Should you change your travel plans?

When news of further earthquakes in New Zealand started to come through on Monday morning, as well as being concerned for those living there, many travellers started to think about whether they should cancel their own plans. So what is the current situation?

The earthquake struck north of Christchurch, closing roads, cutting off power and triggering a tsunami warning. With the possibility of aftershocks and ongoing disruption, it’s important that travellers keep themselves informed. While flights are operating pretty much as scheduled, you should contact your accommodation or tour provider to confirm if your plans will be able to go ahead.

If you’re wondering whether or not you will be covered by your travel insurance, it all depends on when it was purchased. If you bought your policy prior to the earthquake occurring, then you should be fine, as long as there was no clause excluding disruption due to earthquakes included originally. It will also depend on the level of cover you have – some tiers, such as basic, cover medical claims only, therefore you would have to foot the bill for costs incurred due to cancellation or disruption relating to the earthquake. Check your policy or contact your insurer for clarification. 

For those worried about possible future earthquakes, you should refer to the website of New Zealand’s Ministry of Defence and Emergency Management. Many geologists are reporting that there will be further earthquakes over the next month, so it’s important that you keep informed of the current situation.

Don’t panic if you have travel planned. Smartraveller.gov.au suggests that you subscribe to updates provided by it and register your travel plans. A normal degree of caution is recommended.

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Written by Debbie McTaggart

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