New Zealander tourists favouring the US

A New Zealand passport on a globe next to New Zealand.
Travel insurance

Record numbers of New Zealanders are reportedly travelling overseas, with the US a particularly favoured destination, according to Silicon Valley-based insurtech VisitorsCoverage. More than 2.9 million Kiwis travelled abroad last year via New Zealand airports, and VisitorsCoverage has noted a 120-per-cent increase in this demographic searching for travel insurance via its website in 2018, and a 100-per-cent increase in searches specifically for coverage for trips to the US.

MoneyHub, meanwhile, has reported some comforting data – only one in six New Zealanders travel overseas without travel insurance. And while they tend to favour coverage purchased from a homegrown provider, more and more are looking to US-based suppliers based on various factors, including reduced costs and increased benefits.

“Visitors to the US are realising the cost savings, coverage advantages and convenience of purchasing US-based travel insurance,” commented Rajeev Shrivastava, CEO and Founder of VisitorsCoverage. “Not only do more US-based providers recognise and accept US-based insurance, but non-US policies are generally reimbursement-based, and travellers may be required to pay medical costs out-of-pocket at the time of service. Filing a claim for reimbursement later could be complicated, frustrating and lengthy as a result of different time zones and countries.”

Between 1998 and 2017, the number of international flights taking off from and landing at New Zealand airstrips annually has more than doubled, from 35,804 to nearly 76,000. According to Statistics New Zealand, there has been ‘increasing diversity in the regions people are visiting’, which echoes a growing diversity among the island nation’s population.