Complete guide to travel insurance



1. introduction

Travel can be many things to many people. Perhaps you’re a first time flyer preparing for that white-knuckled journey;  you may be a well seasoned adventurer looking to conquer unfamilar terrain; or perhaps you've got your sights set on discovering your home country.  No matter what your holiday plans are, chances are that you'll embark on exciting new experiences that you’ll remember for years to come.

There’s no doubt that leaving your comfort zone can bring you all manner of experiences; however regret shouldn’t be one of them. For every kind of traveller there’s a travel insurance policy that will suit your journey.

Whether you’re planning a round-the-world adventure, a European sojourn, a rough and tumble backpacking quest or even a humanitarian aid role, it’s impossible to predict every element of your trip.  No one plans to have an accident on holiday, but unfortunately accidents take place all over the world.

Travel should be encouraged and celebrated, but the truth is that even the best laid plans can go awry. With all adventures come risks, and whether it’s a poolside slip or a mountain climbing fiasco, your trip could turn from sweet to sour in an instant.

Regardless of whether you travel regularly or are a first time flier, no one is immune from the unpredictable. Your holidays are too precious to be spent dealing with damage control so invest in travel insurance to safeguard your trip.

So what does travel insurance protect you from? We have the answers…


2. what does travel insurance cover?

  • medical
  • Medical emergencies

    Falling ill or being injured while travelling can be a nightmare experience and a huge financial drain to boot. For instance hospital fees in the United States can reach up to $10,000 a day whilst emergency transport home can cost anywhere up to $300,000. Travel insurance would cover the cost of medical treatment if you become ill or have an accident abroad.

  • cancellation

  • Cancellation of your travel plans

    From time to time people are unlucky enough to have to cancel their trip or return home due to illness, an accident or the death of a close relative. The last thing you need in this instance is the anxiety and financial burden of securing a last minute flight and recovering any lost deposits.

  • luggage
  • Luggage & belongings

    Too often travellers can have their trip soured by a case of lost or delayed luggage or damaged or stolen personal items on their holidays. Insuring your treasured possessions is always the smart approach, when it comes to covering your high value belongings when you travel.

  • personal liability

  • Personal liability

    Although this would not cover you for car accidents, personal liability assists you if you accidentally cause damage to a third person’s property and were held accountable for it. Phew that’s a relief! 

3. travel insurance checklist 


There’s a range of factors you will need to consider before you buy travel insurance. Conversely there may be some benefits you could happily do without. For instance if you’re not taking any valuables and packing minimal luggage you may not require too much cover for your belongings. Alternately if medical care is your main concern you may wish to purchase a policy with unlimited medical cover. It’s time to have a think about which ones are highest priority on your checklist.



Your travel destination will obviously be a factor and could determine your level of cover. Taking out comprehensive insurance is vital if visiting places such as the USA and many European countries, where medical care is expensive, or for trips with adventure on the agenda. For other destinations, where you just find yourself relaxing poolside a lower level of cover might be sufficient. Make sure you check before you leave; as claims in countries where the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade recommends against travel would not be covered.




This one’s a biggie; what level of medical cover will you require for your trip? Depending on where you’re heading medical cover may be a bigger influence. For instance, if you’re heading to the USA where medical treatment is notoriously expensive (prices can soar to $10,000 a day) you’ll definitely want to ensure you’re protected with maximum medical benefits.




Will you be taking any valuables on your trip? Make sure you insure your expensive items with additional High Value Item cover to ensure complete protection. It’s important to note that a sub-limit exists for each item. For example our Comprehensive Plus policy covers for $25,000 worth of personal items, but single item limits apply. You can only claim a maximum of $3000 for Personal computers, video recorders or cameras, and $1,000 for All other items, including mobile phones and tablets.




Does your trip include a slice of adventure? It’s important to make sure all your holiday activities are covered before you signing up for the next dare devil tough mudder challenge! At TINZ, we cover certain activities like golf, fencing, sand boarding and water skiing as standard, but other activities like ostrich riding, caving or bungee jumping require you to purchase additional sport and activities cover. See our activities page for more information. 




4. Steps to buys a policy

Ok, ready to buy a policy… Now what? From where you’re going, to what you’re going to do when you get there…
we take you through the steps to buy travel insurance.

steps to buy





5. cover benefits

Apart from medical cover when you’re abroad there are plenty of additional benefits to travel insurance. Because there are so many types and levels of cover; we know that getting your head around travel insurance can be a mission! The below table outlines common travel benefits and explains what they cover.
  • Accidental death

    A benefit payable if you die because of an injury sustained whilst you’re on holiday.
  • Loss of income

    A weekly loss of income benefit if you are injured overseas and cannot work when you return home.
  • Personal liability 

    Cover for legal liability to cover damages that you may cause.)
  • Alternative transport

    Cover for unforeseen travel experiences if you are delayed getting to a prepaid event such as a wedding or sporting match.
  • Luggage

    Cover for theft, damage and loss of luggage and personal items.
  • Rental vehicle excess

    Cover for the excess payment on your rental vehicle’s insurance if the car you are driving is involved in an accident or is stolen.
  • cancellation

    Cover for transport and accommodation expenses if you experience delays or cancellation of your travel plans.
  • Luggage delay

