Travel insurance – Do I need it when travelling in and out of New Zealand?

When travelling in or out of New Zealand you’re likely to consider travel insurance.

Do you really need it though? Who should you purchase your policy through?

Join us as we share our favourite travel insurance companies and some helpful hints.

Do I Need Travel Insurance?

If you’re planning an adventure in Aotearoa New Zealand (or you’re a Kiwi departing overseas) we strongly recommend travel insurance.

Unforeseen events frequently happen whilst travelling abroad. Travel insurance allows you to expect the unexpected without any stress… or worse, getting stuck in a tricky situation.

Related: 101 New Zealand travel FAQs: A guide for first-time visitors.

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What Does Travel Insurance Cover?

Different policies will cover different issues, but we would encourage you to check for a few key points:

  • COVID-19 cover – will you be taken care of if you have to cancel your trip due to COVID or if you’re stuck abroad longer?
  • high-risk activities – some activities (for example, scuba diving, sky diving and skiing) are considered high-risk activities by insurers. When considering a policy, ensure it covers the activities that are of interest to you.

You will also want to check the level of cover that you require for:

  • medical claims
  • loss of luggage and damage to personal items
  • travel delays and cancellations
  • rental vehicle insurance excess
  • emergency assistance.

For most people, a standard policy through a reputable company will be more than enough but be sure to consider your personal needs.

Did you know? Visitors to New Zealand are entitled to ACC cover. This means that you’ll be provided medical care for many accidental injuries. As wonderful as this is, travel insurance is still highly encouraged – even by the ACC.

Who Should I Buy Travel Insurance Through?

Many companies offer travel insurance policies online.

You will need to buy your policy either through a company local to your country of residence (before you leave this country) or through a global provider.

Credit Card Cover

Some credit cards include complimentary travel insurance if you purchase a certain proportion of your travel expenses on the card.

In New Zealand, normal credit cards don’t normally include this, but platinum cards or those with special travel benefits may.

Even if you have this insurance, be sure to check the policy wording.

We made good use of our platinum card for travel insurance in the past but noticed that it doesn’t cover issues relating to COVID. This means it really isn’t up to the task in our current climate.

Yours might be better but it is essential you check the level of cover that any credit card policy gives you. Is it enough to give you the peace of mind you need whilst on your travels?

Global Cover – Purchase Anywhere, Anytime with Safety Wing

Safety Wing offers policies that are much more flexible than much of the competition. The main advantage of booking through them is the ability to book even after you’ve started your travels.

They’ll cover you for travel practically anywhere in the world and will even cover you when you return to your home country for a visit (great if you’re planning to visit a number of countries).

However, Safety Wing insurance doesn’t kick in until you actually depart home.

This means you won’t be covered until your trip starts – for some, that’s fine. Others will prefer to have cover leading up to their trip just in case something goes wrong (that’s what we like).

Because of this, Safety Wing won’t suit everyone. But if you’re not worried about the delayed start, it’s great affordable cover!

Insurance for Kiwis and Australians with Cover-More

Though Kiwis and Ozzies are able to purchase their travel insurance through Safety Wing, we recommend checking out Cover-More (New Zealand and Australia).

It offers reliable policies at a rate that is often less than Safety Wing. It also offers a number of benefits including:

  • annual multi-policies – purchase one policy to cover all of your travels.
  • cruise cover that is included in all policies.
  • domestic cover – if you’re a kiwi looking to travel in Aotearoa, you can purchase domestic cover. These policies cover you if you’re travelling more than 100km from home or are spending at least one night in paid accommodation.
  • inclusion of pre-existing medical conditions – automatic cover is provided for over 35 conditions, plus they’ll consider all other existing medical conditions. To find out if you’re eligible for cover, just declare all your medical conditions when generating a quote.

Get an instant quote online with Cover-More:

Pro Tip: You must purchase your Cover-More policy before you depart, so ensure you’re well prepared. In fact, we recommend locking in your travel insurance as soon as you begin booking flights or accommodation – that way you’ll be covered if something comes up. If you face a challenge prior to your trip, and you don’t yet have insurance, you’ll have left it too late to purchase any.

A man wearing a red shirt while spreading his arms while bungy diving.
Ensure you’re covered for all of the activities and adventures you have planned.

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