Holiday home insurance

New Zealand’s only holiday home insurance policy designed for short stay properties including the kiwi bach, the Bookbach, and the Airbnb rental.
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Holiday Home Insurance NZ

Rent your bach or house out to guests? insure with initio

We know that your holiday home (additional home) is used by family and sometimes paying guests too. So we’ve built an all-in-one online insurance policy for New Zealand holiday homes, its the only one like it.  We are endorsed by Bookabach and insure 1000’s of holiday homes.

Download the policy wording for full details of cover

  • Holiday homes & short stay homes need a special policy

    Standard house insurance doesn’t work. Holiday homes are often left vacant for extended periods, they have personal contents and sporting equipment, and sometimes they get rented out to short staying guests. We know all of this, and we’ve built a policy to suit.

  • Our technology saves you time and money

    Instant quote and insurance cover online, including certificate of insurance to your inbox and the ability to make changes in real-time with NZ’s only Live Policy Management. It also means that we can pay claims fast, make claims and view their progress directly from your personalised insurance dashboard.

Understanding the benefits of our cover

Features of the Initio holiday home & short stay policy

Full comprehensive insurance for the house itself

Full cover up to the house insured value
Excess is your choice starting from $400

Loss of Rent - following property damage

Covered up to 52 weeks
Your choice of $20,000 to $80,000

Contents Insurance included

Your choice of $20,000 to $220,000 cover
Excess starting from $250

One excess

One excess per event not per item.
Eg. A burglary (or guest theft) of various contents items
including damage the house (eg broken door) is one excess

Accidental damage to house or contents by Owner or Guests

Full cover up to the house insured value

Major Malicious Damage

Fire & Explosion covered
Full cover up to the house insured value

Other Deliberate Damage by Guests

Covered up to $25,000

Theft by Guests

You are covered for theft by your guests

Recreational equipment

Covered as part of your contents.
Bikes limited to $3,000 per bike

Cover designed for Short Term guests

Cover designed for your own holiday home, and homes
your rent out to short staying guests
eg Bookabach, AirBnB

Methamphetamine Contamination – Manufacture

Covered up to $30,000
Excess $2,500

Natural Disaster

Full cover up to the house insured value
(includes EQC cover)

Recreational Features

Swimming Pools, Spa Pools and Tennis Courts
Included up to $45,000

Owners Legal Liability Cover

$2 million of cover
Includes Bodily Injury and Defence Costs

Common questions about holiday home insurance

Its a specific insurance policy that covers the holiday home itself and provides protection for holiday home risks such as unoccupancy for long periods, and damage caused by guests and paying guests. Whether a property is rented to short staying guests or is just used by friends and family – a holiday home insurance policy is necessary.

That’s exactly what our policy is designed for. The initio policy provides cover for guest risk including malicious damage, contents, prevention of access and loss of rents. If you are renting your holiday home out and don’t have a specific holiday home insurance policy or haven’t told your existing insurer you may not have cover if something goes wrong. AirBnB and Bookabach have ‘back-up’ insurance for customers too but its best to have a primary insurance policy that provides the right cover. Find out more about AirBnb & Bookabach insurance.

Then its not technically a holiday home and would not be covered by the EQC in the event of an earthquake. For this reason initio can’t provide cover either as the property is more like commercial accommodation than residential. Learn more about the difference.

From the large number of holiday homes we insure, the top four claims are:

  1. Water damage from leaking or burst pipes when unoccupied
  2. Storm damage. A number of baches are coastal and these get hard in a storm
  3. Burglary and break-in while the property is unoccupied
  4. Theft or damage by paying guests

Read more about the biggest risks for holiday homes.


As long as you have a holiday home insurance policy that provides cover for guest damage then you will be protected. The initio policy Yes, 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 of the property

So long as you have holiday home insurance that specifically covers loss of rents you will be protected. The initio policy provides automatic cover for $20,000 of loss of rents, but you can increase this up to $80,000. For cover to apply the property must have suffered damage that causes the cancellation of the stay. Most insurance policies require a tenancy agreement to pay loss of rent BUT initio provides insurance based on your cancelled bookings and expected bookings (based on the previous year).

You will want to insure your holiday home for the amount it would cost to replace it with a new one. You also need to include extra things like fences, driveways, and swimming pools. And you will want to add in a provision for the inflation in the cost of materials and the cost to demolish and clean up the site. It is recommended that you use an online tool such as Cordell or obtain a valuation from a quantity surveyor such as CCC. See here for more information about a rebuild valuation.

Learn more about calculation the insured value of your home.

