What is general insurance?

What is fire and general insurance?

Insurance exists to protect your possessions against unforeseen loss or damage.

Fire and general insurance refers to insurance that covers your assets, not your life or health.

So if you're insuring your house, car or CD collection, the basic idea is that you pay an annual premium and your insurance company will pay to replace or repair whatever items are insured if lost or damaged.

What is an insurance policy?

An insurance policy is a legally binding contract that demands complete honesty from both parties. If you lie or mislead your insurance company, your policy can be declared void.

An insurance contract is not a guarantee of future payment, but rather a contract of indemnity by which an insurer will agree, in particular circumstances, to compensate the victim of a loss, in all or in part, by payment, repair or replacement.

An indemnity under an insurance contract is a generalised promise of protection against a specific type of insured event; whereas a guarantee is a contractual promise to answer for debt, default or other financial liability of another.

The purpose of an insurance contract is generally to return an insured person to a similar position they were in immediately prior to the event leading to an insurance claim.

Likewise, if your insurance company doesn't treat you fairly, you can take your case to court or to a dispute resolution service.

What do they mean by being no better or worse off from insurance?

The underlying principle of any insurance contract is to enable you to be in the same position you were in before a loss.

This is because if you were in a better position after an insurance claim there would be a financial incentive to make claims.

What do you they mean by utmost good faith?

An insurance policy is a contract of 'utmost good faith' between the insurer and the customer.

The insurer is required to observe and honour the contract conditions.

The customer is required to disclose to the insurer all material facts that could affect the risk. For example, a person who travels overseas and leaves their house empty needs to tell their insurer, as an empty house is more risky to insure than an occupied one.

If you don't tell your insurance company everything they need to know to assess your risk accurately may jeopardise your insurance cover.

If in doubt about what you need to declare, ask your insurance company.

A rule of thumb is that you should declare any information that would make the insurer alter the terms and conditions of your contract.

What's the cost of Insurance?

The cost of insurance (ie. premiums) is determined by the claims experience of the company.

This is why young drivers, who have a high claims rate, may pay higher car insurance premiums than drivers over 25 years of age.

This is also why female drivers, who are considered a lower risk, may get cheaper car insurance than males.

If claim numbers and the cost of claims increases, then so may insurance premiums.

People who try to recover their excess or premiums by overstating the value of items on an insurance claim increase the cost of insurance for everyone.

HOW DOES INSURANCE WORK IN NEW ZEALAND?

Is fire and general insurance the same in New Zealand as elsewhere in the world?

Yes in New Zealand it works very much the same as it does elsewhere in the world.

Essentially insurance helps people manage the risk of what might happen to what is precious or important to us if things go wrong.

Insurance is fundamental to our daily lives, imagine if there was no insurance cover for our homes, belongings, businesses, vehicles, boats or for travel.

A key principle of insurance is to spread risk across as many people as possible. So the full benefits of insurance are realised when it remains affordable.

How does insurance contribute to the New Zealand economy?

With insurance companies on the risk, insurance contributes to a more efficient economy. It releases funds for businesses to grow and employ people, and allows homeowners to secure mortgages. I t relieves the need for government to either take on more debt or raise revenue to avoid it.

Insurance reduces business uncertainty and enables higher risk and reward activities to support growth. Our members insure over $550 billion of New Zealanders' assets, and employ over 6,400 New Zealanders, and so play a fundamental role underpinning the entire economy.

The Canterbury earthquakes is a good example of the true value of insurance.

Canterbury ranks as one of the most complex and costly insurance events in the history.

Insurance will meet about $30 billion of total costs. These are funds that government, businesses and households would in one way or another have had to provision for or borrow to meet the costs.

What companies offer fire and general insurance?

The following companies are members of the Insurance Council of New Zealand.

