Home, contents and other general insurance protect you against risks such as fire, damage, loss or theft. General insurance also includes vehicle, health and travel insurance.
Different companies provide different types of insurance so it’s a good idea to shop around to find a policy that best suits your particular needs and circumstances.
It’s also important to regularly review your insurance (for example every year). Insurance can be complex and our recent review of general insurance companies showed they sometimes make mistakes such as overcharging customers or not applying discounts.
We expect insurers to treat customers fairly, ensure their interests are properly considered and supply products that are fit for purpose.
If your insurer is a member of the Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) they are also required to adhere to the Fair Insurance Code which sets out their (and your) responsibilities when it comes to insurance agreements.
Insurance Conduct and Culture report: Fire and General Insurers Update
In July 2021, we published the results of a review of New Zealand’s home and contents and other general insurers. We asked them to take a good look at how they ran their businesses and if they were doing the right thing by their customers.
These case studies were published in July 2021 as part of the FMA’s Insurance Conduct and Culture: Fire and General Insurers Update. The case studies and photographs are fictitious and for illustrative purposes only but are based on real examples identified in the FMA’s review.
Fred and Sylvia were charged double premiumsFred and Sylvia, both in their 80s, arranged insurance with a broker many years ago and premiums were debited from their account every month. They didn’t pay too much attention as it all happened automatically. However, they later discovered that they had been double charged - paying their premiums twice a number of times due to a system fault. After complaining to their provider, they were eventually refunded around $800.
Luke and Sarah paid too much on their insurance policiesLuke and Sarah, both 36, stretched themselves financially to purchase their first home, a two-bedroom brick and tile unit in a suburb not too far from the city. Sarah arranged insurance for their new home with their bank and was told that if she purchased multiple policies (house, contents and motor vehicle) they would receive a multi-policy discount. The couple didn’t discover they were over-paying until several years later, when their insurer wrote to them to let them know the multi-policy discount had never been applied and they would be entitled to a refund.
Maddie and Kayleigh paid too much to insure their festival tickets
Best friends Maddie (20) and Kayleigh (22) were excited to attend a summer music festival. The tickets were quite a lot of money and Maddie bought them both on her credit card. She chose to get insurance in case anything came up that meant they couldn’t attend. Instead of paying a small percentage of the ticket price, she was charged a much higher flat fee due to IT problems with the website.
More information and helpful links
To find out more about insurance and how to make sure you are being treated fairly, check out the following sites:
From the Insurance and Financial Services Ombudsman