Frequently asked questions

Here are a few of our commonly asked questions

We have a range of options depending on your specific needs:

You can get a quote online or call us on 0800 379 372.

‘Agreed value’ is the value of your vehicle that we agreed with you at the time of insuring your vehicle, at any change in cover or at any renewal. Your agreed value will change each year at renewal. This amount is shown in your certificate of insurance. It means you can be certain about what you’ll get back if your vehicle is written off or stolen and not recovered.

‘Market value’ means the reasonable cost at which a vehicle of the same make, model, kilometres travelled, year and condition as your vehicle could have been purchased on the retail market immediately prior to the loss or damage, as assessed by a valuer approved by us.

If you are not sure if your car is insured for market value or agreed value then please refer to your certificate of insurance, or contact us on 0800 379 372.

RoadWise® is our 24-hour motor vehicle breakdown service and is an optional benefit that you can add to your policy for just $3.75 per month. The service applies to the insured vehicle - it doesn’t matter who’s driving when the breakdown happens.

RoadWise offers up to three free call outs a year, including breakdown assistance and towing.

See our RoadWise page for more information. If you have RoadWise and need assistance, please contact 0800 24 24 02. If you’re interested in adding RoadWise to your policy please call us on 0800 379 372.

Our Tower Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy covers damage to your windscreen and window glass automatically. If you select the Excess Buyout option, you won’t have to pay an excess on a claim, and your no claims bonus won’t be affected. Otherwise you will need to pay an excess for a claim on your windscreen.

If you have a Tower Tailored Motor Policy, damage to your windscreen and window glass is also covered automatically. You won’t have to pay an excess and your no claims bonus won’t be affected.

If you have any other motor policy with us, it’s important to check with us whether you will need to pay your excess for a windscreen or window glass claim.

In all our policies, damage to your lights, indicators, their covers and your side mirrors are covered but you will need to pay your excess and the claim will affect your no claims bonus.

It’s important that you let us know about your new vehicle as soon as possible so that we can ensure it has the correct cover. With the replacement vehicle benefit on some of our comprehensive policies, your new car will be automatically covered for a short period so that you have time to arrange insurance for it. To see if your policy has this benefit please check your policy, or call us on 0800 379 372 to arrange insurance on your new vehicle. You will need to tell us the year, make, model and registration number of the vehicle along with other driver details to make sure you are covered correctly. Our usual underwriting criteria applies.

They're only covered if you've told us about them and we've agreed to cover them. Any modifications that are covered are shown in the certificate of insurance.

If you modify your car (such as adding mag wheels) call us on 0800 379 372.

This depends on what options you selected when you took out the policy and the policy you have purchased. Your certificate of insurance will list any additional drivers on your policy, or say if you’ve excluded under 25 year olds.

If you are still not sure, or you’d like to arrange cover for them, call us on 0800 379 372 to see if you can add this to your policy.

Yes, you are still covered by your Tower policy, however an additional excess of $1,000 may apply to any claims. This excess is not applicable to drivers whose licences were issued in a country identified by the New Zealand Transport Authority as being eligible to apply for an exemption from a practical test. Please click here for more information.
If you lose your licence through demerit points or illegal activity you will need to let us know straight away as it will affect the insurance cover you hold. Call us on 0800 379 372 to discuss this further.
The Tower Claim4Car app can be downloaded from the iTunes store for iPhone or Google Play for android devices.
Claim4Car is our free smartphone app that walks you through the information you need to collect in the event of an accident. Tower car insurance customers can then submit an accident report and start their claim right from the app.

With Claim4Car you can preload details about your vehicle and any drivers, and in an accident, you can add the location, areas of damage to your car and relevant photos. You can then send the report to an email address of your choice, or straight to us to start your claim.
No. Apps are designed exclusively for use on smartphone and tablet devices.
You can make a claim by completing the online claim form, by telephone or by post. For more information please click here.
If you also have a house policy with us, we will appoint a tradesperson to secure your home until full repairs can take place. If there are further repairs that need to be made we will appoint an assessor or tradesperson who will see those repairs through to completion. If this has not been done and is required, please contact your claims handler who will arrange for this to take place. If your house insurance is with another insurer you will need to contact them about these repairs.
Yes. When you reported your burglary to the police you would have been given a police file number. You will need to supply this with your claim form. If you don’t have this you can call your local police station to obtain it. If you haven’t reported your burglary to the police you should do this now.
We recommend that you evaluate the security around your house and consider any reasonable enhancements. These could include:

  • Fitting deadlocks to all external doors
  • Fitting security catches or stays to windows
  • Installing an infra red alarm system.
If you choose not to upgrade the level of your security (if the above items are not already in place), it is possible that we could alter the terms on your policy for future burglaries.
The first people you are likely to meet after making a burglary claim is an assessor or an investigator, or both.

The assessor will generally report on the damage caused as a result of the 'break in' whereas the investigator, when required, will gather information to help establish how the loss came about, including establishing proof of ownership.

