Earthquake Commission and Fire and Emergency levies

Your Tower Insurance policy premium includes levies we collect on behalf of the government. We break these down and explain the most recent rate increases. 

The Earthquake Commission (EQC) levy

What is the EQC levy?

The EQC levy contributes to earthquake and other natural disaster insurance provided by the EQC.

This levy is included in the premium you pay to insurance providers, like Tower, who collect this levy on the government’s behalf and pay it directly to the EQC.

Holders of house insurance policies pay the EQC levy, no matter which insurance provider they’re with.

The EQC is changing

The EQC has made two key changes to the way it handles claims for natural disasters. As of 1 July 2019:

  • the cover focuses on Kiwis' single most important asset  their home. To do this the EQC increased the cap on cover for houses damaged in natural disasters
  • EQC no longer covers contents.

For more details see

How your insurance is affected


The amount covered by the EQC increased from $115,000 to $172,500 (including GST).

What this means for you

The EQC levy you pay on your house insurance premium may go up as much as $115 per year (including GST). You can find out exactly how much your EQC levy is in your renewal certificate.

The time you have to lodge a claim has increased. You have up to two years after an event to lodge a claim with EQC, up from three months previously.


The EQC no longer covers contents.

What this means for you

Tower will now fully cover the total amount of any contents claim resulting from a natural disaster (subject to applicable policy terms and conditions). You may see EQCover in the premium breakdown of your policy, but it will have a charge of $0.

There is no change in your overall level of contents cover, though your Tower premium may change to reflect the extra cover we provide you in the event of a natural disaster.


Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ)

What is the Fire and Emergency levy?

The Fire and Emergency levy is paid on insurance for vehicles, contents and property – with a few exceptions such as Third party car insurance and Business liability insurance.

This levy covers most of what FENZ does, including putting out fires, educating the public, attending vehicle incidents and animal rescue. We collect this levy on behalf of the government and pay it directly to FENZ.

How much is the levy?

If your Tower Insurance policy provides cover for fire damage, you’ll see a Fire Service Levy amount listed in your renewal certificate. This is sent to you with your renewal pack.


Insurance type

Levy amount (excluding GST)

Motor vehicle policies such as: Comprehensive car insurance or Third party fire and theft

$8.45 flat rate

Residential policies such as: Premium, Plus and Standard house insurance and Premium, Plus and Standard contents insurance

10.60c per $100 insured (insured amounts capped at $100,000 for residential buildings and $20,000 for contents)

Maximum levy payable per house is $106 and $21.20 for personal property

Non-residential policies such as: Commercial vehicles over 3,500 tonnes and Farm cover

10.60c per $100 insured (uncapped)