Caring for our customers during COVID-19

Caring for our customers during COVID-19

At all levels of the COVID-19 Protection Framework, essential services remain up and running. We have appropriate safety measures in place and our teams are set up to work remotely when required. This means at any traffic light level, we're available to help.

Please click the sections below for information on:

  • frequently asked questions;
  • payments and financial hardship;
  • how to get in touch with us;
  • and Travel insurance.


These Frequently Asked Questions will continue to be updated as we learn more and respond to the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

CLAIMS

How are you handling claims throughout the COVID-19 Protection Framework?

Under the NZ COVID-19 Protection Framework (traffic light system), we'll continue to support our customers in every way we can.

  • We'll continue to apply our safety measures at all levels of the traffic light system as per government guidelines. These may include hygiene practices, social distancing, and contact tracing.
  • To keep everyone safe and well, you'll be asked some health and safety questions before an assessor, supplier or repairer begins work on your claim.
  • For personal insurance customers, you can track your claim status through your My State online account.

HOME AND CONTENTS

I now do my office work from home rather than my normal place of work. Am I still covered if something happens?

Home and Contents policies will continue to cover loss or damage to your property whilst you are working from home. The liability section of your policy doesn’t cover you for any business activity. If you’re doing other work from home, like manufacturing or trades work, please contact us to discuss cover.

My employer has given me work equipment to use while I am working from home. Does my contents policy cover this if something happens to it?

Your policy won’t cover accidental damage to that equipment, your employer must continue to keep the equipment insured. The liability section of your policy may provide cover if you cause damage to the equipment and you're legally liable for that damage – for example if you negligently cause damage to the equipment.

My policy is renewing soon, and I am required to provide a valuation for my home or high value items. What should I do? Will you still renew my policy?

Yes, we will renew your policy and move the requirement to provide valuations until the next renewal of the policy. It’s important you have the right amount of cover, so we recommend you get valuations as soon as it is possible to do so. We can update your sum insured at any time, so once you have the valuation, please contact us to update your policy.

Will properties be assessed or repaired throughout the COVID-19 Protection Framework?

We'll continue to apply safety measures throughout each level of the traffic light system as per government guidelines. These may include hygiene practices, social distancing, and contact tracing. To keep everyone safe and well, you'll be asked some health and safety questions before an assessor, supplier or repairer begins work on your claim.

  • For personal insurance customers, you can track your claim status through your My State online account.

I'm selling my house, or I've bought a new house, and the settlement date has changed. What do I need to do to remain covered?

If the settlement date for your house has changed, please contact us so we can amend it to the revised date.


LANDLORD

I’m required to complete inspections of my rental property every 90 days and one is due. What should I do? Will I be covered if something happens?

We will not decline cover or seek to decline a claim for failure to do an inspection due to shifts in the COVID-19 Protection Framework. Inspections should be completed as soon as possible after the government removes restrictions and it is safe to do so. Always follow government advice on how to safely interact with others based on the current alert level. Remember to keep a record of any communication you have with the tenant to do with the change in inspection date. In situations where you can't complete a physical inspection, it's a good idea to contact your tenant to see if there are any maintenance issues they need to raise so you’re aware of them.

My tenant is stranded overseas or elsewhere in New Zealand and has stopped paying rent. Does my policy cover me for loss of rent in this situation?

If your policy provides prevention of access cover, this only applies where the tenancy agreement you have with the tenant allows them to stop paying rent if authorities prevent them from accessing the home. Please contact our claims team to discuss your circumstances further.

My tenant is behind on their rent by 14-days and my policy requires me to visit the property to confirm they are still living there. What should I do? Will I be covered for loss of rent in this situation?

Please ensure you follow all government requirements related to the COVID-19 Protection Framework. Please contact the tenant in other ways (e.g. phone or email) to confirm they’re still living at the property. Our insurance policies have requirements to send notice when rent is in arrears and to apply to the Tenancy Tribunal for vacant possession due to non-payment of rent. Please refer to your policy for details.

My tenant is unable to pay their rent due to changes in their circumstances because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Does my policy cover me for loss of rent in this situation?

