Going on a working holiday to NZ? Awesome! Now, have you thought about what kind of New Zealand working holiday travel insurance you may buy yet? It’s definitely not the most exciting part of your working holiday, but it is pretty important. Read on to find out why.
Whatever the healthcare system you’re used to at home, medical treatment usually comes with a fee for visitors in other countries. Have an annual health care plan? Great, but it is likely that any kind of long-term travel abroad is not covered by it. And this is the very reason why it is a great idea to buy travel insurance for your working holiday in New Zealand.
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The Importance of travel insurance
Travel insurance policies typically, alongside other benefits, include medical and repatriation coverage in the case of sickness, injury and accidents abroad. Repatriation refers to transportation home for those critically ill or injured. In a worst-case scenario, repatriation also returns a person’s body back to their home country. For this reason, having travel insurance is also beneficial to your family if the worst happens.
No-one thinks that serious accident or incident will happen to them until it does. Unfortunately, the risk of this is part of life, both while travelling abroad and at home. It is sadly not unusual to come across stories in the media of people who have had their lives drastically changed by accidents while travelling or working abroad (examples here, here and here). Avoiding adrenaline sports such as skydiving or rock climbing doesn’t necessarily eliminate the danger either. Everyday activities such as driving, cycling and even walking have risks too! I personally never travel without insurance.
Read next: 5 Myths of Working Holiday Travel Insurance
Some things to keep in mind when searching for New Zealand working holiday travel insurance:
- Firstly, most travel insurers are aimed at people who go on holiday a couple of times a year. You will need something that covers a lot longer. Often these policies are advertised as ‘Backpacker’ or ‘Traveller’.
- If you’re seriously planning to work in New Zealand you will need insurance that will specifically cover work. Most travel insurance policies only cover pleasure activities on regular holidays.
- Another thing to look for in the small print is whether you can fly to New Zealand on a one-way flight. Again, many companies will not cover a trip with you leaving your home country without a return flight.
- Planning to do some ‘extreme’ activities such as skiing/snowboarding, bungy jumping, skydiving, rafting? Then you will need to make sure they are also covered. Often activities such as these are covered but at an extra cost or with a high excess if you got injured doing them. An excess is like an added fee that you must pay before the insurance company pays out.
- Other factors to consider is whether would be whether you can extend your policy while away and if the policy allows you to return to your home country. A year or two is a long time – you may find the desire to go home for a wedding, Christmas or (sadly) a funeral. Often, returning to your home country effectively cancels your insurance coverage, making the rest of the policy worthless.
New Zealand working holiday insurance options
True Traveller offers 18 months insurance for British and EU citizens going to New Zealand with unlimited visits home allowed. Coverage can start when already travelling and trips starting with a one-way plane ticket are fine. Winter sports coverage is available and there are no minimum residency requirements. I have used True Traveller twice myself. If you are looking for a longer policy (up to 24 months) and/or wish to travel to other countries besides NZ, choose the ‘Worldwide’ policy instead.
W0rld Nomads is another long-term travel insurer with working holiday coverage – they have policies for travellers from over 140 countries. Easy to buy online, policies can be started if you’ve already started travelling. Canadian/British citizens heading to New Zealand for the full 23-month visa length would need to purchase 12 months and then an additional policy for 11 months.
Read this next: The Complete Guide to a Working Holiday in New Zealand