Coverage

What am I covered for?

Your insured house is covered for REPLACEMENT up to the sum insured value you have identified. It is important to be accurate with replacement sum insured – the onus is on you to provide a sum insured you feel is an accurate reflection of what it would cost to replace your dwelling.  If your house is a total loss the policy will respond by building you a new house up to the sum insured you have selected.  There are also additional extensions/covers provided by the policy, please check the policy wording or cover page for details of these.

Am I covered for loss of rents?

Yes, you are covered for your loss of rental income following property damage.  For example, if your rental home cannot be lived in because of earthquake damage you will be paid your lost rental income for up to 12 months. The policy automatically includes $20,000 of cover, which is suitable for rents of up to $385 per week. The sum insured can be increased to $40,000 ($385 – $770 per week) or $80,000 ($770 – $1538 per week).

Do I have glass cover?

Glass is covered under the initio policy, your standard policy excess will apply. If you loss is more than the excess, please send us the invoice and we reimburse the value that is over your excess.

Am I covered if tenants damage my property?

Yes, the policy automatically includes cover for theft and deliberate damage by tenants. We will pay up to $25,000 for one event.

Don’t worry, if it is major malicious damage and the tenants cause a fire or explosion, you’re covered up to the full sum insured.

Is my rental property covered for Methamphetamine Contamination?

Initio does provide cover for rental property damage caused by methamphetamine. Like any loss or insurance policy, it depends on the circumstances and cause of that damage as to how, and to what extent, the cover will respond.

Our policy has historically paid claims for meth consumption and manufacture, and we intend to continue providing cover in accordance with the policy. Please note that, with meth, each claim is different and is assessed on its own complexities, facts and merits; as such there is not a hard and fast response to all situations of meth damage.

Loss caused by the manufacture, distribution or storage of methamphetamine is generally considered to be a sudden loss as the contamination occurs immediately (rather than a build up over time which is often the case with consumption related claims). Subject to the facts of the actual claim, we treat such losses as accidental and sudden and the property sum insured you select is the limit of cover, ie full cover applies for manufacturing losses.

Our policy does not specifically reference consumption related meth damage, so such a claim would rely on the main insuring clause of the policy – damage to the property that is sudden and accidental. Generally speaking damage to the property caused by meth consumption is accidental but not always sudden. We can confirm that the Initio policy has previously responded to and paid for losses of this nature, when it is evidenced that the consumption damage was likely sudden or occurred over a short period. Proactive management of your property will help with a consumption claim; good records of property inspections, tenant vetting and previous meth testing of the property are all example of proactive risk management.

In summary, and subject to the circumstances of the loss, if there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the contamination likely occurred to a level exceeding the Ministry of Health guideline (or relevant standard) in a sudden or one off event then the policy will respond. Unfortunately, when it comes to meth consumption claims, failure to provide good information to help us determine when the meth damage occurred, who caused it, and for how long, will mean that it is unlikely you will receive cover.

While we realise that the Initio policy is one of, if not the only, policy in the market that provides meth damage cover up to the property sum insured, we would like to provide property owners with more certainty especially on consumption related meth claims. As such, and to support our customers, we are currently working on a new policy wording which will have a specific section on methamphetamine cover. There will be some specific landlord obligations defined regarding property inspections, tenant vetting and the like, to receive the benefit of the cover. We will be keeping our customers updated on the progress and timing of this new wording and change in cover. In the meantime, please be assured that we will consider all meth consumption claims on a case by case basis, and as it is likely a $30,000 cap on methamphetamine related claims with a $2,500 excess will apply, we are currently considering these meth consumption claims as if the new wording was in place.

Why do I need a rental property policy?

There are risks associated with being a landlord that normal dwelling insurance policies will not cover. As a landlord you could be exposed to liability for damage to your tenants property; further you may lose rental income as a result of your property being damaged.

This policy covers these eventualities and more – a summary of the special features can be found on the ‘Cover & Prices‘ page.

Check out our landlord insurance guide for more information about the risks of being a landlord.

Why do I have to insure my dwelling for an insured value?

Historically in New Zealand, home insurance policies provided over up to the  area size of the home; after the Canterbury Earthquakes this changed. Our Home insurance policies now provide cover for the cost to rebuild your home up to the Sum Insured, which brings New Zealand into alignment with the rest of the world.

