Australia, Fiji, the United States, Cook Islands, and the United Kingdom are the top five overseas holiday destinations for Kiwi families, according to data collected by New Zealand’s largest travel insurer.
Southern Cross Travel Insurance revealed the most popular countries* with New Zealand families, who are venturing further afield as new airline routes open up. Family holidays make up nearly half of all trips insured by Southern Cross.
The CEO of Southern Cross Travel Insurance, Chris White, says international travel is a great opportunity for Kiwi kids to have new experiences and learn about different cultures.
“At the same time, no matter the holiday destination, it’s important to plan ahead,” he says. “While no one wants to think their fun family break could turn sour through illness or accident, unfortunately it does happen.”
White says recent successful claims by Southern Cross Travel Insurance customers suggest it’s important to plan for the unexpected when it comes to family holidays. Cases include:
• A 10-year-old travelling with family in the United States who underwent emergency appendix surgery, resulting in a claim for $92,000.
• A family of three travelling in Fiji whose 10-year-old was flown by air ambulance back to New Zealand after a severe allergic reaction, costing $58,000.
• Two adults and two children travelling in Australia came down with the flu, resulting in one of the children being hospitalised. Despite the hospital care being covered by New Zealand’s Reciprocal Health Agreement (RHA) with Australia, costs associated with changes to the family’s journey totalled more than $18,000.
White says that even where RHAs apply, such as in Australia or the UK, travel insurance can cover changes to a journey and additional accommodation due to ill health.
“A medical issue experienced by a parent or child undoubtedly impacts a holiday and causes concern and stress. Other factors while out of your home country can include language barriers, little local knowledge and quite simply, the cost of care,” he says.
“It’s peace of mind for parents to know if something unexpected happens to themselves or their child, travel insurance is there to at least take away one worry.”
Top 5 holiday destinations for Kiwi families
3 The United States
4 Cook Islands
5 The United Kingdom
*According to travel insurance taken out by New Zealand families in 2018. A family is defined as a couple with a child or children, or an adult with a child or children.
Figures are in NZ dollars and the top five countries are based on 2018 data collected by Southern Cross Travel Insurance.