David Grant's festive greeting includes a warning this year.
It goes something like: Merry Christmas! Have you checked
your house insurance lately?
The principal of Big Rock School, in Brighton, and his family
will be spending Christmas in rental accommodation after
their Abbotsford house burnt down in July - just hours after
he renewed his ANZ Asset Protector Home Buildings insurance
Although he did not think so at the time, he was fortunate.
As part of completing his house insurance renewal in July, he
selected a default sum insured amount of $2300 per sq m.
After the fire, insurance assessors found the $368,000 he had
insured his house for, was not going to cover the estimated
$450,000 cost of rebuilding. Mr Grant was lucky his 40sq m
external garage was undamaged and included in the default
amount, which meant he could divert an extra $92,000 from his
garage cover to rebuilding his house.
Had more of his property been destroyed, he would have been
left considerably out of pocket.
Since the fire, many people had asked about the event, and he
had taken the opportunity to warn them about having
sufficient insurance cover.
''I've been telling people to check their policies and make
sure they understand them.
''Don't make assumptions. Make sure you've got enough
Mr Grant's advice for people to check their house insurance
was echoed by ANZ Wealth general insurance head Keri Collins.
She said 85% of ANZ customers with an insurance policy who
renewed recently, accepted the default sum for the rebuild
costs without checking whether it was sufficient to cover
them if their home was destroyed.
''As New Zealand's largest home loan provider, we're
concerned that many people are still unaware of the impact of
these insurance changes.''
Mrs Collins said it was also important to note the difference
in insurance premiums between a sum insured amount of about
$370,000 and $450,000 was $85 a year, or $1.65 a week.
''Don't think that your premium will double if your sum
Mr Grant hoped he and his family would be in their new house