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Medical and Travel Insurance

Medicine medical equipment

You will be charged for the insurance policy Studentsafe-University unless you have been advised by the University of Otago that your alternative insurance policy is compliant.

Applying for insurance cover is easy; accept your offer of place in eVision then complete the insurance declaration under 'Information required for 2016 study' during the Course Enrolment process.

Alternative polices need to be submitted for assessment six weeks before the semester starts.

You can pay your insurance premium when you arrive on campus, your invoice will become available on the 'My Account' page of your eVision portal.

There is no application form to complete unless:
      you have a pre-existing condition;
      you are over 60 years old;
      you wish to have a family member(s) included on your policy.

You do not need to provide evidence of your insurance policy with your student visa application, however, you are required to declare in your application that you will arrange and hold insurance which the University of Otago considers acceptable.

Insurance for international students

The New Zealand Government's Code of Practice for Pastoral Care of International Students requires all international students to have appropriate medical and travel insurance during their period of study.

It is the University of Otago's responsibility under the Code to ensure all enrolled international students have compliant medical and travel insurance.


Our recommended insurance

Studentsafe-University is our recommended insurance policy.  This is a comprehensive insurance policy designed and supported by all the universities in New Zealand.

All international students will be charged for this insurance policy unless you have had confirmation from the University of Otago that your alternative insurance policy is compliant.

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How do I apply?

Once you have accepted your offer of place the Course Enrolment steps in eVision will become available.  You will need to select what insurance policy type you would like (individual, couple, or family) during the 'Information required for 2016' step.  Once this is completed an insurance record will be created.

An invoice for your insurance will be added to your ‘My Account’ in eVision. Depending on when you start studying at Otago, this may take several weeks to show on your account.

There is no application form to complete unless you have a pre-existing condition, you are over 60 years of age, and/or you wish to include your partner and/or children in your policy.

Your cover under Studentsafe-University will start 31 days before classes begin so you’re you are covered for your journey to New Zealand if your travel plans correspond with this timeframe.  You do not have to pay for your insurance until you get here and finalise your enrolment. If you want to you can choose to pay for your insurance at the same time you pay your fees before you arrive.

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How much does it cost?

The 2016 academic year premiums for international student health and travel insurance are as follows:

Individual options:
Summer School only: NZ$99.00
One Semester: NZ$295.00
One Year: NZ$589.00

Couple options: Student plus partner OR student plus one child:
Summer School only: NZ$197.00
One Semester: NZ$589.00
One Year: NZ$1,178.00

Family Options: Student plus two or more family members
Summer School only: NZ$246.00
One Semester: NZ$736.00
One Year: NZ$1,472.00

If your family is coming with you to New Zealand read this information on family cover requirements.

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What you are covered for and what you are not covered for (pre-existing conditions)

It is your responsibility as a student to understand and become familiar with the insurance policy terms and conditions.  All Policy documentation and forms are available at the International Office.

Below are some examples of what you are not covered for:

Pre-existing conditions (see below for more details)
Contraception appointments and prescriptions
Pregnancy and childbirth
Household goods/contents
Health Screening appointments and laboratory/prescription costs - an example of this would be screening for sexually transmitted infections
Medical treatment such as acupuncture, chiropractic, osteopath or traditional Chinese medicine treatment unless your doctor has referred you to a practitioner and the treatment is considered medically necessary. The practitioner needs to be a registered member of a recognised body for that type of medical treatment.
Vaccination appointments and prescriptions
Immigration medicals
Most dental care
Car insurance
Individual property/items worth more than NZ$2,500 (unless you apply for cover for these items)

Pre-existing conditional are not covered by the Studentsafe-University policy.

  • A pre-existing condition is any medical or physical conditions or circumstances that you are aware of, or ought to be aware of.  This includes, but is not limited to, asthma, allergies, previous surgery and/or injuries.
  • Cover can be arranged in certain circumstances for pre-existing conditions.  If you require cover for a pre-existing medical condition you can apply for cover by completing a
    Medical Risk Assessment Form and sending it to
  • If you need assistance with submitting this form please contact the insurance administrator
  • Cover for your pre-existing medical condition has to be applied for yearly.

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Alternative insurance policies

The following alternative insurance policies have been assessed and are compliant for studying at the University of Otago:

  • Southern Cross Student Max
  • Uni-Care NZ Student Plan
  • Orbit Protect Prime
  • Studentcare PLUS

If you choose one of these policies you will need to:

  • organise your cover before you arrive in New Zealand;
  • ensure it covers you for the whole period of enrolment, including travel to and from New Zealand;
  • email a copy of your policy certificate to the insurance administrator before the semester begins.

If your alternative insurance policy is not listed above you must apply to have your cover assessed at least six weeks before the semester starts.  If you submit your application later than this you will be liable to pay for Studentsafe-University.

How to get an alternative policy assessed

Please check that your policy meets the minimum cover requirements outlined in the insurance checklist document before you submit it for approval.

