How to Choose the BEST Travel Insurance for New Zealand šŸ©¹ [2023]© Unsplash
How to Choose the BEST Travel Insurance for New Zealand šŸ©¹ [2023]

How to Choose the BEST Travel Insurance for New Zealand šŸ©¹ [2024]

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What to Look for When You Choose Travel Insurance for New Zealand + The Best NZ Travel Insurance for Visitors

Probably the least fun aspect of planning a trip to New Zealand is choosing travel insurance. Although it is not a mandatory requirement for visitors to New Zealand to have travel health insurance, some of us might appreciate the extra cover should the worst happen. To make the process of choosing a travel insurance policy much easier, we have put together a guide on how to choose travel insurance for New Zealand. We’ve also given you a cheeky little mention of a New Zealand travel insurance we like toward the end of this guide.

Choosing travel insurance for New Zealand is not as easy as simply picking the cheapest policy. Travel insurance policies include a wide range of coverage with different amounts that the insurance company is expected to pay when things go wrong, as well as what you will have to pay for yourself. If you are going to spend a significant amount of money on travel insurance for New Zealand, you will want a travel insurance policy that will help you when you need it the most.

7 Reasons to Get Health and Travel Insurance for New Zealand

While many see insurance as just an extra non-essential cost, here are some reasons why you actually might want to consider travel insurance as a visitor to New Zealand.

  1. Serious medical treatment or evacuation is extremely expensive
  2. Missing your flight is not that uncommon
  3. Losing your passport, wallet and other belongings can happen
  4. The airline could lose your luggage
  5. Accidents happen; you may need emergency assistance
  6. Insurance is mandatory for those on a Working Holiday or Student Visa
  7. Adding personal items to your travel insurance is cheaper than getting separate insurance.

Now, let’s get onto how to choose the best travel insurance for New Zealand.

How to Choose the BEST Travel Insurance for New Zealand šŸ©¹ [2023]© Unsplash

Does New Zealand Require Travel Insurance?

No, New Zealand does not require travel insurance from travellers visiting the country. However, for the reasons listed above, such as to cover the expenses of medical services, baggage loss, flight delays and more, some travellers make the personal choice to get travel insurance for their time in New Zealand.

A Note on New Zealand’s Universal Accident Cover, ACC

It’s important to note that New Zealand has a universal cover for injuries caused by accidents in New Zealand, called ACC. This cover applies to visitors too and contributes toward the cost of medical treatment for a range of injuries listed on the ACC website.

Note that ACC doesn’t cover illnesses, emergency travel plans to get you home, injuries while in transit to New Zealand or injuries on the craft you arrived in, such as on a cruise ship. Therefore, you will need to get travel insurance if you want any of those aspects covered.

Learn more about ACC in our complete guide, What is ACC and Employee Accident Cover?

Insurance for Working Holidays and International Students

Travelling to New Zealand on a working holiday or as an international student instead? It is mandatory to have health insurance to cover your whole time in New Zealand, so take a look at New Zealand Working Holiday & Student Insurance: FULL Guide for a guide curated especially for you guys.

How Much Does Healthcare Cost in New Zealand?

One determining factor for deciding whether to purchase travel insurance for New Zealand or not is the cost of healthcare in New Zealand. If you were to get ill, how much would it cost you? Admittedly, the fees for doctor’s consultations in New Zealand are higher for visitors than they are for residents but many visitors still wouldn’t consider it too expensive compared to their home country. Check out typical medical expenses in How to Pay for Healthcare Services in New Zealand.

8 Things to Compare in Between New Zealand Travel Insurance Policies

Pixabay© Pixabay

1. Find Out Where the Travel Insurance Companies are Based

First thing’s first, where are the travel insurance companies that you are comparing based?

If you have been using an insurance company from your home country for a long time and they have provided excellent service in the past, then you may feel safer going with what you know.

On the other hand, having a travel insurance company based in New Zealand is likely to be a lot more helpful in desperate situations than back in your home country. If an insurance company is based in New Zealand, you know they are more specialised in dealing with emergencies that may occur in New Zealand, as well as the customs when it comes to medical and local travel situations.

Pixabay© Pixabay

2. Compare the Excess Costs

“Excess” is the amount of money you will have to contribute toward the cost of an insurance claim. For example, if your hospital bill is NZ$5,000 and you have an excess of NZ$1,000 then you will have to pay NZ$1,000 for your hospital bill and the insurance company will pay NZ$4,000.

The amount of excess you have to pay can range widely between insurance policies. Generally, the cheaper the policy, the more excess you would have to pay. When choosing travel insurance for New Zealand, you need to be comfortable with the excess you might have to pay. If you can’t afford the excess, then there is no point in choosing that travel insurance policy.

Note: As mentioned above, accidents in New Zealand are often covered by New Zealand’s universal cover, the ACC. To find out more, check out What is ACC and Employee Accident Cover?

