How does Holiday Rescue compare with other travel insurers?


Pretty good actually, because that’s how Holiday Rescue started…

Most of the time, travel insurance is just a solid back-up plan to your holiday. But every so often a speedy medical evacuation with a high standard of medical care can make the difference between life and death. If you’re paying for the service, we think you should be able to trust you’ll always be in the best of hands in those critical situations.

For all those other times, how good would it feel if you actually knew what you were covered for before you left? And when things don’t go to plan, you know it’s easy to claim online, and you can expect an answer within 2 business days if you’ve included everything we need.

We’re proud of our service and how our travel insurance compares with others. However, we know we can’t cater for absolutely everyone – we know you’re a safe traveller, but some people prefer their adventures to be a little more extreme. In any case, you can be sure that we’ll be upfront about exactly what we cover and what we don’t cover – so you can know if we’re right for you. And we might even be able to give you some helpful advice to point you in the right direction (if we’re not the best fit for your next holiday) along the way. We have a few handy tips and articles you can check out right now below, like what you need to look out for in the policy wording, the confusion of different “benefits” offered, and service.

So how do our policies compare with other travel insurers? We reviewed other travel insurance policies in July 2018, and found some interesting differences.

1Cover vs Holiday Rescue.  

1Cover offers a lot of options, certainly more than the simplicity of ‘1’ you’d expect. In fact they have 8 different plans, and 2 of those plans each have 3 variations, so it’s probably no surprise that their policy wording is 56 pages long!

Holiday Rescue keeps it simple. Enter your destinations, and if you’re just travelling in New Zealand, there’s one easy option of a ‘domestic policy’. If you’re travelling overseas, you get the choice of either an ‘essentials policy’ or ‘comprehensive policy’. The benefits of each are displayed side by side to make it easy to compare how the cover differs.

Watch out for:

  1. The “per adult traveller” specification in the table of benefits (which you can find in their PDS). That means you have to share the limits of any cover allowed with your kids

Whereas with Holiday Rescue, children are covered under each section individually. For instance with emergency dental cover, every person on the policy is covered so if you break your tooth on an olive pit, and then your child breaks his tooth on the edge of the swimming pool – you both have cover. We think that if you say “kids are covered”, then they should be covered as individuals. Otherwise, it’s not such a good deal, especially if you have more than one child – or if you’re a single parent

  1. If you’re a “seasoned traveller”… Once you turn 75, you’re not eligible to buy the ‘Medical only’ cover, or Essentials policy. And if you’re 80 or more you can only buy travel insurance for a maximum of 6 months, instead of a year for the Domestic and Comprehensive policies only.

At Holiday Rescue, we welcome everyone. You can get and quote and buy online if you’re 100 – and still have a choice of policies. If you’re over 100, just message us and we’ll help you get your policy sorted – and you still have a choice between our essentials and comprehensive cover – and you can travel for up to a year with us – just like everyone else!

  1. We like that all stopovers for 2 nights or less are automatically covered, but not that there is an exception to this for the USA. If you do have a stopover in the US – make sure you add it as a destination! It’s easy to get caught out by details like this.

When you buy our policies, you need to add all destinations that you stop at for more than 24 hours, and anywhere that you clear customs and immigration to leave the airport or cruise ship terminals. We think one simple rule for all destinations makes it easier for everyone!

Cover-More vs Holiday Rescue.

Cover-More looks pretty straightforward, at first. If you’re travelling overseas, you have two plans to choose from, Essential plan IE or Options Plan I. We like that they can give you a choice of excesses, but that’s in the top right on your initial quote screen – so easy to miss! And then there’s the cancellation cover which can double or triple your insurance quote…

At Holiday Rescue, we make it easy for you. Our excess is a low $100, and there’s no excess at all on claims made for emergency medical cover, funeral costs, or personal liability cover. We also include holiday cancellation and changes cover as standard with all of our policies – just as you’d expect it to be!

Watch out for:

  1. The quote. At first it looks alright…but if you want any cancellation cover for your holiday, which most people expect to be included with holiday insurance, it can double, or triple the cost – or more!

When you get a quote with us, it includes cancellation cover. So if you’ve got a quote from Cover-More and you’ve gone to the next step to find out how much your cancellation cover will cost, why not get a quote from us too? Find out how much you can save instantly and easily.

