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Changes to Home Insurance

By now you have probably seen the adverts with the talking letter boxes warning us about sweeping changes within the insurance industry in New Zealand. The aim of the campaign is to help inform and educate home owners about the move from unspecified open end replacement insurances, based on size (sqm), to maximum specified sum insurance policies, commonly known as Sum Insured policies.

In order for you to have protection in the event of your home being destroyed, it is important that you are aware of these changes and know exactly what the cost of rebuilding your home would be.

How should you calculate the Sum Insured?

There are a number of online calculators from most insurers which will assist in determining the cost of rebuilding your home; alternatively, some home owners are using professional services to determine rebuild costs.


The TV adverts direct you to visit which is brought to you by New Zealand’s largest general insurer, IAG New Zealand Limited (the owner of the State, NZI and Lantern Insurance brands and underwriter for most of the home insurance offered by ASB, BNZ and the Co-operative Bank, and many New Zealand insurance brokers) and by AMI. Your own insuracne company will also have details on their own website



Weathertightness is the term used to describe the resistance of a building to the weather.

 Since the mid 1990’s, a considerable number of houses have been built using methods that won’t withstand the weather conditions in New Zealand and therefore will not comply with the New Zealand Building Code. When it rains, some houses are leaking because of problems involving design and installation of materials. In some cases the materials themselves have been used inappropriately.

Once the water or moisture gets behind certain cladding types, and if there is no drainage and ventilation between the cladding and the framework, the water becomes trapped and the potential for fungal growth and rotting rapidly increases.

Watertight or not?

What you might also want to check out though, is a new player in the ‘Leaky House Syndrome” market…a company that  researches the issues in a building, repairs under the tenets of the Dept of Building and Housing’s ‘Weathertighness Division’s prescriptions and the….warranties the property, not just for the current owner but for all future owners.

Check them out at:


The Dunedin Council  just set aside $350 million for the next two years to look after Dunedin’s interests in support of the rebuild process in Christchurch.

Seems the department will endeavour to source materials and services in answer to the rebuild requirements, from Dunedin and Otago. They’re also working with the Port there to assist Christchurch with bringing  in heavy materials given the Lyttleton is, well, stuffed as a port and fighting with their insurers right now to establish cover limits for the rebuild.


First on Friday over 6,000 property owners were told their Orange Zone properties were now Green Zone and can be repaired or replaced on that land. In other words, the land is safe, it’s just down to whether replacement is the lesser cost  of the fix-rebuild options.


image courtesy of

And then it was Saturday and thousands turned out to the old Cashel Mall, which had seen over thirty major buildings either fall down or torn down….to see a marvellous new retail and café sector created mainly through the use of colourful shipping container buildings…. and no, not from the Bay of Plenty!

Check this video…


Did you see the research paper put to the Govt by the construction industry group at the weekend? Warning the Govt that unless they manufactured some jobs for their sector post Chch rebuild, there would be a collapse in the construction industry and that would be bad for the economy in 5-6 years.

Is that a subsidy call?  At the same time we ought to be talking about SMPs, Export Subsidies and tax incentives for companies who will double their workforce but face descending markets.

Construction challenges

Good grief. I was so disappointed to see the names of the intellligencia assocated with that one.  Sure, there will be massive pressure as a result of the rebuild of the Garden City…but like it or not, the Chinese, Phillippino and Southern Asian workforces are already being contracted to come in and assist with the rapid requirements that our internal economy or workforce just won’t cope with.

Likewise, the product producers here will struggle, so for a time, outside material will be needed….but neither the workforces nor materials will be required beyond rebuild…so sorry guys, subsidies are off.

Oh, and here’s what Gerry B said the other day about housing requirements in and around Christchurch:

Now that is a zipp-load of houses, more than in all of Dunedin…so you’d won’t be surprised to learn several home builders are on the cusp of bringing large numbers of overseas-sourced precut homes into the country. And why? Because in the last 20 years I seem to recall the greatest number of homes built in NZ in any one year was just over 30,000. So when you think that the rest of NZ is regarded as already being behind by over 50,000 homes, local suppliers just won’t keep up.