International Medical Only

International Medical Only

Protect against medical costs overseas

Medical emergencies can be upsetting while you’re travelling. With some bills costing upwards of $100,000, they can also be incredibly expensive.

That’s why most New Zealanders know that travel insurance with quality medical cover is essential for any overseas adventure. But what if you want medical protection without other regular features of travel insurance policies, such as cover for trip cancellations and lost luggage?

If you’re looking to protect yourself from potentially devastating medical costs overseas, our International Medical Only travel insurance could be the perfect option for your next trip.

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Who should get a Medical Only travel insurance policy?

Our International Medical Only travel insurance policy is designed for the budget-conscious traveller, looking only for medical expenses cover for their overseas adventures. To find out if this policy is suitable for you, you can read our eligibility criteria here .

What our International Medical Only travel insurance covers

With our International Medical Only travel insurance, you gain peace of mind knowing you have cover for medical expenses that you incur during your trip due to an unexpected event. This policy includes cover for:

International medical only
Medical and evacuation
Includes cover for medical treatment, doctors’ visits, prescribed medication, specialist treatment and medical transport costs. Plus 24-hour emergency assistance, support of qualified medical advisers, guarantees for medical expenses and contact with family.
Directly or indirectly related to terrorism
Emergency dental treatment
Cash allowance after 72 hours in hospital
$100 for each complete 24-hour period.
Accompanying person
Funeral expenses or return of mortal remains
Cover per deceased person. No excess applies.
Loss of life
No excess applies.
Personal liability
Personal liability

Cover towards legal liability for damages, compensation and legal expenses.

No excess applies.

Please note: This table is a summary of the International Medical Only travel insurance policy benefits and shows the maximum cover for each  paying person (unless cover otherwise stated). The excess you select applies per unexpected event (unless otherwise stated). 

This page provides a summary of the key terms only. As with all insurance policies, terms and conditions apply. For our terms and conditions (including information about exclusions, excesses and sub limits) we recommend you read the International Medical Only policy document and endorsement.

What this policy doesn’t cover

Our International Medical Only travel insurance provides protection for unexpected medical costs overseas, however, there are a few exclusions you should keep in mind.  

Some of the things this policy doesn’t cover include: 

  • Medical and hospital costs that you incur within New Zealand.
  • Medical and hospital costs while on a cruise ship.
  • Expenses relating to a pre-existing medical condition that isn’t covered by your policy (you can choose to add this cover and pay an additional premium when you buy this policy).
  • Specialist treatment, such as physiotherapy and chiropractic treatment, without a referral from a registered medical professional. 
  • Medical check-ups and self-prescribed medicine.
  • Medical costs if you’re travelling or acting against medical advice.
  • Elective or cosmetic procedures. 

We know that travel insurance can sometimes be confusing, which is why our team is dedicated to making it easy for you to understand your cover. If you have any questions regarding policy exclusions, you can reach us at

Is International Comprehensive a better option for you?

A medical-only policy might be a suitable option for your next trip. However, comprehensive travel insurance like International Comprehensive gives you the confidence that you and your belongings are protected by a wider range of benefits.

Like our International Medical Only travel insurance, our International Comprehensive policy also features unlimited medical and evacuation benefits but also includes cover for: 

  • Trip changes and cancellations
  • Lost, stolen or damaged personal items
  • Lost, stolen or damaged bank cards, cash, travel documents and passports
  • Personal accidents
  • Rental vehicle excess
  • Optional moped and motorbike cover
  • Optional skiing and snowboarding cover
  • Optional cruise cover 

Things covered by travel insurance

Different travel insurance policies offer different benefits. Our International Comprehensive policy can cover you for things like:

  • Medical and evacuation
  • Cancelling or changing your journey before you leave
  • Lost or stolen items
  • Bank cards, passport and travel documents
  • Personal accident
  • Personal liability
  • Rental vehicle excess
  • Cash allowance while in hospital
  • Emergency dental treatment
  • Overseas funeral expenses
  • Changes to your journey once you have left
  • Some COVID-19 events

things covered by travel insurance

How much does Medical Only travel insurance cost?

Medical only travel insurance can be a less expensive option than a comprehensive policy. The price of your insurance will depend on several factors including your age, the length of your trip, the destinations you’re visiting, and whether you have any pre-existing medical conditions to declare.

You can get a quick online quote for our International Medical Only travel insurance by clicking the button below.


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Why quality medical cover is essential overseas

As we mentioned, all seasoned travellers know that insurance with quality medical cover is a must-have for any overseas adventure. Without it, you could be left facing extreme costs for medical care, or even being refused treatment due to being uninsured and unable to pay your bill.

At SCTI, we’ve protected thousands of Kiwi travellers with quality medical cover and heard plenty of horror stories along the way. Here are five of the highest recent medical claims we’ve paid.

5 highest recent medical claims with SCTI

$150,000 hypoglycaemia in Mexico

This unlucky traveller required emergency medical care in Mexico due to their severe hypoglycaemia, resulting in a claim paid of $150,000. Thankfully, this traveller had declared their pre-existing medical condition while purchasing their policy with us.


$45,000 hospitalisation in the USA

Hospital horror stories are common in the USA, where the cost of medical care is notoriously expensive. Just ask this 28-year-old traveller who was admitted with severe chest pain, amounting to a claim paid for $45,000.

$42,000 fall in Switzerland

Slips and falls can happen in a flash, but can also be enough to turn your dream holiday into one you want to forget. This unlucky traveller found out the hard way after fracturing her ankle in Switzerland, resulting in a $42,000 claim paid to cover her hospitalisation and surgical treatment.


$41,000 atrial fibrillation in the USA

Another victim of high American hospital fees, this 21-year-old traveller had a $41,000 claim paid for the heart health emergency they suffered in the USA.

$31,000 surgical treatment in Indonesia

This unlucky 67-year-old traveller slipped on a sidewalk and fractured her hip in Indonesia. Their surgery and hospitalisation amounted to a total claim paid of $31,000.

What happens if you don’t pay your overseas medical bill?

With medical bills like these, it’s easy to see why uninsured travellers are playing a risky game. But what exactly are the penalties if you can’t pay your overseas medical bill? According to SafeTravel, if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel.

How to make a travel insurance claim with SCTI

If you need medical treatment overseas, there are a few things to remember to ensure a simple claim with us. You or someone acting on your behalf will need to contact Southern Cross Emergency Assistance if you need to be admitted to a hospital, require surgical treatment, or you’re told or expect that your medical expenses will exceed $2,000.

Our team will clearly outline the necessary steps you need to take and be on constant standby should you need assistance.

When you’re ready, making a claim with us is easy. The best way to make a claim is to register with My SCTI , where you can manage your policy and make and track claims, all in one secure location. You can also make a claim on our website, email, or chat with our 24/7 online assistant, Scout.


What you need to know

This page includes some information about our products but, as with all insurance policies, terms and conditions apply. For our terms and conditions (including information about exclusions, excesses and sub limits) we recommend you read the relevant policy documents to ensure our travel insurance products are right for you.

You can find the relevant documents for all our policies here: International Comprehensive, Annual Multi-trip, International Medical OnlyDomestic, Working Overseas, Visiting New Zealand, International Student