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Common exclusions for house, contents or personal vehicle insurance policies

Every year, insurers field questions from their customers about what their insurance policies cover and don’t cover. Some people are keen to understand these exclusions from the outset, when they’re researching the best policy for their individual situations. Others have these queries when they’re in the situation of having to make a claim. It’s better to understand what’s covered and not covered before you agree to a policy.

The Insurance Council of New Zealand Te Kāhui Inihua o Aotearoa has focused on common exclusions you should be aware of for house insurance, contents and personal vehicle insurance policies in the checklist below.

While this is a great guide, you should always check your policy wording and get in touch with your insurer if you have any questions.

 

House Insurance Policy Common Exclusions:

 

  • Homes that include business/commercial activities (other than what your policy states is acceptable). Your insurer may treat working
 from home for your regular office job differently from an activity that involves having people to your home for business or having equipment or stock there.
  • Costs that you incur in protecting your home from incurring a loss,
  • Damage by insects or vermin,
  • Wear and tear, corrosion, rust, rot, mildew or other gradual deterioration of your home,
  • Intentional damage caused by the occupants,
  • Damage during cleaning, repair, construction, restoration or structural renovations to your home. Separate or additional building works cover is often available to buy over and above your regular household cover. Talk to your insurer before undertaking renovations.
  • Land, other than defined under EQCover,
  • Parts of the home that are not included within the definition of Home,
  • Damage by pets (if the occupant of the home is not the owner of the home),
  • Fixed floor coverings outside of the room where damage has occurred,
  • Drug contamination,
  • Pre-existing damage,
  • Damage while the home is unoccupied (usually if over 60 days but check this with your provider),
  • If you are a landlord and do not comply with the landlord’s obligations stated within your policy. This will very likely include the need to carry out regular inspections as set out in your policy wording.
  • Consequential loss.

 

Contents Insurance Policy Common Exclusions

 

  • Homes that include business/commercial activities (other than what the policy states is acceptable). Your insurer may treat working from home for your regular office job differently from an activity that involves having people to your home for business or having equipment or stock there.
  • Damage caused by animals of any kind,
  • Damage by insects/vermin,
  • Wear and tear, depreciation, corrosion, rust, rot, mildew or gradual deterioration of your contents,
  • Damage during cleaning, repair, construction, restoration or structural renovations to your home. Separate or additional building works cover is often available to buy over and above your regular household cover. Talk to your insurer before undertaking renovations.
  • Damage by pets (if the occupant of the home is not the owner of the contents),
  • Intentional damage caused by the occupants,
  • Items of contents that are subject to maximum limits or reduced cover,
  • Artificial or transplanted body parts or aids permanently fitted to you,
  • Business assets or equipment, money or proceeds, or liability, (check what might be covered with your insurer when taking out your policy)
  • Computer software and electronic data that you don't have user licences for,
  • Contents permanently removed from the home, (check with your insurer about cover for property away from home such as that in your car when on a driving holiday or in student accommodation.)
  • Motor vehicles or any other mechanically propelled vehicle,
  • Consequential loss,
  • Pre-existing damage,
  • Damage to contents while the home is unoccupied (usually if over 60 days),
  • Indoor and outdoor plants (the container may be covered for breakage or theft).

 

Motor Insurance Policy Common Exclusions

 

  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs,
  • Modifying your vehicle (without telling your insurer) – performance or cosmetic changes,
  • Restricted drivers,
  • Unlicensed drivers, unsafe or unregistered vehicles,
  • Driving your car while it is overloaded or towing a weight that is more than it is capable or legally allowed to,
  • Driving your vehicle outside the conditions of your licence,
  • Damage to tyres (other than from an accident that also causes damage to the rest of your vehicle),
  • General wear and tear or gradual deterioration,
  • Legal confiscation or repossession of your car,
  • Mechanical breakdown unless it’s a mechanical breakdown policy which a normal motor insurance policy is not,
  • Deliberate acts resulting in vehicle / other property damage,
  • Incorrect fuel,
  • Pre-existing damage,
  • Consequential loss (such as depreciation/loss of value, loss of use),
  • Using your vehicle to carry paying passengers (taxi, Uber, ride sharing, etc),
  • Motor sports, street racing or reckless acts,
  • Hiring out your vehicle for others to use,
  • Driving a car that isn’t roadworthy.

 

Keen to understand more about your insurance policy exclusions? Read your latest insurance policy which will detail items that are included and not included in your insurance policy or call your insurer directly. Your insurer’s website will also have helpful information about common exclusions and frequently asked questions. We also have a range of Consumer Guides about specific insurance topics that you might find helpful.