Travel insurance: New Zealand

Wondering whether you need travel insurance for New Zealand? Here's why it's important – even for Aussies.


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Travel insurance rules continue to change as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. We’re working hard to keep up and make sure our guides are up to date, however some information may not be accurate during the pandemic. It’s even more important to double-check all details that matter to you before taking out cover. Please know that some policies may not be available through Finder at this time. Here are some helpful tips:
    • If you're buying a policy today, it's unlikely that you'll be covered for any coronavirus-related claims
    • If your travel plans go against government advice, your policy will most likely be voided and you won't be covered
    Planning a trip to Aotearoa? Lots of Aussies think they don't need travel insurance if they're heading to New Zealand – but it's actually super important.

    Travel insurance can help cover the cost if you need to see a doctor or the cost to replace your belongings if they have been stolen or damaged. Travel insurance can even foot the insurance bill if you bump your rental car.

    Get New Zealand travel insurance from $2.29 per day

    warning Finally, some good news! Domestic travel is picking up, so some insurers have started offering cover again 🦘
    Just remember, you won't be covered for any pandemic related claims if you do take out domestic travel insurance.
    International travel insurance is limited and sometimes unavailable at this point.

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    Do I need travel insurance to New Zealand from Australia?

    Travel insurance isn't a legal requirement if you're visiting New Zealand, but having it could easily save you thousands of dollars. Here's how:

    • Medical expenses. Not all medical expenses are covered by the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA). Travel insurance can help with medical bills that aren't included, such as ambulance trips and GP visits.
    • Replacing belongings. Taking a camera, ski equipment or expensive hiking gear on your trip? It can be expensive to replace lost, stolen or damaged items. Travel insurance can help.
    • Snow cover. Heading to the slopes? Travel insurance can help cover the cost of lost lift passes, damaged equipment and even mountain rescues.
    • Delays and cancellations. If you have to cancel or reschedule your trip through no fault of your own, insurance can reimburse your lost costs. It can also pay out if your flight is delayed.

    How to find the best policy for New Zealand

    Finding the best travel insurance for your trip to New Zealand can be easy if you know what to look for.

    Compare policies
    Benefits vary between different policies so it's always worth comparing your options. Look at what you're getting and for what price. Using the Finder Rating when getting a quote is a handy way to figure out how comprehensive a policy is. The Finder Rating gives you a score out of ten, which indicates comprehensiveness.

    Check the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS)
    This will tell you the full extent of your cover and its limitations. Make sure you add on any extras you need like snow cover or rental car excess cover, and declare any pre-existing conditions that you have. When buying a policy, you agree that you've read the PDS and accept its conditions.

    Buy early
    Buying your policy as early as possible will give you better value for your money. That's because you won't pay more, you'll just be covered for longer. Cancellation benefits usually start from the moment you buy the policy, so if the unexpected happened, you should be able to claim non-refundable expenses.

    What is the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA)?

    The Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) is a deal between different countries. The agreement allows citizens to receive free or subsidised healthcare while visiting a partner nation. Australia and New Zealand have an RHCA with each other.

    However, even with the RHCA, you're not covered for everything.

    What's covered:
    ✅ Medically-necessary health care
    ✅ Hospital care
    ✅ Maternity services
    ✅ Pharmaceuticals

    What isn't covered:
    ❌ Health care that can wait until you go home
    ❌ Care from a GP or other primary care
    ❌ Full cost of medicines and GP prescriptions
    ❌ Ambulance travel
    ❌ Health care on most cruises

    How much does a policy cost?

    The cost of travel insurance depends on a number of factors including what level of cover you get, your age, the length of your trip and where you are going.

    That said, we've run some searches to find out how much travel insurance would cost for a 35-year-old spending 2 weeks in NZ. Here are the lowest prices we found for three common levels of cover:

    Budget DirectTick Travel InsuranceFastCover
    Price for 10 days' cover$26.38$24.75$22.90
    Overseas emergency medical assistance and hospital expensesUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
    Luggage and personal effects$2,500$2,500Not covered
    Cancellation fees and lost depositsNot covered$5,000Not covered
    Budget DirectTick Travel InsuranceFastCover
    Price for 10 days' cover$41.31$38.08$34.50
    Overseas emergency medical assistance and hospital expensesUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
    Luggage and personal effects$5,000$4,000$5,000
    Cancellation fees and lost deposits$12,500$5,000$25,000
    Budget DirectTick Travel InsuranceFastCover
    Price for 10 days' cover$44.18$41.17$43.90
    Overseas emergency medical assistance and hospital expensesUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
    Luggage and personal effects$7,500$7,500$15,000
    Cancellation fees and lost depositsUnlimited$20,000Unlimited
    Data last confirmed as correct July 2019

    What benefits and inclusions can I get?

