Travel Insurance: Overseas Medical Treatment & Hospitalisation

For information relating to policies purchased prior to 18 May 2022, please check the Policy Document provided with your purchase. You can contact us if you need this sent to you again. For policies purchased on or from 18 May 2022 please see below.

It can happen to the best of us...a severe case of gastro in Vietnam, a snowboarding injury in Canada, serious altitude sickness in Nepal or a scooter accident on a picturesque Greek isle.

What’s covered for overseas medical expenses?

If it's necessary to seek urgent medical treatment, your policy can cover your reasonable emergency overseas medical expenses, (up to the policy limits and when agreed by us, for up to 12 months from the date the illness first appears or injury happens) for:

  • Visits to a GP or other registered medical practitioner
  • Medical evacuation by air or road ambulance to the most suitable medical facility
  • Admission and treatment in hospital
  • Day surgery and out-patient medical treatment
  • Prescribed medication for sudden illness and serious injury suffered while travelling
  • Prescribed physiotherapy
  • Prescribed alternative therapy treatment (Explorer Plan only)
  • Clinical psychology (Explorer Plan only)
  • Out-of-pocket expenses if admitted to hospital (Explorer Plan)
  • A travel partner or close relative to travel to and remain with you if you are admitted to hospital
  • Repatriation home - with a medical escort if you’re not fit to continue travelling, when pre-approved on the reasonable recommendation of a medical practitioner appointed by us.

Use this as a guide only, as every claim is assessed on its individual circumstances.

Is cover for Coronavirus available?

World Nomads can offer benefits for medical issues related to Coronavirus (COVID-19). If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 while overseas and it's not considered an existing medical condition under our policy and there is not an active ‘Do Not Travel’ warning in place for COVID-19 in the location you are currently visiting your benefits may include:

  • 24/7 access to our Emergency Assistance team, who can help you access local medical care.
  • Medical costs including hospitalisation.
  • Evacuation or repatriation if deemed medically necessary by us and in consultation with your attending physician.
  • In addition, our Explorer Plan also has a Coronavirus Travel Costs benefit for certain events. You can check out our Coronavirus cover article, which has all of the details, including benefit limits and exclusions.

World Nomads: How do I get medical treatment overseas? 

  • Call our 24/7 Emergency Assistance team immediately for advice on what to do and where to go.
  • Go to the closest medical facility for the emergency medical treatment you need.

Who pays for your medical treatment?

Well, that all depends on what’s happened and the seriousness of your medical situation.

We recommend you pay and make a claim later when:

  • You see a doctor at a medical centre/local GP surgery; or
  • You’re treated as an ‘out-patient’ ( admission to hospital) and where the costs are less than NZD$2,000. If it looks likely that your treatment costs may end up being more than NZD$2,000, you MUST contact our 24/7 Emergency Assistance team as soon as possible.

Where possible, we will pay the hospital or provider direct when:

  • You’re admitted to hospital – but only after you (or someone else) has contacted our 24/7 Emergency Assistance team so payment can be arranged directly to the hospital once cover is confirmed; and/or
  • You require medical evacuation or repatriation home (and a medical escort where necessary) and it's pre-approved on the reasonable recommendation of a medical practitioner appointed by us.

If you pay for any medical expenses, you’ll need to keep copies of all of your medical records, bills, clinical reports/doctor’s notes, receipts, etc. to support your claim.

Also remember there's a policy excess applicable to any claim for overseas medical expenses (per event).

How does my travel insurance policy help me in an emergency?

What’s not covered?

Some of the main things that aren’t covered include:

  • Any existing medical condition you had before purchasing your policy and/or that you suffered in previous periods of insurance (i.e. prior to purchasing more cover if you are extending your trip), unless it qualifies as an automatically covered condition.
  • Private hospital treatment when public funded treatment was available.
  • Where care is available under any Reciprocal Health Care Agreement*(see below for more detail).
  • Any medical expenses incurred once you return home, even if you require ongoing medical treatment for something that occurred during your trip. Travel insurance does not provide health insurance at home.
  • Expenses which are not reasonable or medically necessary; routine treatment; elective treatment.
  • Anything else that’s listed in the General Exclusions and specific section exclusions in the Policy Document.

*About Reciprocal Health Care Agreements (New Zealand)

The New Zealand government has Reciprocal Health Care Agreements with Australia and the United Kingdom. These agreements mean New Zealand citizens and residence class visa holders may receive certain public health services as would a national of those countries. More information is available from the Ministry of Health website.

This is only a summary of cover and does not include the full terms, conditions, limits, and exclusions of the policy. You should read your Policy Document in full, so you understand what is and isn’t covered. If you are unsure about your level of travel cover, please contact us for help.

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Our contact details

We’re here to help if you have a question about travel insurance. We’re available:

  • Monday to Friday 11:00am - 8:00pm (NZST/NZDT)
  • Saturday to Sunday closed (NZST/NZDT)

Contact us


Within New Zealand:
0800 666 237

From anywhere in the world:
+61 2 8256 1542

Within Australia:
1300 787 375