Help Center - Am I covered for a natural disaster?

For information relating to policies purchased prior to 18 May 2022, please check the Policy Document provided with your purchase. You can contact us if you need this sent to you again. For policies purchased on or from 18 May 2022 please see below.

Yes, there’s cover if a natural disaster such as an earthquake, cyclone, flood, volcano, tsunami, or asteroid hitting earth that affects your travel plans and/or injures you.

However, it goes without saying that you need to have your policy before these forces of mass destruction become a known event. So if you’ve done that, we’ll do everything we can to help you.

Does World Nomads travel insurance cover medical expenses arising from a natural disaster?

Yes. If you’re unlucky enough to be injured by a natural disaster, our Emergency Assistance team can help you get to the nearest medical centre, so that you can receive the medical attention you need. If you’re so badly hurt that the 24/7 Emergency Assistance team decides you need to go home, they can organise to transport you home. However, once you’re home, we’re not able to cover ongoing medical costs, so you’ll need to hit up the New Zealand health care system or your private health insurer. You can find out further information here on how we help travellers with overseas medical treatment.

Does World Nomads travel insurance cover pre-trip cancellation if a natural disaster affects where I’m travelling to?

Yes, there’s cover if you need to cancel your trip due to severe weather or a natural disaster. It’s a pretty good idea to give some thought to what kind of trip you’re doing when buying a policy, as the amount you’re covered for depends on which plan you buy.

If my trip is interrupted, what can I claim for?

If you’re already on the road and your trip is interrupted by a natural disaster, you can claim for additional transport and accommodation costs to help you get your trip back on track.

If I come home early, can I get a refund on the rest of my policy?

As the policy is outside of its cooling off period and you’ve travelled on it, there are no refunds. You are, however, welcome to make a claim for any additional expenses you might have incurred.

How do I claim?

Funnily, we get asked this a lot; so here’s something we prepared earlier, a step by step guide on how to claim.

How do I get help?

It’s important that you contact your our 24/7 Emergency Assistance team as soon as you can so that they can help you out. Their details can be found on your Certificate of Insurance.

How to keep safe following a natural disaster?

  • Follow the advice of the New Zealand Government travel authority SafeTravel.
  • Avoid downed power lines and disaster-caused hazards.
  • Use battery-powered flashlights and lanterns, rather than candles, gas lanterns or torches.

Following a disaster there may be rapidly moving water that can carry infectious diseases. Disasters resulting in massive structural damage can also result in exposure to chemical or biologic contaminants (i.e. asbestos).

In the case of earthquakes, do not return to your hotel / accommodations, or any building, if they are in any way damaged, as aftershocks could cause a collapse.

Move to the nearest open area (oval, park) away from damaged buildings, trees or roads where power lines may have fallen.

If you are in an area prone to landslides and mudslides (i.e. very steep slopes, canyons, high rainfall zones) be aware of any sudden increase or decrease in water level on a stream or creek that might indicate debris flow upstream. A trickle of flowing mud may precede a larger flow. Look for tilted trees, telephone poles, fences, or walls, and for new holes or bare spots on hillsides. Listen for rumbling sounds that might indicate an approaching landslide or mudflow.

How to avoid disease following a natural disaster?

Disease can spread very quickly post disaster, so ensure you protect against injuries and infections by wearing sturdy footwear. Tetanus is a potential health threat for cuts and grazes so make sure you see your doctor before you travel and update your preventative medications.

Frequent hand washing helps keep germs at bay. (If a traveller becomes unwell within six weeks of returning home and has fever, rash, respiratory illness or any other unusual symptoms, advise a physician of having just returned from a disaster-affected region.) If possible, drink only sealed bottled, boiled or disinfected water.

For more information refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and the New Zealand Governement travel authority SafeTravel.

In the event of diarrhoea, replace lost fluids with clean drinking water or oral rehydration solutions.

This is only a summary of cover and does not include the full terms, conditions, limits, and exclusions of the policy. You should read your Policy Document in full, so you understand what is and isn’t covered. If you are unsure about your level of travel cover, please contact us for help.

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