Having proper insurance while doing Work & Holiday overseas is definitely recommended. There’s nothing worse than having an emergency at the other end of the world and no help in sight just because you wanted to save money. That will surely ruin your whole experience.
Here is a few insurances that are definitely worthwhile thinking about before coming to New Zealand. It also pays to check if there are websites where you can compare insurance companies available in your country. You don’t want to overpay but make sure you get the best you can get within your budget.
* Health Insurance *
This is by far the most important insurance whenever you travel. You may already have health insurance in your home country but most of them won’t cover long-term overseas trips. Check what your provider can do for you and where you might need to upgrade or find a different provider entirely.
New Zealand’s public health system is very costly. You pay a set fee every time you see a doctor (General Practitioner/GP) plus for whatever procedures need to be done (e.g. X-ray) as well as medication prescribed. Foreigners that are not enrolled with a GP quite often pay an even larger fee for consultations.
Though most accidents that occur in New Zealand are covered by the governmental Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) that only includes basic treatment. Above that hospital stays and such can cost you a fortune. You should therefore check your health insurance thoroughly for what exactly is covered.
This is what your travel health insurance should cover:
* doctor’s fees in case of sickness or injury
* emergency dentist treatment
* surgery costs
* salvage charges
* return charges to home country for further treatment
* flyover costs to home country in the event of death
How to claim
In most cases you will first have to pay for medical treatment yourself. You can then claim the money back from your insurance by sending in the original receipts or prescriptions. In severe situations, however, e.g. prolonged hospital bills, it pays to talk to your insurance provider and see if you can get them to advance the money to cover your expenses.
Where to book
Most travel agencies will offer a range of travel health insurance in combination with your flight. If you book online you will most likely have to shop elsewhere, though.
* Travel Cancellation Insurance *
Another important insurance that you normally book in combination with your flight. It kicks in when for whatever reason you are unable to start your travels as planned – this might be due to illness or any other unforeseen circumstance. This insurance normally doesn’t cost much and will bee offered by any airline.
Naturally there are cases where your provider will refuse to refund your money, for example if you simply change your mind. Some companies neither accept reasons like illness that was already known when booking, personal grievances like splitting up or internal problems getting your holiday approved by your supervisors.
In the following cases, however, your provider should have to compensate your expenses:
* severe illness
* death within the family
* sudden military draft
* following a subpoena
* Third Party Insurance *
If you already have a Third Party Insurance in your home country check how long they normally cover overseas trips. You might not need a separate provider, but if you do it’s a good investment. It covers any incidents where you do damage to another party and can’t pay.
* Luggage Insurance*
If you lose your luggage or it gets lost, stolen or damaged this insurance will pay out for any damage caused. It might not be as important as the Travel Health Insurance. However, depending on the items you insure it might also be worthwhile considering. Especially if you plan to take along laptops, cellphones, cameras and other technical devices it would pay to have them covered.
Note: Most providers will NOT refund if you leave your baggage unattended!
Also if your luggage gets damaged during your flight you are normally covered by the airline company. Notify a representative as soon as you collect your luggage and notice any damage.