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Kiwis high cost holiday hell

July 2, 2015 Insurance No Comments Email Email

There is a high price to pay for packing your prized possessions along with you on holiday.

Smart travellers always insure their belongings before taking off, however, many Kiwis are unaware that their higher value items may not be covered under their current travel insurance policy.

Whilst $10,000 in baggage cover might sound like plenty, it could surprise you to discover that you may only be able to claim a maximum of $700 per item, hardly enough to cover the cost of a new laptop or flashy engagement ring. Putting aside the emotional expense, recovering a high-value item can eat into holiday budgets and schedules, turning your trip into a pricey disaster.  Most travel policies will allow you to insure your dearer belongings for a nominal cost, but did you know that standard policies have single item sub-limits?

Director for New Zealand Travel Insurance Comparison Travelinsurance.co.nz, Natalie Ball says…

All too often Kiwis get caught out at claim time because they weren’t aware of sub-limits. Insurers often have low claim limits on frequently lost or stolen items such as jewellery and electronics.  After your excess is taken out, you might not see much more than $500 for your Rolex worth several thousand dollars.  If you insist on taking expensive items away, it makes sense to pay an additional premium and add them to your travel insurance policy.”

For instance, Barbara Sutherland was mid-way through a sightseeing tour in Switzerland when she realised that the diamond from her engagement ring was missing. After searching high and low, Barbara called up her travel insurer to see whether the loss would be covered for. Much to her dismay, she discovered that the diamond was not covered under her policy as the value exceeded the sub-limit for non-specified items. The experience soured Barbara’s holiday and taught her to either insure her possessions better on future trips, or leave her jewels at home.

Taking it to the limit

Every insurer varies in their single item limit cover. Once travellers are aware of their policy restrictions, they can then establish which policy would best cover their high value items. It’s worth shopping around as cover for unspecified items can range from $700 to $1,500. Tech heads and serious photographers are advised to do their research before buying travel insurance as the sub-limit for computers, tablets, video recorders or cameras can vary from $1,000 up to $6,000.

Thinking of travelling with a high-value item? Perhaps you’re the ring bearer at a wedding or plan to trial your travel photography skills with a state of the art DSLR camera. In any case, paying an extra premium to cover your high cost items can take the edge off, ensuring you are properly covered should they go missing. If you’ve already insured your valuables with your home and contents policy be sure to check that you are able to travel with said items.

Top notch insurers for high value items

Plan on taking some expensive items away with you? Insurers will differ greatly when it comes to sub-limits. The followingcomprehensive policies may fit the bill depending on your travel needs.

  • American Express is the policy for tech head travellers. You can cover your laptop for up to $6,000 and $4,000 for cameras, video cameras and photographic equipment. Mobile phones are covered for up to $1,500 and non-specified items are valued at $1,000.
  • SCTI allows you to insure as many high cost items as you want provided the total value does not exceed $15,000. You will be covered for up to $3,000 for laptops, tablets and related accessories. Cover for cameras and unspecified belongings is valued at $1,500 per item.
  • TID is a good option for photography fiends. They will cover your laptop and camera for up to $4,000. Cover for non-specified items is limited to $700.
  • Covermore provided good coverage for non-specified belongings. You can cover valuables for up to $1,500, cameras, photographic equipment and laptops for up to $3,000 and mobile phones for $1,500.
  • STA Travel is decent choice for those travelling with electronics with cover for up to $3,500 for tablets, cameras, photographic equipment and laptops. Your phone will be covered for up to $1,000 and non-specified items are covered for up to $750.
  • 1Cover is an affordable option that covers up to $2,000 for laptops, cameras and photographic equipment and $1,000 for mobile phones. Their single item limit for non-specified items is $750.
Insurer Mobile phones Laptops Cameras/ photographic equipment Non-specified items
1Cover $1,000 $2,000 $2,000 $750
AA Travel $1,500 $1,500 $1,500 $1,500
American Express $1,500 $6,000 $4,000 $1,000
Columbus Direct $750 $3,000 $3,000 $750
Covermore $1,500 $3,000 $3,000 $1,500
DUinsure $1,000 $3,000 $3,000 $750
HOT $1,500 $2,500 $2,500 $1,500
NZ Travel Insurance $1,500 $2,500 $2,500 $1,500
SCTI $1,500 $3,000 $1,500 $1,500
State $1,500 $3,000 $3,000 $1,500
STA Travel $1,000 $3,500 $3,500 $750
TID $750 $4,000 $4,000 $700
Tower $1,500 $1,500 $2,500 $1,500
The Warehouse $1,500 $2,000 $2,000 $1,500
Webjet $1,000 $3,000 $3,000 $750
Worldcare $1,500 $2,500 $2,500 $1,500

Claim rejection: What not to do

No matter how highly you’ve insured your iPad or Prada handbag, your claim would not be paid if it went missing under anyone of the following situations:

  • Unattended belongings: Even if you’ve left your belongings unattended for a minute or two, that’s enough for your stuff to get swiped. Your insurer will require you to have a keen eye on your belongings when they are not locked away.
  • Unreported items: Without a valid police report (or from the relevant authority), your claim would not be paid out. This must be obtained in the first 24 hours of the incident.
  • Mobile phones: Some companies will not pay out a claim relating to a mobile phone (or device with phone capabilities) if you are unable to supply the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity).
  • Items with no proof of purchase: You must be able to provide some proof of purchase, whether in the form of a receipt, warranty, or photo. Check what your insurer requires should you need to make a claim.
  • Belongings left unattended in a vehicle: If you plan to leave your belongings in a locked car, beware. Luggage, phones, jewellery, computers and other valuables must be locked in the boot or in a locked storage compartment in order for a theft claim to be paid out.
  • When alcohol or drugs are a contributing factor: Are a few cocktails too many to blame for your lost possession? If a drunken night out led to your stuff going missing your claim would not be paid out.

Tips for travelling with luxury luggage

Lost luggage may be a rite of passage for seasoned travellers, but precautionary measures can make all the difference. If your high-value items do go missing, a degree of quality control can help you get your claim sorted as smoothly as possible.

  • DO: Get prepared. Write a list of all the costly items you are taking away, and try to organise all your receipts and warranties. Make sure you understand what your insurer recognises as ‘proof of purchase’ and have them send it to you in writing.
  • DO: Total up the value of all your luggage contents before you leave. If the value is greater than that of the personal items limits in your insurance policy, let your insurer know before you leave.
  • DO: Speak with your travel insurance company if you are unsure about anything. Questioning the sense in taking a $5,000 diamond ring away with you? Talk to your insurer to clarify any confusion.

All journeys are unpredictable. If you treasure your personal belongings, make sure your travel insurance policy can reimburse you should they go missing. With a good degree of diligence and the right amount of cover, you can enjoy your holiday, headache free.

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