In the event of a total loss (a loss that requires the complete rebuild of your house), we will cover your rebuild costs up to the Sum Insured specified in your Policy Schedule. It is important that you ensure your Sum Insured is adequate to cover all costs associated with rebuilding your home. Details about how to calculate your sum insured can be found in our resources section.

The initio quote calculator will default to $2,000 per square meter replacement value. This is not a sum insured calculator, and may not be an accurate reflection of the cost to rebuild your home. The sum insured can be over typed with a replacement value that you determine. We are not valuers and cannot advise you on the sum insured; to obtain an accurate replacement value we recommend engaging a valuer or quantity surveyor.  Online calculators, are also available.

For more information on the change to sum insured click here

I don’t think the automatically calculated replacement sum insured will rebuild my home?

When you put the size of your dwelling into a new policy or when you move through the renewal process, Initio will automatically default to a sum insured based on $2,000 per square meter. This sum insured is a default figure only and IS NOT an accurate representation of the amount at would cost to rebuild your home.

It’s very important to remember the following when deciding on the replacement sum insured:

1. Cost of Demolition,

2. Provision for Inflation

3. Cost of Compliance

Using the Cordell calculator or obtaining an insurance valuation is the best way to predict the right replacement sum insured for your home, particularly as the figure you are given may not be quite right.

It is your responsibility as the home owner ensure that the sum insured is accurate.

Does this insurance policy replace my existing house insurance?

Yes, this is not a top up cover.  The initio policy provides full replacement cover for the house itself as well as providing additional cover for the risks associated with being a landlord.  To avoid double insurance it is recommend that you cancel your existing house insurance policy when you insure with initio. Your current insurer should refund you any unused premium.

Do I need a separate dwelling policy for when I stay at the property?

No. Our ‘Holiday Home that is rented out’ insurance policy covers you for when you are in the holiday home as well as when you have guestsfamily and friends. We cover you against sudden, accidental loss to Your Home during the Period of Insurance.

We do however advise you to consider the value of contents that are kept at the property, particularly if it is a holiday home. The policy automatically includes contents for $20,000 present day value, so these would be depreciated in the event of a claim.

Are the contents in my rental/holiday home covered?

Our policy provides automatic cover of $20,000 for landlord’s contents and chattels, which includes furniture.  As per the policy wording this is a PRESENT DAY value cover not full replacement cover.  Meaning that if the contents are damaged or stolen the cover will pay the present day value (i.e. depreciated value) not what it costs to replace the item for a new one. You can increase the present day value cover to $40,000 for additional premium.

If your require full REPLACEMENT cover for your holiday home contents you can choose either $60,000, $90,000, $120,000 or $220,000 of replacement contents cover.  The total premium will change on the quote screen as you select the different cover options. We recommend that you seriously think about what it would cost to replace your contents, people often under estimate the amount of contents cover they require.

More information about understanding contents cover can be found in our guide.

How do I talk to someone about my policy?

We have multiple lines of communication open to you. Feel free to use the online chat function – if we’re online at the same time a box will appear in the bottom right hand corner of your screen. You can email us or send us a message via Facebook. If you prefer a good old fashioned chat with a real person give us a call during office hours on 0800 763 929.

Further contact details including the after hours emergency claims number can be found on the contact us page.

Can I insure a property purchased through mortgagee sale?

Unfortunately not – properties that are purchased at a mortgagee auction or through mortgagee sale are not able to be covered by initio.

Once a property has been owned and insured for 12 months or more without claims, it can then be covered under the initio policy as standard.

If you are unsure about your property, you can email us to find out whether cover may be available.

Am I covered for Renovations or Extensions to my home?

If you are doing structural work or removing cladding / roofing, then you must tell us.

You will need a contract works policy to insure the work being done and the dwelling for construction related risks such as water coming in through exposed cladding or structural damage caused by the work itself.

For minor redecorating work like replacing carpets or re-painting, you do not need to let us know.

Claims

I’m not happy with my claim, what can I do?

If you are not happy with your claim or how it’s going, please let us know by emailing us at or giving us a call on 07 929 4126 and we’ll work with you to resolve any problems.

If you are still not happy with your claim, please see our complaints procedure for further steps.

Where can I check on my claim?

You can check the current status of your claim, by logging into your dashboard.  If you have questions about your claim, you can always email  us or call 07 929 4126.

What if I have to make a claim?

