Health, life, house, contents, vehicle! With so many types of insurance out there it can be hard to know what is best for us depending on our circumstances and what we can afford. Having insurance is all about protecting ourselves and protecting our wealth. Essentially, buying an insurance policy means that you are protecting yourself when something goes wrong and having peace of mind that most of the costs may be covered.

How does it work?

We pay an amount of money, called a premium, to an insurance company. If an unexpected event occurs and it is covered in our policy, our insurer may repair or replace the items that are lost or damaged or may pay us a sum of money to cover the costs or pay for treatments.

From protecting our homes and vehicles, to making sure whānau are taken care of, insurance can play an important role in providing peace of mind and financial security. While it’s an extra cost in your finances as your whānau grows or you purchase a whare it is worth considering to look after your investment into housing, furniture and vehicles.

It is important to regularly review your insurance cover to ensure it remains appropriate for your whānau throughout each life stage. You also want to avoid paying “loyalty tax,” where long-term customers can end up paying higher premiums than new customers. Conducting an annual review or reassessing after major life changes can help identify areas where you might be over-insured or under-insured, allowing for adjustments that could reduce your premiums or allow for better cover.

Some employers have corporate or group discounts for health, life or income protection insurance, so check in with them to see if this is the case at your mahi and take advantage of any benefits available.

Let’s explore some of the key types of insurance available in Aotearoa.


Health Insurance:

In Aotearoa, the healthcare system is a mix of public and private services.  The public health system ensures that healthcare services are available to all residents. However, many New Zealanders use a combination of both public and private healthcare and having health insurance may help us receive faster access to medical treatment when we need it.  Some of the benefits of health insurance may include shorter wait times for specialists, elective surgeries, and access to private hospitals. Some types of health insurance can also help pay for things that the public system doesn’t fully cover, such as dental care, physiotherapy, and prescription medications. Different companies offer different types of health insurance, with some common options being surgical-only cover and comprehensive cover.

Life Insurance:

Life insurance is an important part of any financial plan, especially if you have dependents or whānau that rely on you. If the policyholder passes, life insurance may give a lump sum payment to their beneficiaries. This money can help cover expenses like mortgage payments, living costs, and education expenses. It provides financial support and peace of mind to loved ones during a difficult time, ensuring they have less worries about money.

Home and Contents Insurance:

Our whare is usually our biggest investment, so protecting it from unexpected events can be a good idea. Typically, when you take out a mortgage to purchase your whare, lenders will require you to have insurance as part of the mortgage agreement. Home insurance and contents insurance cover different aspects of your property and belongings, so it’s a good idea to have an understanding of the differences!

Home insurance generally covers damage to the house itself from events like fire, burglary, accidental damages or damages from natural disasters. Due to the rising number of weather events in New Zealand, insurance cover may be difficult to obtain for some properties. When choosing a provider to insure your whare, it pays to ensure that you disclose all relevant information to the insurer and make sure you understand your policy. This way, you’ll have peace of mind that you are covered if or when you need to make a claim.

Contents insurance protects the items inside your whare, such as furniture, appliances, and personal belongings and may provide funds to repair or replace these items.

Something to note – insurers may use the term Market Value or Replacement Value to determine the amount of compensation for insured property in case of damage or loss. Market value is the amount an item would sell for in its current, depreciated state, often used for vehicles and some personal property. Replacement value is the cost of replacing an item with a new one of similar kind and quality, without considering depreciation, commonly used for home and contents insurance.

Vehicle Insurance:

Whether it’s a car, motorbike, or boat, insurance for your waka is essential for protection against accidents, theft, and damage. In Aotearoa, third-party insurance generally will cover damage to other people’s vehicles or property which is a good idea if you have any sort of vehicle. However, comprehensive insurance provides broader coverage, including damage to your own vehicle, theft, and third-party liability. Given the high cost of vehicle repairs and the reliance we have on our vehicles, having good insurance can alleviate financial pressure if there is an accident. Some policies may have optional extras like a rental car benefit which will provide you with the use of a rental car if your vehicle is being repaired. This can be a good option if you are a single car whānau and rely heavily on your waka for getting to mahi and dropping the tamariki at school!

Hint: check whether your policy covers for window or glass repair, this is a common claim so it can be a good strategy to make sure you are covered for this.

Income Protection Insurance:

Income protection insurance helps replace part of your income if you can’t work due to illness or injury. It provides financial support during this time, helping you cover essential expenses like mortgage payments, bills, and living costs. This insurance gives peace of mind by ensuring that, even if you can’t work for a while, you can still maintain a level of financial stability and support your family.


Choosing the right type of insurance depends on your specific circumstances and what you can afford. Start by considering your needs and priorities: consider factors like your whānau situation, health, property, and financial obligations. For instance, if you have dependents, life insurance might be a priority. Assess your budget to determine how much you can comfortably spend on insurance premiums without straining your finances. Compare different policies and providers to find the best coverage options that fit your needs and budget. Consulting with an insurance broker can also help you make informed decisions and ensure you have the right protection in place for you and your whānau.


If you want more information on insurance and protecting your wealth, check out these great resources below:


Disclaimer: Consult an insurance broker or expert in the field before making any insurance decision. This article does not contain any advice just commentary on the different types of insurance.

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