Do you need travel insurance when traveling to New Zealand?
No, Travel Insurance is not a legal requirement to enter New Zealand (unless you’re staying more than two years. However, depending on your appetite for risk, you’ll probably want to get some. As a general rule, anyone traveling to another country is wise to get travel insurance. You’ll enjoy your holiday a lot more with the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re covered for anything unexpected that happens while you’re away from home, from lost luggage to missed flights, health emergencies, minor mishaps, or significant accidents.
Hospitals and Healthcare in New Zealand
New Zealanders love to complain about their healthcare system, but for all its flaws, it’s actually pretty good. Everyone in New Zealand has a right to healthcare (even tourists), whether they are insured or not, so you won’t be denied treatment if you can’t pay. However, that doesn’t mean there won’t be a bill. So what treatment do you have to pay for? Essential coverage for injuries caused by accidents is provided by ACC (Accident Compensation Corporation). This government-owned insurance program covers visitors to New Zealand and locals for medical costs relating to any accident (from a simple fall to a major car accident). This cover replaces the right to sue for personal injury in New Zealand. However, you will have to pay any healthcare costs for illnesses, so it is still advisable to have travel insurance. Visitors from Australia and the UK have some rights to free treatment for acute illness under reciprocal healthcare agreements. However, there are enough exclusions you’d be mad not to get travel insurance as well. If you are not from Australia or the UK, you are not covered, and you would be crazy not to get Travel Insurance before traveling to New Zealand.
Travel Insurance Coverage
Cheap travel insurance often has all kinds of sneaky exclusions; it pays to check that you are getting comprehensive coverage for the things you want to do while in New Zealand. For example, many travel insurance policies exclude all of the adventure sports New Zealand is famous for, but ACC will cover acute care for injuries. Booking Travel Insurance as soon as you book your holiday is the safest option. It is usually better to buy travel insurance directly from a travel insurance company NOT through an Airline. I found this out by experience, purchasing travel insurance from a certain national airline who were reselling cover-more travel insurance. When I needed to make a claim, it turned out that the airline insurance (provided by cover-more) was less comprehensive than cover-more’s basic insurance if purchased direct. The airline insurance was more expensive and less comprehensive.
What to look for in a Travel Insurance Company?
- 24/7 help/claims line
- Extensive coverage
- Rental car excess coverage
- Low excess
- Make sure the coverage amount covers the replacement of items like phones.
Do International Students Need Travel Insurance For New Zealand?
Yes, to come to New Zealand on a Student Visa you must have International Student Travel Insurance with a policy that complies with the insurance requirements of the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students and is acceptable to the student’s education provider.
Do Visitors on a Working Holiday Visa Need Travel Insurance For New Zealand?
This will depend on your counties agreements with New Zealand, but working holiday visitors from most other countries MUST have travel insurance before arriving in New Zealand. You can see the rules here.
Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide general advice about car rentals in New Zealand. It doesn’t constitute financial or legal advice. Readers should seek independent professional advice before making any financial decisions.