Travel Insurance – What you need to know before you go!

An aerial view of the Tongariro National Park volcanic massif in the central plateau of New Zealands' North Island

Flights To Great Barrier Island

On the Great Barrier Island Escape tour, our preferred flight service provider is Barrier Air. Barrier Air is a small regional airline, so they don’t offer insurance as part of their tickets like AirNZ does. Having your own insurance is a good idea to cover things like postponed or cancelled flights to or from the island and any extra accommodation, food or rental vehicles required while you wait for replacement flights. Having said that, we’ve never had anyone stuck on the island due to cancelled flights, touch wood!

We recommend you get travel insurance for your North Island hiking tour with Walking Legends or speak to an insurance broker, for professional advice.

Care for your Valuables

We recommend you don’t bring laptops, iPads or Kindles etc. The safest place for these items is at home. On our lodge-based tours, on the way to the lodge on Day 1, and on the way home on Day 4, we often park up at trail carparks and your gear is left in our van – which some companies won’t insure because our vans obviously don’t have lockable boot compartments! Seems crazy, but hey if I sold insurance I’d probably say that too. If you need to have your laptop with you for work etc, then bring it along, but just be prepared to pop it into your day pack while you’re hiking on Day 1 as that’s the safest way. We can’t guarantee the safety of any gear left in our vehicles while we’re out walking.

On our hut-to-hut based tours you probably won’t want to bring devices anyway, because not only will there be a blissful absence of Wi-Fi, but their weight might mean a few extra blisters for you, and no one loves a blister!

If something should happen to your valuables while you’re on the trip with us, sometimes your House & Contents Insurance will cover losses – but most policies exclude any valuables that have not been kept on your person. Walking Legends is unable to provide any cover for any valuables lost, damaged or stolen while you’re on the trip. We’ll get you to the nearest police station as soon as we can to lodge a police report to assist in your insurance claims.

Travel Insurance Providers

If you’re looking for a travel insurance provider while you’re on your North Island guided hiking tour with Walking Legends, take a look at Cover More or Southern Cross. Check the fine print of your policy carefully so you can get busy with enjoying every moment of your hard-earned New Zealand hiking tour!

COVID-19 Insurance Update

I’ve come across a couple of insurance companies attempting to allay domestic travellers concerns around travel insurance during the pandemic.

This is what Cover More has produced under their ‘Options Travel Insurance – Single Trip’ Policy for travel within either Australia or New Zealand, released 28th October 2020.

Examples of the kind of cover provided by their Covid-19 Endorsement include:

  • Medical cover if diagnosed during the trip.
  • Additional accommodation/transport expenses if diagnosed and quarantined in Australia.
  • Cancellation cover (up to the limit of chosen) if diagnosed and unable to travel.
  • Up to $250 per night for alternative accommodation if the person you were due to stay with is diagnosed with COVID-19, or is quarantined following contact with a person diagnosed with Covid-19.
  • Cover if prepaid accommodation is shut down for deep cleaning due to an outbreak.
  • Protection if your leave from work is cancelled if you’re an essential health care worker.
  • Refunds on the unused, prepaid, non-refundable tickets if your prepaid holiday activity is closed due to Covid-19 (e.g. ski venue, theme park or cooking school).

Cover is automatic and there is no extra charge.

It’s now even easier to change your plans!

We’ve adapted our Booking Terms & Conditions in response to COVID-19 to give you more surety when booking your hiking tours with us. Your $300 NZD deposit is now fully refundable up until 30 days before departure. It used to be 60 days, but that just doesn’t seem practical anymore. At the 30 days before departure threshold we send our rooming list on to our lodges and we’re then governed by their cancellation policy which incurs fees and needs to be covered by your deposits.

Any deposit you put towards your hiking tour will be fully transferable to a future date of your choosing with no penalties, provided you choose your new date up to 30 days before your original scheduled departure. We’re happy to transfer you forward to future hiking seasons quite easily as well!

If you have any questions regarding these policies, please do just reach out and ask us via email or give us a call!

NZ Freephone 0800 925 569 (WALK NZ)

AUS Freephone 1 800 646 584

Or send Cathy an email – [email protected]

You can also message us via our Facebook page. (We’re getting better at replying instantly, but sometimes we need sleep!)

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