Bank Insurance Reviews

Most banks in New Zealand sell insurance too. This includes ASB, BNZ, ANZ, Kiwibank, Westpac, TSB, Heartland Bank, SBS Bank, and the Co-operative Bank. Nearly all these banks sell products from other insurance companies, such as IAG and Suncorp. Read our reviews below to untangle the mess that is insurance sold via banks.

 

IMPORTANT: “Untangle the mess” is an understatement. We’ve done our best to understand insurance sold via banks on this page, but as with all information on this website, you need to do your own research and visit the websites of the brands mentioned to get the most accurate and up to date information on that brand.

What's the Story behind Banks Selling Insurance?

Most banks in New Zealand now sell insurance these days, and although I’m sure it’s fine, I’m just not 100% into it. This is for two main reasons…

  1. The banks insurance products are typically underwritten by the large players in New Zealand: namely Australian giants IAG and Suncorp who hold about 80% of the market. These two giants also own State, AMI, NZI, Vero, and most of AA Insurance. So why not just cut out the middleman (and go direct).
  2. These more well known brands (State, AMI, Tower, AA Insurance etc) are all built to solely to sell insurance and do it well. They have online self-service portals available 24/7 – which most banks (if any) have for insurance. Banks main purpose is to take deposits, and provide loans. They’ve tacked insurance on the side because they have enormous customer databases, and it’s profitable to sell them as many additional products as possible.

When I got my first home loan pre-approved (via ASB) I was promptly marched into another office and got the hard-sell on all sorts of niche insurance products I didn’t want. Thinking back, it might have been life and income insurance.

Then when I actually got my home loan (via BNZ) I spent the majority of the meeting explaining to the customer service rep I don’t want their car, home or contents insurance. BNZ was the first and only company I’ve ever complained about because they stuffed up the loan documentation, which meant I ended up on a higher mortgage rate, because the guy was so focused on trying to upsell me insurance. Can you tell I still haven’t got over it!? 🙂

Some banks offer some insurance policies that we won’t cover here, such as credit card insurance. The Financial Markets Authority considers that this insurance is sometimes of little value to customers (source).

Who Are The Banks Underwritten by?

This is going to be confusing, and although we’ve tried to get this 100% right at the time of writing, we may have an error or two below. If you spot one, let us know via the link the the footer and we’ll get it updated!

ASB Insurance

ANZ Insurance

BNZ Insurance

I’m not sure what the deal is with Life insurance being underwritten by BNZ Life Insurance Limited. Their website states “BNZ arranges LifeCare as an agent for BNZ Life and receives commission on any policies it arranges”. So it sounds like two “different” companies legally, but essentially the same brand…?

Kiwibank Insurance

TSB Insurance

Westpac Insurance

Reviews of the Banks

Let’s go through the banks, one by one, and talk about what we like and don’t like. As always, this information isn’t written personally for you, so if you do want advice ask your broker, or someone at the bank. This is just my personal opinion based on my own likes and dislikes.

Westpac Insurance Review

Westpac was one of my first ever banks, and I was with them for about 10 years. During that time they were great, but they hit me with a fee I disagreed with so I moved all my banking to ASB.

I’ve never owned insurance that was purchase from Westpac, but can see that they offer house insurance, contents insurance, car insurance, travel insurance, life insurance, income protection, credit card protection, and business insurance. Within their car insurance section, you’ll also see they offer motorcycle insurance, caravan & trailer insurance, and boat insurance.

Surprisingly car, Westpac allow you to get an online quote for some of their products. Most banks don’t, so that’s a bonus. However I didn’t request any quotes from Westpac because they ask too much personal information up front which I’d rather not give (name, phone number, email address, password etc). I’d feel for comfortable giving that personal information after I have got a quote for my car that I’ve accepted and want to buy.

If you bank with Westpac, there is no harm in giving them a chance with your insurance as well. Keep in mind however that their general insurance is underwritten by IAG, so you could also just go to one of the IAG direct to consumer brands (AMI and State) and deal with them direct.

