International Student

International Student




Pre-existing medical conditions

There’s nothing more important than your health, especially while you’re travelling. Unexpected illnesses and injuries can be upsetting and expensive while studying overseas, which is why it’s important that you’re protected with quality travel insurance during your stay in New Zealand.

It’s also important to understand exactly what you’re covered for under your travel insurance, and how to get additional medical cover if you need it.

Pre-existing medical conditions (PECs) aren’t automatically covered under the International Student travel insurance policy. However, students visiting New Zealand can complete a medical assessment if they wish to apply to cover their pre-existing medical conditions.


What is a pre-existing medical condition?

 Blood pressure test

Different travel insurance companies may have different definitions for the term ‘pre-existing medical condition’. At Southern Cross Travel Insurance (SCTI), we define a PEC as any medical or physical condition that you’re aware of, or should be aware of, which has required medical care.

This is a simplified definition; you can find a more detailed explanation on page 14 of the Policy Document

Examples of pre-existing medical conditions

Wondering what qualifies as a PEC? Below are some common illnesses and injuries that we consider to be a PEC:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart, vascular and lung illnesses
  • Anxiety
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Hernias
  • Asthma
  • Gallstones
  • Back pain
  • Allergies
  • Hay fever
  • Eczema
  • Sprain


How to get cover for pre-existing medical conditions

If you would like your International Student travel insurance to include cover for PECs, it’s worth remembering the following:

1. You first need to call us to complete a medical assessment over the phone, within 31 days of purchasing your International Student travel insurance policy. You can reach us on:

If calling within New Zealand: 0800 784 691
If calling outside of New Zealand: +64 9 979 6597
Chinese language service: 0800 728 721

2. Our friendly team will advise you over the phone whether or not we can offer cover for your PECs or not.

3. If we can offer cover for your PECs there is no additional fee required to add this cover to your policy.

4. If we cannot offer cover for your PECs, it will not be added to your policy as a covered condition and will be listed as an excluded condition.

5. If you choose not to seek cover for your PECs, or neglect to tell us about them, we can’t offer cover for them.


Common questions about pre-existing medical conditions


We know that PECs can be confusing, but it’s important you understand them, so we can protect you with the right cover for your needs while you study in New Zealand. Here are three common questions we get asked about PECs.

Question 1: If I’m taking medication for a condition but the condition is stable, is this still considered to be a PEC?

Yes, any condition which you are currently on medication for, or have taken medication for, is considered to be a PEC.

Question 2: My conditions are controlled, are they automatically covered?

No, your conditions are not automatically covered. If you wish to seek cover for these conditions on your International Student travel insurance policy, you’ll need to tell us about them during your medical assessment over the phone.

Question 3: If I only want cover for some of my PECs but not others, do I need to tell you about ALL of my PECs when I apply for my policy?

Yes, you must disclose ALL PECs that you have. You cannot choose which PEC(s) you want to be covered and which PEC(s) you want to exclude.


Why choose Southern Cross Travel Insurance?

At SCTI, we’ve been offering great value travel insurance for international students in New Zealand for 25 years. We’re proud to provide great benefits like 24/7 emergency assistance, no excess on eligible medical costs, cover for when you visit home, and of course, the ability to seek cover for eligible PECs.

We want you to enjoy your studies in New Zealand to the fullest, without worrying about upsetting and expensive illnesses and injuries. If you have any further questions about PECs and your International Student travel insurance, we’re here to help. You can reach us on:

New Zealand phone number: 0800 784 691
International phone number: +64 9 9796597
Chinese language service: 0800 728 721
Email address:

Take the next step towards your studies in New Zealand and get an online International Student insurance quote today.

Issued and underwritten by Southern Cross Benefits Limited trading as Southern Cross Travel Insurance. 

We are a Registered Financial Service Provider and a member of the Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman Scheme.  Southern Cross Benefits Limited has an A (Strong) financial strength rating given by Standard & Poor's (Australia) Pty Ltd. The rating scale is: AAA (Extremely Strong) AA (Very Strong) A (Strong) BBB (Good) BB (Marginal) B (Weak) CCC (Very Weak) CC (Extremely Weak) SD or D (Selective Default or Default) R (Regulatory Supervision) NR (Not Rated). Ratings from 'AA' to 'CCC' may be modified by the addition of a plus (+) or minus (-) sign to show relative standing within the major rating categories.  Full details of the rating scale are available at Standard & Poor's (Australia) Pty Ltd is an approved agency under the Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Act 2010.

All our travel insurance policies (including but not limited to the benefits, terms, conditions and exclusions) and premiums quoted are subject to change.

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