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Supporting our broker partners and customers through COVID-19

Talk to you broker about NZI support during COVID-19

NZI has been supporting New Zealand businesses for over 160 years and we’ll continue to do so during these challenging times as the COVID-19 pandemic impacts our communities. 

We understand this rapidly changing situation may be causing difficulties for many of our customers, and as a result, we’ve been making changes to ensure we address the specific needs of our customers at this challenging time. We encourage you to talk to your broker about options that may be available if your business is facing financial hardship.

We’ve also created a FAQ section below to help answer your questions.  

NZI is working closely with our broker partners, so for all other queries please contact your broker in the usual way.

Maintaining business continuity

We intend to maintain a high level of business continuity during this uncertain period, and we are confident that the plans we have implemented will ensure this. 

We know the importance of our role in keeping the economy moving, so we’re also doing all we can to ensure payments to customers and suppliers are flowing as quickly as possible. 

Frequently asked questions

My tenant is behind on their rent by 14 days and my policy requires me to visit the property to confirm they are still living there. What should I do? Will I be covered for loss of rent in this situation? 

Inspections should be completed by Thursday 11 June (i.e. 4 weeks after lifting Alert Level 3).  At all times follow government advice on how to safely interact with others based on the current alert level.  Changes to the rules for tenancy terminations came into effect on 25 March, 2020, under Schedule 5 of the Residential Tenancies Act. 

Our insurance policies have requirements to send notice when rent is in arrears and to apply to the Tenancy Tribunal for vacant possession due to non-payment of rent.  In light of the change in legislation:

·         A ‘Notice to Remedy’ should be sent when the rent is 45 days in arrears (previously 14 days), and

·         Application to the Tenancy Tribunal should be made when the rent is 60 days in arrears (previously 21 days). 

These changes will apply for a minimum of 3 months (i.e. until 25 June 2020), unless extended by the government.

For more information on the changes to tenancy terminations visit www.covid19.govt.nz.

My tenant is unable to pay their rent due to changes in their circumstances because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Does my policy cover for me for loss of rent in this situation?

No. Loss of rent only covers you following damage to the home, unless you have taken an optional benefit giving cover for non-payment of rent after termination of the tenancy (eviction of tenants).    The tenant might be entitled to financial support from the government during this time. They can visit www.covid19.govt.nz for more information.  This website also contains information on changes that have been made to tenancy terminations for the next three months.

My property is vacant, and I’m required to inspect it every 60 days, maintain the grounds and regularly clear mail. What should I do? Will I be covered if something happens? 

Inspections and other measures to make the property look lived-in should be completed by Thursday 11 June (i.e. 4 weeks after lifting Alert Level 3).  In the meantime, we will not decline cover or seek to decline a claim for failure to do an inspection or attend to maintenance which cannot be completed under the current circumstances.

Please contact us if you need to extend cover longer than this.

My property has been vacant for more than a month and I intended for it to be occupied again before the 60-day limit in the policy. However, the 60 days were up during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 period and we can’t occupy it again.  What should I do?  Will I be covered if something happens? 

We will automatically extend cover on the same terms without the restriction applying until Thursday 11 June (i.e. 4 weeks after lifting Alert Level 3). 

Please contact us if you need to extend cover longer than this.

My property is vacant. You previously endorsed my policy to remove the restriction (i.e. fire and natural disaster only) for the period I expected it to be vacant. That period ended during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 period and it will still be vacant.  What should I do?  Will I be covered if something happens? 

We will automatically extend cover on the same terms without the restriction applying until Thursday 11 June (i.e. 4 weeks after lifting Alert Level 3). 

Please contact us if you need to extend cover longer than this.

I’m required to inspect my holiday home every 60 days, maintain the grounds and regularly clear mail.  What should I do?  Will I be covered if something happens? 

Inspections and other measures to make the property look lived in should be completed by Thursday 11 June (i.e. 4 weeks after lifting Alert Level 3).  In the meantime, we will not decline cover or seek to decline a claim for failure to inspect and attend to maintenance which cannot be completed under the current circumstances.

Please contact us if you need to extend cover longer than this.

When I took out my policy there was a requirement that I complete repairs, and this was due to be done during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 period.  What should I do?  Will I be covered if something happens? 

The work to meet these requirements should be completed as soon as possible, but we understand that it might be difficult arranging for people to carry out repairs at this time.  Keep a record of any communication you have with contractors regarding the change in dates. 

Please contact us if you need to extend cover beyond the timeframe provided in your policy.

My policy is renewing soon, and I’m required to complete repairs, and this was due to be done during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 period.  What should I do?  Will I be covered if something happens? 

The work to meet these requirements should be completed as soon as possible, but we understand that it might be difficult arranging for people to carry out repairs at this time.  Keep a record of any communication you have with contractors regarding the change in dates.

Please contact us if you need to extend cover beyond the timeframe provided in your policy.