  1. Like 1Cover, benefits apply “per adult”, which means cover for kids is taken out of the allowance for the adults. Again – not great if you’re a solo parent, or are travelling with a few kids.

With us, children are covered under each section individually just like the adults are, but at no additional cost!

  1. If you’re 70 or over, read their policy wording even more carefully, as some of the benefits have reduced limits for anyone aged 70 or over!

We don’t reduce benefits for those who are either “more experienced in life” or “less experienced in life”. Your age does not mean your your holiday is worth less than someone else who bought the same type of policy but just happens to be younger – or older!

  1. When you get a quote, you can click through to the equivalent plans as Annual Multi-trip variations. Sounds good right? Well, remember that unless you’re travelling several times a year to the same destinations, “Annual” or “multi-trip policies” can end up being more expensive and if you need to claim on one trip, then you have less cover for your next trips. Multi-trip policies also vary from a maximum of 15 days per trip up to 90 days per trip and each insurer has different terms. Cover-More says you can choose how long you want to set your trip lengths, but we couldn’t find out how to set the number of days you wanted for your policy before you buy. The only way to be sure, would be to enter dates for your quote that covers the maximum amount of days for the longest trip you’re planning on taking that year. Then there is also the uncertainty around what happens if your health changes during a trip, or between trips. Are you covered for that health issue on your next trip?

We wanted to make everything a lot more simple. Because our single trip policies are so affordable, you can often save money by buying an individual policy for each trip. Plus you get the added value of full policy cover for every trip you take. You never have to keep account of the claims you made on your previous trips, whether or not you’ll have enough cover for your next one, or worry about whether your health is not covered.

World Nomads vs Holiday Rescue.

We like that when you get a quote, the limits are per policy and they adjust depending on whether you have 1 or 2 adults. However, that means there’s no additional allowance for children on the policy. There’s also a limit of 2 adults and 8 dependants on each policy.  

With us, you can get a policy for up to 10 people, so if your whole family is travelling together, you can all be on the same policy. There is a maximum of up to 6 adults, and if your family is a little bigger you can always buy a second policy. The limits for our policies are either a total for the policy, or per individual. So even though dependent children travelling with an adult are free (yes – even if there’s one adult and up to 9 children), they are covered for the same limits as adults are.  

Watch out for:

  1. You must be under 69 years old to buy a policy, or if you need to extend your policy.

With Holiday Rescue, you can buy and extend your policy at any age. We will never tell you that you are too old to travel!

  1. Waiting periods before your cover applies, so don’t leave it to the last minute or benefits like luggage delay might not actually be covered if something happens in the first 12 hours after you buy your policy. If you forget to buy before you go, you can still buy a policy with them – we think that’s a great option if you’re stuck…however, be you need to be aware. If you buy a policy and you’re outside New Zealand at the time, cover for most benefits won’t take effect until a 72 hours wait period is up.

There is no ‘waiting period’ with us. You are covered from the moment you purchase and see the confirmation message on screen. We don’t sell policies after you’ve left on holiday though – so if you want a Holiday Rescue policy – make sure you buy before you leave!

  1. Your cover for pre-existing medical conditions is limited to a set list of 23 conditions, for which there are additional specified requirements you have to meet to ensure you’re covered.

The difference with Holiday Rescue, is that you don’t have to figure out if you’ll be covered or not. When you apply for a policy, we ask you to complete a simple online medical assessment. We ask you questions, you answer them, and at the end we confirm if we can cover them or not. So you will know before you buy – and before you go away – exactly what you’re covered for.

  1. Pregnancy you can get cover for up to 26 weeks, great right? But you can’t get cover for your pregnancy if you had any assisted reproductive treatment, like IVF. You’re also not covered for your pregnancy if you’re pregnant with twins or more, and you won’t have cover for any claims if you have experienced any complication before you buy. However that’s not just about your current pregnancy, you won’t have cover for complications if you’ve had any complications with a previous pregnancy either!