No. Loss of rent only covers you following damage to the home, unless the customer has taken an optional benefit giving cover for non-payment of rent after termination of the tenancy (eviction of tenants). The tenant might be entitled to financial support from the government during this time. They can visit www.covid19.govt.nz for more information.


Are you experiencing financial hardship or finding it difficult to pay your premiums?

We know this is a challenging time for many New Zealanders and many New Zealand businesses. We have a range of ways to help customers save on premiums, so you can stay insured and protected. We may also be able to help if you can’t afford your excess and you need to make a claim.

If you’re experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19, please fill in this form and we’ll be in touch with you within five working days.

Request financial hardship assistance

My financial situation is uncertain, so I need to cut back on expenses. How can I reduce my premium and still have cover?

Each customer’s situation is unique, so we offer a range of tools to support customers who are having difficulty paying their premiums or claims excesses. These tools can help tailor your insurance to ensure it still meets your needs while reducing the premium you pay. These include making changes to your excess, policy types and cover.

Some things you could consider include:

  • Opting for a higher excess as this may lower your premium
  • reviewing the optional add-ons to your insurance to ensure they are still relevant for you
  • Changing the type of cover you have
  • Reviewing your eligibility for discounts
  • Changing your payment frequency.

For more information on ways to save on your insurance premiums, click here.


I am expecting a payment from you. How will this be paid?

If we need to make a payment to you, such as a refund, we will pay you by direct credit to your bank account, where possible. This will ensure you get your payment safely, conveniently and as soon as possible.


There are many ways to reach us and get things done:

  • You can do loads of things online, including getting a quote and purchasing a new policy.
  • For personal insurance customers, use your My State online account. It's available 24/7, and you can do things like make payments, submit claims, and renew policies. Learn more about My State.
  • Chat to us on Facebook 9am-5pm Monday to Friday.
  • Email us.
  • Call us on 0800 80 24 24. Our contact centre hours are 8am - 6pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 6pm weekends and public holidays.
  • If you need to get in touch outside of these hours, our afterhours team will be able to help with claims emergencies or critical safety repairs, such as ensuring homes remain habitable and safe.
  • There are many ways you can make a payment.

COVID-19 updates for State Travel Insurance customers (backed by Cover-More)

As New Zealand takes steps to manage the spread of COVID-19, there is some important information that You should be aware of which relates to travel.

For the most up to date information on travel advice from Cover-More, click here. It’ll be updated as the situation evolves.


Background

The New Zealand Government is now advising that New Zealanders do not travel overseas at this time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, associated health risks and travel restrictions. Due to the difficulty travellers are experiencing returning to New Zealand, some New Zealanders overseas may need to stay safely where they are until they can return home. The global situation remains complex and rapidly changing. While some countries and territories have reopened their borders to travellers there is still a risk of contracting COVID-19 overseas.

You may come into close contact with more people than usual, including during long-haul flights and in crowded airports. Healthcare systems in some countries may come under strain and may not be as well-equipped as New Zealand’s or have the capacity to support foreigners.


Where do I find the latest New Zealand Government advice?

For up-to-date information on the latest travel advisories in place, please visit this website.


I am overseas and need emergency assistance – what number do I ring?

For 24/7 emergency assistance call direct and toll free from:


What should I be aware of that is not covered?

We will not pay for:

  • Claims directly or indirectly arising from or caused by COVID-19, submitted under Your annual multi-trip policy.
  • Claims directly or indirectly arising from COVID-19 if the country or part of the country You travelled to was subject to “Do not travel” advice on the SafeTravel.govt.nz website at the time You entered the country or part of the country. (This exclusion only applies if the advice was issued due to the presence of COVID-19). This exclusion does not apply if Your trip destination is New Zealand or Australia, but only to the extent of the benefits described in the endorsement attached to this policy wording.
  • Claims relating to government travel bans; “Do not travel” warnings; government directed border closures; or mandatory quarantine or self-isolation requirements related to cross area, borders, region, or territory travel.
  • Cancellations caused by you having to isolate if you are a close contact of someone who is diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Limited COVID-19 related cover for multi-night cruises e.g. there is No COVID-19 medical benefits for multi-night cruises.

