House insurance basics

Understanding flood zones and their impact on your property

Staying informed about the risks that severe weather events, especially flooding, pose to your property is becoming increasingly important. With the increase in these types of events in recent years, understanding flood zones and their implications has never been more crucial. Let’s look into these challenges and the tools… Learn more

Understanding insurance fraud and its consequences

Insurance is about gathering money from premiums to help people who have losses covered by their policy. When fraud happens, there’s less money to go around. This makes premiums more expensive for everyone. Insurance fraud may appear to be a shortcut for quick financial gain, but the… Learn more

Demystifying Insurance Excess

Picking the right insurance excess can be tricky. Excess is the money you pay when something goes wrong, like a broken window or water leak. Let’s make it simple. High or low excess? If you pick a high excess, you pay less money every year… Learn more

Is Tree damage covered by my insurance?

It can be common to claim for fallen trees and branches after a severe weather event, for the damage caused to houses and guttering, fences, cars and neighbouring properties. In general, a home insurance policy doesn’t cover trees themselves; but you may be covered if a fallen tree… Learn more

The top 5 mistakes to avoid when insuring property

Buying a home or property is a large part of the classic Kiwi lifestyle, and it tends to be the biggest investment most Kiwis will make in their lifetimes. When it comes to arranging house or landlord insurance, New Zealander’s want peace of mind for their asset – and so… Learn more

Non Disclosure and what to tell your insurer

What Information is important to initio There are 2 main categories of information: Information relating to you, e.g. your insurance history, any claims made, any criminal convictions you have, if you have been bankrupt; and Information relating to your property e.g. if you have tenants in your house, if you… Learn more

Busting house insurance myths

For many people, insurance is the ultimate grudge spend. Along with council rates it typically represents one of the most significant expenses associated with home ownership. Because of the intangible nature of insurance, and its status as everyone’s most hated expense, the insurance industry often gets a bad reputation… Learn more

Moving House?

Make sure your big move is covered by insurance. Congratulations! You’ve found your new dream home and the day has come for the big move to your new property. But what if something falls off the back of the truck during the move? Does your insurance still cover… Learn more

What is Earthquake Commission (EQC) cover?

EQC cover is a type of government-provided insurance that helps with the cost of repairing or replacing residential homes that are damaged by: Earthquake  Tsunami  Landslip  Volcanic eruption  Hydrothermal activity    The EQC… Learn more

Do I have cover when I rent my house on Airbnb?

There’s a different set of risks when you host short term guests, and insurance companies generally don’t like this. Before you list your property on Airbnb you should check that your policy covers holiday-bookings. Effects on Insurance Higher risk guests in your house means that insurers want to… Learn more

Am I covered for damage caused by Pets?

Your policy will cover you for sudden and accidental damage caused by a pet. The main areas to consider in regards to any claim for pet damage. The damage must relate to a “sudden” and “accidental” event.  For example, if your tenant’s dog… Learn more

Can more than one excess apply to a claim?

There can be unfortunate scenarios where you may have to pay your excess more than once when you make a single house insurance claim. We try to make insurance transparent for everyone, but there are insurance conventions that we have to work with.  Applying an excess per incident can… Learn more

Is my house insured for fire?

If you have insurance on your house, you most likely have cover for fires. Unlike some countries, New Zealand house insurance policies automatically cover fires. However, just to be sure you should check your policy wording to see if fire damage is not excluded. All of the initio house… Learn more

Insuring Old Houses

You’ve found your dream house: it’s a gorgeous bungalow from the 1920’s. It’s picture perfect, but will it be hard to get insurance? Why are older houses harder to insure? Before 1935, New Zealand had no unified set of building standards. Some councils had their own bylaws, but many… Learn more

Five Tips to Insuring in a Flood Zone

Floods are the biggest cause of natural damage to property in New Zealand. Much of our country has a high flood risk, meaning many properties lie in or near flood zones. This makes insurers cautious when it comes to flood-prone houses. The 2017 Edgecumbe flood was one… Learn more

Calculate your Sum Insured

The rebuild sum insured is an important part of your insurance policy, so it’s important you take some time to get a good estimate. Rebuild Sum Insured, Not Market Value Your sum insured should equal the cost to fully rebuild your house to its current size and standard, in… Learn more

When do I need Contract Works insurance?