In some instances such as where large amounts of items have been stolen or where neighbours have witnessed suspicious activity in the neighbourhood, the investigator may take recorded or written statements from you and other witnesses. This can be used to help reconstruct what has happened and identify possible suspects.
You will need to complete a claim form or contact us on 0800 379 372 and provide proof of ownership for the stolen items. Once we have received this the person handling your claim will be in touch to work through your claim.
If you haven't already, you need to either complete a claim form online here, or download a form to complete, or contact us on 0800 379 372. You will also need to provide proof of ownership for the stolen items.

The best form of proof of ownership is the original purchase receipt, or if not retained, bank or credit card statements which record transactions relating to purchased goods. Most retailers today are able to retrieve details of previous purchases from their computer records, so where an original might have been lost, the retailer should be able to produce a copy of these for you.

Additionally, many items can be purchased online via websites, auction sites etc. In these instances you can provide a copy of the online purchase record, email receipt or auction confirmation in conjunction with a bank statement that includes the payment.

Any warranty or guarantee documents are another source for establishing ownership, as are pre-loss valuations for jewellery items and family heirlooms.

Photographs, operating manuals, empty boxes or containers are not considered reliable proof, nor are photocopies when original documents are reasonably available.
If a stolen item is eligible for replacement, we will arrange for it to be replaced through our network of preferred suppliers.

Due to our buying power with these providers we can access better rates for many of these items, which helps save you money and keeps your premiums down.

In instances where it is not possible to replace an item through our supplier network we will either make a payment to you equivalent to the replacement cost or replace it through an alternative source.

Furniture, furnishings, home appliances and clothing
Domestic furniture, furnishings and home appliances that were over ten years old at the time of loss are generally covered for present day value only. Clothing is also settled on its present day value. This means that if a home appliance over ten years old or an item of clothing is stolen, you would be paid the cost of replacing the item less an allowance for depreciation.

Computers and accessories
The replacement of computers and their accessories generally have different criteria to domestic furniture, furnishings and home appliances. Computers and their accessories are generally replaced if under five years old. If they are over five years old, we will pay you the present day value.

Jewellery
Jewellery is settled differently depending on the policy you have. The replacement of an item may be limited to a specified amount, or if you choose not to replace the piece, you will be paid the present day value up to a maximum of 50% of the items replacement value.
You can make a claim by completing the online claim form, by telephone or by post. For more information please click here.
The Tower Claim4Car app can be downloaded from the iTunes store for iPhone or Google Play for android devices.
Claim4Car is our free smartphone app that walks you through the information you need to collect in the event of an accident. Tower car insurance customers can then submit an accident report and start their claim right from the app.

With Claim4Car you can preload details about your vehicle and any drivers, and in an accident, you can add the location, areas of damage to your car and relevant photos. You can then send the report to an email address of your choice, or straight to us to start your claim.
No. Apps are designed exclusively for use on smartphone and tablet devices.
Very easy. Enter your customer and contents policy number in the 'sign on' area. Next choose and enter your unique 8 digit password. Now you can either commence entering details or print off a form which you can take with you around the house to list items before returning to the Tower Vault to record the information you have listed.
You will find the Tower Vault Forms clearly laid out by category (whiteware, browngoods etc) as well as location (house, bach etc). Click here for an example.
Provided you do not give your password to anyone else you are the only person who can access your site. Not even Tower employees can have access. IT IS THEREFORE IMPERATIVE THAT YOU REMEMBER YOUR PASSWORD. However, because no one can guarantee that computer hackers will not be able to access the site we recommend you do not put any information which will identify you such as name, address, or phone numbers into the Tower Vault.
No, for your security, we do not allow our staff to have access to your Vault file.
No, we do not allow storage of attachments or other files to avoid the risk of identification or storing illegal material on the site.
The Tower Vault is an exclusive benefit to Tower Contents Insurance Policy holders. If you are not a Tower customer or do not have a contents policy you can gain access to the Tower Vault by purchasing a contents policy from Tower.
Rather than having to list every single item in your collection individually, which will be very time consuming, you can make a single entry such as "CD collection" and use the notes field to list all the individual items in your collection. An example of this can be seen on the sample page.
Once you've entered all your assets you can get a hard copy by going to the "Display" page and selecting the Print option from the File menu on your browser. Note that if you wish to print all your entered items at once then you must select the "All Locations" and "All Categories" from the Location and Category selection boxes respectively (on the Display page).
Please note that you must have cookies enabled on your Web Browser to be able to use the TOWER Vault. This is normally the default setting after installation, however if cookies are not enabled you can turn them on as follows:

Microsoft Internet Explorer 5
  1. Click on View in the top line of your browser
  2. Click on Internet Options
  3. Click on the Advanced tab
  4. Scroll down the the Security section
  5. Under Cookies click on Always accept cookies
  6. Click on OK
Netscape 4.0 and above
  1. Click on Edit in the top line of your browser
  2. Click on Preferences
  3. Click on the word Advanced (not on the + sign)
  4. In the Cookies section click on Accept all cookies
  5. Click on OK
We encourage you to contact us and start your claim as soon as you become aware of the loss or damage, so that we can get the process underway. You can download or lodge your claim online or by calling us on 0800 379 372. If you have all relevant information ready when you call us it will make it easier to lodge your claim.
Once we receive your claim, we will be in touch for any further information we require. We will also provide you with the contact details of your claims handler. In some cases an assessor, investigator or other specialist may be asked to review your claim, which could include inspecting any damage (for example in the event of a car accident or house fire).