    Most travel insurance policies include the same core benefits, which will cover you for the following:

    ✅ Medical expenses
    ✅ Lost or stolen belongings
    ✅ Delays or cancellations

    ✅ Personal liability
    ✅ Accidental death
    ✅ Permanent disability

    Some policies also offer additional benefits that may be particularly useful if you're visiting New Zealand. This includes cover for the following:

    ✅ Lost or stolen lift passes
    ✅ Rental car excess
    ✅ Lost or damaged snow equipment

    ✅ Special events
    ✅ Adventure sports
    ✅ Mountain rescue

    What activities should you get covered?

    This depends on what you plan on doing while you're there, but if you plan on taking part in any of the following activities, you should definitely consider sports and adventure travel insurance.

    • Abseiling
    • Bungee jumping
    • Caving
    • Deep-sea fishing
    • Hang gliding
    • Horse riding
    • Hot air ballooning
    • Kite surfing
    • River rafting
    • Riding a motorcycle
    • Scuba diving
    • Sea kayaking
    • Skiing or snowboarding
    • Skydiving
    • Snow sports
    • Wakeboarding
    • Water skiing

    This is not an exhaustive list. Always check the PDS of your insurance policy if you're unsure whether a particular sport will be covered or not.

    Of course, if you're heading to New Zealand for a quick city break, you might not need any additional cover for adventure activities.

    Travel Insurance for skiing in New Zealand

    If you're heading to New Zealand for skiing or snowboarding, you should seriously consider getting travel insurance that covers snow sports.
    It's usually an optional extra and you might have to pay a little bit more, but snow sports insurance could easily save you thousands of dollars. Here's how:

    • Getting you off the mountain. An accident on the slopes can require helicopter rescue, which doesn't come cheap. Ski insurance can cover the cost.
    • Paying for unused lift passes. If an injury or even bad weather keeps you off the slopes, ski cover can reimburse you for unused lift passes, equipment hire and lessons.
    • Getting you to a new resort. Many snow sports policies cover your transportation and accommodation expenses if an avalanche or bad weather forces you elsewhere.
    • Paying for damaged equipment. Ski insurance can pay you back for lost or damaged equipment, and it can pay for hire fees if yours is lost, damaged or delayed in transit.

    Ways to get a cheap policy for New Zealand

    We understand money can be tight, but don't let that stop you from buying travel insurance. You can still get a decent policy for a reasonable price. Here's how:

    Know what you need
    Work out what you actually need cover for before you start comparing policies. For example, there's no point paying extra for snow cover if you're not heading to the slopes, and there's no need to have rental car excess insurance if you're planning on using public transport.

    Get a quote and compare prices
    Enter your details in our online tool to receive a bunch of different quotes from our travel insurance partners. You can sort through quotes using the price sorting tool so you can compare the cheapest policies to the most expensive. If you do this, just remember to check what's included in the policy and make sure it's enough for your trip.

    Look for online discounts
    Check out our coupons page for a list of valid discounts. You might be able to find a 10% offer or a discount if you're buying insurance for multiple travellers. Some discounts will be built into your price but you might need a code for others.

    Who should you contact in an emergency?

    Here are some important New Zealand phone numbers if you find yourself in an emergency that your family, friends, tour operator or travel insurance company can't handle.

    Emergency ServicesTelephone
    Police (General Emergency Call)111
    Ambulance and Rescue111
    Healthline (Medical Emergency Call)+64 (0)800 611 116
    Coast Guard New Zealand+64 (0)9 489 1510
    Wellington Air Rescue Centre+64 (0)4 920 2242
    Auckland Air Ambulance Base+64 (0)9 913 2941

    Frequently asked questions

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    2 Responses

      Default Gravatar
      MichelleOctober 12, 2017

      My family of 5 is traveling to New Zealand for just over four weeks from early December to early January. I am wondering if we need to get travel insurance or not? I know basic medical is covered as we are covered by Medicare and New Zealand recognises that as cover for them.

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        JhezOctober 13, 2017Staff

        Hi Michelle,

        Thank you for your comment.

        Australians can access New Zealand’s public health care system in an emergency, but travel insurance is still essential. New Zealand and Australia have a reciprocal health care agreement, meaning that Australian travellers can access New Zealand’s public health service in an emergency, and vice versa. You’ll still have to pay some fees for treatment and medication (you’ll be charged the same amount as a New Zealand resident) and it’s important to remember the agreement isn’t a replacement for travel insurance – which is always a necessity. Remember to take your Medicare card with you – you’ll need it, along with your passport, to prove that you’re eligible.

        Please fill out the form here to get quotes for your trip to New Zealand.


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