Compare house insurance prices well before move in day. In fact, once you have serious interest in a house (eg have requested a builders report), then you should consider getting a house insurance quote to see what sort of premium you’ll be required to pay.

To many people leave getting a quote too late, and are shocked when they see how much it costs to insure their home. This is especially important for people in higher risk areas such as Wellington and Christchurch!

The good news is it only takes about 15 minutes to compare house insurance prices. These days you don’t need to wait on the phone for hours and explain to pushy salesman your property. Simply head to any of the insurance brands listed below, enter the answers to 10 or so questions, and you get a home insurance estimate in no time.

Our handy home insurance guide below will help you compare house insurance in New Zealand. In our opinion, it is worth the time getting a few quotes, as prices car vary wildly.

Compare house insurance

As mentioned, getting a house insurance quote online these days doesn’t take long at all. Yes, you’ll need to know the answers to a handful of questions, but if you have just purchased a house you’ll likely know the answers to most of them off the top of your head anyway.

You’ll need to know how much to insure your home for, the address, floor area, year (or decade) it was built, cladding and roofing materials, and what extra features it has (such as a swimming pool or garden shed). Once you know these, then we recommend getting a quote from at least two of the brands mentioned below. Also consider heading to Google and looking for other brands that might be better for you – we just list the most well-known home insurance brands in New Zealand.

First quote: AMI House Insurance

Like State, AMI Insurance also offers car, contents, home, travel, and business insurance. AMI is owned by Insurance Australia Group (IAG) alongside State and NZI.

Second quote: State House Insurance

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Other house insurance brands to compare...

Tower House Insurance

Tower offers car, home, contents, and business insurance, amongst others. Tower is currently listed on the NZX.

AA House Insurance

AA Insurance is one of New Zealand's most trusted brands. They offer car, home, contents, landlord, motorcycle, and a range of business insurance. AA Insurance is majority owned by Vero Insurance, which is owned by Suncorp Australia.

Trademe House Insurance

Trademe Insurance offers car, home and contents insurance. The company is a partnership with Tower Insurance, so that's why you'll see 'Tower Insurance Limited' within their policy documents.

Important Note: Please review our transparency statement in the footer of every page on this website. No brands above are a recommendation from Compare.org.nz or an indication that a brand or product is the best in its category. We do not compare all house insurance brands available in New Zealand, so it is important for you to do thorough research and compare all options and find the right product for you, based on your own personal circumstances.

Three things to know...

Types of house Insurance

House insurance generally falls into a few main categories. You can insure your home against unforeseen, sudden, and accidental damage from all perils, or you can insure it for defined perils like theft, fire, flood, earthquakes, or storms. Different types of home insurance will provide you with different levels and standards of repairs.

There three main types of house insurance: total replacement, fixed sum insured, and indemnity polices.

  1. Fixed Sum Insured – This is without a doubt the most common type of cover for home insurance in the New Zealand market. Fixed sum insured is when you pick a dollar value (obviously based on some research and expert opinion), and that is the amount you and your insurance company agree upon that your house is valued at. If your home is destroyed, your insurance company will rebuild your house up to your sum insured figure.

  2. Indemnity (present day value) – As the name suggests, this policy type takes into account the present day value of your house at the time it was damaged. It takes into account the houses age and condition – which is roughly equivalent to the depreciated replacement cost of the house.

  3. Total replacement – Again, as the name suggests, this is a policy type that will rebuild or repair your house if destroyed up to the total number of square meters you insured it for, plus pay all professional fees and demolition costs.

If we put all the insurance jargon to one side for a moment, there are also other categories of home insurance worth looking at. There simply isn’t a “one size fits all” policy for home insurance.

  • Landlord Insurance
  • Home & Paying Guests (eg Airbnb insurance or
  • Bookabach insurance)
  • Holiday Home Insurance
  • Multi-unit Insurance
  • Home & Income Insurance
  • Commercial Property Insurance

If you feel you are starting to get into these more niche types of insurance, it might pay to consider talking to a broker. They’ll be able to point you in the right direction.

How do I compare house insurance?

As with all forms of insurance, it’s important not to just compare house insurance based on price alone. After all, your home is likely your most valued asset, so it is worth doing your research, and even paying a little bit extra in premiums each year to ensure you are adequately covered.

When I compare home insurance for my own property, these are the things I look at first:

Price: Without a doubt price influences purchases decisions, unless you have a full wallet you are eager to empty. Asking how much it costs to insurance a house is akin to asking how long is a piece of string. There are so many factors which influence the price of home insurance.

This includes (but isn’t limited too) address, date of build, size, building materials, security systems, value, excess, and extra features the house might have such as a pool.

Cover: When it comes to comparing house insurance cover, there are a number of things you should be asking yourself.

When you are ready to actually compare house insurance and get some quotes, the process isn’t that tedious at all. It was 10 years ago in the days of call-centres and branches, but these days you just need a laptop or a smartphone.

Simply load up two or three of your favourite home insurance brands and bang in the details on your property. You’ll get an instant quote online, and you can easily get multiple quotes within about ten to fifteen minutes.

How much cover should I buy?

You need to ask yourself “What would it take to rebuild?”. Most insurance companies in NZ require their customers to choose their own level of insurance when it comes to house insurance. This is called their ‘sum insured’, and it is generally the highest about an insurance brand will pay if a house is damaged beyond repair.