Making a claim is easy. All you need to do is login to your initio dashboard, click ‘make a claim’ and follow the prompts to complete the questions. Your claim will be lodged immediately with the insurer and you will be able to view its progress. In the event of a major claim such as a fire, an assessor will contact you and arrange to visit your property promptly. With most minor losses the claim can be handled and settled electronically. The insurer reserves the right to appoint an assessor or investigator to any claim they receive.

Help! I’ve had a positive meth test.

Finding out your property is contaminated with methamphetamine can be a scary time. We have compiled the following guide so that we can manage your claim efficiently.

Step One:

Engage a testing company to complete a detailed test of the property. You may have already completed a composite test, and this is great, but we require a detailed room by room test. This test will be carried out on wipe samples according to NIOSH method 9111, and is IANZ accredited.

Once you have the results from the detailed testing, and provided the results are above the MOH guidelines, you will need to log in to your Dashboard and make a claim. We will also require the following documents which you can upload or send in a seperate email:

  • Composite test results
  • Composite test invoice
  • Detailed test results including a report from the testing company, showing photos of where the samples were taken & property address etc
  • Detailed test invoice
  • Tenancy agreement
  • Tenancy reference checks
  • Written inspection reports
  • Deposit slip for payments

If a property manager is involved, please advise the rate charged  and if they will continue to charge during the untenanted period?

Step Two:

The next step is to engage a decontamination company to provide you with a quote to decontaminate the property (they’ll use the detailed test results to put this together).

Once complete, you will need to send us through the following documents:

  • Quote for decontamination

If you need any assistance or support during the process please do not hesitate to contact us.

Do I have glass cover?

Glass is covered under the initio policy, your standard policy excess will apply. If you loss is more than the excess, please send us the invoice and we reimburse the value that is over your excess.

Your Property

What if my rental was built prior to 1945?

Unfortunately we are not be able to provide cover for properties built prior to 1945. If your property has been fully renovated with all scrim removed, fully rewired, re-roofed and re-plumped we may be able to help you out.

Please take a look at our insuring older homes guide for more information.

What if my property is used for short term holiday accommodation?

That’s fine, as long as you also intend on using the property yourself and you keep your own possessions/contents at the property.  Our policy is designed to cater for holiday homes that are also used for short term holiday rentals.  After all, we have teamed up with Bookabach to provide cover for exactly that.

What if my property has two or more living units? E.g. two dwellings under one roof

There are two ways you can insure your multi unit rental property.  You can either insure the units individually or together under a shared policy. To understand the differences and which option is best for you click here.

Can I insure my property that is leased to Housing New Zealand?

Unfortunately no, Housing New Zealand uses the property it leases for the purposes of its business, which is housing state tenants. Housing New Zealand is in effect the tenant of the owner, not the state tenants that may be occupying the property.

Can I insure a body corporate?

Sorry we are unable to insure properties which are Body Corporates.

Why can’t I insure my short stay rental?

To insure a property that is let to short term tenants (such as via Bookabach or Airbnb), initio require the dwelling to be ‘capable’ of being the home or holiday home and ‘intended’ by the owner to be a home or a holiday home.

Included below is an extract from the EQC Guidelines defining a holiday home and the intention of a holiday home.

“Holiday home”

A holiday home is a secondary residence for somebody whose home is elsewhere. It may be used on a transient basis by that person, usually for holidays.

As guidance, a building is unlikely to be a holiday home if:

  • it is set up purely as a commercial enterprise and the owners do not use it or intend to use it for their own purposes (or for somebody else to use it as their holiday home).
  • an organisation which owns holiday homes purely for the benefit of its members, and these members pay to stay there.
  • it is on the same property as the owners’ residence. Even though others, like family and friends, may use the building for holidays or visits, it is unlikely to be the holiday destination for the owners or the holiday home of any other person.

“Intended to be a holiday home”

From the circumstances there must be an intention on the part of the owner to return again and again no matter how minimal the use. At a minimum it is acceptable if the owner has the entitlement to occupy the property whenever they wish and they store their possessions there.

It is contemplated that a holiday home may be used:

  • solely by the owner;
  • by friends and family as well as the owner; and
  • by tenants on a periodic basis but the owner too, when the owner wants to use it.

Where a home is used solely for short term lets, initio is unable to provide insurance. This is because it is deemed to be a commercial venture (more like a motel) and does not meet the EQC definition of a home.

 

Can I insure one unit in a block?