Insurance Council New Zealand members

Insurance Council New Zealand members

AA Insurance

ADDRESS:Level 11 AA Centre 99 Albert Street Auckland
PHONE:0800 500213
FAX:09 966 8425
EMAIL:
WEBSITE:http://www.aainsurance.co.nz

ACE Insurance Ltd

ADDRESS:CU 1-3 Shed 24 Princes Wharf Auckland
PHONE:09 377 1459
FAX:09 303 1909
EMAIL:
WEBSITE:http://www.acegroup.com/nz-en/

Combined Insurance

ADDRESS:Private Bag COMBINED Remuera Auckland 1541
PHONE:09 5236 290
FAX:09 5236 299
EMAIL:
WEBSITE:http://www.combinedinsurance.co.nz/

ACS (NZ) Ltd

ADDRESS:Level 6 396 Queen Street Auckland PO Box 7042 Wellesley Street
PHONE:09 300 3132
FAX:09 366 6107
EMAIL:
WEBSITE:http://www.acsclaimsservices.co.nz/

AIG Insurance New Zealand Limited

ADDRESS:Level 19 AIG Building 41Shortland Street Auckland 1010
PHONE:09 355 3100
FAX:09 355 3135
EMAIL:
WEBSITE:http://www.aig.co.nz/

NZ branch of Allianz Australia Insurance Limited

ADDRESS:Level 1 Grant Thornton House 152 Fanshawe Street Auckland PO Box 794 Auckland
PHONE:
FAX:
EMAIL:
WEBSITE:http://www.allianz.co.nz/

Berkley Re Australia

ADDRESS:Level 21 Australia Square 264 George Street Sydney NSW 2000 Australia
PHONE:+ 61 2 9274 3046
FAX:+ 61 2 9274 3008
EMAIL:
WEBSITE:http://www.wrberkley.com/our_business/Australia

CBL Insurance

ADDRESS:Level 8, Tower One 51 Shortland Street Auckland 1010
PHONE:09 985 5112
FAX:09 300 504
EMAIL:
WEBSITE:http://www.cblinsurance.com/

Chubb Insurance Company

ADDRESS:Level 29 Citigroup Centre 2 Park St Sydney Australia
PHONE:61 2 92730133
FAX:
EMAIL:
WEBSITE:http://www.chubb.com/international/newzealand/

Cigna New Zealand

ADDRESS:Level 25 Majestic Centre 100 Willis Street Wellington P O Box 24 031 Wellington 6142
PHONE:04 470 9185
FAX:04 470 9151
EMAIL:
WEBSITE:http://www.cigna.co.nz/

Civic Assurance

ADDRESS:114 Lambton Quay Wellington P O Box 5521 Wellington 6145
PHONE:04 978 1250
FAX:04 978 1260
EMAIL:
WEBSITE:http://www.civicassurance.co.nz/

Co-op Insurance NZ

ADDRESS:Level 3 25 Teed St Newmarket Auckland P O Box 9582 Newmarket Auckland
PHONE:09 520 0451
FAX:
EMAIL:
WEBSITE:http://www.coopinsurancenz.co.nz/

FMG

ADDRESS:PO Box 521 Wellington
PHONE:0800 366 466
FAX:0800 366 455
EMAIL:
WEBSITE:https://www.fmg.co.nz/

General Re

ADDRESS:Level 17 ANZ Centre 23-29 Albert Street CPO Box 3013 Auckland
PHONE:09 309 3638
FAX:09 309 3362
EMAIL:
WEBSITE:http://www.genre.com/

Hallmark

ADDRESS:Level 12 NAB House 255 George Street Sydney NSW 2000 AUSTRALIA
PHONE:+ 61 2 8249 7062
FAX:+ 61 2 8249 3881
EMAIL:
WEBSITE:http://

Hollard

ADDRESS:Locked Bag 2010, St Leonards, NSW 1590
PHONE:+ 61 2 9253 6600
FAX:+ 61 2 9253 6699
EMAIL:
WEBSITE:http://www.hollard.com.au/

IAG Insurance

ADDRESS:NZI Centre 1 Fanshawe St Auckland
PHONE:09 969 6000
FAX:09 969 7280
EMAIL:
WEBSITE:http://www.iag.co.nz/Pages/default.aspx

State

ADDRESS:Level 2 NZI Centre 1 Fanshawe St Auckland
PHONE:0800 80 24 24
FAX:
EMAIL:
WEBSITE:http://www.state.co.nz/personal-insurance/pages/home.aspx