If You have an active State Travel Insurance Policy issued before 9 February 2022, please contact the Customer Services team by email or call 0800 500 325.


I have an active single trip State Travel Insurance Policy issued on or after 9 February 2022, and I am travelling domestically in New Zealand or to Australia – what costs are covered in respect of COVID-19?

  • Medical cover (up to the policy limit) if You are diagnosed with COVID-19 whilst on Your trip, provided that the New Zealand Government has removed the ‘Do not travel’ advisory in the destination that you are traveling to. As at 9 February 2022 the New Zealand Government has not removed the ‘Do not travel’ advisory for travel to Australia.
  • Reasonable additional accommodation or transport expenses if You or Your travelling partner are diagnosed with COVID-19 and are quarantined.
  • Cancellation cover of up to $5,000 for International travel (subject to limit of cancellation cover chosen) and $2,500 per Domestic policy, if You or Your travelling partner are diagnosed with COVID-19 and are unable to travel. Please note if you are diagnosed with COVID-19 and cannot travel, you can claim cancellation cover only if your policy was purchased 21 days or more before your scheduled departure date.
  • Up to $150 per night for alternative accommodation if the person You were due to stay with is diagnosed with COVID-19 or is quarantined due to having contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Protection if You are an essential healthcare worker, and Your leave is revoked by Your employer due to COVID-19 related reasons. See policy wording for full details.
  • There is no cover if You are denied entry due to government restrictions imposed in the arriving country on travellers from countries You have visited en route or from which You have departed.
  • “You”, “Your”, “Yourself” includes those listed as adults on the Certificate of Insurance and includes Accompanied Children. See policy wording for full terms and conditions.

You must take all reasonable steps to mitigate Your out-of-pocket expenses, and we encourage You to speak with Your agent, broker, or transport provider as soon as possible to minimise these expenses.

We will not pay for: Claims directly or indirectly arising from COVID-19 if the country or part of the country You travelled to was subject to “Do not travel” advice on the SafeTravel.govt.nz website at the time You entered the country or part of the country. (This exclusion only applies if the advice was issued due to the presence of COVID-19). This exclusion does not apply if Your trip destination is New Zealand or Australia, but only to the extent of the benefits described in the endorsement attached to this policy wording.

Cruise information relating to COVID-19 benefits: Some benefits do not apply to claims involving travel on a multi-night cruise. For example, there is no cover for medical expenses if You are diagnosed with COVID-19 on or after a cruise. See policy wording for full terms and conditions.

Important: Your policy contains benefits relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. While Your policy may respond, Your claim remains subject to the terms and conditions, limitations and exclusions set out in the policy wording. Please read Your policy wording carefully to understand how Your policy operates or contact our Customer Service Team on 0800-500-325 if You have any general questions. It is important to note that we cannot confirm coverage over the phone, and You will need to submit a claim for consideration by our Claims Team.


I have an active single trip State Travel Insurance Policy issued on or after 9 February 2022, and I am travelling to the Cook Islands – what costs are covered in respect of COVID-19?

  • Medical cover (up to the policy limit) if You are diagnosed with COVID-19 whilst on Your trip.
  • Reasonable additional accommodation or transport expenses if You or Your travelling partner are diagnosed with COVID-19 and quarantined in the Cook Islands.
  • Cancellation cover of up to $5,000 per policy (subject to the limit of cancellation cover chosen) if You or Your travelling partner are diagnosed with COVID-19 and are unable to travel. Please note if you are diagnosed with COVID-19 and cannot travel, you can claim cancellation cover only if your policy was purchased 21 days or more before your scheduled departure date.
  • Up to $150 per night for alternative accommodation if the person You were due to stay with is diagnosed with COVID-19 or is quarantined due to having contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Protection if You are an essential healthcare worker, and Your leave is revoked by Your employer due to COVID-19 related reasons. See policy wording for full details.

“You”, “Your”, “Yourself” includes those listed as adults on the Certificate of Insurance and includes Accompanied Children. See policy wording for full terms and conditions.

You must take all reasonable steps to mitigate Your out-of-pocket expenses, and we encourage You to speak with Your agent, broker, or transport provider as soon as possible to minimise these expenses.

