June 1

Visa types vs Insurance



World map on hands

The type of visa that you have when you immigrate to New Zealand can have a big effect on the types of insurance that you are eligible for.

There are many different visa categories when people immigrate to New Zealand.

These visa types have varying requirements with different insurance companies and affect the types of insurance you could be eligible for.

Here are some points to make it easier to understand.


What to do with your current insurance?

Keep it! It is not until you have the certainty of cover in your new country, that you can make changes to your policies overseas. Once you have settled, then look at taking out insurance in New Zealand. Most insurance policies from your country of origin are worldwide for a specific time period. Contrary to what some people may say, not all immigrants are covered with respect to medical assistance, depending on their type of visa.Before leaving, it is best to make sure that your current policies have worldwide cover and what period your policy will cover you when you are overseas. If your insurance does not include worldwide cover, then you should look at alternatives to makes sure that you are covered. This could be in the form of travel insurance from your home country. If you intend to stay in New Zealand and need more advice on your options contact us.


What happens if you’re in an accident in New Zealand?

ACC will cover you in the case of an accident, whether you are visiting, on a work permit or a resident. ACC is the non-default insurance scheme by the government. It will only cover things related to a specific accident. In this case, you need to go to the nearest hospital or A&E. There is no cover for an illness under this scheme. Here is an extract from the ACC website:

We only cover treatment and rehabilitation costs while you are in New Zealand; it is not a replacement for travel insurance and doesn’t cover illness, disrupted travel plans or emergency travel to get you back home. We strongly recommend you arrange travel insurance before visiting New Zealand.

Sourced from: http://www.acc.co.nz/making-a-claim/am-i-covered/index.htm

Insurance and Visas

As a resident, you are eligible for insurance whether you have a 2-year travel condition resident visa or permanent residency (subject to underwriting with the insurance company). Work visas are generally given in either 1,2 or 3 year periods. If you get a work visa for 2 or 3 years you should be able to get most insurance subject to underwriting. If you have a 1-year visa, you are not eligible for full insurance but there are a couple of options:

  • Travel insurance
  • Medical travel insurance

These travel products can be NZ specific, so it is not something you can purchase from home.

When your visa status changes, it is important to let you financial advisor or us know, as this could impact your New Zealand policies or applying for insurance in New Zealand.


KiwiSaver is a voluntary based savings scheme set up by the government to help New Zealanders to save for their retirement.

We can choose to contribute 3%, 4% or 8% of our gross (before tax) wage or salary to our KiwiSaver account. Our employer has to contribute as well – at least 3% of our gross salary.

Along with KiwiSaver employer contributions, there’s an annual KiwiSaver government contribution.

Our funds are invested on our behalf by the KiwiSaver provider of our choice. If we don’t choose a provider Inland Revenue will assign us to one of the nine default KiwiSaver schemes.

Sourced from: www.sorted.org.nz

KiwiSaver is only available to New Zealand citizens and permanent residents only. You are only able to join if you are living in New Zealand.

Pre-existing medical conditions?

The way NZ insurance industry works, if you have pre-existing conditions before the commencement of a New Zealand insurance policy, all those conditions may be excluded. A pre-existing condition is, for example, a knee injury from an accident; skin cancer is another example. It is important when applying for medical cover in NZ that you have access to either your medical records at home or your new Immigration medicals.  These can be requested by the various insurance companies and takes substantial time to get them from overseas.


If you have any questions please contact us and we will assist you in any way possible. 

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