Travel insurance stats show Kiwis flocking back to overseas trips as COVID restrictions ease

Travel insurance stats show Kiwis flocking back to overseas travel as COVID restrictions ease.
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New Zealanders appear to be leaping at the chance to travel internationally following the relaxing of COVID-19 border restrictions, according to dramatic travel insurance statistics released this week.

The numbers back up reports of masses of Kiwis attempting to renew their passports, causing the standard processing time to jump from 10 days to 21.

Figures released by Tower Insurance show that Australia was the top destination for travel insurance policies purchased by New Zealanders in March, overtaking Aotearoa itself.

In February, domestic travel insurance policies accounted for 32.2 percent of those taken out, followed by Australia at 13.74 percent, the UK at 8.06 percent, the Cook Islands at 7.58 percent and the Philippines at 6.64 percent.

That changed in March to Australia at 18.99 percent, then New Zealand at 14.24 percent, the UK at 11.87 percent, then both Fiji and the US at 9.2 percent each.

"It's no surprise that Australia quickly became the number one destination for travellers following New Zealand's border reopening," says Tower Managing Director - Tower Direct and Digital, Michelle James.

"It's good to see the increase and broad range of destinations being booked. It's indicative of Kiwi culture and our love of travel. People are eager to see their loved ones and of course, to see the world again.

"Our job as an insurer is to be there when people need us most, so to play a part in these reunions doesn't go unnoticed by the Tower team - it's a great feeling."

Tower is one of many companies in New Zealand that offer travel insurance along with the likes of State, AA and Southern Cross.

Policies generally cover a wide range of unexpected costs like loss of deposits to incidental hospital expenses, loss or damage to your personal baggage and money stolen during your journey. 

However, customers should carefully read the policy wording before they travel, especially around costs associated with COVID-19 disruptions, some of which won't be covered.