We will consider your claim based on the policy that you hold and discuss with you how we can settle. Depending on the policy (and your circumstances) we may pay out a cash settlement, arrange to repair or arrange to replace through our network of suppliers. Please do not authorise repairs, spend any money or replace anything yourself without talking to us about it first.

Once we have accepted your claim, we will arrange for the repair or replacement of your vehicle, or pay for the loss up to:

  • An amount equal to the reasonable cost of repairs as assessed by us
  • The market value of your vehicle or the sum insured shown in the certificate of insurance (whichever is less)
  • The agreed value if you have selected an agreed value cover.
You need to provide us information about what has exactly happened, the time and place, any other parties involved (and their contact information), and the damage or loss that has occurred as a result. You may also need to provide us proof of purchase for items stolen. We’ll let you know what specifics we need when you make your claim.
This depends on the excess option you selected. This is the amount you will need to pay towards your claim. You can find your excess on your most recent certificate of insurance.
You can contact our claims team on 0800 379 372 for an update on your claim. Please quote your claim number.
When something is covered for full replacement, it means it is covered to restore the item back to the same condition as when new. We will pay the reasonable costs which are practical or comparable to the original.

For contents, it can depend on your policy and the options you have selected, but generally replacement means repairing or replacing your goods to the same condition they would have been in when new, regardless of the cost – but up to any policy limits that may apply and the overall sum insured.

We recommend you read your policy document to understand exactly what your home and contents are covered for.
Insurance generally covers sudden and accidental damage or loss to your property that has been caused by factors outside of your control – for instance, an accidental fire that damages your kitchen, or your computer being stolen in a burglary.

Each insurance policy is different and can exclude cover for certain events or have limits on the amount of a claim, so it’s important that you read your policy document for the specifics of your cover.
You can make changes to your policies by calling us on 0800 379 372. Most changes can be made at any time, subject to our standard underwriting terms and conditions.
It's our way of rewarding customers who are claim free. Generally, if you are claim free for one year, you’ll receive our No Claims Bonus discount on your premiums for the following year.
A policy that pays out as present day value means it will repair or replace your goods to the same condition as new, with an allowance for their age when the loss occurred. For contents policies, this may be a percentage of depreciation for each year of its age. For a house, it is limited to the market value of the property less the value of the land as an unoccupied site.

Each policy differs, so we recommend you read your policy document to find out what items may be subject to present day value if you were to make a claim. If you're unsure, you can call us on 0800 379 372 to find out.
Your contents are covered for loss or damage caused by fire, collision or the overturning of the moving vehicle while you're moving house. If you're using professional movers, we recommend you talk to them about their insurance cover.

Your contents are covered as usual during the loading and unloading of the removal vehicle.
It depends on the type of alterations being made and the policy you have purchased. Minor cosmetic alternations may not need additional cover, but if you are making any structural changes (e.g. removing a wall) you may need to put your contents in storage, and arrange cover while they're there. We recommend you call us on 0800 379 372 to discuss your alteration project.
An excess is the amount of a claim that you pay. If you choose an excess refund option when you claim for something over the excess amount, then you may not need to pay any amount towards your claim (depending on if you have any additional excesses).

For example:  If you have an excess refund of $500, and the value of your loss is under $500, then you would not lodge a claim and cover the loss yourself. But, if the value of your loss is over $500, then you would lodge a claim and you will not have to pay an excess, unless an additional excess has been applied to your policy. 

Our excess refund option may not be available for all policy types. If you would like to discuss your excess options, please contact us on 0800 379 372.
There are a number of ways you can reduce the premium you pay. For minimal impact to your cover, we would recommend reviewing your excess options. The higher the excess you can afford to pay, the bigger the discount you could receive. If you have insurance products with different companies, consider moving them all to TOWER – if you have three or more car, house or contents policies with us you can receive up to 20% off your premiums. Please note the package discount excludes GST, government levies and some optional benefits. The discount varies depending on total number/type of insurance policies with TOWER.

You can also reduce your premium by taking extra steps to secure your goods. By having your car alarmed and in a garage, or an infra-red alarm installed in your home, you could be eligible for further discounts.
We offer a package discount if you have one or more car, house and contents policies with us. With three or more policies you could save up to 20% off your premiums. Please note the package discount excludes GST, government levies and some optional benefits. The discount varies depending on total number/type of insurance policies with Tower.

