Are you looking for the best travel insurance for kiwi travellers?
Are you currently in New Zealand and going on holiday soon? If so, it's strongly advised to get travel insurance. Even if you're just going across the ditch to Australia or Cook Islands, it's vital you're protected while overseas.
While travel insurance will likely add an extra hundred dollars to your holiday it’s definitely a wise investment. If you have an accident (or worse) overseas the costs can be well over 5, 6 or 7 figures. Do you really want your family to have to raise funds via Gofundme?
A recent study showed that 1 in 3 kiwi’s don’t bother buying travel insurance before going on holiday. If you do run into trouble and end up in a foreign hospital, it will be your friends and family footing the bill, no one else.
Recently we spent over 9 months in Asia. The only company we could keep extending our policy with was World Nomads.
You can’t do this with traditional NZ travel insurance companies.
Nor can you buy a policy from an NZ company if you leave the country having forgot to buy yourself a policy online. World Nomads will insure you after leaving the country.
Our 9 month policy was less than $2 per day as well.
We’ve spent many years travelling and have evaluated all the big kiwi travel insurance companies. You might be surprised to see how much you can save buying online.
Best Travel Insurance NZ
|Insurer||Default Excess||Purchase Date||Claim||Rating|
|1 Cover||$200||Before Depart||Online||9/10|
|DU Insure||$200||Before Depart||Phone||6/10|
|STA Travel||$250||Before Depart||Phone||8/10|
Known for helping people get the best value, cheapest travel insurance.
World Nomads is reguarly voted the best travel insurance New Zealanders can buy online and get cover right away (subject to conditions).
Their standout feature is they are the only insurer that allows you to buy a policy once you’ve left New Zealand for up to 12 months, with the ability to extend online.
Of all the other companies we reviewed, no others would allow us to buy a policy from outside NZ or allow us to receive cover for a trip of more than 3 months.
Be careful of companies such as Southern Cross promoting 12 months cover, usually they are for trips of up to 3 months. That’s not 12 months of consecutive travel and misleading.
World Nomads offer two price points for all policies called, ‘Standard’ and ‘Explorer’. Personally we recommend the ‘Explorer’ policy if you’re heading further than Australia.
If you’re planning on undertaking any ‘high risk’ activities you’ll need to pay a premium on the policy. As of today they offer three levels of risk (0,1,2). For example rafting, sky diving and bungee jumping are level 2. High value equipment over $4,000 must be noted at the time of purchase and adds a premium too.
They offer competitive cover for those up to 65 years old and will usually provide instant cover online. Their standard excess is $100-$200 so be sure to read the full policy before completing checkout.
If you do need to make a claim you can do so online without calling an overseas call centre. Very few other providers offer this service, just keep your receipts, police reports (if needed) and upload to their secure portal.
1 Cover NZ
One of the top travel insurance providers in Australia and New Zealand is 1 Cover and they offer various policies. They’ll only insure you if you buy before you leave for trips up to 3 months in duration.
If you’re tempted with their 12 month package, it’s important to note it’s only valid for multiple trips up to 90 days in length.
They offer range of policies including medical only to comprehensive. It’s strongly advisable to choose their fully comprehensive policy.
The standard excess is $200 however you can pay an additional fee to lower this to $100 or $0. The excess is deducted from your claim amount.
Unlike World Nomads, 1 Cover doesn’t offer added high risk activities so it’s important to read the policy in full to see what they will and won’t cover you for.
For example they don’t offer motorcycle cover for bikes over 250cc.
If you do need to make a claim, they’ve recently launched online claims (October 2017) or you can call their New Zealand call centre.
Southern Cross NZ
Another popular travel insurer is Southern Cross, or SCTI.co.nz and they offer large discounts for existing members and online orders. They’ll only insure you if you buy before you leave for trips up to 3 months in duration.
Their website is simple to use and offers simple country selection, i.e. South Pacific, North America, Europe or Worldwide. You can get a quote in a few seconds.
Similar to 1 Cover their 12 month annual frequent traveller is only valid for multiple trips up to 90 days so ensure you read the small print before purchasing.
The default excess cover is $100-$200 but this can be reduced to $0 by paying extra. The excess is deducted from your claim amount.
Similar to 1 Cover you need to ensure you read the policy for which activities are covered and aren’t before completing checkout.
If you do need to make a claim you can do so via their online claim portal.