I’m required to complete inspections of my rental property every 90 days and one is due. What should I do? Will I be covered if something happens? 

Inspections should be completed by Thursday 11 June (i.e. 4 weeks after lifting Alert Level 3).  At all times follow government advice on how to safely interact with others based on the current alert level.  Keep a record of any communication you have with the tenant to do with the change in inspection date.  In the meantime, you’ll still be covered.

Please contact us if you need to extend cover longer than this.

My tenant has left suddenly to return home whilst they are still able to. Does my policy cover for me for loss of rent in this situation?

If your policy provides cover for tenants vacating without giving the required notice, you’ll be covered for up to a set number of weeks’ rent.

Does my policy cover me for alternative accommodation if I am not able to make it home before the deadline announced by the government?

No, alternative accommodation only covers you following damage to the home.

My policy is renewing soon, and I am required to provide a valuation for my home or high value items.  What should I do?  Will you still renew my policy?

Well renew your policy and move the requirement to provide valuations until the next renewal of the policy.  It’s important that you have the right amount of cover, so we’d recommend you get valuations before then though.  We can update your sum insured at any time, so once you have the valuation, please contact us to update your policy.

I’m buying a house and will be settling as planned but am unable to take possession on the agreed date.  Can I still arrange insurance?

Yes, as you will be settling on the sale, you should arrange insurance from this date.  You should contact your lawyer as well, as it’s likely that there’ll need to be amendments to the contract where the vendor will remain in the home after settlement because of COVID-19 restrictions.

I’m selling my house and the settlement date has changed.  What do I need to do to remain covered?

If the settlement date for your house has changed, please contact us so we can amend it to the revised date.

When I took out my policy there was a requirement that I install a monitored alarm, and this was due to be done during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 period. What should I do? Will I be covered if something happens? 

The work to meet these requirements should be completed as soon as possible, but we understand that there might be delays at this time.  Keep a record of any communication you have with contractors regarding the change in dates.

Please contact us if you need to extend cover beyond the timeframe provided in your policy.

I have contents in storage and the cover for my stored contents ended during the Level 4 period. Will I be covered if something happens? 

We will automatically extend cover until Thursday 11 June (i.e. 4 weeks after lifting Alert Level 3) to allow you to get you contents out of the storage facility when it is safe to do so. 

Please contact us if you need to extend cover longer than this.

My policy is renewing soon. I am required to install a monitored alarm, and this was due to be done during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 period. What should I do? Will I be covered if something happens? 

The work to meet these requirements should be completed as soon as possible, but we understand that there might be delays at this time.  Keep a record of any communication you have with contractors regarding the change in dates.

Please contact us if you need to extend cover beyond the timeframe provided in your policy.

I now do my office work from home rather than my normal place of work.  Am I still covered if something happens?

Home and Contents policies will continue to cover loss or damage to your home while it is used as a home office.  The liability section of your policy doesn’t cover you for any business activity. If you’re doing other work from home, like manufacturing or trades work, please contact us to discuss cover.

My employer has given me work equipment to use while I am working from home.  Does my contents policy cover this if something happens to it?

Your employer should have cover for their equipment.  The liability section of your contents policy may provide cover if you cause damage to the equipment and are legally liable for this by law.

My policy is renewing soon, and I am required to provide a valuation for my home or high value items.  What should I do?  Will you still renew my policy?

Well renew your policy and move the requirement to provide valuations until the next renewal of the policy.  It’s important that you have the right amount of cover, so we’d recommend you get valuations before then though.  We can update your sum insured at any time, so once you have the valuation, please contact us to update your policy.

I can’t renew my driver’s licence due to government restrictions. Am I still covered?

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) has temporarily extended all licences that expired after 01 January 2020.  NZTA will set expiry dates for driver licences as lockdown rules allow licences to be renewed.  Please keep any communication from NZTA regarding expiry dates and extensions for your licence. 

We will not decline cover or seek to decline a claim where the licence has been extended by the NZTA.  This applies only for vehicles for which the insured has held a licence that has expired in the designated period. If the insured does not hold or has not had an extension to their licence issued by the NZTA for the vehicle being driven, normal policy requirements regarding driving licences will be applied. 

NZTA has confirmed this extension does not apply to international driver licences. For any driver who holds an overseas driver licence and the 12-month period has ended they will need to convert their overseas licence to a New Zealand driver licence to continue driving.

For any driver whose international driver licence 12-month period has expired, the ‘unlicensed driver’ section of the relevant motor policy wording is to apply.

For full details of the NZTA approach to driver licencing under the COVID-19 pandemic click here.

I can’t get a survey for my boat due to the government restrictions. Will I still be able to renew my insurance? 

For existing business, we are happy to renew without a survey being completed under current circumstances.  A survey should be completed as soon as the government provides advice it is safe to do so. Keep a record of any communication you have with surveyors.