Generally, if you are claim free for one year, you’ll receive our No Claims Bonus discount on your premiums for the following year. If you’re claim free for another two years, we’ll increase your discount.

You can also save up to 10% on your premiums if you pay on an annual basis. Contact us on 0800 379 372 if you would like to discuss your options or change your payment frequency.
The natural disaster damage benefit under our home and contents policies provide cover above the limits of what you could be entitled to from EQC. 

We consider natural disasters to be earthquakes, natural landslips, volcanic eruption, hydrothermal activity and a tsunami. 

Your specific policy document will provide full details of the cover for such events, generally we provide cover for loss or damage caused by these events.
If you decide to cancel your policies, you can do so by calling our customer service team on 0800 379 372. Our customer service team will review your policy and be able to process your cancellation and advise of any refund or payment due.

We recommend not cancelling any insurance until you have alternative cover in place, and have compared any applicable policies to ensure you understand what you are covered for and any applicable exclusions.
We have a range of payment options that you can choose to suit your needs. These include paying monthly via direct debit, or quarterly, six-monthly or annually via credit card, internet banking, cheque or at a New Zealand Post office. If you want to pay your premium by internet banking then you'll need to select "Tower Insurance" as the bill payee.
Direct debit payments can be arranged for almost any day of the month, but it is dependent on which policy you have with us. Please call us on 0800 379 372 to see if you can change to your preferred date. If you have purchased your insurance through TSB bank, your monthly direct debit payment will come out on the 20th of each month.
If you miss your premium payment and wish to retain your insurance cover, it's important you make up the payment as soon as possible. We recommend calling us on 0800 379 372 and paying the missed payment over the phone via credit card, or you can pay via internet banking. If we don't hear from you, we'll try to debit two months of premium the following month.
There are a number of ways you can reduce the premium you pay. For minimal impact to your cover, we would recommend reviewing your excess options. The higher the excess you can afford to pay, the bigger the discount you could receive. If you have insurance products with different companies, consider moving them all to TOWER – if you have three or more car, house or contents policies with us you can receive up to 20% off your premiums. Please note the package discount excludes GST, government levies and some optional benefits. The discount varies depending on total number/type of insurance policies with TOWER.

You can also reduce your premium by taking extra steps to secure your goods. By having your car alarmed and in a garage, or an infra-red alarm installed in your home, you could be eligible for further discounts.
We offer a package discount if you have one or more car, house and contents policies with us. With three or more policies you could save up to 20% off your premiums. Please note the package discount excludes GST, government levies and some optional benefits. The discount varies depending on total number/type of insurance policies with Tower.

Generally, if you are claim free for one year, you’ll receive our No Claims Bonus discount on your premiums for the following year. If you’re claim free for another two years, we’ll increase your discount.

You can also save up to 10% on your premiums if you pay on an annual basis. Contact us on 0800 379 372 if you would like to discuss your options or change your payment frequency.
The Government EQC levy previously charged was insufficient to meet the day-to-day operating costs of the EQC, including the cost of reinsurance and the cost of rebuilding the Natural Disaster Fund, following the Canterbury earthquakes. For this reason the government increased the EQC levy from 1 February 2012.
We review our pricing regularly to ensure our premiums remain competitive and will allow us to continue to meet the needs of our customers in the future. We are always reluctant to increase premiums.

The majority of any increases relate to our raised reinsurance costs. The following aspects have also had an impact:

  • A rise in the number of significant weather events and natural disasters, such as the Christchurch earthquakes
  • The increase in building costs and associated construction costs, which directly affects how much it costs to repair or rebuild our customers' homes
  • Increased reinsurance costs.
Very easy. Enter your customer and contents policy number in the 'sign on' area. Next choose and enter your unique 8 digit password. Now you can either commence entering details or print off a form which you can take with you around the house to list items before returning to the Tower Vault to record the information you have listed.
You will find the Tower Vault Forms clearly laid out by category (whiteware, browngoods etc) as well as location (house, bach etc). Click here for an example.
Provided you do not give your password to anyone else you are the only person who can access your site. Not even Tower employees can have access. IT IS THEREFORE IMPERATIVE THAT YOU REMEMBER YOUR PASSWORD. However, because no one can guarantee that computer hackers will not be able to access the site we recommend you do not put any information which will identify you such as name, address, or phone numbers into the Tower Vault.
No, for your security, we do not allow our staff to have access to your Vault file.
No, we do not allow storage of attachments or other files to avoid the risk of identification or storing illegal material on the site.
The Tower Vault is an exclusive benefit to Tower Contents Insurance Policy holders. If you are not a Tower customer or do not have a contents policy you can gain access to the Tower Vault by purchasing a contents policy from Tower.
Rather than having to list every single item in your collection individually, which will be very time consuming, you can make a single entry such as "CD collection" and use the notes field to list all the individual items in your collection. An example of this can be seen on the sample page.
Once you've entered all your assets you can get a hard copy by going to the "Display" page and selecting the Print option from the File menu on your browser. Note that if you wish to print all your entered items at once then you must select the "All Locations" and "All Categories" from the Location and Category selection boxes respectively (on the Display page).
Please note that you must have cookies enabled on your Web Browser to be able to use the TOWER Vault. This is normally the default setting after installation, however if cookies are not enabled you can turn them on as follows:

