Injuries we cover

Our no-fault scheme covers everyone, including visitors, who are injured in an accident in Aotearoa New Zealand. It can include events that result in mass casualties, and covers children, beneficiaries, and students. You’re covered if you’re working, unemployed, or retired.

There are some limits to the support we can provide. These limits are set by Parliament, which makes laws about what we can and can’t support. 

On this page

    If you're injured in an accident, make sure you go and see your doctor or health provider first. They can make a claim for you. Claims can be made up to 12 months after your injury. We may still consider claims made after this time if there’s a good reason for the claim not being made sooner.

    What is no-fault cover?

    No-fault cover means it doesn't matter what you were doing when you were injured or who was at fault. We'll cover you, as long as the injury falls within our legislation.

    The cover we provide helps pay for costs to support your recovery and get you back on your feet. It includes payment towards medical bills, treatment, help at home and work and help with your income.

    Physical injuries we cover

    A physical injury is when there is actual damage to your body. This includes:

    • sprains or strains - such as the ankle, back, knee or shoulder sprains
    • wounds - cut, broken or bruised skin
    • burns
    • fractures
    • dislocations
    • dental injuries
    • hearing loss
    • concussion and loss of consciousness
    • maternal birth injuries which occurred on or after 12:00am on 1 October 2022.

    We cover most physical injuries if they're caused by:

    • an accident
    • sexual violence

    We can cover injuries or conditions that happen over time and are caused by the type of work you do. This is known as gradual process conditions. We have to establish if your work tasks or workplace environment are causing your condition.

    We can also cover injuries that are long-term, permanent or that happened at birth.

    Injuries caused by treatment

    Sometimes getting treatment can cause an injury. We can cover a treatment injury if:

    • the treatment directly caused your injury
    • a registered health professional was treating you
    • it's not a normal side-effect of your treatment.

    We can also cover injuries caused by treatment for an injury we've already covered.

    Conditions that come on gradually from work

    We can cover injuries or conditions that happen over time and are caused by the type of work you do. This could be things like:

    • tendonitis from overusing muscles or heavy lifting
    • deafness caused by noise at work
    • infections or diseases from exposure to certain environments.

    Serious injuries and disabilities

    We can cover injuries that cause long-term effects and disabilities including spinal and traumatic brain injuries (TBI), such as concussion.

    Find more information on TBIs under Resources

    Find out how we're working to reduce the number, severity, and impact of TBIs:

    Reducing traumatic brain injuries

    Mental injuries we cover

    If we accept your claim for a physical injury, we can also cover mental injuries resulting from that injury. For example, post-traumatic stress disorder after a physical assault. 

    If your physical injury is caused by medical treatment we may also be able to cover a resulting mental injury, even if the physical injury isn’t covered.

    We also cover mental injuries if you've experienced, seen or heard a traumatic event at work such as working in a retail shop when a robbery takes place . This is even if you haven't been physically injured.

    Sexual abuse

    We provide support for anyone in Aotearoa New Zealand, including visitors to the country, who has experienced sexual abuse and assault. We may also be able to help if you're an Aotearoa New Zealand resident and have experienced sexual abuse while travelling overseas. It doesn't matter if the event happened recently or a long time ago.

    If you've experienced sexual abuse, use the Find Support website to see the organisations that have therapists who can support you. This support is fully funded and you can start whenever you're ready. There are also services available for your family.

    Find Support website

    If you're having trouble getting in touch with the right therapist, contact us. We'll help you to make an appointment.

    Dental injury

    We can pay for dental injuries caused by:

    • an accident
    • sporting injury
    • as a result of medical or dental treatment.

    We don’t pay for:

    • damage to your teeth or dentures due to normal wear and tear, eg chewing or biting 
    • damage to your teeth due to decay or gum disease
    • damage to your dentures while you were not wearing them
    • treatment that was done by someone that’s not a registered dentist, eg a dental technician.

    Your dentist will help you to make a claim if you have an injury we cover.

    Print the factsheet about dental injury 

    Injuries causing death

    We give financial help if someone dies as a result of:

    • an accident
    • a work-related disease or infection
    • a treatment injury we're covering
    • a self-inflicted injury (in some circumstances).

    Maternal birth injuries

    If you have experienced an injury while giving birth on or after 1 October 2022, we may be able to help with your recovery. We have guidance on what's normal and what's not.

    Learn which maternal birth injuries we cover

    Last published: 1 May 2024