Visit the Westpac Insurance page

ASB Insurance Review

ASB is owned by Commonwealth Bank of Australia. I was with them for a number of years before I moved to BNZ, then finally ANZ. As mentioned else ware on this site ASB were quite pushy for me to buy insurance from them when getting pre-approved for a mortgage, but I insisted I can do it direct with a brand like Tower, AA Insurance, AMI, Initio, or State.

ASB offers home, contents, car, life, business, travel, and health insurance. You’ll see further up on this page that ASB sells these on behalf of other insurance brands such as IAG, AIA, and Cigna.

Are the policies any good? You’ll need to read the policy documents to make that judgement call, but since their car home and contents policies are underwritten by IAG, who own AMI and State, it’s probably safe to assume you’ll be in safe hands.

If you own a rental you’re looking to insure through ASB, take a look at ASB Landlord’s Protection. You can add it to your ASB Home Insurance policy.

ASB have their own 0800 number for insurance claims and information, so we assume this means that you’ll deal with ASB when you have any issues. This is unlike some other banks that sell insurance, where you call a different company to manage the policies and make claims (essentially the bank will sell you the policies, then not speak to you again about those policies. They collect the commission and move on).

Visit the ASB Insurance page

ANZ Insurance Review

I’m a fan of ANZ. I’ve got a range of mortgage accounts with them, and a number of daily banking / savings accounts. My insurance isn’t with them because a) I don’t ever see myself buying insurance from a bank, and b) I’m happily insured with Initio, Cove, and AA Insurance.

Based on my experience with ANZ with my daily banking and mortgages, I’d feel confident insuring my car, home, or contents with them. However, the reason I won’t is because they are still predominately selling a third parties product.

Once you buy insurance from ANZ you are palmed off to other companies to make claims. These ‘other companies’ depend on what insurance you purchased from ANZ:

  • Life Insurance: Call or email Cigna
  • Car/Home/Contents: Vero or Tower, depending on who has underwritten your policy.
  • Travel: Allianz
  • Business: Call or email Crombie Lockwood
  • Credit card repayment insurance: Call or email Cigna or AIA, depending on who has underwritten your policy.

For me, I’d much rather just for to Cigna, Vero, Tower, or AIA directly. But that’s just me, you might feel differently.

Visit the ANZ Insurance page

TSB Insurance Review

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Visit the TSB Insurance page

BNZ Insurance Review

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Visit the BNZ Insurance page

Heartland Bank Insurance Review

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Visit the Heartland Insurance page

SBS Bank Insurance Review

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Visit the SBS Insurance page

Co-operative Bank Insurance Review

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Visit the Co-operative Insurance page

Frequently Asked Questions

This is part of what makes buying insurance from a bank confusing! You buy the policy from the smiling customer service rep at the bank, but the policy is underwritten by someone in a tower in Auckland central, but that companies owned by another company in Auckland, then their parent company is in Sydney. WTF! 

Despite this, below are some contact numbers for the brands that deal with IAG.

  • AMI: 0800 100 200
  • AMI Business: 0800 782 838
  • ASB insurance claims: 0800 200 242
  • BNZ PremierCare Insurance enquiries: 0800 808 618
  • BNZ Insurance claims: 0800 248 888
  • BNZ BusinessFirst Insurance enquiries: 0800 007 751
  • Lumley Insurance: 09 300 9420
  • Lantern: 0800 800 800
  • NAC: 0800 501 508
  • NZI: Call your broker
  • State: 0800 80 24 24
  • Swann: 0800 807 926
  • The Co-operative Bank Asset Care: 0800 340 333
  • The Co-operative Bank Business Insurance: 0800 340 333
  • The Co-operative Bank claims: 0800 425 025
  • Westpac Insurance:  0800 809 378
  • Westpac Insurance claims: 0800 309 378

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