Our approach is a little different when it comes to babymoons and cover for pregnancy. We automatically cover you for the first 20 weeks of your pregnancy, as long as you don’t have any pregnancy complications. And no, it doesn’t matter if you became pregnant through IVF, you can still get automatic cover. Even if you do have a pregnancy complication, you can declare it and we’ll confirm if we can cover it and what the cost will be. You should know that as soon as you’re more than 20 weeks pregnant, cover for ‘Emergency medical’ and ‘Holiday cancellation and changes’ is limited, so if you’re planning a babymoon check out all the details first before you buy or travel. Here’s more information about what we cover when it comes to pregnancy.  

  1. Deadline to claim. They request you make a claim promptly after you get home, within 30 days.

We don’t put a time limit on you. Life’s busy, and it’s tough enough to get back into work right after your holiday! Sometimes we just need a little more time, and one less pressure can be helpful.  

  1. Be aware that there’s a substantial difference in cover between their Standard and Explorer plans, and even their Explorer plan only covers up to $3,000 rental car insurance excess. Always, check what cover the policy offers.

Here’s an easy overview of what cover our policies offer.

State Travel Insurance vs Holiday Rescue.

If you want to get State Travel Insurance, make sure you don’t leave it to the last minute. The first few times we tried to get a quote, we got an error message and if you ‘click to continue’, then you end up with a different looking website.

The good news is that the second quote (powered by Cover-More) does work.

But I thought I was getting insurance from State, and aren’t they owned by IAG? Strictly speaking you are getting insurance from State Travel Insurance, and they are owned by IAG – but State’s travel insurance is ‘administered’ by Cover-More, and underwritten by Zurich Australian Insurance Limited. (If you’re lost don’t worry, so were we!) The good news is, if you’re already a State customer, you can get a discount.

Watch out for:

  1. If you’re a more “seasoned” traveller and 70 years or over, read their policy wording even more carefully, as some of the benefits have reduced limits for anyone aged 70 or over!

We don’t change the limits on you because of your age, or hide it in the policy wording. If you have pre-existing conditions that aren’t covered, we may offer you a policy with ‘modified terms’ where the benefits for Emergency medical are reduced, and the limit you can claim for Holiday cancellation and changes due to any health condition is reduced. The big difference here is that we tell you about that clearly before you buy. And again on your policy certificate.

  1. 60 pages of policy wording, give yourself time to read it!

Compare that to our 35 pages of policy wording in plain english at normal size (i.e. no fine print), and we challenge ourselves to improve on this all the time. One day soon we hope to have a shorter document, and for it to be even easier to read!

  1. Like many others their benefits are per adult, so no extra cover for your kids.

Kids count and should be covered as individuals.

  1. Cancellation and changes cover is different for each type of plan. On ‘Domestic plan D’ and ‘Domestic plan AMT’, cancellation cover is included in your initial quote and limited to $10,000 per adult. Yet their ‘Domestic cancellation plan C’ is an amount of your choice between $200 and $1,500 per person. And then if you get their International Plan, cancellation cover is per policy, and is an additional cost to your initial quote. (Don’t feel bad, we were confused by it too).

All our plans (Comprehensive, Essentials and Domestic) offer cover for cancellation and changes for a maximum of $50,000 per policy. Is that easier to follow?

  1. Some pre-existing conditions are automatically covered, but automatically covered conditions are only covered if you don’t have any other medical conditions in addition to those in their set list (and provided you meet all the conditions given).

Isn’t it just easier to enter your pre-existing conditions when you apply for a policy, and find out then and there if you’re definitely covered? This is how we approach pre-existing conditions.

  1. You must declare if you are pregnant by IVF, and to get cover for an IVF pregnancy, there is an additional premium.

We automatically cover you for the first 20 weeks of your pregnancy whether you became pregnant as a result of IVF or not – as long as you don’t have any pregnancy complications. We don’t charge you extra just for getting pregnant through IVF, you’ve probably already paid enough for that anyway!

AA Travel Insurance vs Holiday Rescue.

We like that it’s easy to get an initial quote with them, and they clearly display the AA membership discounted rate – so if you’re not an AA member then make sure you pay attention to what the non-member rate is. If you are an AA member, you can get a 10% discount off their normal rate. Oddly, if you’re going to Oz for a couple of nights you’ll need to add an extra date – as they have a 3 day minimum. Weirdly that means your travel dates will need to cover 4 days.

