Media releases 2012

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Record travel insurance sales after Cyclone Evan hits Pacific destinations

Friday, 21 December 2012 by Aimee Bourke

Online travel insurer Southern Cross Travel Insurance (SCTI) logged a record day of policy sales on Monday following the widespread devastation caused by Cyclone Evan in Samoa last week.

The cyclone, which then moved to Fiji, caused extensive flooding and damage, resulting in many stranded tourists. Both countries are popular destinations for Kiwis visiting family or taking a break at Christmas time.

SCTI CEO Craig Morrison said it was vital that travellers purchased their travel insurance policy as soon as they booked and paid for their holiday.

“This is because travel insurance only provides cover for events that are unexpected. What this means is that if an event that might cause your trip to be cancelled or disrupted, such as a cyclone, has already begun when you purchase your travel insurance, it won’t be considered unexpected and your policy won’t cover you for any expenses related to that particular event.”

Morrison said if a SCTI customer travelling in Samoa or Fiji had purchased their policy prior to 6am on 13th December, there was provision to claim for reasonable additional costs related to travel interruptions or travel delays caused by Cyclone Evan. For SCTI customers travelling to Samoa or Fiji who had not yet departed New Zealand, but had purchased their policy prior to 6am on 13th December, there was provision to claim for unrecoverable cancellation or alteration costs caused by Cyclone Evan.

Although people travelling to Fiji or Samoa who purchase a policy after 6am on 13th December can no longer be covered for events related to Cyclone Evan, buying travel cover is still extremely worthwhile, said Morrison.

“Your policy will still provide cover for events unrelated to the cyclone – such as if the traveller fell ill or had an accident. Every year we receive individual claims for medical and related medical evacuation costs from these islands that reach into the tens of thousands of dollars.”