No insurance for man who skipped flight to make cruise

Check your policy for exclusions. If you choose to change travel plans when you do not need to, this will be excluded from covered.

No insurance for man who skipped flight to make cruise

Charles* and his wife were going on a cruise. They were boarding the cruise liner in Auckland on the afternoon of 25 April for a 10-day trip around the Pacific.

Flights, and domestic travel insurance, were arranged to fly to Auckland on the morning of 25 April. Having heard about Rolls Royce engine issues with the airline, Charles became concerned. He contacted the airline on 18 April to check whether their flight on 25 April would be affected, and he was told they could not confirm scheduling until the day before.

Charles said he couldn’t run the risk of missing the cruise following a flight cancellation. He made some (“unrepeatable”) decisions to get to Auckland another, economical, way. The alternate journey involved a taxi to the train station, a ten-hour train ride, a night’s accommodation at a backpackers’ hostel, and finally a walk – with suitcases and bags – from the backpackers to Queens’ Wharf. Charles and his wife made it in time for the cruise, only to discover their original flight flew as scheduled.

Charles’ claim, for $645.70 - the cost of the journey and accommodation - was declined. The insurer was entitled to decline the claim because Charles chose to change his travel plans when he didn’t need to. This was excluded from cover.

Complaint not upheld.

*Names have been changed.

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