What to do with your current insurance?
Keep it! Until you have the certainty of cover in your new country its best to keep your current cover in case.
Most insurances are world-wide for a specific time period. Make sure that you know what that time period is. Not knowing when this cover will cease will put you and your family at risk.
In the unfortunate case of having to return to your country of origin, and you have cancelled your cover, you will have to reapply for insurance. This could be non-beneficial to you. Should you be staying in New Zealand for a holiday or a short period of stay, take out travel insurance if needed. You can be insured whilst in New Zealand for the period you may be staying or once your travel insurance ceases.
What happens if you’re in an accident in New Zealand?
In New Zealand, there is an Accident fund (ACC)which covers all accidents whether you are visiting, on a work permit or a resident. This is the non-default insurance scheme by the government. ACC only covers situations relating to a specific accident. There is no cover for an illness under this scheme.
Insurance and Visa’s
As a resident, whether on the 2-year travel conditions or a resident, you are eligible for all forms of insurance.
Work visas are generally given in either 1,2 or 3 year periods.
If you have a 1-year visa, you are not eligible for full insurance but there are a couple of options:
These can be NZ specific
Some insurances will have territorial exclusions applicable without residency.
Generally, if you get a work visa for 2 or 3 years you should be able to get most insurance subject to underwriting.
Once you reach residence status you’ll be eligible for all insurance subject to underwriting.
If you have a work permit, you are not eligible for KiwiSaver. This applies to citizens and residents.
Pre-existing medical conditions?
The way NZ insurance industry works, if you have pre-existing conditions before the commencement of an NZ insurance policy, all those conditions will be excluded.
A pre-existing condition is, for example, a knee injury from an accident and the recency of the accident; skin cancer is another example