AMI Insurance

ADDRESS:Level 6 AMI Building 29-35 Latimer Square Christchurch P O Box 2116 Christchurch
PHONE:03 371 9000
FAX:
EMAIL:
WEBSITE:http://www.ami.co.nz/

Lumley General Insurance (N.Z.) Limited

ADDRESS:Lumley Centre 88 Shortland Street Auckland PO Box 2426 Auckland
PHONE:09 308 1100
FAX:09 308 1114
EMAIL:
WEBSITE:http://www.lumley.co.nz/home

NZI

ADDRESS:NZI Centre 1 Fanshawe St Auckland
PHONE:0800 694 222
FAX:09 969 7280
EMAIL:
WEBSITE:http://nzi.co.nz/pages/home.aspx

Lloyd's

ADDRESS:c/- Level 3 101 Molesworth Street Wellington PO Box 5639 Wellington 6145
PHONE:04 472 7582
FAX:
EMAIL:
WEBSITE:http://www.lloyds.com/

Medical Assurance Society Limited

ADDRESS:19-21 Broderick Road Johnsonville Wellington PO Box 13-042 Wellington
PHONE:0800 800 627
FAX:04 477 010
EMAIL:
WEBSITE:https://www.mas.co.nz/Home

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co Ltd

ADDRESS:Vero Centre 48 Shortland Street Auckland Private Bag 92120 Auckland
PHONE:09 357 2394
FAX:09 363 2328
EMAIL:
WEBSITE:http://www.ms-ins.com/english/

Munichre New Zealand Service Ltd

ADDRESS:Level 30 ANZ Centre 23-29 Albert Street PO Box 4202 Auckland
PHONE:09 303 4628
FAX:09 379 5019
EMAIL:
WEBSITE:http://www.munichre.com/en/homepage/index.html

Provident Insurance Corporation Ltd

ADDRESS:Crown Centre, Ground Floor, 67 – 73 Hurstmere Road, Takapuna, Auckland 0622 PO Box 33 743, Takapuna, Auckland 0740
PHONE:09 484 0078
FAX:09 486 8071
EMAIL:
WEBSITE:http://www.providentinsurance.co.nz/

QBE Insurance (International) Ltd

ADDRESS:Level 6, AMP Centre 29 Customs Street West Auckland
PHONE:09 366 9920
FAX:09 366 9930
EMAIL:
WEBSITE:http://www.qbe.co.nz/Insurance.html

Southern Response

ADDRESS:6 Show Place Addington Christchurch PO Box 9052 Christchurch
PHONE:03 371 0900
FAX:03 371 7859
EMAIL:
WEBSITE:http://southernresponse.co.nz/

Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd

ADDRESS:Level 29 363 George Street Sydney GPO Box 7040 Sydney NSW 2001 AUSTRALIA
PHONE:+ 61 2 8295 9500
FAX:+ 61 2 8295 9600
EMAIL:
WEBSITE:http://www.swissre.com/

Tokio Marine Nichido

ADDRESS:Level 27, PWC Tower 188 Quay Street, Auckland 1010
PHONE:09 363 2898
FAX:09 363 2727
EMAIL:
WEBSITE:http://www.tokiomarine.com.au/

Tower Insurance Limited

ADDRESS:22 Fanshawe Street Auckland PO Box 90 347 Auckland
PHONE:09 369 2000
FAX:04 489 3817
EMAIL:
WEBSITE:http://www.tower.co.nz/

Vero Insurance New Zealand Ltd

ADDRESS:Vero Centre 48 Shortland Street Auckland Private Bag 92 120 Auckland
PHONE:09 363 2222
FAX:09 363 2350
EMAIL:
WEBSITE:https://www.vero.co.nz/

Youi New Zealand

ADDRESS:
PHONE:0800 00 9684
FAX:
EMAIL:
WEBSITE:https://www.youi.co.nz/

Zurich New Zealand

ADDRESS:Level 16 21 Queen Street Auckland P O Box 497 Auckland 1140
PHONE:09 984 3800 or 0508 ZURICH
FAX:09 968 6061
EMAIL:
WEBSITE:http://www.zurich.co.nz/content/zurich_nz.html