Why just encourage your own members to buy your insurance – what about everyone else? Our policies are sharply priced, so everyone gets great value. That means you don’t get stuck paying more if you’re a solo traveller, or a solo parent with kids. Plus there’s no club to sign up to, or pay membership for.

Watch out for:

  1. Their Essentials policy is stripped back a lot more than some. So be careful to make sure you’re not cutting out any benefits you want, like there’s no emergency dental cover and your cover for emergency medical, cancellation, personal liability and more is heavily reduced from their Comprehensive policy.

The difference between our overseas policies is that there is no cover for luggage delay or theft of personal items under our Essentials policy, but everything else covered by our Comprehensive policy is. Check out an overview of what all our policies offer.

  1. You might still be energetic and young at heart, but their Essentials policy is only available to those up to 70 years of age, and their Comprehensive is for up to 99 year olds. So if you’re older or have someone important travelling with you who’s over 99 – you’ll need to try another insurer.

Try us! You can buy online until you’re 100, once you’re over 100 – just send us an email and we’ll tell you how to buy. Also, there are no differences to the policy you get offered at any age.

  1. Emergency dental only covers treatment to a natural tooth that has not had a filling, been capped or crowned, or had any ‘restoration work’. That also means there’s no cover for dentures, under ‘emergency dental’.

We don’t discriminate against teeth that have needed “assistance” before. If it’s unexpected sudden and severe pain – we think you need to get that fixed quickly, so you can continue on your holiday!

  1. There is no cover for pre-existing conditions under their Essentials policy.

You can buy our Essentials policy and apply for cover of your medical conditions when you buy it.

  1. If you’re more than 20 weeks pregnant, there is no cover at all for your pregnancy.

Find out what cover we offer when you’re 20 weeks or more pregnant.

  1. You can’t get cover for anxiety, stress or depression.

If you have suffered from any of these conditions, you probably need a holiday more than most. We don’t automatically exclude these conditions – just say ‘yes’ when we ask you if you have a pre-existing condition. Then complete an online medical assessment (list your conditions and answer a few questions), and we’ll confirm if we can cover all of your medical conditions, and what the additional cost will be.

Your travel agent vs Holiday Rescue.

We hate to break this to you, but if you’re buying travel insurance from your travel agent, it will cost you more. If you like to get advice on your holiday plans from a real person, we get it. That’s a lovely experience, especially if you’re travelling somewhere you’ve never been before, travelling on your own or don’t have any family or friends who have travelled a lot – or have travelled and think they’re the ultimate experts, so you’re tired of being told by them exactly where to go!

You can still enjoy planning your holiday one on one with your travel agent, just buy your travel insurance online directly from a specialist travel insurer. You’ll save some extra spending money, which always makes the trip just that tiny bit more fun! Plus it’s easy to do. Just make sure you have the dates for when you leave and return home, the a list of the destinations you’re travelling to – and the details of anyone else you’re travelling with if you want to buy your insurance together. It’s also handy to have your credit card out so you can type the card number when it comes time to pay.

What about Compare Travel Insurance?

It always feels good if you’re short on time or don’t know where to start, when you can get a selection of prices from lots of insurers for your trip almost instantly. Unfortunately they don’t make it quite as easy as they could, because you can’t order the list of options by the policy grade of “comprehensive”, “mid” or “basic”.  

The main problem with comparing policies this way, is that it’s awkward to compare what you’re really covered for. It shows you a few highlighted features, but you can’t properly compare each of the benefits side by side, because all of the different insurers offer different benefits. A website like this tries to make them easier to compare, by standardising and displaying certain benefits only, so you might miss out on spotting some great benefits offered by an insurer.

You also can’t tell from a site like this, what the difference in the terms and conditions of each policy or insurer is. Do they cover the stuff you want to be able to do on your holiday? Or to remain covered, would you have to change all your holiday plans?

If you decide to use a site like this, make sure you look at more than the price. Pick what you think are your favourites, and then please, read their policy wording (or PDS). Then if you’re happy with the terms of their cover, go for it. But if you can’t understand what you’re covered for, maybe try another option.

Don’t forget price doesn’t tell you everything.

Q. What do I need to know about travel insurance?

Read more