Allianz Partners CEO Kevin Blyth reasons that not knowing when international borders will re-open has been challenging for Allianz as a travel insurer, but he also emphasised that it has been stressful for travellers too. Blyth noted that while a trans-Tasman travel bubble was ‘incredibly exciting’, it could also cause much more anxiety about travelling abroad for Kiwi travellers, especially as customers would, understandably, be concerned about sudden border closures, new outbreaks and flight and activity cancellations.
“As a world leader in insurance and assistance services, we wanted to inspire confidence as bubbles are formed and reassure New Zealanders that it is still possible to travel internationally in a post-Covid-19 world, and get cover for cancellation and medical benefits, should you contract the disease while travelling,” Allianz Partners CEO Kevin Blyth said. “To help put Kiwis’ minds at ease, we have a number of situations covered, including cancelling a trip due to contracting Covid-19 or if you contract Covid-19 while overseas, and require medical assistance.”
Allianz’s reassuring words come hot on the heels of similar advice issued by the Insurance Council of New Zealand. The organisation urged Kiwi travellers to be aware of what is and isn’t covered by their travel insurance policies when venturing abroad following the establishment of a reciprocal international travel agreement with Australia.
Kiwis travelling against governmental advice
ITIJ notes that both parties’ advice is timely indeed. Not only because of the impending travel agreement, but also because data from Stats NZ reveals that roughly 10,000 New Zealanders had bypassed Do Not Travel advice to embark on return overseas trips in the past year.
“Forty-four percent of them were visiting friends and relatives based on how they've filled out their arrival card, while 23 percent of them stated they were on business travel and we have a very small percentage - 3 percent - who indicated they were travelling for vacation or holiday purposes,” Tehseen Islam, Manager, Population Indicators for Stats NZ said.
Clearly, people are still desperate to travel. And once the trans-Tasman travel bubble is established, no doubt there will be a surge in travel bookings for trips to Australia. But having travel insurance and, further to that, ensuring that a traveller has the correct level of cover (due to the current increased travel risk), is integral to not only ensuring traveller safety, but also to reducing instances of disgruntled policyholders with rejected claims, cases of travel insurance fraud, and improving customer retention.
Travel insurers have the opportunity now to make their case to restless travellers. The importance of having a safety net in place when travelling has come to the forefront of people’s minds, and travel insurers can provide this – and more.