Microsoft Internet Explorer 5
  1. Click on View in the top line of your browser
  2. Click on Internet Options
  3. Click on the Advanced tab
  4. Scroll down the the Security section
  5. Under Cookies click on Always accept cookies
  6. Click on OK
Netscape 4.0 and above
  1. Click on Edit in the top line of your browser
  2. Click on Preferences
  3. Click on the word Advanced (not on the + sign)
  4. In the Cookies section click on Accept all cookies
  5. Click on OK
Please contact us on 0800 379 372 to change your address details. It is important to keep this information current as it could affect your cover. If it is only your postal address that has changed, you can complete this form and we will update your details.
Your contents are covered for loss or damage caused by fire, collision or the overturning of the moving vehicle while you're moving house. If you're using professional movers, we recommend you talk to them about their insurance cover.

Your contents are covered as usual during the loading and unloading of the removal vehicle.
It’s important that you let us know about your new vehicle as soon as possible so that we can ensure it has the correct cover. With the replacement vehicle benefit on some of our comprehensive policies, your new car will be automatically covered for a short period so that you have time to arrange insurance for it. To see if your policy has this benefit please check your policy, or call us on 0800 379 372 to arrange insurance on your new vehicle. You will need to tell us the year, make, model and registration number of the vehicle along with other driver details to make sure you are covered correctly. Our usual underwriting criteria applies.
Loss of Farm Income cover is designed to maintain your farm income following a major loss to any farm building or machinery - such as the dairy shed, woolshed or fixed plant. It insures you for loss of profit and/or any additional increased costs to keep the farm operating at its normal level.
If you own any submersible pumps you must specify these on your farm insurance policy for them to be insured. You can cover your submersible pumps for:

  1. Material damage (sudden and unforseen accidental physical loss or damage) - this could include frost, storm, flood, earthquake, malicious damage, or theft.
  2. Asset breakdown - for fusion, mechanical, electronic or electrical breakdown.
If you take out transit cover, your farm assets are covered for sudden and unforeseen accidental physical loss or damage, whilst being carried in any motor vehicle or trailer within New Zealand.
Yes - unless specified on your policy, these items are not covered. We will pay the replacement value, up to the amount shown on the Certificate of Insurance, less any excess, for Dairy Company owned vats and refrigeration units on your farm.
Yes, as long as you specify it on your policy. We will pay the market value, up to the amount shown on the Certificate of Insurance, less any excess, for sudden and unforeseen accidental physical loss or damage caused by fire, lightning, spontaneous combustion or flood. For loss or damage by flood to these items in the open we will pay the market value up to $5,000 only.
As long as you specify your fencing on your policy, we will pay the present day value (up to the amount shown on Certificate of Insurance, less any excess) for sudden and unforeseen accidental physical loss or damage caused by fire, excluding hedges. Flood cover is limited to $5,000 only.
As long as you specify your animals on your livestock policy, we will pay the market value (up to $2,500, less any excess) for any one animal, for the death or slaughter on humane grounds of your stock as a result of fire, electrocution, lightning or smothering caused by panic as a result of fire or lightning.
If specified on your policy, we will pay the present day value (up to the amount shown on Certificate of Insurance, less any excess) for sudden and unforeseen accidental physical loss or damage - eg windstorm, snow damage, flood, or damage by a vehicle (ie tractor).
Yes, you can select a preferred level of excess for each section of your farm policy (some conditions may apply).
No. Should loss or damage occur to your farmhouse, contents or farm vehicles in the same event, only one excess will apply (the highest excess will apply).
You can choose to pay your premiums monthly, quarterly, six monthly or annually. Monthly payments can only be made via direct debit, but quarterly, six monthly and annual payments can also be made via cheque, credit card or cash (at NZ Post).
Yes, if you pay your premiums in one lump sum you can save money (compared with paying monthly).  Give us a call for a free, no obligation quote.
Yes. TOWER will honour your no-claims status with our equivalent if you transfer your policy from another company.
Yes, while the TOWER Tailored Rural Insurance policy has some standard cover, it also allows you to select from a range of Optional Special Benefits - allowing you to choose those that you require, and leave off those that you don’t.
Yes you can. Our packages discounts are applied at an item level, you may still qualify for a package discount if you have two or more items covered under your farm policy.

