In New Zealand, the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) provides cover for physical injury.
It doesn’t matter what you were doing at the time, how the injury happened, your age, whether you are a resident of the country or a visitor, cover is available.
What injuries does ACC cover?
ACC has a definition of what they term an injury. It is this definition that they refer to when determining whether your claim for physical injury will be approved.
Physical injuries may include:
- Wounds, lacerations, contusions
- Burns, sprains and strains
- Fractures, amputations or dislocations
- Damage to dentures or prostheses
- Work-related gradual process injuries, such as tendonitis, occupational overuse syndrome (OOS) conditions and deafness caused by noise at work
- Infections or diseases caused at work by performing a particular task or being exposed to a particular environment (this excludes any conditions you may have had since birth)
- Poisoning, choking, loss of consciousness
- A foreign body in the eye
Broadly, ACC defines a physical injury as being actual damage to the body from the injury. However, rather than assuming cover, it’s important to confirm with ACC that your injury is approved.
How do I make a claim?
If you are a New Zealander who is travelling overseas
ACC may be able to help you if you return home with an injury that happened while you were overseas. Our cover applies whether you have been travelling on business, on holiday or your OE, or if you’re visiting friends or family.
To qualify, you must be ordinarily resident in New Zealand.
Cover normally applies for trips of up to six months, but if you are travelling on business and still paying income tax in New Zealand, ACC cover continues even if you are away for more than six months.
If you decide to extend your trip for personal reasons once your overseas work is finished, cover will apply for up to six months longer, provided you intend to come back to New Zealand permanently.
If you stop working in New Zealand to travel overseas and you are injured, you may not qualify for compensation for lost earnings. You can purchase income protection cover for overseas travel of up to six months, to ensure that you can still receive weekly compensation if you’re injured while you’re not working. See ACC for more information.
You still need travel insurance because ACC doesn’t cover you for illness or things such as overseas treatment costs, disrupted travel plans and lost deposits, assisted travel or emergency travel for a relative.
For all other claims in New Zealand
To claim for injuries covered by ACC, contact your local ACC Office listed on Yellow®. Your local doctor and accident & emergency clinic will also be able to provide advice on the best course of action to suit your needs and for requesting a claim.
-Correct as per NZ ACC, published 26 March 2010How To get help for physical injuries,