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Compare Travel Insurance Media Room › Auckland floods- are you covered?

Auckland floods-are you covered?

06/02/2023 By Natalie Smith

After being ravaged by storms, New Zealand declared a state of emergency in the Auckland region, leaving travellers in the region questioning their rights. 

The floods in Auckland have been regarded as the worst downpour on record for the region, leaving four people dead and 350 without accommodation.  

The weather event left thousands of travellers in the lurch as Auckland Airport was forced to shut down for 37 hours, with countless flights delayed or cancelled as a result. 

Natalie Ball, Director of said,  

“Travellers affected by the Auckland floods have been understandably alarmed by this weather event. As a result of the airport shutdown there is likely to be a backlog of flights and international flight operations may take some time to resume. With further storms predicted, it’s important for affected travellers to understand their rights and entitlements in terms of travel insurance and their airlines.” 

Ball says that under these circumstances, travellers usually have provision to claim under their travel insurance.  

“Travellers affected by natural disasters who bought comprehensive travel insurance are likely to be covered, provided they were not aware of the weather event at the time when the policy was purchased.”  

Those who hadn’t yet bought travel insurance prior to news of Auckland’s floods, however, are unlikely to be. Generally speaking, travel insurance applies only when cover is purchased prior to a major weather event. 

“This is why travel insurance exists”, says Ball. “Provided you have comprehensive travel insurance, you would have provision to claim.” 

Ball advises that in these instances, sooner is always better when it comes to purchasing travel insurance. 

 “Buy travel insurance as soon as you’ve booked your airfares and accommodation. You’ll have added peace of mind, along with a long list of benefits that will kick in almost straight away. In today’s travel climate, there’s really no excuse to go without it.” 

Cover for missed events 

As a further consequence of the floods in New Zealand, music icon Elton John was forced to cancel his Auckland concert. For fans battling adverse weather conditions, the last-minute cancellations were a bitter pill to swallow. 

Ball says that those who had travelled to the region specifically for the event may have provision to claim through travel insurance. 

“Those going to Auckland for the concert, covered by comprehensive travel insurance policies may be eligible to claim over this event and recoup any relevant, out-of-pocket expenses. This could apply to any lost deposits, pre-booked accommodation, additional event tickets and meals.” 

Airlines response  

Qantas passengers whose trips have been impacted by the Auckland floods have been advised that unused tickets bought prior to January 28th will be reissued though credit. Alternately customers have the option to re-book to another date of travel.  

Jetstar and Air New Zealand have also offered flight changes (subject to availability) or voucher refunds. 

Nevertheless, travellers who are unable to recoup their lost travel costs through their airline may well be compensated through their travel insurer. 

Ball concludes, 

“Travellers should note that that if they are offered compensation through their airline, they cannot claim through their travel insurer. Knowing what you are entitled to can save you a headache, particularly in a post pandemic world. Be mindful that for complete assurance and peace of mind, it’s best to purchase travel insurance.” 

Contributor Natalie Smith

Natalie Smith

Having travelled to over 40 countries, studied tourism management and worked as a flight attendant for over three years, Natalie knows more than a thing or two about travel! She’s an adventure-lover, whose favourite trips have been trekking Machu Picchu and volunteering in an animal shelter in the Amazon. Qualified in Tier 2 General Insurance General Advice and specialising in travel insurance for the last five years, she in passionate about helping travellers get the most out of their holiday.

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