Consumer Guides

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Consumer Guides

Renewing your House, Contents, or Personal Vehicle Insurance

Regardless of whether you have your first insurance policy, or you’re a seasoned pro with multiple policies under your belt, one thing is for sure, it’s important to stay on top of, and understand your cover, especially at renewal time.

You’ll usually be reminded each year for house, contents and private motor vehicle insurance. It’s important to stay on top of this as you might otherwise lose your cover.

At the Insurance Council of New Zealand Te Kāhui Inihua o Aotearoa, we understand there can be a lot to take in when you get sent your renewal notice.

No matter the insurance policy, you should always consider these things at renewal time:

It is important to make sure that your insurer has all your information correctly documented: your address, the details of what you’re insuring and that your current sum insured is high enough to cover the items you are insuring, especially if your home needs to be rebuilt.

Also be sure to check your policy schedule or summary, as well as the full policy document, in case your insurer has changed any terms that are important to you.

You can make changes and updates to your insurance policy at any time, but renewal time is a great time to think about any changes you may need to make. Consider the way you’re using what it is you’re insuring and any changes or modifications you’ve made to it or will make during the life of your insurance. You may have had work done to your home that’s increased its value or modified your vehicle.

If you’ve had to make a claim over the last 12 months, you may have felt that your excess (the amount that you contribute to a claim) was too high or not high enough. Renewal time is a great time to ask your insurer for a quote to change this.

It’s also a logical time to review any special terms you have detailed in your insurance policy currently or may want to add for the year ahead. If your circumstances have changed or are about to change, you may want to get these in place. These might include changes to who’s driving your vehicle or living in your property. You may have also recently bought expensive goods such as an e-bike, artwork, a spa pool or jewellery. Let your insurer or broker know.

When looking at your premium, while we all want to get a great deal, cheapest isn’t always best. Check the levels of cover your policy provides for different items from what the sum insured figure is for your home in a fire, to the amount of retaining wall cover offered or what the allowance is for gradual damage. The amount of excess you’re prepared to pay will also alter your premium. Make sure you weigh up the level of cover for the money when shopping around.

If you’re finding the cost of your insurance policy difficult to manage, chat to your insurer as you may be able to spread your payments from annual payments to monthly, or stagger different policies to be due throughout the year, rather than all at once.

Whether you buy direct from an insurance company or go through a broker, it’s a great idea to check in with them so they can answer any questions you have about your cover.

We’ve created a quick checklist to help you better understand how you should approach your key insurance policy renewals.

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