03 November 2010

Working Holiday Insurance

Note: This is the second of a series of hidden blog posts I wrote about my preparation to move to New Zealand. Though posted weekly, the original date stamps will give you an idea of how time-consuming migration takes. At the end of each post, I will add in new details that I have learned since then.

[Originally written on 23/3/2010]
U.S. Naval Hospital (from Naval Historical Center)

Health care in NZ is very much like Malaysia's. Public health is heavily subsidized, but only for residents and work permit holders. Since my plan is to enter NZ on a Working Holiday visa first, this excludes me from any subsidized healthcare if I need serious medical attention.

As such, I will need to obtain a travel insurance to cover me for the time I am there. Through my research, I have found 2 types of insurance I can get:
  • Outbound travel insurance: Offered by Malaysian insurers (or your respective country's providers) for Malaysians traveling abroad.
  • Inbound travel insurance: Offered by NZ insurers for foreigners visiting NZ.
I have done my research on premiums and benefits and I can safely tell you to forget about outbound insurance (at least for Malaysians). The price for both outbound and inbound is almost the same, but because Malaysian insurance benefits are in Ringgit, they are worthless once converted to NZ Dollars.

For the same amount of money, you can either choose between RM350,000 or NZD5 million in medical fees coverage. Pretty obvious choice right?

So, I am focusing on getting an inbound policy and have been researching. Again, there are various levels of coverage you can choose from. Some of the biggest companies offering inbound insurance are:
  • Orbit
  • Southern Cross
  • Uni-Care
  • Comprehensive
For the first 3 providers, you can obtain policies via Health and Travel, an insurance broker who can help you with purchasing policies from them. I haven't actually bought the policy but they have been prompt to reply my questions and clarify confusions.

Comprehensive only deals direct, so you can check out their policies and premiums via a link at New Zealand Adventure Specialists (other websites will also link you to Comprehensive's e-store).

Again, you are advised to properly consult the policy's terms and conditions to make sure it is what you need. At this very moment I'm gravitating towards the Orbit Working Holiday policy. NZD157 covers me for 6 months, which I feel is a great deal! I don't need many of those "extra" features like missed flights, car rentals, and lost baggage because they main protection I need is from life threatening events.

[End of original post]

This reminds me, I gotta buy my insurance policy just before I enter NZ.

At the time of posting I was still planning to apply for the Working Holiday Visa but as you will see later I managed to get a better visa. I obtained a slightly different quotation to suit my needs but still at an affordable premium.

When my Malaysian life policy with Prudential came up for premium renewal in July, I decided to surrender it. I had just bought it for 2 years so the surrender value is pretty darn low but it wasn't worthwhile to maintain it for now. It was better to take that substantial amount of money and insure myself with a New Zealand policy. I will buy a new life policy when I return to Malaysia for good.


Call me A.S for AkiraSabine said...

Hi there,

Stumbled upon your blog when I was looking up for insurance coverage for my WH in NZ. This moment in time, I might go for Orbit Planet as well but more reading up/ asking around to come. I'll be flying into Auckland 1 month from now.

Similarly, I am thinking to secure a permanent job with the 6 months I have there. I read bout this Silver Fern and now, I guess I'd like to read about it again!

Which industry will you be filling in, if you don't mind me asking?

Thanks and hope the winter is treating you well.

By the way, just for your info. This blog is now in my blogroll but I renamed it as 'Moving to NZ' just to ease myself.

Zemien said...

A.S: Thanks for dropping by and I'm glad my post helped. The worst of winter is over so you'll be coming in at the right time :)

I'm in I.T.

Foxerlow said...

life insurance malaysia is more expensive than term. But the premiums generally are fixed, so as the years go by, it can become less expensive. Cash values and interest accumulate in these policies are tax-deferred, and you can borrow from the cash value.