State Travel Insurance NZ
Unless you’re an existing State insurance customer (car, life etc) the price for travel insurance with State is far higher than the previous three companies). On a recent search we were quoted $100 more than the average from all 3.
Similar to the other kiwi insurers you must be located at home to apply for cover. Trips (one time and annal cover) can only last for 30, 45 or 60 days.
The default excess with State is $250 but this can be reduced to $100 or $0 with an extra charge during checkout. There is only one comprehensive plan on offer.
State has a far lower per item cover (laptop, camera etc) so be sure to read the policy carefully before purchase.
If you do need to submit a claim you’ll need to call their call centre or email your documents through.
DU Insure NZ
Personally I’d never heard of this company until recently however they claim to have been around since 1992. The website looks very similar to 1Cover.
They offer four plans including, ‘Backpacker, Comprehensive, Premier and Frequent Traveller.’ It’s strongly advisable to buy the premier option for full cover however budget travelers will find backpacker sufficient.
Their frequent traveler option allows for multiple trips up to 21 days in length which is really disappointing given other providers 3 months option.
The default premium is $200 however this can be lowered to $100 or $0.
Items of value up to $5,000 are included in the default policy however if you’re heading away on business, renting a car, going on a cruise or taking your winter sports gear with you, you’ll need to fork out extra.
With these additional addons, your seemingly cheap policy isn’t cheap anymore.
If you do need to submit a claim, you’ll need to call their call centre or complete and email a claims form online.
STA Travel Insurance NZ
STA is a big name in student travel but their insurance isn’t that competitive. Buying a flight and tour package through them might get you a discount but buying insurance standalone through their website doesn’t.
Their insurance is provided by Allianz New Zealand and they offer a standard comprehensive plan with $250 excess.
They promote their pricing on a daily basis however this is asterisked so you’ll probably pay more.
Their policy covers high value items and snow gear plus most standard activities and some high risk ones (bungee jumping, sky diving) but it pays to check the policy carefully before purchasing. If you plan on renting a car you’ll need to pay extra too.
If you do need to submit a claim you’ll have to do so over the phone or via email.
There’s many spin off’s from Allianz including nz-travel-insurance.co.nz (same price/service).
Our Vote For Best Travel Insurer
After travelling ourselves for many years we’ve come to the conclusion that World Nomads‘ is hands down the best travel insurance provider for kiwi’s.
Their industry leading stance on buying policies after you’ve left is perfect should you forget to buy before leaving and if you decide to extend your trip can do this online too.
They offer simple pricing and you’ll know before checkout which adventure activities you can and can’t partake in on your plan. You’ll even get to donate $5 to one of their chosen charities during checkout too.
If that’s not enough, you can lodge claims online or over the phone and most claims are addressed within 10 working days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is the best travel insurance company?
After our extensive research we believe the best New Zealand travel insurance company is WorldNomads.
Who offers the best travel insurance?
The three companies we have featured each have their pros and cons. The best reviewed company in NZ is 1 Cover with World Nomads offering the longest coverage as well as coverage after you’ve left the country.
Should I get travel insurance for Australia?
Yes you should because the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) between Australia and New Zealand only covers emergency medical care that cannot wait until you return home. It also doesn’t cover ambulance trips ($500+) as well as most medical expenses. There’s a misconception out there that you’re automatically covered for travel in Australia when in fact you are not.
What level of travel insurance do I need?
You should look at the difference policies offered by your chosen insurer. Most offer a budget service which covers medical and some expenses only. Fully comprehensive, while more expensive, can be the best option to insure your luggage, personal belongings and unforeseen events.
Most insurers offer 3rd party liability on all plans which covers you should you injure or cause the death of another person accidentally.
Do I really need travel insurance?
You definitely don’t need insurance and traveling domestically most people don’t take it out. However the laws and health care overseas can be super expensive and some countries won’t admit you to hospital until someone has fronted payment for treatment. Do you really want to risk life or death because you have no way to pay the hospital, which could be 6 or 7 figures?
There’s many cases of people having issues in Bali or Thailand without travel insurance and their families have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to help them. Do you want your family to go through that because you wanted to save $100? Probably not.
I’m an adventurer, traveller and thrill seeker who loves to explore the beautiful country of New Zealand. When I’m not writing articles for Ki-Wi you’ll find me driving jet boats, hiking and riding my motorcycle. New Zealand is an amazing country to live, work, travel and explore.