To avoid liability, insurance companies in NZ are normally pretty hesitant to suggest what your sum insured should be. If you set you sum insured too low you could be in a position where you are unable to rebuild your home after a disaster. But on the other hand, if you set your sum insured too high you’ll be paying too much for your insurance. It’s a bit of a balancing act! Whatever you do, do your best to set your sum insured accurately. Don’t try to game the system.

When you are getting a house insurance quote online, most brands will link you to a sum insured calculator of some sort. For your intial estimate start with this tool.

There are also a few other things to keep in mind. Because the sum insured amount needs to be accurate, and include things like the cost of demolishing and removing what remains of your old house, you can’t simply rely on:

  • What you think your house is worth
  • How much it cost you to build your house
  • What your houses ratable value is
  • How much your land is estimated to be worth
  • How much you paid for the house (even if you bought it yesterday)

There are also other ways to calculate your rebuild cost. You can also estimate the value of your house by employing the services of a valuer, quantity surveyor, builder, or architect. If your home is architecturally designed or a high spec build, then an expert will most likely give you a better estimate than any online calculator will.

To find an expert to estimate the rebuild cost for your property start with the websites below:

Please be aware that all the information on this page, including the paragraphs above on how to calculate your rebuild cost, is general information and not a recommendation. This page isn’t personalised financial advice and does not take into account your specific situation. You must always make your own decision on the rebuild cost/sum insured that is appropriate for your specific circumstances, using all information available to you.

What does house insurance cover?

In general house insurance covers your houses structure, not the removable assets you own within your house.

An easy way to think about house insurance is the walls, floors, roof, ceiling, and other fixtures that are permanently fixed and would need a professional tradie like a builder to move or alter.

To find out exactly what is covered by house insurance their is only one source of truth, and that is the policy document provided by the insurance brand you are intending to insure through.

What is not covered by house insurance?

The answer to this question depends on your policy wording, and nothing else. If you are already insured and want to find out what is covered by your house insurance policy, this is the document you need to look at.

If you are considering buying a house insurance policy, then the insurance brands website will no doubt have all their policy documents available for you to download and read as a PDF document.

In saying that, in general, house insurance does not cover most of the assets within your house which can be picked up and moved with ease. This is things like your couch, microwave, dining table, laptop, picture frames, bedding, clothing, laptops, cutlery, and gaming consoles. 

If we move to your home’s garage the same rules apply. Cars, boats, jet skis, bikes, and tools are generally covered by other types of insurance policies. These will be covered by a mix of contents insurance, car insurance, and boat insurance.

 

When should I compare house insurance?

The best time to compare house insurance prices is the moment you become serious about buying a house. This means before you purchase the house, not afterwards. This is important because buying a house is a big decision, and spending a small amount of time to get a house insurance quote will give you a better understanding of the actual ownership costs of that property. You don’t want to be in for a shock on settlement day and you find out insurance is going to be very expensive due to the location being in an area deemed high risk, or even worse, the property not being insurable at all.

As always, we at Compare.org.nz recommend you compare house insurance at least once per year. It doesn’t always mean you need to switch to the lowest price, but at least it gives you a chance to ensure you are getting good value for money, and that your home insurance records are up to date – even if you do choose to stay with your current insurance brand.

How can I get cheaper house insurance?

We struggle to recommend people look specifically for cheap house insurance. You home is no doubt worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, and insuring it with simply the cheapest policy you can find, with disregard for the level of cover you are receiving, is a recipe for disaster.

When you compare house insurance, compare primarily on value. Does the policy you are considering tick all the boxes you need. Have you asked the list of questions above and know that you are getting a good deal?

However, if you want to find cheaper house insurance here are a few basic tips.

Firstly, shop around. We constantly encourage New Zealanders to shop around at least two brands, preferably, three, when it comes to house insurance. Getting a house insurance quote online isn’t as tedious as it used to be, so spend some time getting quotes and comparing. You might find that two insurers with similar policies have a hundred dollar price difference (or more).

Secondly, once you have a quote have a play with the excess to see what difference a $500 excess makes compared to say a $2000 excess. You’ll find that increasing your excess will lower you monthly or annual premiums. Personally, I’ve set the excess on my home insurance high. This saves me money each year, but will mean I have to pay a few thousand if I were to ever make a claim. Considering I’ve never made a home insurance claim, and a good portion of New Zealand never will, I’m happy to hedge my bets and save money each year.

 

Which policy type do I need?

Choosing what policy type to buy when it comes to house insurance isn’t that complicated. Unlike car insurance where anyone can choose between comprehensive, third party, or third party fire and theft – there are only a few options for house insurance. The choice is pretty obvious what sort of insurance you need.

Owner-occupied: When most New Zealanders think of house insurance they are thinking about insuring their own home. If this is you, you can head along to any of the brands above and review their standard house insurance policy.

Landlord insurance: As the name suggests, this is insurance designed for landlords to insure properties which they own, but are renting to tenants. This often comes with extra coverage which is specific for this scenario, such as cover for damage tenants may cause to your property or damage related to meth contamination. If you are looking for landlord insurance there are a number of specialist insurance brands available, over and above the ones listed above. Initio Insurance is one that comes to mind.

 

Is there a house insurance calculator?

The best (and only) way to calculate how much you need to pay for house insurance is simply to get a quote. It only takes 5 minutes, so don’t be hesitant worrying it will be a tedious process.

Because it is so simple to get a house insurance quote these days, there is simply no need for a house insurance calculator or estimator tool. You can get a real figure in just as much time it would take to get a rough estimate!

Common house Insurance Questions

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We compare a wide range of products and brands across the insurance industry.

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