Compare home insurance from: State, Tower, AMP & NZI Essence

It is not a big secret how a smart marketer who is equipped with consumer expectations can influence the buyer decision. In New Zealand, many house owners year in year out “compare” insurance policies from major insurers. The reason I put “compare” in exclamation marks is due to the fact that usually it starts & ends with comparing premiums.

Home Insurance Comparison

Most likely, the reason you are reading this article is based on your understanding that “free cheese” is not something really “free”. Especially when it comes to insuring your house and I am not going to tell you (again) how valuable you house is, you know it yourself. Let me start with the facts of comparing benefits of each house insurance policy: benefit-by-benefit striping off all marketing unnecessary paraphernalia leaving only “meat”. Meaning I am only going to compare what is really valuable for you, the house owner.

I have created the table below for your easy reference, while each and every benefit is going to be discussed in deep discussion in this article.

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Level of liability – this is something often overlooked by house owners assuming that all policies have been created equal. This benefit is going to cover you against all third party demands in the event you were found liable. For instance, your house fire and your neighbours. Get the picture?

In our comparison only AMP provides you with $2,000,000 while others offer $1,000,000.

Gradual damage – a house owner normally discovers this benefit only at claim time. Usually when there is a water leak. Tower is the clear winner providing $5,000 followed by AMP with $3,000 and State with $2,500 benefit for gradual damage. Important for you to know “NZI Essence” house policy does not provide cover for gradual damage.

If your property has retaining walls, you would want to know which policy is going to provide you with the best cover. On the other hand if your property does not have any retaining walls this benefit and limit offered becomes something unnecessary for you. If you have or considering to have “NZI Essence” house policy you need to know that it is “add on” benefit which you need to request. State, Tower & AMP offer retaining s coverage automatically with different limits.

If your property has retaining wall you would want to insure your house with AMP due to the limit level offered by the policy $80,000 to compare with Tower offering $25,000 followed by State with only $20,000.

Road repairs benefit – which includes the house driveway or your private bridge, which leads to the house. This benefit is only offered by AMP with a cap of $50,000. All other house insurance policies do not specify the benefit.

Landscaping, something close to our hearts and often the pride of the owner is not covered by “NZI Essence” policy. AMP is leading again offering $5,000 while State and Tower will provide you with only $2,500.
Alternative accommodation is a part of  a home insurance policy

Alternative accommodation benefit is a part of a home insurance policy

Alternative accommodation is something no one wants to use and it means that your insurance company is going to pay for a hotel or a rental property during the time your house is being rebuild or repaired. “NZI Essence” offers the lowest limit with their house insurance policy providing $15,000 followed by State $20,000 and Tower $25,000 to compare to the leading offer which is provided by AMP with $30,000. Would you agree if you were in the situation where you have to stay in a rental property while your house is getting repaired $15,000 provided by “NZI Essence” would not get you far?  This means that you will have to pay for the rental property while you stay there.

Even it is not a major factor when you compare house insurance policy in New Zealand it is good to know that in the even you lost your house keys the policy you have will cover you. AMP house insurance offers $2,000 followed by Tower $1,000 and State $500 while “NZI Essence” does not offer any cover.

Stress payment – this is when you know that your insurance company is your friend. State & Tower offer $1,000 while AMP offers $5,000 and “NZI Essence” does not specify any amount. When would you need Stress payment? If your house become inhabitable for instance a house fire.

Landlord furnishings – this benefit most of the time is not taken into consideration by New Zealand landlords. Let me explain when this benefit become important: You have your rental property and due to your own views, you think there is no need for you to have “Landlord insurance” or “Landlord extension” (Please look at this comparison to learn more about Landlord insurance) and your existing insurer knows that the property is tenanted.

If you are insured with State you pay additional premiums for this benefit, “NZI Essence” does not provide any cover, while if your rental property insured with Tower your landlord furnishings are covered up to $10,000 to compare with AMP house insurance policy which truly cares of New Zealand landlords providing cover for $20,000.

Tenanted excess on the house insurance policy becomes a very important bill to especially when you know you property suffered some damage.  Tower charges $400, “NZI Essence” does not specify in the policy wording, State says it is an “add on” and AMP charges $250.

Home Insurance – conclusion

In conclusion, if you are thinking about which Home Insurance is better for you & your house in average AMP offers the best coverage with only one important benefit to compare from Tower which is called “Gradual damage” AMP offers $3,000 and Tower offers $5,000 while the rest of the policy from AMP will provide you with much greater benefits.

If you want to discuss your house insurance please let me know or if you have any questions email them to me.

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Home Insurance benefit comparison

State Tower NZI – Essence* AMP
Liability level
$1,000,000 $1,000,000 $1,000,000 $2,000,000
Gradual damage
$2,500 $5,000 No Cover $3,000
Retaining walls
$20,000 $25,000 Add-on $ $80,000
Road repair cost (bridge or driveway)
??? ??? ??? $50,000
$2,500 $2,500 No Cover $5,000
Alternative accommodation
$20,000 $25,000 $15,000 $30,000
$500 $1,000 No Cover $2,000
Landlord furnishings
Add-on $ $10,000 No Cover $20,000
Loss of rent
$20,000 $20,000 $15,000 $40,000
Tenants excess
Add-on $ $400 No Excess specified in policy wording $250
Stress payment
$1,000 $1,000 None $5,000

*included additional Benefits: Landlord’s fixtures & fittings $5k

Also you can read our previous comparisons:

photo by The Langham, Auckland (The Langham, Auckland) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons