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These are most definitely difficult and unique times as the world grapples with the rapidly evolving impact of coronavirus (COVID-19). Our thoughts are with those affected across the world, and of course at home in New Zealand.

Times such as these highlight the importance of supporting each other and caring for our community: from the courageous efforts of the health workers across the world to what we can all do individually to protect ourselves, our loved ones and the wider community. For our part, it reinforces the importance of being there for our clients: to offer guidance, to answer queries, and to provide expert advice in these uncertain times.

We will update this page as we receive more information from the Banks and Insurers.

One of the most vital roles we can help you with is to be a sounding board, and to help you with some clear-cut advice and strategies. Please free free to book a phone call with Kieran here.

COVID-19 and your personal insurance cover

All of the insurers are currently releasing packages to support their customers. We will continue to add to this as new information comes to hand. Please contact us as we can help you with the claim process.

Partners Life

Partners Life have always had a Premium Holiday and Policy Suspension facility, which are made available for very specific circumstances. For Covid-19, they had added a new entitlement in addition to this.

However, they have now made a discretionary decision to loosen their approach.

Where there has been a 20% decrease in family income, Partners will waive your premiums for up to 6 months, and you will remain covered.

Below is a Claim Form which just needs to be completed and returned, along with a short explanation of your circumstances, and evidence of your 20% reduction in income and that COVID-19 is the cause of income loss.

Asteron Life

Asteron Life have available a Premium Holiday for Lump Sum covers (Life, Trauma, Total and Permanent Disability). This is where you remain covered, but do not have to pay the premiums.

They also have a Policy Suspension available for Income and Mortgage Replacement covers. With this, you are not covered, but do not have to pay the premiums.

This requires the completion of the below form, and evidence of your hardship.

AMP

Premium Waiver (Lifetrack and RPP) – one-month waivers for customers in need of financial support. Customers can reapply if further support is required due to the relatively limited understanding of how long the pandemic and associated financial pressure will last.  

Cigna

Customers facing financial hardship can use the Suspension of Cover for up to three months. Customers don’t need to make any premium payments for these three months, however there is no cover during the suspension period. Cover will recommence after the three months suspension without the need for underwriting.

Premium Cover – All customers who hold Premium Cover (including those with any of our business products) may be able to claim and have their premiums paid for up to six months if they are made Redundant or declared bankrupt. While claiming on Premium Cover, the customer is still covered.

Fidelity Life

Fidelity Life have announced they will be offering a three-month premium waiver for those impacted. We are waiting on details of how to claim for this.

NIB

Most of the NIB policies can be suspended after 12 months of cover for financial hardship and unemployment. If the policy hasn’t been in force for 12 months, an assessment can be made on a case-by-case basis.

If someone wishes to make a claim that occurred during the suspension period – they can. If the customer is requesting this before they have completed 3 months of suspension they will need to pay from the date the suspension was put in place. If it taking place after 3 months they can pay up to the billing date before their claim.

Southern Cross

We are still waiting on further information from Southern Cross, but they do have options available, and these are assessed on a case by case basis. Please contact us, or you can contact Southern Cross directly on 0800 800 181.

COVID-19 and your home loan

BNZ

BNZ have announced three ways they can help customers through this time, have a read below with some of our thoughts around these options.

  • If you are paying more than the minimum on your home loan, you may choose to lower these payments in the short-term. These changes can just be made through internet banking, but if you have issues with this, please let us know as we can help here.

Move your repayments to interest only.

  • This is more preferable than a “holiday” as you are keeping up with the interest repayments on your loan, and your loan will not increase in size.
  • At the end of the interest only period (up to 12 months), you would either pay additional repayments to keep your loan term the same, or pay the same repayment as you do currently and your loan term will extend slightly (likely somewhere in the region of 12-18 months longer loan term).
  • In this scenario, I believe it is good, if you can afford too, to bank the cash somewhere as a “rainy day” fund, so you ride out this thing if it goes a bit longer than we anticipate.

Have a Mortgage “Holiday” – up to 6 months

  • This is where you make no payments on your home loan, and interest gets added to the loan for the 6 month period.
  • This is obviously less preferable than the above, as your home loan is going to get bigger. But it can also be necessary just to get through this event, and get out the other side unscathed.

There is some formal information we need, but it is relatively straight forward, this includes:

  • BNZ Account Number, or Access Number (which is on the back of your EFTPOS or Credit Card).
  • Details of how you have been impacted by Covid-19 – i.e permanent loss of income, temporary loss of income, and the value of that reduced income (i.e. what were you earning before, and what are you now earning).
  • How you will return to ‘normal’ once Covid-19 issues are resolved – i.e. return to my full-time job, be able to be on-site, or if it’s due to redundancy, find a new role.

If you are a BNZ client of ours, please contact us and we can help you through this process. If you are not, unfortunately BNZ have asked if you contact them directly (it is a really simple form).

ANZ

ANZ is currently allowing customers to apply for Interest Only payments for up to 12 months (for all mortgages under 80%) or have their Principal and Interest payments extended up to 30 years. 

ANZ have now announced their 6-month loan repayment deferral. This is where the interest gets added to your loan for this period. Have a read of our comments around the different options in the BNZ section above.

If you are an ANZ client of ours, please contact us and we can help you through this process, or you can contact them directly on the link below.

ASB and Sovereign

ASB and Sovereign have three options:

  • Interest only payments for up to six months;
  • Mortgage holiday for up to six months;
  • Extension of the loan term up to 30 years.

For ASB you can contact them directly on 0800 803 804, or via internet banking.

For Sovereign, we require the following:

  • How you have been impacted
  • The likely period (if known)
  • The industry you work in

Westpac

Westpac are offering a six-month payment holiday option for customers impacted by COVID-19. You can contact them on 0800 606 606 or using the button below.