To get your alternative policy assessed you will need to email the full policy wording and schedule of benefits in English to the insurance administrator at least six weeks before the semester starts.
You are advised not to purchase an alternative policy until the University has notified you that it is Code compliant.

The policy will then be sent to our independent broker for assessment.  If your policy:

      is approved - we will let you know and request you to email the certificate of insurance to the
      insurance administrator before the semester begins;

      is not approved - the decision is final and you will be required to take out the
      Studentsafe-University insurance policy or on of the compliant New Zealand based policies.

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How to make a claim

If you need to make a claim, download a claim form and complete it in full. We recommend you scan and email your completed claim form together with your receipts and supporting information to Alternatively you can post the claim to Studentsafe, PO Box 33313, Auckland 0740, we recommend you keep a copy of what you send for your own records.

In support of your claim you need to provide as much information as possible such as doctor's notes and receipts.  For lost, stolen or damaged items the claim needs to be supported by evidence of ownership, such as receipts, bank statements, photos of the items.  If these are not available the insurer will consider the claim at their discretion.

Understand when a claim excess and/or depreciation will apply by reading the
Studentsafe-University insurance policy wording.

More information on claims

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Student Health Services

Student Health Services is a team of health professionals on campus including doctors, nurses and counsellors committed to your overall well-being during your life as a student. For more information about the full range of services and costs please refer to Student Health.

If you need to see a doctor for a condition that is not covered by your insurance policy, you will need to pay the Student Health for your appointment and any associated pharmacy / laboratory costs.

If you are prescribed medication from a Doctor at Student Health for a condition that is covered under your policy, the following pharmacies in Dunedin offer Direct Billing, meaning you will not have to pay for the prescription:

  1. Knox Pharmacy, on the corner of George and Frederick Street
  2. Urgent Pharmacy, 95 Hanover Street
  3. Dunedin North Pharmacy, 15 St David Street
  4. Albany Street Pharmacy, 27 Albany Street

If you take the prescription to any other pharmacy or have a prescription from any other medical centre, you will be required to pay for the medication and submit a claim form to be reimbursed.

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Insurance for your family

You can also insure your family under your Studentsafe-University policy if they will be coming to New Zealand with you. A couple policy includes the student plus a partner or one child. A family policy includes the student plus two or more family members.

If you wish to purchase the couple or family option, please select the relevant policy during course enrolment in eVision, then complete a family member application form and email it to the
insurance administrator.

Your family are unable to go to Student Health. Once you are settled in Dunedin, it is best you register your family with a medical centre near to your home, workplace or children’s schools. If you haven’t yet registered them with a medical centre you can take your family to Dunedin Urgent Doctors between the hours of 8am and 10pm. In an emergency call 111.

When your family visit the Doctor they will need to pay for the consultation and any medication prescribed. To be reimbursed for these costs a claim form needs to be completed and submitted.

Cover for your children
If your children are enrolled as international students at a New Zealand school, they’ll need to have insurance. Studentsafe–University family insurance is an easy and affordable way of making sure you and your children have appropriate cover.

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PhD Students

When you begin your PhD you will be charged for insurance from the month that you start until 31 December that year. Once you arrive on campus your insurance record is created, then an invoice will be added to your account. The following year you will be charged an insurance premium for 12 months from 1 January until 31 December.

Important Note: If you choose to cancel your insurance policy while you are on deferral or overseas research and then resume your insurance cover when you return, it will be considered a new policy. This means that any medical conditions you received treatment for under the original policy will then be considered pre-existing condition and will not be covered under the new policy.

If you return to your country of origin to undertake study or research for a period not exceeding 180 days, your Studentsafe-University policy provides you with limited cover during this period as long as you are intending on returning to New Zealand to continue your studies. If you are required to attend a conference or undertake overseas research in another country your Studentsafe-University will not provide you with sufficient cover. There is an insurance package Studentsafe-University Offshore which is designed specifically for students who are required to study offshore for part of their studies which you may wish to consider purchasing.

Please contact the insurance administrator for advice before you travel.

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Further information

You can contact the Studentsafe Helpdesk on 0800 486 004 or read the answers to FAQ’s.

The University of Otago insurance administrator is also available for help you with any questions you may have. Office opening hours for 2016 will be Monday to Friday between 10.00am and 4.00pm.

International Office
University of Otago
Archway West Building
90 Union Place East
Dunedin 9016
Tel: 64 3 479 8582
Fax: 64 3 479 8367

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Disclaimer information

The University of Otago strongly recommends students read the Studentsafe policy wording carefully. Take particular note of exclusions. It is the student’s responsibility to become familiar with the level of cover and the refund conditions offered by the insurance.

The University of Otago takes no responsibility for misunderstandings over insurance contents and conditions or for medical and travel costs not covered by insurance or for the activities of the insurance companies involved.

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