How to Choose the BEST Travel Insurance for New Zealand šŸ©¹ [2023]© Unsplash

3. What is Covered in a Travel Insurance Policy for New Zealand?

Travel insurance for New Zealand is meant to help you in an array of sticky situations that could occur while abroad. The most comprehensive travel insurance policies for New Zealand should include the majority of the following:

  • Medical and hospital expenses
  • Cancellation cover (if you need to cancel flights, accommodation, etc. due to unforeseen circumstances)
  • Luggage and personal items
  • Travel delay expenses
  • Family emergency (covers the expenses of travelling home in case a family member gets seriously ill, injured or dies)
  • Personal liability (protects you from being legally liable for injuring other people or property).

Bonus Tip: Covering possessions like your cell phone as an add-on to your travel insurance tends to be much cheaper than covering these items with separate insurance. By the way, be sure to check Will Your Phone Work in New Zealand?

Pixabay© Pixabay

4. What Do the Policies Exclude?

Some things that you think are covered might not be or there may be some conditions which can mean an item is not covered. Check what things are not covered in an insurance policy.

Most commonly, extreme activities and sports are not covered by insurance companies, or come at an extra cost, because they have a higher element of risk associated with them. Considering New Zealand is a country of adventure and adrenaline activities, this may be something you want to look into.

How to Choose the BEST Travel Insurance for New Zealand šŸ©¹ [2023]© Unsplash

5. What Options are There for Pre-Existing Conditions?

If you have a pre-existing condition, chances are, you need travel insurance the most. However, many travel insurance companies do not cover pre-existing conditions. Check out how they define a “pre-existing condition” to see if it applies to you.

If you do have a pre-existing condition, being covered is likely to come at an extra cost. However, you will still be covered for any illnesses and injuries not related to your pre-existing condition.

It’s also worth mentioning that some insurance policies exclude certain diseases, situations or medical procedures, so check this out too to see if it is likely to apply to you.

How to Choose the BEST Travel Insurance for New Zealand šŸ©¹ [2023]© Unsplash

6. Compare How Travel Insurance Companies Handle Claims

Before you buy travel insurance, it’s a good idea to understand how you would make a claim if you needed to. Remember, you are likely to need the help of your insurance company in a stressful situation, so having an easy insurance claim process is critical. You need to be able to contact your insurance company 24/7 in multiple ways, just in case you have no internet connection, (which can definitely happen in New Zealand).

Read reviews of anyone who has had to make a claim with your chosen insurance companies before to see how their experience was.

Pixabay© Pixabay

7. How Long Does Your Insurance Policy Cover You For?

Knowing that most people visit New Zealand for at least a couple of weeks (usually more), you will want to make sure that your travel insurance covers you for the whole time. Ideally, you want travel insurance that covers you while you are travelling to and from New Zealand too. If you’re visiting New Zealand as part of a bigger trip, consider travel insurance that covers the other countries you are visiting too.

For those staying in New Zealand for a few months, perhaps on a working holiday or as a student, check out New Zealand Working Holiday & Student Insurance: FULL Guide for information about longer insurance policies.

Pixabay© Pixabay

8. Check the Underwriting Company

If you want to be super safe, then check who is the company that has provided the underwriter services to the travel insurance company and if they are licensed. The insurance underwriters decide how much coverage a client should get, for example.

Many travel insurance companies use the same underwriters so that’s why many policies are so similar in the amount of excess and cover they will give you. Try comparing travel insurance companies with different underwriters to see more of a difference in cover options and prices.

How to Choose the BEST Travel Insurance for New Zealand šŸ©¹ [2023]© Unsplash

What’s the Best Travel Insurance for New Zealand?

Due to many of the reasons we have covered above and because we like to support local businesses, we recommend you check out Orbit Protect. They offer insurance plans that actually meet the requirements specified in the guide above. Plus, they have some of the best-value prices on the market, especially for what they offer.

The Best New Zealand Travel Insurance for Visitors

New Zealand travel insurance for visitors that we have used and can vouch for, Orbit Protect‘s Experience NZ Insurance is a good go-to for making sure you (and your family, if applicable) are covered for the whole time you’re in New Zealand, as well as for up to 31 days if you’re travelling in the South-West Pacific to places like Australia, Fiji and New Caledonia.

Their visitor’s travel insurance covers the essentials, such as medical care, medical evacuation and property cover, as well as the option to add a cover assessment for pre-existing medical conditions and work cover (if you’re on a work visa). What’s more, you can choose periods of cover from eight days to 12 months, so no trip is too long or short!

Orbit Protect also has insurance plans, specially designed for working holidays, international students, seasonal workers and more, so go and check them out at

More About Travel Insurance for New Zealand

That’s it for our guide to travel insurance for New Zealand. We also recommend you have a look at our other articles for more advice on choosing travel insurance for New Zealand:

Finally, you might also want to look at How to Pay for Healthcare Services in New Zealand.


The information in this guide has been compiled from our extensive research, travel and experiences across New Zealand and the South Pacific, accumulated over more than a decade of numerous visits to each destination. Additional sources for this guide include the following:

Our editorial standards: At NZ Pocket Guide, we uphold strict editorial standards to ensure accurate and quality content.

About The Author

Robin C.

This article has been reviewed and approved by Robin, who is the co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. With more than 15 years of experience in the New Zealand tourism industry, Robin has co-founded three influential tourism businesses and five additional travel guides for South Pacific nations. He is an expert in New Zealand travel and has tested over 600 activities and 300+ accommodations across the country.

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