If your unit is part of a Body Corporate then the answer is simply no, as Body Corporate the is responsible for insuring all the units on behalf of the unit owners.

If the units are not part of a Body Corporate and are cross leased then it is possible for each owner to insure the units separately. This situation is not ideal as there is no way of apportioning the shared spaces/driveway/fencing. If they are all insured separately, and one unit was involved in a loss which impacted the others, the claim could become a long and costly process; and an insurers worst nightmare.

We recommend having a conversation with the owners of the neighbouring units about their insurance arrangements and look to all insure with the same underwriter (such as IAG) for ease and simplicity.

Initio will insure the end units in a block without confirmation of the other units insurer. To insure a middle unit (a unit that attaches to more than one other unit) we would require confirmation that the neighbouring unit was insured with initio, or another IAG brand (such as NZI, AMI, State, Lumley, ASB, BNZ, Westpac).

If you are unsure, flick us a email or start an online chat for some personal advice.

Proposal Questions (ie answering questions when getting cover)

What does the private use question on the proposal mean?

“Is the property you intend to insure used for anything other than private rental purposes”.

This is asking you whether you are aware of any business or non-domestic use of the property.  If your property is a domestic rental property, a holiday home, or holiday that you let out on occasion, or includes a home office then the answer to this question is NO.

If you, or your tenant, are running a business from the home such as a hairdressing salon, health clinic, or mechanics workshop then please answer YES to this question. You will then be able to provide additional information about the business and its use of the home. You can then refer the application to us for consideration.

Can I insure my Bookabach property OR holiday home with Initio?

You sure can, Initio understands the nature of Bookabach.  So whether you rent out your bach/holiday home on occasion or rent it out often the initio cover remains in place

Can I insure a body corporate?

Sorry we are unable to insure properties which are Body Corporates.

What is an interested party?

An Interested Party is someone that has a financial interest in your property. It is usually a bank or mortgagee. If you are purchasing a home with a mortgage the bank will require that it’s interest is noted on your insurance policy, so that in the event of a major loss, they are also taken care of.

To update your Interested Party, login to your dashboard and choose modify your policy to make the change. A new certificate of insurance will be emailed to you.

Payment

Is my online credit card payment secure?

Yes absolutely. DPS (direct payment systems), also known as PaymentExpress, process your payment on a unique SSL secure payments page. Once successful payment has been made you will be directed back to the initio site.

Can I pay my insurance premium monthly?

Unfortunately not. One of the reasons initio is competitive in the rental property / landlord insurance market is that we provide an instant online facility with annual payment by credit / debit card or Account2Account (online bank payment).  The efficiency in this process means we can keep prices down.  Other providers offer monthly payments however there is likely to be a charge for this.

How do I pay my insurance premium?

Payment is made online using your credit/debit card or Account2Account (online bank payment).  This is an annual insurance payment.  Once payment is made you will instantly receive by email a policy confirmation, certificate and a copy of your receipt.  If you cancel your policy you will be entitled to a prorata refund as per our refund policy.

Account & Policy Changes

How do I increase the sum insured or change details on my policy?

When logged in to your dashboard you can make changes by selecting “Modify Your Policy” and selecting from there. Once you have made the change, we will instantly email you an updated Certificate of Insurance for you or your bank should you need it.

How do I change my personal/account details?

You will need to log in to your dashboard.  On the top right side of your dashboard you can select ‘Update My Details’ to change your details including your name, postal address, email, phone numbers

How do I get a Certificate of Insurance for my property?

You will need to log into your dashboard.  In the table which displays your insured property(s) there is a PDF document titled ‘Policy Schedule’, this is your certificate of insurance.  If you have changed the details of your policy (such as changing banks or the insured value), you can get an updated certificate by selecting “Modify Your Policy” and selecting the change (if any).  A new certificate of insurance will be instantly emailed through to you.

How do I insure another house?

That’s easy; login to your dashboard and select ‘add policy’. After a few simple steps your additional property will be insured.

What if I sell my property or want to cancel my policy?

If you have sold a house, login to your dashboard and select ‘cancel policy’ for the relevant  property. Choose the date to cancel the policy from, and you will be advised the amount to be refunded. Once you confirm the cancellation the money will be refunded onto your credit card within 5 days.

I’ve lost my password!

No Problem, just click the login button on the top right of the screen and then click ‘forgot password?’.  Enter your email address and a new password will be emailed to you immediately.