We will not pay for: Claims directly or indirectly arising from COVID-19 if the country or part of the country You travelled to was subject to “Do not travel” advice on the SafeTravel.govt.nz website at the time You entered the country or part of the country. (This exclusion only applies if the advice was issued due to the presence of COVID-19). This exclusion does not apply if Your trip destination is New Zealand or Australia, but only to the extent of the benefits described in the endorsement attached to this policy wording.

Cruise information relating to COVID-19 benefits: Some benefits do not apply to claims involving travel on a multi-night cruise. For example, there is no cover for medical expenses if You are diagnosed with COVID-19 on or after a cruise. See policy wording for full terms and conditions.

The latest advice about travel to and from the Cook Islands can be found here.

Important: Your policy contains benefits relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. While Your policy may respond, Your claim remains subject to the terms and conditions, limitations and exclusions set out in the policy wording. Please read Your policy wording carefully to understand how Your policy operates or contact our Customer Service Team on 0800-500-325 if You have any general questions. It is important to note that we cannot confirm coverage over the phone, and You will need to submit a claim for consideration by our Claims Team.


I have an active single trip State Travel Insurance Policy issued on or after 9 February 2022, and I am travelling internationally to a destination other than the Cook Islands, New Zealand or to Australia – what costs are not covered in respect of COVID-19?

  • There is no cover if You are denied entry due to government restrictions imposed in the arriving country on travellers from countries You have visited en route or from which You have departed.
  • This policy does not cover claims relating to government travel bans; “Do not travel” warnings; government directed border closures; or mandatory quarantine or self-isolation requirements related to cross area, borders, region, or territory travel.
  • Cancellations caused by you having to isolate if you are a close contact of someone who is diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Limited COVID-19 related cover for multi-night cruises e.g. there is No COVID-19 medical benefits for multi-night cruises.

We will not pay for: Claims directly or indirectly arising from COVID-19 if the country or part of the country You travelled to was subject to “Do not travel” advice on the SafeTravel.govt.nz website at the time You entered the country or part of the country. (This exclusion only applies if the advice was issued due to the presence of COVID-19). This exclusion does not apply if Your trip destination is New Zealand or Australia, but only to the extent of the benefits described in the endorsement attached to this policy wording.

Cruise information relating to COVID-19 benefits: Some benefits do not apply to claims involving travel on a multi-night cruise. For example, there is no cover for medical expenses if You are diagnosed with COVID-19 on or after a cruise. See policy wording for full terms and conditions.

Important: Your policy contains benefits relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. While Your policy may respond, Your claim remains subject to the terms and conditions, limitations and exclusions set out in the policy wording. Please read Your policy wording carefully to understand how Your policy operates or contact our Customer Service Team on 0800-500-325 if You have any general questions. It is important to note that we cannot confirm coverage over the phone, and You will need to submit a claim for consideration by our Claims Team.

“You”, “Your”, “Yourself” includes those listed as adults on the Certificate of Insurance and includes Accompanied Children except on Plan C in which case cover applies on a per person basis only. See policy wording for full terms and conditions.


Where do I find the State Travel Insurance Policy Wording?

This is available here: State Travel Insurance Policy Wording.


I wish to obtain a full credit on my State Travel Insurance Policy – can I do this?

You are eligible to receive a 75% refund on the policy (less any cancellation fees), as long as You haven’t travelled, and no claims have been made against the policy.

If a travel ban is imposed by a government and You cannot travel due to this restriction, You will receive a 100% refund on Your travel policy.

Email Your State Policy details to statetravel@covermore.co.nz or call the Cover-More Customer Services Team on 0800 500 325.


I would like to make a claim – how do I do this?

You can claim online or call +64 (0) 9 300 8582 from overseas or 0800 500 325 if you are back in New Zealand.

State Travel Insurance
c/o Cover-More Claims Department
PO Box 105-203
Auckland 1143

Cover-More will acknowledge receipt of a claim within 2 business days of receiving it and will do an initial assessment within 10 business days.

Our phone lines are much busier than usual, so there may be a long wait.

Did you know you can pay, claim, cancel, and more online? View all online options.

Alternatively, talk to Sam, our Chatbot, who can help with simple insurance questions.