COVID-19 updates

We're still here for you

Last updated: Friday 29 May, 18:00

New Zealand has now moved into level 2 and things have slowly started returning to normal. Non-essential businesses and services have reopened and they are required to follow the COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. Thanks for your ongoing support during this time.

You can start your claim online and our team will be in touch with next steps. Processing timeframes for house, contents, and motor vehicle claims has largely returned to normal. We are experiencing some delays with motor vehicle parts, but for any customers impacted assessors are providing the option to wait for the part, or offer a faster alternative. 

Some of our employees are now working from our Auckland and Rotorua offices but many are still working from home. If you need to contact us the fastest way to do this is online. We'll continue to prioritise vulnerable customers, essential services which impact a customer's quality of life, and emergency work. If it is an urgent query and you need to phone us, please call 0800 379 372 during business hours.

If you are experiencing financial hardship, we've put together a range of options to support you depending on your circumstances. If you have a motor insurance policy with us, you would've seen that we'll pass back the benefit of any lower motor claims costs to customers and are committing to refunding a portion of premiums to all of our motor insurance customers. You can find more details in the FAQs below.

Keeping in touch

We're here to help. You can get in touch with us by using one of the options below:

  • 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.
  • 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 and manage your policy and upcoming renewals, download your Certificate of Insurance and policy wording, and make payments and submit claims on some policies. We will be offering this option to even more customers over the coming months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I'm experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 and I may not be able to pay my insurance premium. How can you help?

A: We have a dedicated team ready to help customers who are experiencing financial hardship resulting from COVID-19. Temporary payment deferrals are available for up to three months to eligible customers experiencing genuine hardship. The balance is spread across future instalments. Please get in touch for more information.

Q: I’d like to review my insurance policy to reduce the cost of my insurance. How can you help?

A: We have a dedicated team ready to help customers who are experiencing financial hardship resulting from COVID-19. If you don’t require a temporary payment deferral, our team can review your existing policies and make changes to reduce your day to day costs. Please get in touch to discuss your options. You can also check out How to save money on your insurance for more information.

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

A: Your house and contents policy cover is not impacted by COVID-19.

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

Q: I drove my car less because of lockdown, what are Tower doing to help?

A: As we all did our part by staying home and keeping it local during lockdown, we drove our cars less. This meant with fewer cars on the road we received less motor claims.

We believe the right thing to do is pass back the benefit of lower claims costs to customers and are committing to refunding a portion of premiums to all of our motor insurance customers. You can find more information here. We will also continue monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on claims and may make further refunds later in the year.

Q: Can I still make a claim on my motor insurance?

A: Yes, you can and your motor insurance cover isn’t impacted by COVID-19. Processing timeframes for motor vehicle claims has largely returned to normal after lockdown. We are experiencing some delays with motor vehicle parts, but for any customers impacted assessors are providing the option to wait for the part, or offer a faster alternative. Please see our Claims FAQs below for more information.

Q: How much will the refund be? Why can’t the refund be paid now?

A: There is still a lot of uncertainty and we need to understand what the actual claims costs are and calculate refunds which will take some time. We will be in touch with customers beforehand to let them know what to expect.

Q: How will the refund be paid?

A: We’re still working through this and once we have worked out how to get the refund to our customers, we will let them know.

Q: Am I covered for claims relating to the Coronavirus under my travel insurance?

A: No, your travel insurance doesn't 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.

If you have purchased a travel insurance policy with Tower, can no longer travel due to COVID-19, and you have not lodged a claim, we will refund you the money you paid for travel insurance. Please complete the contact us form to apply for a refund.

We are continually updating our Coronavirus Travel Alert and recommend you visit that page for more information before contacting us.

Q: Can I still buy travel insurance with Tower?

A: We are no longer issuing new travel insurance policies to customers in New Zealand and in the Pacific as a temporary measure due to the outbreak of COVID-19, associated health risks and travel restrictions.

We will closely monitor travel restrictions, so if you have a trip booked for a later date, please check back regularly.

Q: I'll not be able to perform the usual property inspections because of the physical 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 as remedial work is required, this restriction will remain in place until the work is completed. We understand that there will be a delay in getting the works completed due to COVID-19 so we ask that you keep in contact with your repairer to have the work completed as soon as practical once restriction are lifted.

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.

If you have moved stock to your house or are operating your own business from home, you'll need to speak to us about covering this separately as this is not covered under your general insurance policies. Call us on 0800 808 808 and choose the business insurance option to talk to us about your situation.

Q: How do I make a contents claim and what happens now under level 2?

A: If you need to make a new contents claim, it's easiest to submit this online. 

Under level 2, retailers can now re-open but they must enforce social distancing and increase their hygiene and sanitation procedures. If you've been waiting for items to arrive, retailers that offer contactless buying and delivery should now be able to deliver them to you.

It'll likely take longer than usual for the items to arrive as retailers will have a backlog of orders and couriers and delivery companies will be very busy. We really appreciate your patience as you wait for your items to arrive.

You also have the option for us to cash settle your claim. Please email us at claims@tower.co.nz if you would like to take up this option.

Q: How do I make a house claim and what happens now under level 2?

A: If you need to make a new house claim, it's easiest to submit this online. 

Most of the builders and suppliers we work with re-opened under level 3. Repair work is no longer limited to emergency or essential work. Assessments can now be done and they will follow the COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. Our claims team will be in touch to arrange next steps.

When you lodge a claim, our claims team will contact you to get your consent before any site visit or work on your property happens. For example, if you or someone in your bubble are vulnerable, you must let us know and we can postpone the work. Where possible, we'll complete a digital assessment remotely, to limit contact between people.

Q: Will there be any delays with house claims?

A: It may take longer than usual to get the work completed due to a backlog of repairs plus building supplies being less available. Our suppliers are required to follow the COVID-19 health and safety guidelines and this will also impact the time the work will take. For example, there is a limit to the number of people that can be on site at any given time. We thank you for your patience. We know it's not an easy time.

Q: How do I make a motor vehicle claim and what happens now under level 2?

A: If you need to make a new motor vehicle claim, it's easiest to submit this online. 

Once you've submitted your claim, an assessor will contact you to discuss what happens next. Where possible we will offer a digital assessment if you would prefer not to do this part of your claim at the repairer.  

Q: Will there be any delays with motor vehicle claims?

A: It may take longer than usual to get the work completed due to a backlog of repairs and delays for parts to arrive, especially from overseas. Our suppliers are required to follow the COVID-19 health and safety guidelines and this will also impact the time the work will take. For example, there is a limit to the number of people that can be on site at any given time. We thank you for your patience. We know it's not an easy time.

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

A: If you need an update on your claim, you can chat to us online, email claims@tower.co.nz, or call us on 0800 379 372.

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

A: NZ Post has been classified as an essential service, so you will still receive key mail items. When working with our teams they will be able to send you information by email as they do not have access to printers while working from home. If you need to update your contact details, open a 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, 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.

Q: How is Tower ensuring customer health and safety under level 2?

A: Health and safety are our top priorities. We'll keep focusing on helping customers with their claims while making sure our employees and suppliers stay safe and healthy.

We'll continue to prioritise vulnerable customers, essential services which impact a customer's quality of life, and emergency work. If this relates to you, please contact us so we can help you.

The suppliers we work with are required to follow the COVID-19 health and safety guidelines.