Are you going overseas to study? Or starting a gap year? Are you planning on bungy jumping; skiing in the Alps or city-hopping? If that’s you then you’ll need travel insurance to cover you on your adventure.
It’s pretty easy to buy a policy as there aren’t many questions involved. You’ll just need to provide your destination, age, and dates of travel. But if you’re planning on going off the beaten track there might be some conditions of cover you should pay attention to before you buy.
Here’s answers to all those tricky questions - find out the secrets to the best student travel insurance.
Why do I need student travel insurance? What does it cover?
With lots of adventures on the road ahead of you, so come dangers and risks. Travel insurance covers you for those unforseen travel-related emergencies and expenses.
Maybe you accidently drop your smartphone down the toilet – could you afford $500 to replace it?
It could be that you’re on the slopes in Canada and fall and break a leg – could you afford thousands of dollars in medical bills?
Maybe your bag gets snatched off your shoulder in Madrid with your passport, wallet and camera – who’s going to pay for the additional fees to get a replacement passport and all your bag’s contents?
Perhaps a hurricane stops you from getting to the airport so you miss your flight – who’s going to pay for another one?
Travel insurance will cover you for all these scenarios - overseas medical emergencies, lost baggage, travel delays, cancellations, stolen money, personal accidents and more!
A word of advice from Smart Traveller: Travel insurance is as essential as your passport, regardless of your travel destination. If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel!
What about Medicare – can’t I use that overseas?
Unfortunately no, you can’t take Medicare with you when you go travelling, and overseas medical treatment is VERY expensive. For example a bout of appendicitis in the USA could set you back $20,000!
Assuming you’ll need a policy for longer than 2 weeks, it could cost you around $600 for annual cover, which might seem a large expense at first, but if you put that into context of the bills you could be faced without the insurance... You’d be stupid to go overseas without it!
What destination do I pick on comparetravelinsurance.co.nz?
When you compare travel insurance, a lot of the time you'll be asked to pick a destination area, rather than ticking individual countries. If you’re country hopping, but only going somewhere for a day, you will still need a policy that covers you for all destinations you travel to e.g. If you’re travelling around the Pacific Islands and you’re only stopping in Hawaii for 2 days, you will still need insurance that covers you in America.
I’m planning on bungy jumping, is it covered?
You’re probably planning a heap of exciting activities on your trip, but you should know that not every adventure activity is covered automatically because it might be classed as too risky.
Some activities that typically are not covered are:
- Cliff jumping
- Zip lining
- Hang gliding
- Rock climbing
- Running of the bulls festival in Spain
- White water rafting – grade 5
Take a look at your insurance companies' PDS that explains exactly what they cover – don't go jumping out of a plane not-covered to do so. We’ve got more information about this in our adventure activities guide here.
What else isn’t covered?
You might not realise that you’re not covered if you miss a flight because you’re too late to check-in, or if you injure yourself when you’re drunk. Here’s a few things that aren’t covered:
- Drugs and alcohol
If you’re being reckless and injure yourself or lose something when you’re drunk – you cannot claim.
- Unattended items
Don’t leave your stuff lying around and expect cover when it’s stolen. Any of your belongings that are lost or stolen that you leave unattended, or even out of your reach will not be covered.
If you can’t prove you own your item with a receipt, photo, or bank statement and you make a claim, it might be rejected.
- Report loss/theft asap
To have a successful claim you need to report your loss as soon as possible to the police and the place your item was lost. You must get written proof and contact your insurer about the loss within 24 hours, or as soon as possible.
Each insurer has different inclusions and exclusions. So you should always read the small print (we know it’s boring) to know when you’re covered.
I’m going away for a whole year – does my policy cover that?
There are plenty of policies that cover for a year or more such as 1Cover, STA Travel and DU insure. You can use our travel insurance comparison to see if we have any polices that suit your trip. Don’t get confused with an annual policy which covers for an unlimited number of trips in a year, but have individual trip duration limits.
If you decide to extend your trip from overseas, you can lengthen your insurance for another 12 months, but there might be limits on how long you can extend for, depending on how long you’ve already been away.
Note: If you decide to return home at any point your policy will end.
I’m planning on working overseas? Will I still be covered?
If you’re planning on getting a part time job on your gap year such as working in a bar, find out if your insurance covers you for personal liability or medical emergencies at work.
Some insurers won’t cover you if your job is risky and you could easily injure yourself e.g. bungee jumping instructor, working on a building site, or mining.
If a job is too risky, your policy won’t cover you as it’s seen as the employer’s responsibility.
International students studying in New Zealand
If you’re an international student studying in New Zealand you're required to have health and travel insurance while studying here which is stipulated by the Government’s Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students.
How can I find a cheap policy?
You’re a student, you’re probably on a budget. But that doesn’t mean you should buy a policy that provides inadequate cover - because it'll just mean you end up paying big later. Heaps of insurers offer 'medical only' or 'essentials' policies for the budget conscious so make sure you at least buy one of those. Comprehensive cover as the name sugests will give you a broader range of benefits, but you'll have to pay more for it.
Make sure you pick a policy which is backed by a reputable underwriter and that will cover all your planned activities (and more).
Students - take a look at our cheap policies today and see if we’ve got the right one for you. We compare 20+ brands including itrek (good for backpackers), Kango (very reasonable) Virgin Money (everyone knows Virgin), SCTI (also well priced), and 1Cover (good all-rounder) and more!