims re­lated to peo­ple you in­vited in.

Dumped by girl­friend for get­ting caught with cute Cuban. Gen­eral ex­clu­sion 6. No claims re­lated to re­la­tion­ship break-ups.

Pick­pock­eted at the casino. Gen­eral ex­clu­sion 12. Par­tic­i­pat­ing in gambling.

And though I’m sure I don’t need to men­tion it. Gen­eral ex­clu­sion 11. No claims re­lated to pros­ti­tu­tion.

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