Get a quote online quote, answers a few simple questions (including the Bank you want on your certificate) and start your cover online. A certificate of insurance will be instantly emailed to your inbox. No delays, we use technology to save your time and money. You can amend and get a new certificate anytime through your initio dashboard.

What our holiday home customers are saying

By Philip James (Phil),
By P&S,
Easy, convenient, and very simple web-site to navigate.
By Paul & Carol,
So easy! And great cover options for short term rentals!
By Tony,
By Chris,
You make renewals so easy :-)
By Sherry,
Sometimes I need advice, Initio is a lonely uninformed insurance process , just hoping I get it right. Fingers crossed right?
By Keith,
simple and quick
By Susanne,
Fantastic to deal with!
By Hasan,
Ease of application and value
By Brent,
Was recommend this by previous owners
By Susan,
Because I haven't had a claim and therefore don't have a complete picture of services, but from what I have had, I'm very pleased with. Thanks!
By rachel lise,
i never do word of mouth advertising for starters and to date have not ( thankfully) had occasion to make any claims and that's where/when the cookie crumbles and one sees the true value of any specific insurer.
By Kena,
By Robyn,
By Adrian,
Will be better rated if I have to make a claim. All good.
By Murray,
So easy and simple. Very easy to follow website.
By Grant & Jo,
Very easy online, and great service when I need to actually talk to someone.
By Ellen,
Easy website, helpful staff
By Carissa,
Super easy and quick to set up insurance.
By Alex,
Easy to use site, insurance covers everything I require, pain free process.
By Rachel,
Very easy to use. Shame there is no lending in the Marlborough Sounds.
By Carol,
By Stephanie,
By Peter,
Precise hassle free instructions easy to follow by a technically challenged oldie
By Wendy,
Not meeting current day needs of holiday home owners - We live in the house and rent it out when we go on holiday. So we need short term tenant cover for some of the year (holiday home insurance, intentional damage, loss of rental income etc) and owner/occupier insurance for some of the year (replacement accommodation etc). This would be the case for a large number of persons in the Queenstown Lakes District and is definately a clear market to tap into.
By Stuart,
Cost went up by 10%
By Alan,
Easy claim process and very helpful staff members, would definitely recommend Initio.
By Noel,
By Heather Frances,
By Mike,
Like all insurers it appears Initio are using historical & hypothetical events to unfairly ratchet up our insurance costs year on year to protect themselves and their profits. We've gone $1200/$1450/$1850 year on year for the same property & I shudder to think what next year's increase will be. Our property has been in situ for around 60 years and has never suffered damage through earthquake or weather event yet some risk matrix invented by the industry suggests our premium should rise by 30% this year yet we've never made a claim. Why would I want to support/endorse that? Like almost everyone else insurance is a necessity for us & I have no choice but to begrudgingly pay the asking price.
By Alister,
By Anthony,
Super simple process
By Amanda,
Easy to understand, straight forward and good price.
By Joanne,
By Brent,
By James,
Good easy service. Reasonable fees.
By Constance,
By Richard,
Easy to use, good information and I did a claim last year after Cyclone Fehi that was handled well. With thanks Richard
By Amanda & Simon,
Easy to use.
By Felix,
Good service, good cover, unfortunately steadily increasing prices every year
By Blair,
By Irene,
Great service
By Daniel,
By Grant,
By Duncan,
By Talia,
Easy online process, price was lower than current insurer.
By David,
By Alan,
Value for money and such and easy prices doing it online
By Ross James,
Online & easy
By Izaak,
By Amber,
By Stephen,
Very easy to do business with
By Jennifer,
By Amanda,
By Ian,
By Barry,
Straight forward, easy to read, connected to BookaBach/HomeAway.
By Tanya,
You were the only ones doing this type of insurance.
By Daniel,
By Rachel,
Easy to deal with, easy website
By Suren,
Ease of renewing and cover types offered.
By Tina,
Easy to do, and prompt,clear response to my online question.
By Geoff & Tina,
By suzi,
By Heather and Michael,
Fast and efficent..Thanku:)
By Val,
By Karen,
Its so simple especially when renewing and its an insurance for holiday homes
By Elaine,
Efficient easy to use website. Very clear what I am paying for.
By Gregory,
Good experience dealing with you.
By Jane,
Because the home insurance policy is available to cover a home or holiday home that is also sometimes rented out to casual guests. Some other insurance companies seem to find this a difficult risk to estimate so do not have a policy that's suitable.
By Megan,
Great service and clear instructions
By Dian,
Easy and great to deal with
By Ian,
A comprehensive cover that fills in a gap in the market that represents holiday houses
By Jonathan,
Price, good for airbnb
By Elenor,
By Paul,
Provides cover for family holiday home and rental from time to time
