New Zealand Earthquake: Squaremouth Explains Travel Insurance Coverage

Published by Carolyn Leckie November 14, 2016

ST. PETERSBURG, FL November 14, 2016 — Following a major earthquake on New Zealand’s South Island, travel insurance comparison site Squaremouth has established the New Zealand Earthquake and Travel Insurance Information Center to explain coverage, including provider position statements, for travelers affected by the earthquake.

It is too late to purchase a new policy with coverage for the earthquake, but affected travelers who had a policy in place before the earthquake occurred may be eligible for a number of benefits.

“Travelers currently in New Zealand should contact their travel insurance provider’s 24-Hour Emergency Assistance as soon as possible for help,” said Squaremouth spokesperson Rachael Taft. “Travelers with an upcoming trip to New Zealand may be able to cancel if the earthquake damaged their local accommodations or significantly delays their scheduled flights.”

Travelers Currently in New Zealand
Contact your travel insurance provider’s 24-Hour Emergency Assistance to understand your coverage. This may include coverage for:

  • Medical treatment and evacuation to an appropriate medical facility if you are injured
  • Non-Medical Evacuation to help you get home or to a place of safety (some policies)
  • Returning home early if you meet your policy’s requirements for Trip Interruption — typically your accommodations must be rendered uninhabitable by the earthquake to trigger this coverage

Travelers Planning to Visit New Zealand
You may be covered to cancel your trip if the earthquake affects your trip in a way that triggers cancellation coverage on your policy, such as:

  • Your flight or other ticketed transportation is canceled or delayed for a certain amount of time, typically at least 12-48 hours, because of the earthquake
  • Your accommodations are damaged by the earthquake and deemed uninhabitable
  • There is a mandatory evacuation at your destination because of the earthquake – some restrictions may apply

Alternatively, travelers with the Cancel For Any Reason upgrade on their policy can cancel even if they do not meet their policy’s standard cancellation requirements, as long as they cancel at least 2-3 days before their departure date. However, Cancel For Any Reason only reimburses up to 50-75% of the trip cost.

Additional coverage may be available for travelers depending on their policy. Visit Squaremouth’s New Zealand Earthquake and Travel Insurance Information Center for more information about travel insurance coverage for the earthquake on New Zealand’s South Island, including fact sheets, frequently asked questions, and travel insurance provider position statements.

In-Depth: Earthquakes and Travel Insurance Fact Sheet: Squaremouth Explains Coverage For Affected Travelers