However, please note that package discounts do not apply to all policy sections. For more information, please discuss with one of our Rural Specialists.
Yes, we offer cover for lifestyle blocks. If you earn less than $10,000 gross income from the property, and the property is less than 10 hectares then this would be considered a lifestyle block.
Every person and household has different contents insurance needs. We recommend that you complete our contents calculator. It helps you with deciding on a value for all your stuff, and how much cover might be right for you.
Your contents are covered for loss or damage caused by fire, collision or the overturning of the moving vehicle while you're moving house. If you're using professional movers, we recommend you talk to them about their insurance cover.

Your contents are covered as usual during the loading and unloading of the removal vehicle.
Most insurance policies will have limits on certain items, such as jewellery and camera equipment. It is important to check the limits for all items covered by your policy and if you require extra cover then please call us on 0800 379 372 to arrange this.
An excess is the amount of a claim that you pay. If you choose an excess refund option when you claim for something over the excess amount, then you may not need to pay any amount towards your claim (depending on if you have any additional excesses).

For example:  If you have an excess refund of $500, and the value of your loss is under $500, then you would not lodge a claim and cover the loss yourself. But, if the value of your loss is over $500, then you would lodge a claim and you will not have to pay an excess, unless an additional excess has been applied to your policy. 

Our excess refund option may not be available for all policy types. If you would like to discuss your excess options, please contact us on 0800 379 372.
It depends on what policy you have and how long your house will be unoccupied for. Our latest Premium, Plus and Standard policies don't require you to tell us it's unoccupied, however you will be charged an additional excess on any claims. All our other policies require you tell us if your house is going to be unoccupied for more than 60 consecutive days. It's also important for us to know if the property is a holiday home. If you haven't told us and you have a loss occur, your claim may be declined. Call us on 0800 379 372 if you're unsure.
An excess is the amount of a claim that you pay. If you choose an excess refund option when you claim for something over the excess amount, then you may not need to pay any amount towards your claim (depending on if you have any additional excesses).

For example:  If you have an excess refund of $500, and the value of your loss is under $500, then you would not lodge a claim and cover the loss yourself. But, if the value of your loss is over $500, then you would lodge a claim and you will not have to pay an excess, unless an additional excess has been applied to your policy. 

Our excess refund option may not be available for all policy types. If you would like to discuss your excess options, please contact us on 0800 379 372.
It depends on the type of alterations being made and the policy you have purchased. Minor cosmetic alternations may not need additional cover, but if you are making any structural changes (e.g. removing a wall) you may need to put your contents in storage, and arrange cover while they're there. We recommend you call us on 0800 379 372 to discuss your alteration project.
It depends on what policy you have and how long your house will be unoccupied for. Our latest Premium, Plus and Standard policies don't require you to tell us it's unoccupied, however you will be charged an additional excess on any claims. All our other policies require you tell us if your house is going to be unoccupied for more than 60 consecutive days. It's also important for us to know if the property is a holiday home. If you haven't told us and you have a loss occur, your claim may be declined. Call us on 0800 379 372 if you're unsure.
If you decide to rent out your home that you've previously lived in yourself, you'll need to let us know. We have a landlord's insurance product that focuses more on the risks you face as a landlord and it's important that we have all of your details correct so your insurance cover can continue. To discuss your house insurance needs and learn more about our landlord house insurance policy, call us on 0800 379 372. 

In New Zealand, house insurance used to be based on 'full replacement' cover. Now most insurance companies, including Tower offer cover up to a capped maximum limit. This limit is called your 'sum insured' and needs to be based on the maximum cost of rebuilding your home.

It's your responsibility to specify what this amount should be.

These changes are a direct result of natural disasters around the world, including our own Canterbury earthquakes. Global reinsurers (those companies that offer insurance to insurance companies) will now generally only provide cover to New Zealand insurance companies if they know the costs they face. The sum insured cover gives them this certainty and means that house insurance here can remain as affordable as possible.
No. The market value or purchase price for a house is affected by many other factors like proximity to schools or the value of neighbouring homes and typically includes your land. Your sum insured figure for insurance purposes should only reflect the actual cost of rebuilding your home like-for-like.
Your sum insured value needs to include all costs that you would be charged if you needed to rebuild your home. This includes the demolition and site preparation costs, any architect and council fees, building materials and labour. You'll also need to account for the cost involved in building any special features such as decks and outbuildings, separate garages, period features (typically in villas or bungalows), retaining walls as well as gates, fences, driveways, paths, permanent swimming and spa pools.
Because there are many different factors that can affect the rebuild value of your home, we recommend engaging with an insurance rebuild valuation professional to calculate this value for your home or you can also use the Cordell calculator as a guide.
Cordell is a leading third party, independent provider of building and construction information. It provides this calculator as a tool to calculate the estimated rebuild cost of your home. The calculator is updated on a quarterly basis to ensure all information is current. It uses general building information and costs to give you an estimate based on the information you provide. The calculator takes into account the likely rebuild costs of your home and other structures, as well as an allowance for additional costs such as professional fees and demolition.
Only if the cost of rebuilding your home to the same size and standard is equal to or more than your sum insured figure. It is important to remember that if the rebuilding costs are lower than your sum insured, we will only pay these actual rebuild costs. If the rebuilding costs are more than your sum insured, the most we will pay is your specified sum insured. Should there be a shortfall, you will have to meet this cost yourself. The sum insured (less any applicable excess) is the maximum we would pay in the event of a loss.
Yes, retaining walls that are required to secure the building platform for your house are covered under your house insurance policy. Be sure to include the cost to rebuild these in the sum insured you provide to us. Limits may apply to retaining walls that are not essential for the building of your domestic building(s) - see your policy wording or renewal certificate of insurance for more details.
With Tower your sum insured is always GST inclusive.
Each year on your policy anniversary we will adjust your sum insured value by the Cordell House Price Index which is how inflation is measured in the building industry. We recommend you assess this figure each year to make sure it's right for you, as well as each time you make any renovations or other improvements.
Yes, although updating your sum insured once a year, at your policy renewal is likely to be sufficient. However, if you do complete any renovations, additions or work on your home throughout the year, you don't need to wait until your policy renewal to let us know. We'll use our standard underwriting rules to assess any increases or changes before agreeing to cover them.
The house(s) on your farm policy have changed to sum insured cover. Any other buildings covered under your farm policy will remain under their current cover.
House insurance premiums are generally increasing. However, the change to a default sum insured will not change your premium. Should you wish to change your default sum insured, there will be an associated premium adjustment.  Premiums only go up in relatively small increments.

