What type of insurance do I need for a lifestyle block?

A common mistake people make when insuring their lifestyle block is taking out house insurance instead of a specific rural insurance that covers the risks that can come with country living.
Published in:   House

More and more Kiwis are getting tired of the rat race and are turning to the country for peace of mind. Newbies to the rural life might not be aware of the damage, risks and accidents they need to insure against.

Different insurance companies have their own definitions of what makes a property a lifestyle block and how big it can be before it is considered a farm. Tower Insurance defines a lifestyle block as a property that makes less than $10,000 gross income and is less than 10 hectares.

When shopping for insurance for your lifestyle block, think about your property and what you may need to insure. Things to consider are:

  • Do you graze animals?
  • Do you have outbuildings, stables or sheds other than the normal domestic garage?
  • Do you run a bed & breakfast out of your lifestyle block?
  • Do you have quad bikes or tractors?
  • Do you have pumps, motors and tanks that are not covered by normal house insurance that supply both your house and lifestyle block?

Not all rural insurance is created equal

A good rural policy may include a few key points, such as:


Liability cover is essential cover for your lifestyle block. The liability protection under normal house or contents insurance will not adequately cover you. This is because there are different risks associated with rural living. For example,

  • Accidents: if you leave a gate open and your livestock ends up on the road and that causes an accident, you will not be covered unless you have rural insurance.
  • Fire: if you cause a fire and are fined under the rural forest fires act you could be liable to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the damage and how long it takes firefighters to put out the blaze. Cover for fire is essential on rural properties, whether you live on a lifestyle block or a full scale farm.
  • Damage: if you are responsible for damage to your neighbour's property or livestock, you could have to pay for it.

You can discuss the level of liability cover you would need with your insurance company.

Equipment, infrastructure and vehicles

A good insurance policy for your new lifestyle may include cover your contents, livestock, vehicles and other equipment. These items are worth insuring:
  • Farm produce
  • Hay or straw
  • Lucerne
  • Wool
  • Electric Power/Telephone
  • Poles/Cables
  • Fencing
  • Livestock
  • Tractors
  • Tools
  • Farm Bikes
  • Farm Ute/Truck


It’s not just your house you need to insure. You need to make sure you have adequate cover for all of your outbuildings. A normal house insurance policy will not cover things like:

  • Hay barns
  • Woolsheds
  • Tool and implement sheds
  • Barns
  • Stables

Checklist: What to look for in rural insurance

  • Fire: Insure yourself against fire that originates on your property and passes onto and damages some one else's property.

  • General Liability: Make sure you are covered for damage you cause.

  • Outbuildings: Ensure your buildings, including sheds and hay barns, are covered.

  • Vehicles and equipment: Protect the things that help you enjoy and profit from your lifestyle block.

For a tailored rural insurance quote for your lifestyle block or full scale farm give Tower a call on 0800 379 372. 

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