By Wendy,
Nice and easy to do, and helpful staff on chat line. Thank you
By Michael,
By Debra,
Intuitive online process, always been good when I've had claims or queries, very efficient and accessible.
By Vanessa,
Easy service and credit card payment options
By Lyndal,
By Patricia,
Very seamless and meets our requirements.
By Fionna,
By Robyn,
Easy process and lovely experience from the staff on emails and over the phone.
By Bessie,
Everything seems to work efficiently and the website is easy to use.
By Murray,
Faultless to date
By David,
By Vaughn,
Great online platform, very convenient and easy to use.
By Susan,
Easy no hassle
By Lara,
By Alan,
Quick and easy, seems a fair price.
By Joanne,
Easy system to use, type of cover suits our application.
By Jocelyn,
Your policy is tailored to my needs. Renewal is very easy.
By Heidi,
Great, fast, professional service and good prices.
By Malcolm,
By Bob,
By Graham & Lynne,
Have been recommending to others for a number of years. Have had great service.
By Gregory,
Because your policy is suited to our needs ie holiday home that is rented out. Thankyou.
By Kevin,
By Gib,
Easy to review, update, renew, all good.
By Giles,
Super easy renewal process, competitive premiums
By Quinton,
To be honest this claim was ridiculously easy and fast, this is without a doubt the benchmark now for all insurance companies. Brilliant !!
By Sandra,
It's so simple.
By Caroline,
By Kathryn,
By Deion,
very easy to do and great holiday home cover package
By Judith,
Service from staff is always efficient. Website is easy to use.
By Henry,
Good value for bach owners
By Joanne,
So easy!!
By Stuart,
By Stephen,
By Lesley,
Easy to organise on-line. Half the price of previous insurer who took 2 months (and numerous phone calls & emails) to provide a quote because they didn't know what Airbnb was!
By Peter,
Dealt with a recent claim quickly and efficiently. Plus it was fair.
By Shiree,
By Sandy,
Easy and offers the type of insurance products that match our rental property needs.
By Mervyn,
Easy to complete and reasonable price
By Loretta,
easy to sign up and use (havent made a claim though)
By Toni,
Prompt & friendly service received recently, thank you.
By Leigh,
Easy to renew. Suited to our holiday house with free contents.
By Bronwyn,
By Andrew,
By yue,
By Darren,
By Rowan,
Good value and easy to set up.
By Paula,
Pure luck finding Initio on a website where someone had commented and said they were with you. I knew there had to be something in between Landlords insurance and Commercial, as I was getting quotes of $2500-$3000 which were excessive for an airbnb property. The on-line chat was helpful and gave me the answers I wanted. However the fact everything is on-line makes me a little nervous as there are always loopholes with insurance and I was on the wrong policy with my last supplier so just hope we have got this right.
By Christopher,
Haven't made claim so could be wrong but so far excellent service after 2 years
By Jennifer,
It was so simple, I have been waiting for AMI to give me an answer as to whether they would insure my property for days even though I've been with them for 11 years! You specialise in holiday rentals and are aware of the risks involved. thanks!
By Cameron,
bookabach specific. perfect for us. would like to be able to spread it out quarterly though
By Sue,
We were dreading lodging a claim after our property suffered storm damage. Most of what you hear about is insurance company's finding ways to avoid ever paying out with some tiny fine print so we put it in, expecting the worst. However our experience with Initio was anything but. They were very quick and efficient with responding, fair and very helpful with us settling the claim. And so patient while we worked with tradesmen to try and repair everything - it took them many months and we never felt pressured by Initio. I wish all insurance company's were this easy to deal with!
By Robyn,
Ease of renewal and everything clearly explained.
By Chris,
In just 6 years our premiums have almost doubled. I know it's not your fault, but that doesn't stop it from being wrong. I am especially surprised when it comes to holiday houses that there is no benefit for having an alarm system in the house, which I would have thought highly desirable from an insurer's point of view ?
By Natalie,
Highly competitive premiums
By Stephen,
Compared to other providers, policy was clear and straightforward. There were no tricks or loops in the wording.
By Heather,
Easy to understand. No frustrating salespeople.
By Sharon,
Haven't done a claim yet so don't know the process
By Theo,
Because it's easy to renew and, good if you have a holiday home.
By Phil,
By Dennis and Barbara,
By Alex,
Extremely easy to arrange, intuitive website, clear terms and conditions
I have found it very easy to deal with initio
By Scott,
Ease of engagement. Website is very intuitive and easy to navigate
By Stephanie,
It seems really expensive - especially when no claims have been made in the years we've been with them. Although I haven't bothered to enquire elsewhere!
By Belinda,
Very easy to renew policy, like the Website as well