Tower has introduced a $5,000 excess for driveways, fences, pools and paths that are damaged by natural disasters. This excess will apply instead of your usual voluntary excess. This $5,000 excess only applies to natural disasters - for all other events your normal policy excess will apply. If you do not have damage to a driveway, fence, pool, or path this excess will not apply.

This excess was introduced in an effort to keep premiums on the main dwelling affordable. These types of excesses are now common, as they are part of the industry changes following the Christchurch earthquakes and other global events.

A total loss is an event which causes your home to be damaged to an extent that it is more economically viable to rebuild than it is to repair.
The sum insured will need to cover the total rebuild cost of your house, taking into account demolition costs, professional fees and any compliance costs. These costs may change over time due to building inflation or any renovations or additions you undertake. We will be applying the building consumer price index adjustment to your sum insured at each renewal as well. We recommend you review your sum insured at least once a year on policy renewal and after any renovations.

The sum insured stated on your certificate of insurance is the maximum amount we would pay in the event of a claim. It is up to you to set it at a figure that will meet the cost of rebuilding your house, including demolition and site preparation costs, professional fees and any compliance costs in order to do so. The only exception to this is if the demand surge benefit applies.
At our sole discretion, we can increase your sum insured in the event of a natural disaster, flood or storm that causes sudden and accidental physical loss to your house and also directly causes building costs to increase due to a surge in demand for labour and materials.

If we determine this benefit applies, and your sum insured is not sufficient to meet the actual cost to repair or rebuild your house, we will pay up to a maximum of 10% above the sum insured noted on your certificate of insurance.
There are a number of people who can assist you with deciding on an appropriate sum insured to rebuild your home. These include property valuers, experienced builders or quantity surveyors. We also have some more information on the house insurance pages of our our website. This includes a link to a free online calculator that can help you work out the likely cost to rebuild your home.
Yes. In addition to covering your house, the sum insured you choose also needs to take into account any other features such as outbuildings, gates, fences, sealed driveways and paths, permanent swimming pools and spa pools etc.
Present Day Value house policies will also become sum insured policies from 31 May 2013 onwards for new business and for policies renewing from July 2013 onwards. The default sum insured on renewal will be calculated at a lower square metre rate ($1,600 per square metre) than Replacement policies ($2,000 per square metre), as we tend to make lower payments in the event of a total loss because the cover takes into account depreciation.

For a Present Day Value house policy going forward we will pay the lesser of:

(a) the market value of your house (excluding the market value of the land alone) at the time of loss or damage and 
(b) the sum insured.
Demolition costs are the costs to demolish your house and remove the debris before rebuilding can begin.

Site preparation costs are the costs to prepare the area required for the building of your house, such as safety fencing required at the site, scaffolding, any health and safety requirements (such as site safety boards), etc. Sometimes site preparation costs are included in quoted builders prices or quantity surveyor reports, but this is not always the case. Professional fees are the costs incurred by professionals in rebuilding your house, such as architects, engineers etc.

Compliance costs are those costs required to make sure the rebuild is compliant with the current building code.
If you share a driveway or fence with your neighbours, you'll need to decide what you'll each insure and for how much.

If you live somewhere governed by a body corporate, like an apartment complex, the body corporate may have one insurance policy covering all the units in the complex, and all the common property. This may already be insured on a sum insured basis - you can find out from your body corporate secretary or committee.

