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Travel insurance for New Zealand

Compare the best New Zealand travel insurance in 2021

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From downtown Queenstown to the top of Mount Alfred, New Zealand is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Whether you want a quiet week of exploring the local culture or a heart-pounding summer of climbing mountains and seeing how much of the famous Te Araroa, an 1,800-mile hiking trail that spans both islands, you can conquer, this country offers something for everyone. Before you pack your bags, don’t forget to pack the most important thing — a travel insurance policy to keep you safe on your journey.

What's changed in 2021?

The US government has issued a Level 1 travel advisory for New Zealand as of February 2021. Read the fine print of your travel insurance policy to learn whether it covers emergencies, evacuations, interruptions or cancellations for your New Zealand trip during the pandemic. Learn more about restrictions and requirements for US travelers by country.

*Be aware that most travel insurance policies don’t offer COVID-19 coverage. To find one that does, have a look at travel insurance policies that cover the coronavirus.*

How to compare travel insurance in New Zealand

New Zealand is an adventure-lover’s paradise, with activities like skiing, bungee jumping, white-water rafting, rock climbing, trekking and more. You should be aware that basic travel insurance policies often exclude certain riskier activities, so if you plan to get your adrenaline pumping, check with your insurer to find out if you need to purchase extra coverage.

Travel insurance for skiing in New Zealand

Skiing and snowboarding are extremely popular in New Zealand, but most travel insurance policies won’t automatically cover medical emergencies that happen on the slopes. Check to see if your insurance policy covers skiing, or consider purchasing a special skiing insurance policy. Ski insurance commonly covers:

  • Getting you off the mountain and to a hospital. There’s a good chance an accident on the slopes would require helicopter rescue and that can be expensive. Ski insurance can cover you for that.
  • Paying for unused lift passes, unused equipment rental and unused ski lessons. If extreme weather like a blizzard or avalanche keeps you off the slopes, your insurer can pay you back for unused lift passes, equipment rental and lessons that you’ve already paid for. It can also cover you if an illness or injury ruin your plans.
  • Getting you to a new resort. Many snow travel insurance plans cover your transportation and accommodation expenses if 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 you to rent equipment if yours is lost, damaged or delayed in transit.

Compare travel insurance policies for New Zealand

Sort through travel insurance plans for New Zealand by selecting the up and down arrows next to the headers. Or choose the Go to site button for more information about each policy.

Name Product Trip Cancellation Emergency Medical Expenses Baggage Coverage Trip Delay
Atlas Travel by Tokio Marine
0%
$2,000,000
$1,000
$100
Customizable policy that balances basic essentials with premium coverage.
Atlas Group Insurance by Tokio Marine
0%
$2,000,000
$1,000
$100
Customizable policy designed for families, student organizations and groups of five or more people.
RoamRight Essential Travel Insurance Plan
100%
$15,000
$750
$500
Basic policy with coverage that includes trip cancellation insurance, tourist health insurance and baggage insurance.
RoamRight Multi-Trip Annual Insurance for Trip Cancellation
100%
$25,000
$1,000
$1,000
Bare-bones policy designed for those who want trip cancellation coverage and limited medical protection.
AXA Assistance Silver Plan
100%
$25,000
$750
$500
Basic travel protection with lower amounts of coverage. No option to cancel for any reason.
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Why get travel insurance for New Zealand?

New Zealand is a fairly safe country, but that doesn’t mean nothing bad can ever happen there. Travel insurance can help you deal with any financial risks so that you can enjoy your vacation carefree. For example:

  • Feeling sick after trying that street food? If you get sick while overseas, medical bills can quickly become overwhelming. A travel insurance policy can help you get the care you need without emptying your savings account.
  • Need to cancel your trip at the last minute? If you have to cancel for something outside of your control, travel insurance can cover you for money you’ve already spent. If you have to cancel the whole trip because you’re sick at home or because an earthquake struck in Christchurch, you can get your money back.
  • Airline lose your luggage? Travel insurance can pay you a daily allowance until you get your luggage back or can pay for it in full if it’s lost forever.
  • Carrying expensive gear? You can get coverage to protect your skis, jewelry, electronics, golf clubs, cameras and other equipment from destruction and theft.
  • Paying for expensive lift passes or green fees? You can a policy that will pay you back if you have to cancel expensive activities like skiing and golfing due to circumstances outside of your control.
  • Someone nab your pack when you weren’t looking? Travel insurance can cover you for loss of cash, passports and other essential travel documents.
  • Crash your rental car? Travel insurance can cover the cost of your rental car deductible, which can often be massive on its own. Travel insurance can also cover you if you damage someone else’s property or injure them (whether it’s with a car or not).

What doesn’t travel insurance cover?

Exclusions vary from policy to policy, but things that usually won’t be covered include:

  • Inebriation. If you hurt yourself or someone else while drunk or on drugs not prescribed by a doctor, your insurer won’t pay.
  • Irresponsible behavior. This can range from leaving your luggage sitting on the sidewalk while you go into a shop to skiing off-trail and needing to be helicoptered out. If an insurer can argue that you didn’t take sensible precautions to keep yourself and your belongings safe, they can deny your claim.
  • Traveling to an unsafe area. If you get sick or injured while in an area that the US Department of State has issued an advisory against, your claim can be denied. New Zealand is usually pretty safe, but it’s always a good idea to check for updates before getting on a plane.
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Who should you contact in an emergency?

In the event of an emergency, contact:

  • Your insurer. Most insurers have a 24/7 helpline you can call — the number will be clearly displayed on your policy.
  • Emergency services. Dial 111 to reach police, fire and ambulance dispatch.
  • US embassy or consulate. If you lose your passport, get into legal trouble or if there’s a countrywide emergency, contact the nearest US embassy or consulate.

Bottom line

Whether you’re going to hit the slopes, explore Christchurch or journey to middle earth — or at least a few of the famous filming locations — New Zealand has it all. The country is far from dangerous, but you’ll be thankful you have travel insurance if you lose your luggage when they send it to Wanaka instead of Wellington, miss your golf game because the flight was delayed or have your ring stolen on the way to the hotel.

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Frequently asked questions

What are the entry requirements for New Zealand?

US citizens can visit New Zealand for up to three months without a visa. You will need a passport that’s valid for at least three months from your planned departure date.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, New Zealand has maintained tight borders and limited foreign nationals from entering the country. Before planning your trip, review the latest restrictions and requirements for US travelers.

Will my phone work in New Zealand?

Possibly. Some US carriers have agreements with carriers in New Zealand, so your phone might be able to make calls — you’ll need to check with your provider to find out. However, if your phone does work, international roaming charges are usually incredibly expensive. If you want to use your phone, the cheapest option will probably be to pick up a prepaid SIM card for New Zealand.

When is the best time of year to visit New Zealand?

New Zealand’s coastline experiences relatively mild weather year round, while the South Island’s inland alpine areas can reach temperatures as cold as 14°F in July. Since New Zealand experiences seasons opposite to the US, many Americans visit between October and April to take advantage of the warmer climate. Peak skiing season runs from June to October.

Picture: Unsplash

Picture: Shutterstock

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