How will COVID-19 impact my insurance?

With the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 we understand you may have some questions around your insurance policy. If you still have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our team.

Need to lodge a claim during lockdown?

What if I need to lodge a claim during lockdown?

Our team and the Insurers are setup to work from home and will continue to process claims during the alert level period. Please be patient if you experience some issues with call connectivity, New Zealand’s mobile networks are experiencing heavy traffic during lockdown.

My home has been damaged and I need urgent repairs – will someone visit to assess the damage?

If your claim is urgent, please get in touch. Currently, services such as repairs and site visits can happen providing contact tracing measures, social distancing and the appropriate hygiene standards are in place. We remain committed to the health and safety of our customers and partners.

I have had a motor vehicle accident, how long until my vehicle will be repaired?

If you have had a motor vehicle accident and wish to lodge a claim please contact our team. While insurers are continuing to process claims as usual, there will be a different way of working for some aspects. Most repairers and towing companies are now open, however interruptions to international freight and shipping may impact the availability of some parts.

Important information for Landlords

What happens if my tenants stop paying rent? Can I claim through the Landlord’s Extension of my home policy?

If your tenant stops paying rent unfortunately this is not something that your insurance policy will cover. For further information, please refer to the Home policy wording (information on the Landlords Extension can be found on pages 17 & 18).

What if I have the separate Landlord’s Protection policy, can I claim on loss of rent if my tenants stop paying?

If your tenant stops paying rent unfortunately this is not something that your insurance policy will cover. For further information please refer to the Landlord’s Protection policy wording. 

Am I still required to complete property inspections? What if I cannot access a property?

If you have a home policy through us which is noted as being tenanted or if you have the separate Landlords Protection policy, you may be familiar with the Landlord Obligations outlined in the policy wording. One requirement stipulated in the Landlord Obligations is that you must maintain regular property inspections.
 
At Alert Level 2 property inspections can take place, however both tenants and landlords must adhere to COVID-19 guidance (contact tracing, physical distancing, personal hygiene and surface cleaning). Some property inspections may need to be completed remotely and there may be circumstances where an inspection cannot be completed. Any maintenance issues affecting the house should be dealt with to prevent any further damage to the house.

Before completing a property inspection it is important to ensure both yourself and your tenants are healthy and free from COVID-19 symptoms and have not been in close contact with anyone who is unwell or suspects they may have COVID-19.

While New Zealand adheres to the Alert Level restrictions, Insurers will take in to consideration your personal circumstances and the current COVID-19 guidance. Any claim where the lack of inspection may be material to the loss will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Premium affordability

I cannot afford my premium. Am I eligible for a premium holiday?

During this time, we understand some customers may have trouble with payment of their insurance premium. Although our billing will continue as normal as will our regular credit control processes, there are some ways to potentially reduce your insurance premium:

  • Level of cover: Review your insurance policies and make sure the level of cover that you have is appropriate. If you are reviewing your sum insured, please know it is important to make sure the sum insured amount is accurate to ensure you remain fully covered.
  • Voluntary excess: Depending on your needs and the type of policy you have we may be able to apply a higher voluntary excess which may reduce premiums. You can then reduce your excess again, later if your situation changes.
  • Payment frequency: Currently we have two payment methods: Monthly Direct Debit and Annual Payment. For customers who have an upcoming annual renewal, you do have the option to change to Monthly Direct Debit upon renewal.

If you are experiencing or anticipate difficulty with payment of your insurance premium, please contact us to discuss your options.

Can I reduce my sum insured to lower my premium?

If you are considering reducing your sum insured, please contact our team or talk to your adviser. It is important that your sum insured remains accurate to ensure that you remain fully covered.  

If I cancel my policy am I able to reactivate the policy in the future? What would this require?

If you cancel your policy and then wish to reapply for insurance this would be treated as a new application. If you are considering cancelling your policy, we recommend that you speak with your adviser or contact our team. We can then discuss the implications of cancelling a policy.

It is important to keep in mind once your policy is cancelled if your Home, Contents or Motor Vehicle suffer any damage you will not be able to claim for this.

Things to consider:

Risk: Some insurance companies have embargo zones within New Zealand and in some instances, they may not be able to offer cover in certain locations or they may require supporting information before they can consider offering cover in certain locations. 

Interested Parties: Home insurance is often a requirement for most mortgage providers. Check with your mortgage provider before making any decision to cancel your home insurance. This may also extend to other interested parties such as finance companies.

Other lockdown considerations

Expiring Warrant of Fitness/ Drivers Licence?

If your Warrant of Fitness or Drivers Licence expired during or immediately prior to lockdown this won’t necessarily mean a claim will be declined. Provided that your vehicle would have been otherwise able to obtain a Warrant of Fitness and is safe to drive then you may still lodge a claim.

At Alert Level 2 Warrant of Fitness testing stations are now open and you should consider renewing your warrant, ensuring your vehicle is safe to drive. If your Drivers Licence expired during lockdown, you should now look to renew this.

Unoccupied home?

If you have a home that will be unoccupied for more than 60 days, it is important to notify us. Our team can discuss the insurance implications of an unoccupied home.

Do you have a motor vehicle that is not being used?

With movement restrictions in place less motor vehicles have been on the road. As movement restrictions are eased, New Zealanders are beginning to use their motor vehicles again, whether it be commuting to and from work or visiting family. Subsequently there has been a surge in demand for AA roadside services.

As a reminder, if you have a vehicle that is not regularly being used, it is a good idea to regularly run your vehicles engine to avoid battery issues in the future.