By Philip,
Very easy
By Glenn,
Very easy process.
By Mary,
Very easy simple process and a good price. I haven't had to make a claim yet so have to hold off a star until that happens - hopefully never! Thanks
By Josh,
By Colleen,
Options, easy claims, suits my exact needs.
By Shane,
Super fast claim service and great interaction with claim staff both over the phone and via email.
By Casey,
By frank & deborah,
Easy use
By richard and christine,
By Andrew,
Fast and easy. A great cover at a good price.
By Heather,
Meets our needs perfectly providing insurance for our Bach that we also rent out as a short term rental. Easy communication and staff very helpful.
By Cullum,
Quick and easy to get insured. Very helpful and friendly support staff
By Hamish,
Good sensible online service. Withholding one star as haven't yet had to make a claim so can't comment on this.
By derek,
quick, easy and reliable
By Lynn,
Easy process and good cover specific to short term rental holiday homes.
By Richard,
By Cathi,
Simple renewal process. Also claim process very straightforward, we were very well looked after by Initio when we had a flood in 2016, only 2 months after taking out this policy with them. Happy to continue with our custom.
By Penelope,
Easy to set up. Cheaper than other options- but it has increased substantially in the last two years!
By Michael Lawrence,
Competitive and simple to renew
By Kim,
Price increases over 20% in 2 years on a new property.
By Karen,
Excellent service and great products
By Karen,
helpful phone staff straightforward online system being able to get cover for home I also holiday let
By Irene,
I have had good communication when I phoned and it has been an easy process
By William,
By Ian,
Ability to offer cover tailormade for my situation - rural holidayhome
By Alan,
Simple process, excellent pricing. No hassles.
By Duncan,
By Robert,
By Jennifer,
Efficient and easy process to insure, with clear and concise detail requirements and cover provisions. Also made in reliance on the claims process (which we hope never to have to use) being similarly efficient and straightforward, with personal Initio attention and availability as required.
By Ross,
By Dennis and Barbara,
Easy and cost effective
By Tanya,
Because it is designed specifically for holiday homes.
By Samuel,
Cheap and easy to use.
By Kelvin & Kathlene,
Courteous Service and cover designed for and recommended by Book a Batch
By Barry,
I am in Paris on Holiday, and this was easy....
By Peter,
All good but no option to pay monthly
By Bill,
No problems so far during our only claim
By Dian,
I was not told that a 3 month period closes for EQC claims. It would have been helpful to know this as we have just found some damage under our house that was a result fo the KaiKoura quake in Nov 2016. We never go under our house but saw this last week due to the council wanting to put in some water drains by our home. Hence we saw the damage under there.
By Gregory,
My limited dealings have been exemplary.
By Ian,
By Elenor,
Seems like good service and value.
By laurie,
Easy to deal with . Clear options available at policy renewal
By Paul,
I would prefer to pay in quarterly payments
By Malcolm,
By Roger,
easy to navigate website
By Sheri & Phil,
quick and easy
By Sharon,
Initio is quick and easy to use and there is always someone there to talk to
By Heidi,
By Kevin,
Value for money
By Giles,
By Carol,
Ease of service / Looking after homes that are rented sometimes / good reminders / good support. Thank you
By Janine,
Hassle free - I hope claims, if any, are this easy!!
By James & Gloria,
The process is so easy to renew and pay. I haven't had to lodge a claim but I am hoping that it will be as easy if the need every arises.
By Marian,
Easy to deal with and comfortable with explanations as to policy wording particularly as a holiday rental can be tricky to define.
By Cecilia,
Ease to take out policy. If I had a claim I would be able to assess whether a 5 star warranted
By Martin,
I was amazed how quickly the claim was settled. Very good service.

Useful links

What you need to know when renting out your bach

If you’re thinking about making your home, rental property or holiday house available for short-term rentals, make sure you know the rules on holiday rental agreements, claiming expenses, whether to declare it at tax time, and more.
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employee guide to short term rentals.

Tips for holiday home owners

Tips on ensuring your back’s covered when renting out your property to holidaymakers using the likes of Airbnb and Bookabach.
Read the full article on Interest.

A holiday house owners guide to Health & Safety

As a bach owner, you have to comply with five different Acts relating to health and safety. Bookabach has read the acts so you don’t have to – and summarises the main points.
Learn from Bookabach’s research.

Tax rules for holiday homes

This factsheet explains the tax rules applying to a ‘mixed-use’ holiday home, meaning holiday homes that are rented out to paying guests. Its important to understand you tax obligations.
See the IRD fact sheet.