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Insuring your House

The way that insurers decide on the value of your house or home has changed.

What does the change mean for me?

How the change affects you depends on whether you wish to get new house insurance or need to renew your current house insurance.

Before the Christchurch earthquakes, the valuation was based on you and your insurer agreeing on the size of your house (in square metres) and then agreeing on how much insurance you needed.

After the 2010 Canterbury earthquake, overseas re-insurers changed the risk status for New Zealand. New Zealand insurers now need a more accurate amount of insurance for your insurance policy — an amount that you both agree on. This is called a ’reinstatement valuation’ and is the maximum the insurer will pay if a home needs to be rebuilt.

 

If you are insuring a house for the first time

If you own a house and wish to get it insured, you must decide on an insurance amount that covers the cost of re-building your house after a disaster. You and your insurer must agree on this amount and include it in your insurance policy.

 

If you wish to renew your house insurance

If you wish to renew your house insurance at any time, you must make sure the insurance amount on the policy will cover the cost of re-building your house after a disaster. You and your insurer must agree on your chosen amount of insurance and include it in your insurance policy.

 

If you get a notice to renew from your insurer

If you get a notice from your insurer to renew your house insurance, you must make sure that the insurance amount on the renewal notice covers the cost of re-building your house after a disaster. You must agree with your insurer on the amount of renewal insurance set out in your insurance policy.

 

What do I need to know to help me calculate the amount of insurance I need?

You must make sure that the amount of insurance cover will let you re-build your house (and any other structures on your property):
• on the same site
• using building materials available at that time
• to the current building code requirements.

You must assess the risk of needing to re-build your house— even if you are only renewing your insurance policy. Then decide on the final amount of insurance required. You must agree on it with your insurer and put it in your insurance policy.
Make sure you get a written undertaking from your insurers that they will continue to insure your home after it is re-built. 

 

How can a quantity surveyor help me to decide how much insurance I need?

Qualified and experienced quantity surveyors are specialists in determining building costs. Most quantity surveyors do commercial work, but some can help you decide on the cost to re-build your house. 

Find out what a quantity surveyor does — read about the role of a quantity surveyor 

List of NZIQS Registered Quantity Surveyors Available for Insurance work

 

How can NZIQS help you?

NZIQS is the national institute that represents quantity surveyors and the quantity surveying profession.
The NZIQS is recommending that you use a Registered Quantity Surveyor to determine the rebuild costs for your house. ‘Registered Quantity Surveyors are Members, Associates, Fellow or Life members of NZIQS who have completed ongoing training and their work is considered best practice. Look for these initials after their name:

• MNZIQS, Reg QS
• ANZIQS, Reg QS
• FNZIQS, Reg QS
• Life Member, Reg QS

Find a Registered Quantity Surveyor who does residential reinstatement insurance work

 

Our form for estimating the cost of re-building your house

NZIQS has worked with the Insurance Council to create a form that a Registered Quantity Surveyor will use to help estimate how much insurance you will need to re-build your house.