You need2know your Sum Insured


In 2013, the way NZI insures homes changed to Sum Insured.


This means that when you insure your home, or when your current home insurance policy renews, instead of being insured for an unspecified replacement cost you are insured for up to a maximum specified amount. This amount is called a Total Sum Insured.


It’s important that you ensure the Total Sum Insured amount on your Policy Schedule reflects the likely cost of rebuilding your home (together with any Special Features specified on the Policy Schedule) as accurately as possible.


This is because if your home suffered extensive damage and needed to be rebuilt, the maximum we’d pay are the respective Sum Insured amounts on your Policy Schedule, even if the actual cost of rebuilding turned out to be greater than that.

Why the change

A number of reinsurers – the companies who cover insurance companies against natural disasters and catastrophes – now require homes in New Zealand to be insured for a specified amount. This is because they want to know the maximum amount that insurers would have to pay to rebuild the homes they insure. 



 At renewal time, we’re asking all our customers to: 


  • check the Total Sum Insured amount on their Policy Schedule

  • estimate the likely cost of rebuilding their home, taking into consideration any Special Features, retaining walls and Recreational Features

  • contact their broker if their Sum Insured needs to change, or if cover or additional cover is needed for Recreational Features and retaining walls, or cover is needed for Special Features.


For more information, click here for your guide to understanding the changes to
home insurance.


Different ways to estimate the likely
cost of rebuilding your home 

  • Visit where you’ll find an easy-to-use calculator that can help you estimate the likely cost of rebuilding your home. You’ll also find resources and information on home insurance changes on the site that will help you understand changes to your home insurance and where to go for more support.

  • Commission an independent Valuation for Insurance Purposes from a registered valuer.

  • Hire a professional assessor or licensed builder.



It’s important to set your Total Sum Insured at an amount you’re comfortable with.


If you set your Total Sum Insured too low, you may have to rebuild to a lesser size or quality, or pay for some of the building cost yourself. If you set your Total Sum Insured too high, you may be paying too much premium.


If your home is to be rebuilt and the actual cost of rebuilding is less than your Sum Insured, then that actual cost is all that would be paid.


Where to get support 

If you’d like to adjust your Total Sum Insured, please contact your broker.


Want to estimate the likely cost of rebuilding your home? You can visit