COVID-19 updates

We're still here for you

Last updated: Monday 24 March, 1:15pm
 

We are currently experiencing call quality issues, with some calls dropping out, due to the current demand on networks nationwide. Remember, you can submit your claim and make payments online, and for any policy enquiries you can live chat us. You can also fill out a contact form, and one of our team will be in touch as soon as possible

 
In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we're taking responsible steps to play our part in stopping the spread and ensuring the safety of our teams and ongoing support for customers.

We have changed the way we operate to put in place physical distancing practices and enable as many of our teams as possible to work from home. This may mean longer wait times on the phones as we adjust to this new way of working.

We have increased the number of team members in our digital teams, so the fastest way to get a response to your enquiry is to use one of our digital channels.
 

If you have a claim, or need to make a new one.

If you need to make a new claim, it's easy to lodge this online. Once submitted, we'll be in touch with the next steps.

For claims that have already been submitted, you don't need to do anything. Our team will be in touch with your next steps. If you need an update on your claim, it's best to call us on 0800 379 372, but please be aware that wait times may be longer than normal. We apologise for the wait.
 

How to stay in touch with us

The fastest way to manage your insurance is online via our website. There are a number of different options available:

  • Complete a Contact Us form for customer service enquiries. We'll reply by email or call you back at a time that suits.
  • You can start a live chat if you need help with a service enquiry.
  • It's simple and easy to get a quote or buy a new policy, using our online Bundle Builder.
  • Use our new My Tower to view your policy, download your Certificate of Insurance, and make payments and claims on some policies. We will be offering this option to even more customers over the coming months.
     

What we're doing to keep our team safe

  • From 23 March our team will increasingly be working from home, but are still available during our usual business hours.
  • We've stepped up our cleaning protocols at our office locations.
  • All our meetings are now virtual meetings.
  • Our offices and branches across New Zealand and the Pacific are now closed to external visitors, including customers. Please use the one of the contact methods listed above to get in touch.
  • We've thoroughly reviewed our business continuity plans to ensure we're ready to help you.
     

How will this impact my insurance?

House, contents and motor cover is not impacted in any way, and still provides the reassurance that you're covered for the things that matter to you. Business cover is not generally impacted either, other than Business Interruption cover as set out below.

The exception to this is travel insurance. We are continually updating our Coronavirus Travel Alert and recommend you visit that page before contacting us.
 

Are you experiencing financial hardship?

We will do our part to support Tower customers through these times. We understand that many people are experiencing financial uncertainty, and some vulnerable members of our community are particularly impacted. We've put together a range of options to support our customers so if you need help please get in touch.

You can also check out How to save money on your insurance for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is my house, contents and motor insurance impacted in any way?

A: House, contents and motor cover is not impacted in any way, and still provides the reassurance that you are covered for the things that matter to you.

If you insure a rental property with us, please check out our section below on Landlord's obligations.
 

Q: Am I still covered under my car insurance if my WOF or registration has expired during the COVID-19 lockdown period?

A: If your WOF is due while we are in Alert Level 4 don’t worry – your car insurance will still be in place as long as there isn’t an existing safety issue that would mean you might not get a WOF – such as tyres needing to be replaced.

Also, if you have an accident while using your car for an essential reason during this time, you’ll also be covered as long as the cause of the accident isn’t related to a reason why your car might fail a WOF.

If you know your car has a defect that needs repair though it’s important not to drive it until the repairs are completed. For information on essential services check covid19.govt.nz for the latest information.

Q: Am I covered for claims relating to COVID-19 under my travel insurance?

A: No, your travel insurance does not cover any claims related to COVID-19. There is a general exclusion in your policy which excludes cover for any loss, damage, liability or claims related to a pandemic or epidemic. The general exclusion applies regardless of when you purchased or activated your travel insurance policy.

If you've already booked travel or are currently travelling, we recommend that you contact your travel agent, airline, hotel and tour providers to discuss potential options to change, delay or cancel your trip.

For more information about your travel insurance and COVID-19, read our Travel Alert.

Q: I'll not be able to perform the usual property inspections because of the social distancing protocols implemented by the NZ Government to limit the spread of COVID-19. Am I still covered?

A: As a landlord, you'll know that you have some obligations under your house policy. One of these requires the following during a tenancy:

  • Complete an internal and external inspection of your house at least once every three months.
  • Document in writing and include photographs, if possible, of any new damage or concerns.

If you or your property manager are not able to inspect your property because of the risk of infection, please defer that inspection until the earliest possible time when it's safe to do so based on the latest guidance from the NZ Government. Ideally you should make this inspection within three months of the missed inspection date.

In this situation:

  • Keep a copy of the communication and your records.
  • Note the date of the last property inspection with the findings of that inspection.
  • Note the due date of the next property inspection you’ve agreed with them.

In the event of a claim during or soon after this period, you'll need to send us a copy of these, along with the date agreed with the tenant for resuming the inspection.

Q: I have a policy restriction in place that excludes cover for damage to my property. It requires that I fix or amend my house/vehicle/contents in order for the restriction to be removed. I had arranged for work to be undertaken but have been advised that it has been put off as a result of COVID-19. Am I still covered?

A: Where you have a policy restriction in place that will be removed once remediation work has been undertaken and you are unable to have that work completed as a result of a lack of service providers (tradespeople etc.) due to COVID-19, we ask that you keep up communications to and from service providers you have engaged.

Where your property suffers a loss or damage, we ask that you:

  • Explain the circumstances of the loss or damage to us.
  • Share communications between yourself and service providers to show you have tried to arrange for the work to be complete.

Q: I’m working from home due to COVID-19. Am I still covered under my house and contents insurance if I’m now using my place for business use temporarily?

A: If you're an office worker, shifting to working from home won't affect your house and contents cover. Make sure your company has cover for any of their equipment you might take home to use.

Q: How do I make a claim?

A: If you need to make a new claim, it's easiest to submit this online. We'll be in touch with the next steps.


Q: How can I get in touch about a claim I have already submitted?

A: For claims that have already been submitted, you don't need to do anything. Our team will be in touch with your next steps. If you need an update on your claim, it's best to call us on 0800 379 372 but please be aware that we are experiencing high call volumes and wait times are longer than normal. We apologise for the wait.

Q: What if NZ Post stops delivering mail? How will I get communications from you?

A: We can send Tower communications to your email address instead of via post. Contact us via live chat or fill out a Contact Us form with your preferred details.

Q: Does Business Interruption insurance cover COVID-19 related losses?

A: No, the Business interruption cover does not cover COVID-19 related losses.

Why not?

This insurance cover is designed to look after your business assets; things like buildings, contents, stock and tools. There must be a loss to one of these things for you to be able to claim on Business Interruption cover.

Although COVID-19 may interrupt your business operations, this interruption will generally not be caused by physical loss or damage to your assets. This is because COVID-19 affects people, not assets. Accordingly, there is no loss to assets and therefore there would be no claim on your Business Interruption cover.