House insurance has changed

Is your Sum insured correct?

When your house insurance policy renews, your house will be insured for up to a maximum specified dollar amount. This amount is called the Sum Insured.

It is important that you make sure that the Sum Insured amount on your Policy Schedule reflects the likely cost of rebuilding your house as accurately as possible. This is because if your house suffered extensive damage and needed to be rebuilt, the maximum we would pay is your Sum Insured amount, even if the actual cost of rebuilding turns out to be greater than that.

Why it’s happening

A number of reinsurers – the companies who cover insurance companies against natural disasters and catastrophes – now require houses in New Zealand to be insured for a specified amount. This is because they want to know the maximum amount that insurers would have to pay to rebuild the house.

Some other countries (such as Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) already base some house policies on a maximum specified amount. By moving to this model we’ll be aligned with those other countries and will meet the requirements of our reinsurers.

What you need to do

When it's time to renew your house insurance, we will send you an updated Policy Schedule and an information pack with further instructions.

When your policy renews, it is important that you

  • Check the House Sum Insured amount on your Policy Schedule
  • Work out the likely cost of rebuilding your house and compare it to your House Sum Insured
  • Understand the likely rebuilding costs and cover required for any retaining walls, Recreational Features, or Special Features

Recreational Features: permanent swimming pool, spa pool, or tennis court

Special Features: bridge, culvert, permanent ford or dam, wharf, pier, landing, jetty, cable car, or private utility plant

Contact us if:

  • your House Sum Insured needs to change
  • you want to increase the cover limits for retaining walls or Recreational Features
  • you require cover for any Special Features

How to assess the likely cost of rebuilding your house

To help you calculate the likely cost of rebuilding your house, you can:

  • Commission an independent Valuation for Insurance Purposes from a registered valuer
  • Hire a professional assessor or licensed builder
  • Visit where you’ll find an easy-to-use calculator that can help you estimate the likely cost of rebuilding your house

It is important to set your House Sum Insured at an amount you’re comfortable with. If your House Sum Insured is insufficient your insurance might not cover the full cost of rebuilding your house.

Learn more

For more information about how house insurance is changing and to help estimate the likely cost of rebuilding your house, visit