A respiratory infection leading to a cancelled cruise booking could have left one Kiwi traveller more than $16,000 out of pocket. While a simple stone-chipped windscreen on a rental car would have cost another traveller more than $3,500.
These are just two of the most expensive domestic travel insurance claims made over the last year, according to provider Southern Cross, who first introduced its domestic cover policy in August 2020.
After the unprecedented crisis that was Covid-19, it makes sense people have become more aware of how unforeseen accidents can hit, whether it's a global pandemic or a fractured arm.
A trend that has translated into an increased desire for domestic travel cover according to Southern Cross Travel Insurance CEO Jo McCauley, although it seems the majority of Kiwis still prefer to go without.
"Prior to the pandemic, just 11 per cent of New Zealanders purchased domestic travel insurance, but after last year's first lockdown, research showed 27 per cent of people were prepared to buy it for their next domestic trip," she said.
The insurance company's list of top 10 most costly insurance claims over the last year shows cancellation costs to domestic travel plans can soon mount up.
Claims included more than $11,000 for one traveller who had to cancel a Fiordland cruise after their mother suffered a stroke; over $10,000 for another whose fractured leg meant cancelling a planned Southland train tour.
The pandemic may have incited a slightly increased interest in domestic travel insurance but according to Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) CE Tim Grafton, Covid-19 related cover is tough to get.
Grafton says it is "simply not possible" to develop a product that accounts for the uncertainty and risk of government border closures.
As a result, most policies will not cover cancellations or travel delays caused by Covid-19 related border closures or lockdowns as well as costs associated with government-mandated quarantine. Travel to countries where there is still a 'do not travel' alert in place would also unlikely be covered.
ICNZ maintains both domestic and international travel is still important given the wider cover it offers.
Southern Cross' Top 10 Most Expensive Domestic Travel Insurance Claims Paid
1. An 80-year-old from Auckland had to cancel their Fiordland cruise after suffering a respiratory tract infection (claim paid - $16,274)
2. A 57-year-old from Wellington had to cancel their Fiordland cruise after a family member suffered a stroke (claim paid - $11,324)
3. An 80-year-old from Christchurch had to cancel their Southland train tour after fracturing their leg (claim paid - $10,168)
4. An 84-year-old from Napier had to cancel their Chatham Islands tour after suffering a hip injury (claim paid - $10,100)
5. A 62-year-old from Lower Hutt had to cancel their Milford and Routeburn hikes due to a heart condition (claim paid - $9,160)
6. A 75-year-old from Christchurch had to cancel their Chatham Islands trip due to a heart condition. This was declared as a pre-existing condition and covered under their policy (claim paid - $6,300)
7. A 47-year-old from Auckland had to claim for a rental car damaged in an accident while driving in Christchurch (claim paid - $4,200)
8. A 71-year-old from Hawke's Bay had to cancel their hike in Hollyford after suffering a knee injury (claim paid - $4,024)
9. A 32-year-old from Christchurch had to claim after a stone caused a chip in a rental vehicle's windscreen while driving around the South Island (claim paid - $3,544)
10. A 72-year-old from Auckland had to cancel their South Island tour due to suffering osteoarthritis. This was declared as a pre-existing condition and covered under their policy (claim paid - $3,516)