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Simplifying insurance

Insurance terminology can be confusing. We’re here to make things easier, with guides to help you navigate your insurance, understand key terms, and let you know what you can expect at claim time.

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What is agreed value?

Agreed value is the amount we have agreed to insure your vehicle for and is set at the beginning of each period of cover. The value shown on your policy schedule is what you will receive if your car is written off or stolen and does not change during this period of cover.

Your agreed value is automatically reviewed at each renewal and is based on a figure provided by Redbook, a company that specialises in vehicle valuations. They update us with new values on a monthly basis. They calculate valuations using current market conditions such as sales at auction, dealerships, manufacturers, newspapers and field research. It is important you check the value shown on your policy schedule and discuss it with us if you have any concerns.

Learn more about agreed value.

What is an excess?

When you make a claim, you pay a small part of the cost and we pay the rest.  Your part is called the excess. The cost of your excess depends on a number of factors.  You pay an excess only when you make a claim.

Learn more about excess.

One event, one excess’ is a benefit some insurance providers offer their customers, whereby policyholders only pay one excess when claiming on more than one policy if the claim is related to one event.

Learn more about 'one event, one excess'.

What is gradual damage?

Insurance policies are designed to cover you for sudden, accidental and unforeseen damage or loss. Gradual damage is deterioration that happens over time, like wear and tear. Because the damage isn’t sudden - even if the discovery is - it is generally not covered by insurance. 

Learn more about gradual damage.

Simplifying insurance with plain English policy documents

We’re working hard to earn the trust of New Zealanders. That means ensuring you can easily read and understand our insurance policies. In 2022 we achieved the WriteMark Plus Plain Language Standard. Learn more about our plain language insurance policies.

What does legal liability mean?

Being covered for the unexpected is one of the reasons we have insurance. But it isn’t just about protecting your property; it’s also about protecting yourself from those unforeseen costs if you accidently cause damage to someone else’s property. That’s where your insurance, and specifically your legal liability cover, comes in.

So, what is legal liability? Legal liability is the state of being legally responsible for something. In insurance, this usually means the responsibility to another person for negligence or failure to take proper care over something.

Learn more about legal liability.

What does 'new for old' mean?

New for old is a way of settling claims on your contents insurance. It means that if your items have been damaged, lost, or stolen we'll do our best to replace those items with a new one or the nearest available equivalent.

Learn more about new for old.

What is a premium?

A premium is the dollar amount that you pay for an insurance policy each year. There are many factors that can impact the amount of premium that insurers charge, such as what you’re insuring, the policy you’ve chosen and external costs, like levies and taxes set by the government.

Learn more about premiums.

Resources to help you make sense of your insurance

We know that insurance terminology isn’t always the simplest thing to understand. We’re here to make things easier, with guides to help you navigate your insurance, understand key terms, and let you know what you can expect at claim time. Learn more about insurance terminology on our Living Room Blog.

What is proof of ownership?

Proof of ownership can make things easier at claim time. For example, if your bicycle was stolen and you make a claim, proof of ownership is something that proves you have owned the item and helps us find the right replacement. This may include purchase receipts, valuations, instruction manuals, photos of the item, financial statements or records kept by shop you bought it from.

Learn more about proof of ownership.

What does total loss mean?

A total loss is when your property has been damaged to an extent that we don’t think it can be economically or safely repaired. If you experience a total loss, your insurance provider may replace the insured item(s) with the nearest equivalent item(s) or a cash settlement.

Learn more about total loss.

What is reinsurance?

Reinsurance is insurance for insurance companies. An insurance company takes out its own set of insurance policies in order to protect itself against the financial implications of one-off major events, like flooding, cyclones or earthquakes. Events like these can affect large numbers of customers and cost an insurance company billions of dollars in claims.

When this type of event occurs, the insurance provider can recover part or all of an insurance payout from their reinsurer. The additional financial cover helps make sure there are enough funds available to pay customers’ insurance claims and reduces the risk of an insurance company falling into financial difficulty as the result of a major event.

Learn more about reinsurance.