Who insures my policy?

Initio is underwritten by Lumley, a business division of IAG New Zealand Limited, which has received a financial strength rating of AA- from Standard & Poor’s (Australia) Pty Ltd, an approved rating agency.

A rating of AA- means we have a ‘Very Strong’ claims paying ability, as you can see in the scale below.

The rating scale is:
AA (Very Strong)
A (Strong)
BBB (Good)
BB (Marginal)
B (Weak)
CCC (Very Weak)
CC (Extremely weak)
SD (Selective Default)
D (Default)
R (Regulatory Supervision)
NR (Not Rated)

The ratings from ‘AA’ to ‘CCC’ may be modified by the addition of a plus (+) or minus (-) sign to show relative standing within the major rating categories.

The rating scale above is in summary form. A full description of this rating scale can be obtained from www.standardandpoors.com.

What if I don’t want to insure online?

Give us a call on 0800 763 929. Hopefully our friendly team can alleviate any fears that you have. If you’re still unsure about insuring online, but want the great coverage offered by the initio policy wording, we will put you in touch with one of our exclusive broker partners who can arrange cover on your behalf.

How do I note the ownership of each unit on my multi unit rental policy?

If each unit has a different owner the unit will need to be insured individually. To qualify for the multi-unit policy the units must share both the ownership and the roof.

Landlord Insurance

Am I covered for loss of rents?

Yes, you are covered for your loss of rental income following property damage.  For example, if your rental home cannot be lived in because of earthquake damage you will be paid your lost rental income for up to 12 months. The policy automatically includes $20,000 of cover, which is suitable for rents of up to $385 per week. The sum insured can be increased to $40,000 ($385 – $770 per week) or $80,000 ($770 – $1538 per week).

Am I covered if tenants damage my property?

Yes, the policy automatically includes cover for theft and deliberate damage by tenants. We will pay up to $25,000 for one event.

Don’t worry, if it is major malicious damage and the tenants cause a fire or explosion, you’re covered up to the full sum insured.

Is my rental property covered for Methamphetamine Contamination?

Initio does provide cover for rental property damage caused by methamphetamine. Like any loss or insurance policy, it depends on the circumstances and cause of that damage as to how, and to what extent, the cover will respond.

Our policy has historically paid claims for meth consumption and manufacture, and we intend to continue providing cover in accordance with the policy. Please note that, with meth, each claim is different and is assessed on its own complexities, facts and merits; as such there is not a hard and fast response to all situations of meth damage.

Loss caused by the manufacture, distribution or storage of methamphetamine is generally considered to be a sudden loss as the contamination occurs immediately (rather than a build up over time which is often the case with consumption related claims). Subject to the facts of the actual claim, we treat such losses as accidental and sudden and the property sum insured you select is the limit of cover, ie full cover applies for manufacturing losses.

Our policy does not specifically reference consumption related meth damage, so such a claim would rely on the main insuring clause of the policy – damage to the property that is sudden and accidental. Generally speaking damage to the property caused by meth consumption is accidental but not always sudden. We can confirm that the Initio policy has previously responded to and paid for losses of this nature, when it is evidenced that the consumption damage was likely sudden or occurred over a short period. Proactive management of your property will help with a consumption claim; good records of property inspections, tenant vetting and previous meth testing of the property are all example of proactive risk management.

In summary, and subject to the circumstances of the loss, if there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the contamination likely occurred to a level exceeding the Ministry of Health guideline (or relevant standard) in a sudden or one off event then the policy will respond. Unfortunately, when it comes to meth consumption claims, failure to provide good information to help us determine when the meth damage occurred, who caused it, and for how long, will mean that it is unlikely you will receive cover.

While we realise that the Initio policy is one of, if not the only, policy in the market that provides meth damage cover up to the property sum insured, we would like to provide property owners with more certainty especially on consumption related meth claims. As such, and to support our customers, we are currently working on a new policy wording which will have a specific section on methamphetamine cover. There will be some specific landlord obligations defined regarding property inspections, tenant vetting and the like, to receive the benefit of the cover. We will be keeping our customers updated on the progress and timing of this new wording and change in cover. In the meantime, please be assured that we will consider all meth consumption claims on a case by case basis, and as it is likely a $30,000 cap on methamphetamine related claims with a $2,500 excess will apply, we are currently considering these meth consumption claims as if the new wording was in place.