    Cover for any essential items of clothing and other personal items you buy if your luggage is delayed or misplaced.
  • Theft of cash

    Reimbursement for cash, bank notes, currency notes, postal orders or money orders stolen during an overseas holiday.
  • Delay expenses

    Compensation for meals and accommodation expenses if you’re delayed due to circumstances outside your control.
  • Medical

    Medical expenses for injury or illness including hospital stays, surgery, dental, prescription drugs, doctor & dentist visits.
  • Travel documents

    Cover for the costs of replacement of any travel documents, including passports or travellers cheques which are lost or stolen.
  • Hospital cash

    A daily allowance if you are hospitalised overseas.
  • Permanent disability

    A benefit paid if you are injured on your trip and suffer disability 12 months after your trip.
  • Travel expenses

    Cover for additional travel and accommodation expenses if you cannot travel because of an injury or sickness.




6. limits & exclusions

useful resources

Still with us? Great! It’s fair to say that while it can definitely be a lifesaver, travel insurance doesn’t cover for every eventuality on holiday. Whilst no one wants to encounter a rumble in the jungle, travel insurance exists to protect you from circumstances that are unforeseen or out of your control, not for situations which could easily have been avoided. Because of this, there are certain limits and exclusions that apply to all insurance polices, not just ours.. And it really pays to know these before you decide to buy, or depart off on your trip.

  • excluded
  • pre-existing medical conditions

    Travel insurance covers unforeseen accidents and illnesses that could not have been predicted on your trip, not illnesses you are aware of; or have sought professional advice for or that you take prescribed medication or surgery for. At TINZ, we automatically cover 35 medical conditions, whether you tell us about them or not. However, if your condition is not in this list, a medical assessment may be required

  • excluded

  • precarious pursuits

    Just because you’re feeling fantastic, fanciful, and free-spirited on holiday, doesn’t mean you should throw caution to the wind! It’s highly unlikely your car insurance would cover you if you had a crash drag racing your best mate along the M1. Similarly we wouldn’t cover you for any precarious pursuits you take part in on your action-packed adventure. If you wouldn’t partake in a risky activity back home, don’t do so overseas. Use common sense or risk your cover. You have been warned!

  • excluded
  • Acting irresponsibly

    Who doesn’t love a Pisco Sour in Peru or a Margarita in Mexico! Just note that if you’ve had one too many and injure yourself whilst very intoxicated we might not be able to reimburse you for the medical treatment costs you incur at this time. Remember, think before you sink!

  • excluded

  • cancellations & delays due to airlines

    Airlines delays and cancellations are all too common in the world of air travel. If you missed a connecting flight due to delays caused by your airline, then it’s the responsibility of the airline to get you on the next flight, not your travel insurance. However, if you missed your flight due to circumstances outside of your control then of course we are here for you! 

  • excluded
  • unattended Items

    Leaving your items exposed or unprotected (so that they could easily be taken without your knowledge) is not covered by travel insurance. Similarly, leaving your belongings with someone you just met, or leaving your stuff behind on a plane, train, taxi or hotel room would not be covered. Even leaving bags on display in a locked car would be considered ‘unattended.’

  • excluded

  • Travel warnings

    Travel warnings are a tricky one to get your head around. Generally speaking most travel insurance policies don’t cover for pandemics, acts of war, civil riots, or natural disasters after official travel warnings on have been released. So what does this mean? If you do not follow the advice from the mass media or any government or official body’s warning against travel to a particular country or parts of a country, you could invalidate your cover

7. travel insurance faq's

We know travel insurance can be confusing so we have come up with a handy list of frequently asked questions so you can get answers- quickly!


  • q. What is an excess?
  • An excess is an amount that you pay upfront if you make a travel insurance claim. Remember that excess applies once per claimed event, not once per claim. So for example, if you are claiming for lost luggage and delay expenses you will have to pay the excess twice, once for each covered event.

  • q. Do I need travel insurance if I am heading on a cruise?
  • Yes! Many people don’t realise is that even if you’re on a cruise in New Zealand waters you need cruise cover as you’re not covered by your normal health insurance out at sea…no matter how far off shore you are.

  • q. What is an annual multi trip policy?
  • If you travel often, frequent travel insurance may save you time and money- you’re covered you for all the little trips you make domestically and internationally per year. Max trip durations apply per trip.

  • q. What happens if I have an accident in my hire car overseas?
  • Accidents happen very quickly and can be traumatic. It can be difficult to immediately determine what happened. Avoid discussing who was to blame. There is a process for determining fault and its best left to the experts to figure out.

  • q. What if I have a pre-existing condition?
  • If you have a pre-existing medical condition then you must tell us. A pre-existing medical condition is any medical or dental health condition that you are aware of; or have sought professional advice for in the past whether ongoing or not. It is any condition that you take prescribed medication for, have had surgery for, or see a medical specialist for.

  • q. Are children covered under my policy?
  • Yes they sure are! At TINZ your ‘dependant’ grandchildren are insured for no additional cost as long as they are under 19 and not in full time employment.

Have some more questions? No worries, just give us shout and we will answer them for you in no time!


8. useful resources

useful resources

So now you’re all set, by following the tips within this guide you’ll be fully prepared to enjoy your holiday. Finally, here are a few useful resources to help you on your way. Happy holidays!




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