If you’re doing alterations or renovations to your house you might be wondering if you’re covered by your normal house insurance policy. Depending on the works involved you may need a Contract Works policy, also known as ‘construction insurance’ or ‘ builders all risks’ cover. Who arranges the cover?… Learn more

Code of Compliance

Code compliance is generally required to insure a house. But don’t worry, there are situations where we will cover your house without full code compliance. Most Common Reasons for Non-compliance House or addition was built before code compliance requirements Current building code compliance requirements came into force in 1992. Learn more

How are house insurance premiums calculated?

As you pay for your insurance you might wonder where your premium is going? And how is it calculated? This guide explains what makes up the cost of house insurance and how it’s calculated. Insurer Premium This is the insurers cut of the pie and is what… Learn more

Is my house covered if I also rent to guests?

Here’s what you need to know to insure your main home if it’s also rented to short-term guests. What can be covered? A shared primary residence If the house is your primary residence, we can cover your own home that’s also rented with our Own Home… Learn more

How do I buy my first policy?

Wondering how to get your first policy with initio started? This guide outlines the entire process from getting a quote to paying for your policy. It takes you through the basic steps of quoting, customising and changing your cover, disclosing other information… Learn more

Am I covered for Natural Disasters?

All our house insurance policies include cover for natural disasters up to the replacement sum insured you select on your policy. The Earthquake Commission Act 1993 means that the government’s EQC Commission will cover up to the first $172,500 inc gst of… Learn more

Is my unoccupied property still covered?

If your property is left empty, vacant or unoccupied there are some things to be aware of. Unless you’ve let us know and we’ve agreed with you otherwise, the below standard conditions will apply to your cover. Always let us know if your property is going to be vacant… Learn more

Can you insure a tiny home?

Tiny Homes; as the name suggests, are smaller and more affordable houses typically less than 15 metres long that are becoming more popular in New Zealand. Portable Tiny Homes If your Tiny Home or similar portable house is on a trailer we can’t cover it under a standard house insurance… Learn more

Can I insure an un-consented garage?

It’s common for older houses to have un-consented garages. Usually this is because a garage was added to the house without a full code of compliance being approved. This doesn’t necessarily mean the garage isn’t up to standards and can’t be covered. To cover an un-consented garage it will need… Learn more

Can I insure a unit in a block?

Our house insurance isn’t set up to cover units that have another unit above or below yours. It can get very complicated if you make a claim for damage that involves multiple other unit owners and insurance companies. We can only offer insurance for a unit… Learn more

Do I have glass cover?

There’s broken glass cover under all our house policies. Windscreen and glass damage can also be covered on your car. The excess that applies depends on the policy that’s in place. Home Insurance – Owner Occupied/Usual Residence (Own Home policy) Our home insurance cover has a lower $250 excess for… Learn more

Can I insure my house that's rented to guests?

We can insure properties that are rented out to short term guests like Airbnb, but there are some requirements. You need to use it yourself at least occasionally, and it needs to be capable of being your home when you want it to be. We can’t cover a house or… Learn more

Can I insure a body corporate?

We can not insure properties that are owned under a Body Corporate. Our cover is designed for domestic residential houses that have a single owner. Under a Body Corporate their is a manager that collectively is responsible for insuring all the units on behalf of each owner. This is common… Learn more

Can I insure a house bought in a mortgagee sale?

In most cases insurers won’t provide cover for houses that were sold under a mortgagee sale.  This is because of the increased and known risk associated with this type of property sale.  However, we know that all mortgagee sales are different so can consider cover on a case by… Learn more