Car Insurance in New Zealand

Backpacker car insurance in New Zealand

Insuring Your Campervan – Everything You Need to Know

Insurance is essential but combining insurance with an adventurous traveling schedule could become a bit tricky.

While many insurance companies only insure on a long-term basis, there are a few companies that would suit a traveler perfectly.

If you are planning to travel around New Zealand for 3 months or longer, then buying your own campervan or car might be the most cost-effective and relaxing option.

But, while having your own vehicle may afford you an added element of freedom and independence, it also leaves you with that extra sense of responsibility – which makes insurance a necessary precaution.

Backpacker’s insurance gives you the peace of mind to enjoy the New Zealand roads in your newly acquired and/or temporary vehicle while knowing that if an accident occurs you are covered, depending on the option you choose.

Older vehicles tend to be the most popular choice among backpackers, with a trustworthy and well-maintained history to boot. But along with the extra mileage, there may be a slightly higher premium or excess fee to be paid should an unforeseen incident occur.

To help you decipher the various insurance options on offer, we have compiled an easy-to-read guide below:

Different Types of Travel/Short-Term Car Insurance

Comprehensive Cover

In the event of an accident, Comprehensive Cover gives you the peace of mind to know that any damages to your vehicle incurred as well as any damage to another vehicle, person, or property will be covered.

  • Agreed Value: This is the total value of your vehicle, including all accessories or modifications. This amount is the amount that will be paid to you if your vehicle is stolen or written off due to excessive damage.
  • Damage to Your Own Vehicle: In the event of your vehicle being involved in an accident and incurring damage, all costs will be covered as per your policy. If repairs will exceed the policy amount, the vehicle may be written off, and you will receive compensation for the agreed value.
  • Legal Liability Cover: In the event of you being responsible for damage to another person’s vehicle or property, your policy will cover any claims made against you up to $20 million.
  • Customer Service Centers: Most insurance companies will have numerous service centers to assist with repairs and services. Your cover will be determined by the policy you have chosen.
  • Young Driver Flexibility: Drivers under the age of 25 may be subject to higher premiums and excess fees. In the event of an accident with an unauthorized (unlisted) driver, some companies will deem the policy null and void, however, there are a few companies that will still cover the costs if an unlisted young driver was operating the vehicle. Higher excess fees and premiums may be charged, so be sure to read your policy’s fine print.
  • No-Fault, No Excess: In the event of an accident where you have been proven faultless, you may be able to claim without paying any excess. This is only offered by a few insurance companies, so be sure to read your policy’s fine print and see if your insurance company offers this clause.

Third-Party Insurance

In the event of accidental damage being inflicted on a third party’s possessions or property, you will be covered for all repair/replacement costs, legal fees, and excess costs. If an accident occurs, and you have proven that you weren’t at fault but have identified an uninsured person at fault, your insurance company may pay up to $4 000 to cover the repair costs for your vehicle.

Third Party, Fire & Theft Cover

In the event of your vehicle being damaged by fire or stolen; your policy will pay out the agreed-upon value or the repair costs. Third-party cover will also cover any damages to a third party’s vehicle.

backpacker insurance

Insurance Companies in New Zealand

It is always a good idea to research possible insurance companies and check out the fine print for various policies before deciding which route is best for you. Be sure to go with a reputable and trusted company.

  • AA Insurance is a popular choice among travelers, with customizable policies, On-Road Assistance for up to 1 year, and easy-to-manage cancellation terms. AA+ Memberships are highly recommended for backpackers, even if you use another insurance company.
  • Kiwi bank/Post Office – Kiwi Bank and the NZ Post Office offer short-term car insurance over the phone. This quick and easy method means you will be insured quickly and without hassle, but the terms may be a bit confusing.

→ Still, Looking for Your Perfect Campervan? Check out our 12 Top Tips for Buying a Campervan in New Zealand.

Table of Contents

Travel Cars NZ is a platform where private sellers and car dealers can list their campervans, backpacker cars, vans, wagons and other types of cars for sale all around New Zealand. General and useful information about converted vans and small campervans for sale is available at the TCNZ blog.