Calculating your house sum insured

Choosing the right sum insured for your house is very important. We aim to make it easy to understand and calculate.

Cordell Sum Sure calculator

Calculate your house sum insured quickly and easily with the Cordell Sum Sure calculator.

What is house sum insured?

Most house insurance policies in New Zealand are sum insured policies. The sum insured is the maximum amount your insurance company will pay to rebuild your house in the event of a total loss, so it's important you have sufficient cover.

This can be tricky to get right and we want to help you with this process so you don’t underinsure your home.

Sum insured is:

  • the total amount it would cost to rebuild your home including demolition costs, debris removal, professional fees and council fees
  • an amount you need to choose. We can help you understand by cutting through the insurance jargon but we don't calculate it for you.

Sum insured is not:

  • the market value of your house or property
  • how much you paid for your home
  • inclusive of detached units like garages, granny flats and pool houses unless you tell us about them and we've included them in your policy
  • how much the land is worth.

The Cordell Sum Sure calculator 

The Cordell Sum Sure calculator is an easy way to estimate your sum insured amount – just enter your address and check the property details listed. The calculator will do the work for you and give you a figure to start with. The calculator includes professional fees, demolition, removal of debris and GST.

The calculator shows you information that is on the public record about your house, but you know your house better than anyone so if you know it’s not correct, you can adjust the information for a more accurate estimate. Or if you’re not comfortable, you can dig a bit deeper and come up with an amount that feels right to you.

Use the Cordell calculator  Get a house quote

How your sum insured is calculated

Here are a few things to consider when calculating your sum insured:

  • the floor area of house of the house
  • land slope and access
  • construction materials
  • quality level of the materials, the finish, fixtures and fittings
  • number of levels in the house
  • design style – villa, bungalow, contemporary, one-off architectural
  • detached garages or carports
  • recreational features like swimming pools, solar panels, outbuildings and retaining walls
  • demolition costs
  • council fees
  • professional fees – architecture, quantity surveyor, engineer
  • labour costs.
Remember to include any additional or recreational features that would increase the rebuild cost of your home. These include swimming pools, solar panels, outbuildings and retaining walls.

Get help from a professional

There are instances where it might make sense to get help from a professional, for example if you have a house that is high value, unusual or does not show up in the Cordell Sum Sure Calculator. You might just feel more comfortable with a professional’s opinion and that’s perfectly fine. You can hire the services of a: 
  • Registered valuer
    Ask them to provide an insurance valuation for rebuild purposes and make sure they include council fees, professional fees and demolition costs.
  • Quantity surveyor
    They can provide rebuild cost estimates on any type of house. Like a registered valuer, they’ll visit your house to measure and estimate costs. They will charge a fee for this work. Find a registered quantity surveyor near you.
  • Licensed builder
    You can also engage a licensed builder to provide an insurance valuation for rebuild purposes.
  • Architect

Need to update your sum insured?

If you're a Tower Insurance customer it's easy to update your house sum insured. We can also help you understand when you should consider reviewing your house sum insured.

Update your house sum insured