Travel Insurance

Help please...

In December, husband John and myself (73 yrs and 71 yrs respectively) hope to visit our son and his wife in New Zealand. We would like to go for approximately 70 days. Can anyone recommend an insurance company - French or UK based? Most of the companies researched either have a limited period for travel or expensive.

Many thanks for any advice.

Arlene Holmes

Hi Pam

I found your link very interesting - it is possible to get the pictures of Christchurch following the last two earthquakes (search Christchurch earthquakes) - I don't think things are moving that fast, although a cardboard cathedral seems to have been constructed, thankfully we saw Christchurch in it's original state about 9 months before the earthquake.

With regard to my travel insurance - if I pay for the trip with my bank's Gold Card I will have the cover required, I am told we are covered for the entire time we are there and so far no one has mentioned our state of health, but I will ask about this when I collect the card. If we need to see a doctor we must bring back the bill and submit it to CPAM who will reimburse the charge to the value they give in France.

Jane, This is actually strange, as we have a one year policy covering myself and husband, which cost us somewhere in the region of €185 or so. This is for the 2 of us for one year. And we are older than you, Jane! We had some unfortunate experiences when trying to claim on our Credit Card Insurance cover!! We'd paid in full for a cruise. 4 days before leaving I slipped and fractured my pelvis and ended up in hospital. We tried to claim compensation for this, but Nada - Zilch - even though I had a doctor's certificate etc. to prove what had happened.

No, but will them give them a try next time.

It's a difficult situation in Chch really with all the liquefaction and no possibility to rebuild in those areas. Just as concerning are the current spate of earthquakes at Seddon at the northern tip of the South Island. I hope they manage to keep Chch 'alive' as it is the largest centre of commerce in the SI. My experience of NZ summer is that it can take quite a while to appear (a bit like France this spring!).

Hubby and I both experienced the Edgecumbe earthquake in 1987, I was in Rotorua at the time and he in Opotiki. It was really impressive and a strange sensation to feel the earth rolling beneath you. The dairy factory where OH worked had to take in all the milk from Edgecumbe as they could not process the milk - they had to run 24 hours to try and keep up. You might find this link interesting (click on the 'Edgecumbe Dairy Factory' link under the third picture to hear a first hand description of what happened there):

Enjoy your trip and hope your son and daughter-in-law's house move goes well.

Have you tried Europsure Jane?

We contacted staysure for our trip and their rates are appalling. I have asthma and their questions gave no indication of the life I lead. For instance , can I walk 200 metres a day on the flat. I swim at least that.

I woek hard in the garden and have never been taken to hospital for their condition, yet because of the medication I take, I would be paying another forty pounds. I will be seven weeks over 65 when I travel.

It was really cancellation insurance for any unforseen happening that we were looking for, as we have some insurance with the car.

We are looking into upgrading our french debit card, as this gives cover if we use it for paying for the whole or part of any trip. for instance, if we paid the deposit for the cottage we are renting, the whole amount would be covered.

It also gives some health cover.

Thank you for your suggestion Susan, I did contact Staysure and as we want to go to N.Z. for appx. 70 days we can only have a Single Trip insurance, this will be over £1,000 for us both. Still researching!

Best wishes - Arlene

Hi Pam

Thank you for your advice. I have emailed Credit Mutuel as our health cover is with them, to find out what insurance may be possible, sadly my 'counsellor' is not very efficient when it comes to answering queries, or returning calls.

I am also going to contact the Social Security - Carte Vitale, as a friend has 'out of country' cover when he goes to the US, I have never heard of such an arrangement before so it is worth an enquiry.

I have contacted Staysure as Susan recommended, their quote for a single trip was well over £1,000 for us both, will continue to shop around.

Thank you for your helpful suggestions.

We are going to Christchurch - unfortunately Gareth and Annie were affected by both the major earthquakes and lost their home, the whole situation has been a nightmare for everyone affected - it still goes on. They are hoping to move into their new home next month and we are looking forward to visiting. It will be their summer, although you can still get 4 seasons in a day!

Thanks again - Arlene

Hello Arlene: For the past few years, we have used a British company for travel insurance - Staysure. Their rates are good and they take us "oldies" too. We find it more economical to take out an annual cover for my husband and myself.You can contact them via

Hi Arlene, is it general travel insurance you want? If so, for personal effects, try firstly contacting your existing contents insurance company - they may extend cover for overseas but time may be limited - if so, ask what you would have to pay for a few more days/weeks/etc. For health, the same - who covers your health currently? Have you tried contacting them for 'out of the country' cover? For any accidents (break match and cross fingers to avoid tempting fate) you would be covered by ACC in NZ. If your current insurance offices say they will cover you, please make sure to note the name of the person you deal with, and write a letter mentioning them by name, include the dates you will be out of the country and the fact you have been told you are covered for what you want. You will also need to find out what to do in the event of a claim.

Another option is for your son to contact his insurance office in kiwiland and see if they will extend his cover to include your belongings while you are residing with them - this should be possible (I worked with State Insurance many years ago, so things may have changed since then). He should find out if there are any exceptions to the cover, but if they agree, a letter from him likewise to his insurance company would be wise. Keep copies of all correspondence.

Any special items, such as pieces of jewellery, should be insured separately - take photos, keep photos in a safe place, and any valuations you may have, etc

Travellers cheques usually carry some protection if they come from a reputable company, who should honour them if they are damaged or stolen.

Where will you be staying in NZ? Hopefully there will be some warm summery weather by then :) Bon Voyage!