best travel insurance nz

Best Travel Insurance NZ 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.

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.

We’ve spent many years traveling 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

InsurerDefault ExcessPurchase DateClaimRating
World Nomads$200AnytimeOnline10/10
1 Cover$200Before DepartOnline9/10
SCTI$200Before DepartOnline8/10
State$200Before DepartPhone7/10
DU Insure$200Before DepartPhone6/10
STA Travel$250Before DepartPhone8/10

World Nomads NZ

Unless you’re a serial traveller you’ll likely never heard of them, however overseas they are one of the most well known and respected travel travel insurance nz

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.

They 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.

Get a quote from World Nomads.

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 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 traveler 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 (same price/service).

Our Vote For Best Travel Insurer

After traveling 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.


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.

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