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, and it’s the only one like it.  We’re endorsed by Bookabach and insure thousands of holiday homes up and down the country.

Download the policy wording for full details of cover

  • Holiday homes & short stay homes need a special policy

    Standard house insurance just 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, so 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

Eg. A burglary (or guest theft) results in the loss of various contents, and includes damage the house (eg broken door). Sorted all under 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 you 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
(can be increased on request)

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 essential.

That’s exactly what this 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 risk not having 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 most common claims we see are:

  1. Water damage from leaking or burst pipes when unoccupied
  2. Storm damage. A number of baches are coastal and these get hit 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’re be covered. The initio policy 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 we provide insurance based on your cancelled bookings and expected bookings (based on the previous year).

You’ll 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. You will also 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

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.