Two students walk together

With the return of international students, Southern Cross Travel Insurance sees policy sales starting to ramp up

Wednesday , 21 September 2022 by Southern Cross Travel Insurance

As international students are once again welcomed to New Zealand, Southern Cross Travel Insurance is working with agents, schools, and students to make sure they have the necessary insurance in place to start their studies.

All international students are required to have medical and travel insurance complying with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority’s (NZQA) Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners.

Southern Cross Travel Insurance CEO Jo McCauley said its International Student travel insurance is designed to meet those requirements, offering support to inbound students and the schools and tertiary institutions they attend.

“We know that it’s been an extremely challenging time for those working in the international student sector and we’re pleased to hear that international students are slowly but surely returning to study in New Zealand; some for the first time, and some returning after heading back home during the pandemic. As a business that’s been providing peace of mind to international students for over 25 years, we too are looking forward to welcoming our students back to Aotearoa New Zealand.

“We have bolstered our team with a new National Sales Manager, Jay Alleje. He joins Ariana Desai who was promoted from within the business to support our agents in the international student space earlier this year. Together, they will ensure our education partners continue to receive dedicated support when it’s needed.”

While, for obvious reasons, policy sales are lagging well below those at the same time in 2019 (pre-pandemic), McCauley said the Southern Cross team is encouraged to see them trending upwards.

“Sales are made throughout the year, but we do see a spike in February and July which ties in with the start of terms or semesters. Whereas in February and July 2019 we sold more than 3,600 policies in those months, in 2022 for those same two months we are sitting at around 20 per cent of that, but we’re absolutely starting to trend upwards. There is some way to go to return to the levels we were experiencing but we’re fielding calls from schools and education suppliers discussing how we can support their students.”

“Making sure an insurance policy complies with standards and is accepted by educational institutes is important. Our International Student travel insurance is tailor-made for students and offers the assurance everyone needs,” said McCauley.

The International Student travel insurance policy can provide cover for a range of pre-existing medical conditions (subject to a medical assessment completed over the phone) and also covers students if they return to their home country for a visit of up to 90 days while still studying in New Zealand.

The International Student policy includes unlimited cover for medical expenses if a student is diagnosed with Covid-19 while in New Zealand. Additionally, if a student is affected by Covid while travelling to or from New Zealand, the policy covers costs up to $5,000 for cancelled or postponed travel arrangements.

McCauley said, “Our International Student policy sits alongside our Visiting New Zealand policy – which is useful if students have parents or guardians join them to explore Aotearoa while they are studying here. We’re about being ‘with you’ as you travel, and regardless of where you are in the world, things can still often go ‘off plan’ so it's always worthwhile considering travel insurance.”

Topline features of Southern Cross International Student insurance

  • Southern Cross is based in New Zealand, so has on the ground expertise
  • 24/7 emergency assistance
  • There is no excess on medical costs
  • Southern Cross also covers students when they visit home (for up to 90 days)
  • Cover can also be provided for pre-existing medical conditions subject to an assessment
  • The policy also offers family cover.