Going on a cruise? Arrange comprehensive travel insurance at the same time as you reserve your cabin. As many cruises are booked well in advance of the sail date, travel insurance covers non-refundable deposits if you have to pull out due to an unforeseen event.

Once you’ve left port, the cost of medical treatment can be steep, particularly if you need to be flown from ship to shore for treatment. A comprehensive policy can help you navigate these rough financial waters.

When choosing a policy, make sure it covers all the countries you’ll be visiting on your cruise. Note: you may have to take out an international plan even if you’re cruising around the coast of New Zealand.

One-way trips

Some policies provide cover if you’re going on your big OE without a return ticket.

These policies usually require you to buy cover for a defined period. If you’re still overseas when your cover is due to expire, you’ll have to contact your insurer to extend the policy.

If you don’t hold a return ticket, the insurer typically deducts the cost of an economy airfare from your settlement if you need to cancel your trip and return home.

Some insurers also let you buy travel insurance if you’re already overseas. These policies often have a stand-down period (for instance, three days) before cover kicks in.

Reciprocal health agreements

New Zealand has reciprocal health agreements with Australia and the UK. If you’re visiting these countries, you’re entitled to receive free medical treatment for emergency conditions.

But whether you’re heading to Bondi or Birmingham, you should still take out comprehensive travel insurance. That way, you’ll be covered for expenses that fall outside the scope of the reciprocal agreements, such as the cost of ambulance transportation in Australia (which can be extremely expensive).

For full details of the reciprocal health agreements, see


Travel insurers limit their liability for acts of terror. For instance, your policy may reduce or exclude cover for:

  • Cancellations and lost deposits if you decide not to travel following a terrorist attack in your planned destination.
  • Delays and alternative transport expenses caused by a terrorist attack while you’re overseas.

Nevertheless, it’s important to take out travel insurance. If you’re injured in a terrorist attack, most comprehensive policies provide cover for medical expenses and evacuation.