Why do I need a rental property policy?

There are risks associated with being a landlord that normal dwelling insurance policies will not cover. As a landlord you could be exposed to liability for damage to your tenants property; further you may lose rental income as a result of your property being damaged.

This policy covers these eventualities and more – a summary of the special features can be found on the ‘Cover & Prices‘ page.

Check out our landlord insurance guide for more information about the risks of being a landlord.

Does this insurance policy replace my existing house insurance?

Yes, this is not a top up cover.  The initio policy provides full replacement cover for the house itself as well as providing additional cover for the risks associated with being a landlord.  To avoid double insurance it is recommend that you cancel your existing house insurance policy when you insure with initio. Your current insurer should refund you any unused premium.

Are the contents in my rental/holiday home covered?

Our policy provides automatic cover of $20,000 for landlord’s contents and chattels, which includes furniture.  As per the policy wording this is a PRESENT DAY value cover not full replacement cover.  Meaning that if the contents are damaged or stolen the cover will pay the present day value (i.e. depreciated value) not what it costs to replace the item for a new one. You can increase the present day value cover to $40,000 for additional premium.

If your require full REPLACEMENT cover for your holiday home contents you can choose either $60,000, $90,000, $120,000 or $220,000 of replacement contents cover.  The total premium will change on the quote screen as you select the different cover options. We recommend that you seriously think about what it would cost to replace your contents, people often under estimate the amount of contents cover they require.

More information about understanding contents cover can be found in our guide.

Holiday Homes

Are the contents in my rental/holiday home covered?

Our policy provides automatic cover of $20,000 for landlord’s contents and chattels, which includes furniture.  As per the policy wording this is a PRESENT DAY value cover not full replacement cover.  Meaning that if the contents are damaged or stolen the cover will pay the present day value (i.e. depreciated value) not what it costs to replace the item for a new one. You can increase the present day value cover to $40,000 for additional premium.

If your require full REPLACEMENT cover for your holiday home contents you can choose either $60,000, $90,000, $120,000 or $220,000 of replacement contents cover.  The total premium will change on the quote screen as you select the different cover options. We recommend that you seriously think about what it would cost to replace your contents, people often under estimate the amount of contents cover they require.

More information about understanding contents cover can be found in our guide.

Own Home

What if I live in one of my multi-units?

The Multi-Unit Rental policy is designed for rental properties. If you own a block of units and personally reside in one unit, this will need to be insured individually as an owner occupied home. This way you can include cover for your contents and personal effects, and get premium savings on your own home. The remainder of the units in the block can be insured either together or individually.

Holiday Rental

Can I insure my Bookabach property OR holiday home with Initio?

You sure can, Initio understands the nature of Bookabach.  So whether you rent out your bach/holiday home on occasion or rent it out often the initio cover remains in place

What if my property is used for short term holiday accommodation?

That’s fine, as long as you also intend on using the property yourself and you keep your own possessions/contents at the property.  Our policy is designed to cater for holiday homes that are also used for short term holiday rentals.  After all, we have teamed up with Bookabach to provide cover for exactly that.

Why can’t I insure my short stay rental?

To insure a property that is let to short term tenants (such as via Bookabach or Airbnb), initio require the dwelling to be ‘capable’ of being the home or holiday home and ‘intended’ by the owner to be a home or a holiday home.

Included below is an extract from the EQC Guidelines defining a holiday home and the intention of a holiday home.

“Holiday home”

A holiday home is a secondary residence for somebody whose home is elsewhere. It may be used on a transient basis by that person, usually for holidays.

As guidance, a building is unlikely to be a holiday home if:

  • it is set up purely as a commercial enterprise and the owners do not use it or intend to use it for their own purposes (or for somebody else to use it as their holiday home).
  • an organisation which owns holiday homes purely for the benefit of its members, and these members pay to stay there.
  • it is on the same property as the owners’ residence. Even though others, like family and friends, may use the building for holidays or visits, it is unlikely to be the holiday destination for the owners or the holiday home of any other person.

“Intended to be a holiday home”

From the circumstances there must be an intention on the part of the owner to return again and again no matter how minimal the use. At a minimum it is acceptable if the owner has the entitlement to occupy the property whenever they wish and they store their possessions there.

It is contemplated that a holiday home may be used:

  • solely by the owner;
  • by friends and family as well as the owner; and
  • by tenants on a periodic basis but the owner too, when the owner wants to use it.

