Insurance for incoming international students

Health and travel insurance while studying in NZ is important to avoid unwanted, high costs relating to medical care and life events.

UC requires all enrolled international students (including doctoral students) on campus to have approved health and travel insurance for the duration of their enrolment (regardless of their visa type).  This is a requirement under the Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021.   

Immigration New Zealand also requires students to have insurance that covers their entire stay in NZ until the date their visa expires. If a student graduates or ceases to study, they must make alterative arrangements for insurance while they remain in NZ.

Studentsafe Insurance

The Studentsafe Inbound University Policy by Allianz Partners is UC's preferred medical and travel insurance for international students. You are automatically registered under the Studentsafe policy when you complete your enrolment, and the charge is added to your tuition fees invoice.  

Under the Studentsafe policy, when you travel to NZ to study for the first time, you automatically have up to 31 days of cover before the Course Start Date in which you have enrolled or pre-enrolled, even though your premium is not paid until your Enrolment in Person session.  You will have continuous cover throughout your study years, as long as you are fully enrolled and have paid the appropriate premium for each successive semester of study.


Cover Duration  2022 2023
Student Full year  697 NZD 750 NZD
Student +1 family member Full year  1,394 NZD 1,500 NZD
Student +2 or more family members Full year  1,742.50 NZD 1,875 NZD
Study Abroad Programme One semester (half year)  348.50 NZD 375 NZD

The cost includes cover to your visa expiry date or 150 days after your final enrolment end date (whichever is earlier). The cost of this insurance will be added to your enrolment fees.

Pre-existing Medical Conditions

The Studentsafe Inbound University Policy does not automatically cover Pre-existing Medical Conditions. A Pre-existing Medical Condition is a medical or physical condition that you had before you enrolled in the plan and can extend to Pre-existing Medical Conditions you were aware of but did not seek treatment for. Cover can be arranged in certain circumstances by completing a Medical Assessment Form. An additional premium will be charged if the insurer agrees to provide cover.

Specified High Value Items

For any baggage items that are worth more than the policy item limit of $2,500 you can extend the cover and specify the item on your policy by filling in a Specified High Value Item Form. An additional premium will be charged to specify an item and you should insure it for the indemnity or current value of the item.

Family Insurance

Family members can also be covered under the Studentsafe Inbound University Policy. A Family Application Form will need to be completed and an additional premium for the family unit will be payable to the University. Acceptance is subject to Allianz Partners approval.

Present the completed form and your family member’s passport/s during your Enrolment in Person session.

The family policy must start at the same time as the student's policy commences, and the appropriate additional insurance fee will be added to your statement of fees when you enrol/re-enrol annually.  Note: Family policies are not renewed automatically each year. You must apply for family policy renewal on or before the policy expiry date.

You can purchase a policy directly from InsurancesafeNZ if you decide to insure your family after you have already enrolled (a family policy must start at the same time as the student's policy commences) or if you wish to insure non-immediate family members (e.g. grandparents).

UC Health Centre

All Studentsafe-insured students enrolled at UC can use the UC Health Centre.

If your consultation/service is covered under your policy, the Health Centre will submit your claim on your behalf and you will not need to pay them.  

If your consultation/service is NOT covered under your policy, you will be required to pay. The attending GP or nurse will be able to tell you if you are eligible.

Please note family members are unable to attend the UC Health Centre. This is a service for students only. Family member should instead register with a medical centre in the community.  They would need to pay the medical centre directly for consultation/services, and then claim reimbursement from the Insurer.

Students can also choose to register with a medical centre in the community. They would need to pay the medical centre directly for consultation/services, and then claim reimbursement from the Insurer.

Optical Claims

You have cover under your policy if your prescription optical aids are lost, stolen or your vision changes while you are studying. The insurer has an arrangement with Specsavers where you will not need to pay them first. Instead they will invoice the insurer directly. Specsavers have a number of branches throughout New Zealand. To apply for the no-pay service under this process, complete the Pre-approval Request Form or visit a store near you.

Making a Claim

To learn more about how to make a claim, visit the Studentsafe Claims page for instructions.

Studentsafe Excess

The Studentsafe Inbound University Policy includes an excess of $200 for baggage and portable computers or sporting equipment. Terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply. Please refer to the Policy Wording for detailed terms of cover.

Emergency Assistance

To contact Studentsafe in NZ call toll-free on 0800 486 004.

If you are outside NZ and an emergency occurs during your travel or stopover, you can phone +64 9 486 6868. Collect calls will be accepted. Call your telephone operator in your country and ask to place a collect call. Call charges will then be paid by the insurance company from anywhere in the world for advice when you need it.

If you have a minor loss or event while travelling, keep all records and receipts then make a claim when you arrive in NZ.

Alternative Insurance Options

If you do not want to purchase a Studentsafe Inbound University Policy, you must purchase an approved alternative policy, which meets the minimum requirements for a travel and medical insurance policy.

The following alternative insurance plans have been assessed and are compliant for studying in NZ:

When you arrive in NZ and come to UC to complete your Enrolment in Person, you must bring a certificate of insurance that proves you have insurance cover. This certificate must show the start date and expiry date of the insurance. Your insurance must cover your enrolment from the official enrolment start date to the expiry date of your current student visa (or at least to the end date of your current enrolment if your visa is issued for the whole duration of your study programme). 

If your insurance cover is not listed above you must apply to have your cover assessed at least four weeks before you complete your Enrolment in Person. Please complete the following form and email it to along with your insurance policy.

General Insurance Information

Access to Healthcare

Most international students are not entitled to publicly funded healthcare while in New Zealand. If you receive medical treatment during your visit, you may be responsible for the full cost of that treatment. To find out if you are eligible for free healthcare, visit Immigration New Zealand.

The UC Health Centre provides healthcare to students at UC and is conveniently located on campus. When you visit the Health Centre, the cost of your appointment can be billed to your insurance company directly if you have used one of the approved insurance providers listed.

If you have an accident and require emergency treatment, the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) provides comprehensive injury cover for all New Zealand residents and visitors to New Zealand. To find out more, visit the ACC website.

Dental Procedures

Dental procedures are generally not covered by travel and medical insurance. It is recommended that you have your teeth thoroughly checked and treated before you leave your home country

Dental treatment in NZ is generally considered to be more expensive than elsewhere and you will be required to pay for any treatments up front.

Please be aware that altitude from flying can cause discomfort soon after dental treatment so give yourself time to heal before you fly.

Uni Pharmacy

If you are prescribed medications you can visit the Uni Pharmacy (located in the Undercroft) to have your prescription filled. If your prescription items are covered under your policy and are on the Pharmac list, the Uni Pharmacy will submit a claim on your behalf and you will not need to pay them.

If you have prescription items that are NOT covered under your policy or are NOT on the Pharmac List, you will be required to pay for them. The pharmacist will advise you about the cost.

The Uni Pharmacy is open to the public and non-students can have their prescriptions filled there too. They would need to pay the Pharmacy directly for their prescription items and then claim reimbursement from their insurer afterwards.

Australian Students

If you are an Australian resident who is entering New Zealand, you will be given an indefinite New Zealand Residence Permit by immigration at the New Zealand border when you enter the country. This means that you are a New Zealand resident. Insurance is not compulsory for New Zealand residents on valid indefinite permits.

If you are in 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 an insurance policy that is specific 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).

For more information, visit the Immigration New Zealand website.

For more information