You'll need to understand the extent of your liability and allow for it in your sum insured.
Very easy. Enter your customer and contents policy number in the 'sign on' area. Next choose and enter your unique 8 digit password. Now you can either commence entering details or print off a form which you can take with you around the house to list items before returning to the Tower Vault to record the information you have listed.
You will find the Tower Vault Forms clearly laid out by category (whiteware, browngoods etc) as well as location (house, bach etc). Click here for an example.
Provided you do not give your password to anyone else you are the only person who can access your site. Not even Tower employees can have access. IT IS THEREFORE IMPERATIVE THAT YOU REMEMBER YOUR PASSWORD. However, because no one can guarantee that computer hackers will not be able to access the site we recommend you do not put any information which will identify you such as name, address, or phone numbers into the Tower Vault.
No, for your security, we do not allow our staff to have access to your Vault file.
No, we do not allow storage of attachments or other files to avoid the risk of identification or storing illegal material on the site.
The Tower Vault is an exclusive benefit to Tower Contents Insurance Policy holders. If you are not a Tower customer or do not have a contents policy you can gain access to the Tower Vault by purchasing a contents policy from Tower.
Rather than having to list every single item in your collection individually, which will be very time consuming, you can make a single entry such as "CD collection" and use the notes field to list all the individual items in your collection. An example of this can be seen on the sample page.
Once you've entered all your assets you can get a hard copy by going to the "Display" page and selecting the Print option from the File menu on your browser. Note that if you wish to print all your entered items at once then you must select the "All Locations" and "All Categories" from the Location and Category selection boxes respectively (on the Display page).
Please note that you must have cookies enabled on your Web Browser to be able to use the TOWER Vault. This is normally the default setting after installation, however if cookies are not enabled you can turn them on as follows:

Microsoft Internet Explorer 5
  1. Click on View in the top line of your browser
  2. Click on Internet Options
  3. Click on the Advanced tab
  4. Scroll down the the Security section
  5. Under Cookies click on Always accept cookies
  6. Click on OK
Netscape 4.0 and above
  1. Click on Edit in the top line of your browser
  2. Click on Preferences
  3. Click on the word Advanced (not on the + sign)
  4. In the Cookies section click on Accept all cookies
  5. Click on OK

The company's ordinary shares are listed on the NZSX and the ASX.

To learn more about how to invest in TOWER please talk to your sharebroker. If you’re not registered with a broker, you may wish to visit the NZX website at for a list of brokers.

For details of Australian sharebrokers, visit the ASX website

For all shareholder queries, please contact our share registrar, Computershare Investor Services Limited:

  • Phone within NZ: 0800 222 065 or +64 9 488 8777
  • Computershare Investor Services LimitedPhone within Australia: 1800 501 366 or +61 3 9415 4083
  • Email: enquiry@computershare.co.nz

Thank you for investing or considering investing in TOWER

On both the New Zealand and Australian stock exchanges it is TWR.

You can access details of your shareholding on Computershare's website

The company code is TWR. You'll need your shareholder number and FIN.

If you do not have your shareholder number or FIN, please contact Computershare on +64 9 488 8777 or email enquiry@computershare.co.nz

Write to Computershare with your full name, shareholder number, old address and new address. Please ensure this is signed by the shareholder/s, and post or fax to:

  Computershare Investor Services
  Private Bag 92119
  Auckland Mail Centre
  Auckland 1142 
  New Zealand Fax: +64 9 488 8787

Note: If you have TOWER policies or other products you need to advise the relevant TOWER Group company separately of your new address.

You cannot buy the insurance after your departure from New Zealand.
If you choose to extend your journey you can request for an extension of your policy by calling us +64 9 985 5000. However, any extension to a policy which has commenced will comprise a new policy which will be re-underwritten and have a new premium payable. The terms and conditions of this new policy may vary from your earlier policy.
To buy online, you need to pay by credit card. For any other mode of payment please call 0800 379 372. You will be offered a different policy to purchase.
You can cancel and get a full refund as provided within the seven days Free Look period.
Yes. However your claim will be settled when you return to New Zealand except for overseas medical claims. At our option we may settle urgent claims while you are overseas.
As soon as practical and you must keep all purchase receipts to support your claim. For emergency claims, you need to contact us immediately. Note that all medical claims must be approved by us before any treatment is obtained.
No you will not be able to purchase the insurance online. You can call us on 0800 379 372 to discuss other possible arrangements.
Yes, you can as long as you and your family (if on a family plan) members that wish to be covered are New Zealand permanent residents.
Yes. An excess of $100 is applicable for each travel claim event.
Sporting activities not covered include mountaineering, rock climbing, parachuting, hang or tow gliding, microlite flying, sky diving, paragliding or parasailing, pot holing, bungy jumping, rodeo activities, hunting, competing or racing (other than on foot), white water activities or underwater activities involving the use of artificial breathing apparatus unless an internationally recognised diving qualification is held and professional sporting activity or training, or extreme versions of any sport. For details of exclusions clauses, please refer "General Exclusions" which is in your policy document.
Please ring us on 0800 379 372 to talk to one of our insurance consultants.