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Medical and Travel Insurance for New Zealand

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How to pick the best cover for your trip to New Zealand?

The nitty-gritty of planning a trip to New Zealand starts here. Choosing the best medical and travel insurance for New Zealand can quickly become a nightmare and result in a decision made too quickly. You do not want to end up with a cover way too expensive or lacking the very basics that you will need when in New Zealand.

We have worked on a series of article for you to understand the travel insurance world and make the best decision for you to get the right cover for your trip, such as 6 Reasons to Get Medical and Travel Insurance and 14 Questions to ask Before Buying Medical Travel Insurance. The article below focuses on the basics of choosing a cover and what to look for when comparing your different options.

For more pre-travel tips for a trip to New Zealand, make sure to read our Health Tips for Travelling to New Zealand.

Why do you need a Medical and Travel Insurance in New Zealand

First up, if you are on a working holiday visa in New Zealand, it is mandatory for you to have a comprehensive medical and travel insurance for the length of your stay. This is one of the conditions of you visa. Make sure that you have your insurance certificate with you when entering the country and your proof of cover.

If you are only visiting New Zealand on a visitor visa, it is not mandatory to have a medical and travel insurance. However, getting cover is always a great idea as the universal cover in New Zealand, ACC, has many limitations and well, does not cover any “travels”, of course.

Need more convincing, here are 6 Reasons to Get Medical and Travel Insurance for a trip to New Zealand.

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Cover length

There are multiple schools of thought on the choice of cover length. If you have a working holiday visa and have to get a cover “for the length of your stay” most people choose to go for a 6 months cover and renew it half way through the year. This gives them more flexibility in case their trip runs short. On the other hand, this costs much more as two 6-month plans are, on average, 30-40% more expensive than a 12-month plan.

There is also the matter of your cover start date. This determines the very day when your cover starts applying. If your cover includes “transit to your destination” then you will want the cover to start on the day you are planning to leave your home country. If it does not include transit, then get it to start on the day you are landing in New Zealand. The same rule applies for the cover end date.

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What’s included?

That is the very point where things become complicated. Every single insurance company and every insurance plan will have widely different offers. It is important that you carefully check out all the inclusions in a plan and consider what is useful and what is not. Many insurance companies like to throw huge numbers at you like “Evacuation cover up to 1 million dollars”, which are pure bogus. A plane ticket out of New Zealand even on a medical seat costs nowhere near that much. Don’t get scammed paying for things that you don’t need.

Items that are essential to consider are “Luggage/Personal items”, “Work Cover”, “Disrupted Travel” and “Transit”. Those are the items that you have the most chance of needing when travelling to, in and from New Zealand.

Power Tip: Covering possessions like your cell phone and laptop as an add-on of your travel insurance tends to be much cheaper than covering these items with a separate insurance.

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What’s excluded?

This category is even more important than the inclusions of a plan. It will tell you what items are not covered and what would make an item not covered. Exclusions also indicate when does the insurance usually kicks in, for example, some insurance plans “kick-in” after the first NZ$1000 have been paid or on top of New Zealand’s universal cover, the ACC. Find out what ACC is in What is ACC and Employee Accident Cover?

Most plans will not include adventure sports, such as skydiving or white water rafting and anything in between. However, it is important for you to know that almost every single operator in New Zealand has insurance of their own that will cover you while on a tour with them. So those items are not as important as it seems at first glance.

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What can you add?

Virtually every insurance company will offer you to add additional cover from a few personal items, such as your laptop or camera, to specific situations like sailing. This is a great way to personalise your cover plan to your very needs. It is always worth asking. If anything, it helps you test the customer service level of an insurance provider. We strongly suggest you to get in contact with an insurer prior to subscribing to one of their plans, so to help you know if they will be helpful or not when you really need them.

It is also very important for you to know what you are looking for before shopping for insurance. This will shape your discussion with your insurer and make sure that you get what you want,. Sometimes a simple basic plan with a small add-on specific to you is all you need. This simple tip can save you hundreds!

How to get started with looking for a medical and travel insurance in New Zealand?

Because we like to support local businesses, we recommend you check out Orbit Protect. They offer insurance plans specially designed for working holiday makers and are some of the cheapest in the market. And if you need more information about insurances we’ve got a lot of great easy-to-read articles on travel insurance in New Zealand to help you shop around and find the best fit for your trip. Check out:

Working Holiday Insurance
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