Where a home is used solely for short term lets, initio is unable to provide insurance. This is because it is deemed to be a commercial venture (more like a motel) and does not meet the EQC definition of a home.

 

Am I covered if tenants damage my property?

Yes, the policy automatically includes cover for theft and deliberate damage by tenants. We will pay up to $25,000 for one event.

Don’t worry, if it is major malicious damage and the tenants cause a fire or explosion, you’re covered up to the full sum insured.

Is my rental property covered for Methamphetamine Contamination?

Initio does provide cover for rental property damage caused by methamphetamine. Like any loss or insurance policy, it depends on the circumstances and cause of that damage as to how, and to what extent, the cover will respond.

Our policy has historically paid claims for meth consumption and manufacture, and we intend to continue providing cover in accordance with the policy. Please note that, with meth, each claim is different and is assessed on its own complexities, facts and merits; as such there is not a hard and fast response to all situations of meth damage.

Loss caused by the manufacture, distribution or storage of methamphetamine is generally considered to be a sudden loss as the contamination occurs immediately (rather than a build up over time which is often the case with consumption related claims). Subject to the facts of the actual claim, we treat such losses as accidental and sudden and the property sum insured you select is the limit of cover, ie full cover applies for manufacturing losses.

Our policy does not specifically reference consumption related meth damage, so such a claim would rely on the main insuring clause of the policy – damage to the property that is sudden and accidental. Generally speaking damage to the property caused by meth consumption is accidental but not always sudden. We can confirm that the Initio policy has previously responded to and paid for losses of this nature, when it is evidenced that the consumption damage was likely sudden or occurred over a short period. Proactive management of your property will help with a consumption claim; good records of property inspections, tenant vetting and previous meth testing of the property are all example of proactive risk management.

In summary, and subject to the circumstances of the loss, if there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the contamination likely occurred to a level exceeding the Ministry of Health guideline (or relevant standard) in a sudden or one off event then the policy will respond. Unfortunately, when it comes to meth consumption claims, failure to provide good information to help us determine when the meth damage occurred, who caused it, and for how long, will mean that it is unlikely you will receive cover.

While we realise that the Initio policy is one of, if not the only, policy in the market that provides meth damage cover up to the property sum insured, we would like to provide property owners with more certainty especially on consumption related meth claims. As such, and to support our customers, we are currently working on a new policy wording which will have a specific section on methamphetamine cover. There will be some specific landlord obligations defined regarding property inspections, tenant vetting and the like, to receive the benefit of the cover. We will be keeping our customers updated on the progress and timing of this new wording and change in cover. In the meantime, please be assured that we will consider all meth consumption claims on a case by case basis, and as it is likely a $30,000 cap on methamphetamine related claims with a $2,500 excess will apply, we are currently considering these meth consumption claims as if the new wording was in place.

Do I need a separate dwelling policy for when I stay at the property?

No. Our ‘Holiday Home that is rented out’ insurance policy covers you for when you are in the holiday home as well as when you have guestsfamily and friends. We cover you against sudden, accidental loss to Your Home during the Period of Insurance.

We do however advise you to consider the value of contents that are kept at the property, particularly if it is a holiday home. The policy automatically includes contents for $20,000 present day value, so these would be depreciated in the event of a claim.

Multi Unit Rental

What if my property has two or more living units? E.g. two dwellings under one roof

There are two ways you can insure your multi unit rental property.  You can either insure the units individually or together under a shared policy. To understand the differences and which option is best for you click here.

Can I insure a body corporate?

Sorry we are unable to insure properties which are Body Corporates.

How do I note the ownership of each unit on my multi unit rental policy?

If each unit has a different owner the unit will need to be insured individually. To qualify for the multi-unit policy the units must share both the ownership and the roof.

What if I live in one of my multi-units?

The Multi-Unit Rental policy is designed for rental properties. If you own a block of units and personally reside in one unit, this will need to be insured individually as an owner occupied home. This way you can include cover for your contents and personal effects, and get premium savings on your own home. The remainder of the units in the block can be insured either together or individually.

What if I already insure my units individually with initio?

When your policies are due to renew you will have 2 options. The first, is to leave it as is and renew the policies as individual units. The second is to take out a new multi unit rental policy, if you choose this option, we will lapse the exisiting policies from renewal.