Insurance for studying outside New Zealand

All domestic students and international students in New Zealand who are travelling off-shore as part of their study programme require appropriate and current medical and travel insurance. The insurance must meet the University of Canterbury's minimum requirements and be valid for the entire period off-shore.

The most common reasons for studying outside New Zealand are (but not limited to):

  • Exchange programmes
  • Attending a conference or seminar
  • Field study
  • Research thesis (UC student enrolling with an overseas institution)
  • Extramural research (Student enrolled at UC but researching overseas)
  • Internship overseas

Domestic students travelling to study outside New Zealand are strongly advised to purchase travel and medical insurance. It is compulsory for Outgoing Exchange students to have travel and medical insurance.

Note: A pre-existing condition of health is not covered by insurance unless you have applied to the insurer and received a notice of acceptance of such condition.

Non-compliant insurance policies

A number of insurance policies have already been assessed by the University and do not meet the minimum requirements. These policies are detailed on the non compliant insurance policy list.

Insurance policies to help you get started

The following insurance plans may meet minimum requirements for studying outside New Zealand, however it is your responsibility to check that they do. Please refer to the disclaimer.

For New Zealand Citizens or holders of a Residence Class Visa and Permanent Residents of Australia, Cook Islands, Tokelau and Niue:

StudentSafe University (Offshore) - underwritten by Vero

Covermore Travel Insurance - Options Plan

Uni-Care – Outbound Plan

1cover New Zealand – Single Trip (Plan A Overseas comprehensive)

Southern Cross Travel Insurance - TravelCare Plan

For International Students:

We recommend that international students who already have insurance cover for study in New Zealand refer to their insurer to arrange additional cover to study outside of New Zealand. Students who have Studentsafe-University can refer to Studentsafe for details of offshore cover.

Note: When arranging insurance, inform the insurer that you are an international student going OUT of New Zealand. You will need to tell them your destination country, the start and end dates of your travel and study and any transit and stop-over countries you will visit.

If an insurance company imposes additional restrictions, conditions or exclusions on the insurance cover offered by the master policy, the University reserves the right not to accept the insurance policy as a compliant policy.

For Residents of Australia:

The following information applies to Australian Citizens and residents of Australia with full Australian Returning Residents Visas:

  • New Zealand insurance companies view you as an international traveller if you are travelling to your off-shore study destination from Australia. This means that if you buy a travel and medical insurance policy from a New Zealand insurer, you will be required to purchase a policy specifically for international students. Alternatively, you can purchase a travel and medical insurance policy from an insurance company based in Australia (the Australian insurance policy may need to be assessed and approved by the University of Canterbury).
  • If you are an Australian resident who has entered New Zealand and is travelling to your off-shore study destination from New Zealand, you will have been given an indefinite New Zealand Residence Permit by Immigration at the New Zealand border when you entered the country. This means that you are a New Zealand resident and are eligible to purchase insurance from a New Zealand based insurer. You must declare your Australian and New Zealand residency status to the New Zealand insurer when you purchase the insurance.
  • If you are a resident of Australia on an Australian Temporary Residence Visa you do not qualify for a New Zealand Residence Permit at the New Zealand border and therefore you must purchase a policy specifically for international students, or an insurance policy from an insurance company based in Australia (the Australian insurance policy may need to be assessed and approved by the University of Canterbury).

Exchange programmes

All domestic exchange programme students and all international students in New Zealand who are travelling off-shore as part of their study programme require appropriate and current medical and travel insurance. The insurance must meet the University of Canterbury's minimum requirements and be valid for the entire period off-shore.

It is the student's responsibility to arrange and pay for their own insurance before they depart. The insurance must be valid for the entire period off-shore: from the date of departure from New Zealand, through to returning to New Zealand. This includes non-study and vacation periods.

The University of Canterbury requires exchange programme students to have medical and travel insurance which meets the University of Canterbury's minimum requirements for the entire period of the exchange (including travel to and from the exchange destination).

Before you purchase any medical and travel insurance it is important that you first find out whether the partner university that you will be attending has a specific insurance policy which it is mandatory for you to purchase.

Our experience is that most partner university insurance plans are Health Plans only, not comprehensive travel and medical insurance. Frequently the partner university's insurance only covers hospital costs. These ‘Health Plans' do not meet the requirements for travelling and studying overseas.

Minimum Requirements for Studying Outside New Zealand

The following table details the minimum insurance cover requirement for a travel and medical insurance policy. These requirements are valid from 1 June 2006.

The "sums insured" must be very high so that they will not be exceeded in any possible claim. The minimum requirements being:

  • NZ$600,000 for hospitalisation, general practitioners, and prescriptions
  • NZ$600,000 for medical rescue/repatriation should you becomes seriously ill or injured and need to be accompanied home with a medical professional
  • NZ$15,000 for funeral expenses and repatriation of the body back home
  • NZ$30,000 for accompanying relative cover. If you becomes seriously ill or die, cover is required to support a relative to accompany and support you. This should include the relative's day-to-day accommodation, reasonable living costs and the cost of airfares
  • NZ$20,000 to fly you home should a member of your immediate family become critically ill or die
  • NZ$20,000 for death or disability benefit
  • NZ$1,000,000 for personal liability
  • NZ$5,000 Loss or damage to baggage and other personal effects
  • NZ$5,000 for travel delay and missed transport connection

In addition, the following requirements must also be met: 

  • The insurance commences on the day the student begins their travel.
  • The insurance applies whilst the student is in transit.
  • The insurance applies 24 hours a day for the total period of travel overseas.
  • The insurer must provide emergency 24-hour, 7 day per week cover.
  • Any excess or co-insurance must not exceed NZ$1000.
  • The broker or agent promoting the policy is a reputable and established company with substantial experience in the travel and medical insurance business.
  • The insurer (or re-insurer) is a reputable and established company with substantial experience in the travel insurance business. The credit rating must be no lower than BBB from Standard and Poors, or B+ from A M Best.

For insurance queries for exchange students please contact ucmobility@canterbury.ac.nz

For other insurance queries please contact insurance@canterbury.ac.nz

Disclaimer information: The University of Canterbury recommends students read the insurance policy wording carefully taking particular note of exclusions. It is the student's responsibility to become familiar with the level of cover and the refund conditions offered by the insurance.

The University of Canterbury takes no responsibility for misunderstandings over insurance content and conditions or for medical and travel costs not covered by insurance or for the activities of the insurance companies involved.

Regarding the above list of insurance policies, the policies are for your information only and the University has not assessed whether these policies meet the minimum requirements. It is the student's responsibility to ensure the master policy they choose is compliant at the time of purchase and continues to meet the University's minimum requirements.

If an insurance company imposes additional restrictions, conditions or exclusions on the insurance cover offered by the master policy, the University reserves the right not to accept the insurance policy as a compliant policy.

The University reserves the right to alter the minimum requirements at any time.

For more information please contact us.