Too many New Zealanders are putting themselves at huge financial and health risks by not insuring themselves before they travel, Insurance Council chief executive Chris Ryan says.
The recent earthquake and tsunami in Samoa highlighted concerns about the lack of cover New Zealanders took out, he said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade had given a small amount of money to a number of New Zealanders stranded in Samoa to cover meals and accommodation.
This had to be repaid on return to New Zealand, but anyone with travel insurance had their costs covered, Mr Ryan said.
Travel insurance was a cheap form of financial and health protection which provided access to 24-hour worldwide assistance, he said.
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