What’s likely to happen with insurance premiums in 2023 & 2024?

2023 has already seen the largest volume of weather-related insurance claims in New Zealand’s history, with claim losses exceeding 2022, which was also a record year. The increasing number and severity of weather events is one reason that insurance costs are rising. Other factors include inflation and supply chain constraints. Reinstatement work is taking longer and costing more. These factors are contributing to significant increases in the cost of reinsurance for New Zealand insurers, which will have to be passed on to customers.

An increase in the EQC levy, taking the minimum on most residential houses from $300 to $480 per year, is also continuing to flow through to customers’ overall policy costs.

While windscreen cover remains free (no excess) from almost all insurers the increasing sophistication of embedded sensors and other technology make replacing them more and more expensive to replace. Longer lead times and greater costs for parts coming to New Zealand through a global supply chain are affecting repair costs. The market value of vehicles is also increasing as prices in the secondhand car market get a boost following the recent floods.

The theft of trade tools has been a constant driver of losses on the tools insurance portfolio and there is no sign of this decreasing over the next few years.

Are You Under Insured?

As inflation increases replacement costs rise sum insured values need to increase accordingly to ensure that your assets are adequately insured. It may be worth re-evaluating these more frequently than just once a year at renewal time. It is not advisable to under insure your assets to reduce premium costs, as this could backfire big time in the event of a large or total loss.

Negotiating Rate Increases

Our job is to get the best possible cover for the best possible price for our clients. Where increases are required we will work to keep these to a minimum and seek additional coverage benefits to offset them, as we prefer not to water down policy coverage in return for lower rates. As a member of the Steadfast Group we benefit from the negotiating power of Australasia’s largest network of insurance brokers, with 53 brokers nationwide and over $11.5bn of annual premium spend to negotiate with.


If you are experiencing cashflow issues, or want to manage your cashflow prudently in 2023, you may want to consider paying your insurance in monthly instalments rather than all at once. While this incurs an additional cost in the form of interest charged by the premium funding provider, it spreads the cost and can take the squeeze out of that month when the renewal is due. We are seeing a significant rise in this option being taken by customers.

We can also look to move policy renewal dates around, to spread them throughout the year rather than all being lumped into one period.


Expected increase:

It would not be unexpected to see rises of 20-30% on vehicle insurance premiums in 2023, across both private and commercial vehicles. In some cases it may even be more. This is in addition to any rise from increasing sums insured. Here’s a good explanation from NZI of what’s impacting vehicle premiums: NZI-Whats-Impacting-Motor-Premiums-Customer-09-23.pdf 

Loss reduction:

  • Consider installing security features such as an alarm or immobilizer. A steering wheel lock will deter potential thieves
  • Ensure vehicles are locked at all times and garaged overnight where possible
  • Install a GPS/GSM tracker, such as https://www.black-int.com
  • Install towball locks and/or wheel clamps on trailers
  • Avoid distracted driving: don’t use your phone or other devices while driving
  • Keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you, especially in bad weather
  • Avoid aggressive driving: don’t tailgate, cut off other drivers or go too fast
  • Always be aware of your surroundings, use your mirrors

Premium reduction:

  • Request a named drivers-only discount
  • Downgrade to third party or third party, fire & theft cover
Terms & Conditions of Public Liability Insurance


Expected increase:

There is likely to be a relatively modest, inflation-adjusted increase in liability premiums. However, insurers are also becoming more targeted in how they rate the risk from different occupations. This means that some trades may experience a larger increase than others, as the claim losses coming from their profession are higher than other trades.

Loss reduction:

Visit our resource library/blog for claim examples and tips for how to reduce claims across various trades: https://builtininsurance.co.nz/articles

Premium reduction:

  • Reduce cover amounts (with caution)
  • Make sure the estimated turnover (and number of staff) your premium is based upon is as accurate as possible
  • Look for deals available from trade associations or merchant loyalty programmes (eg. Placemakers Plus)

Tools & Equipment

Expected increase:

An increase is likely, due to both inflation and the continued frequency and cost of claims. This could be in the region of 15-20%.

Loss reduction:

  • Do not leave tools in vehicles overnight when they are parked in the open (eg. roadside or driveway)
  • Lock your vehicle at all times
  • Install heavy security storage boxes, such as: https://www.armorgard.co.nz/cat/equipment-and-tool-storage
  • Install GPS/GSM tracking chips, such as: https://www.black-int.com
  • Mark all your tools with a clearly identifiable brand/colour
  • Engrave your tools with your contact details (eg. mobile number)
  • Keep a register of all your tools, including serial numbers in case of recovery by the Police

Premium reduction:

  • Install Armorgard lock boxes for a lower excess in the event of a claim (Builtin only)
  • Look for deals available from trade associations or merchant loyalty programmes (eg. Placemakers Plus)


Contract Works, Property & Buildings

Expected increase:

One insurer has flagged an average increase on house insurance of 32% and on contents cover of 26%. However, there will be a wide range of individual variations due to localised risk factors such as the risk of flood, earthquake, landslip and coastal inundation.

We expect to see a higher than inflation increase in contract works insurance premiums, perhaps in the region of +30-50%. This is due to the general market conditions outlined above, including construction cost inflation and reinsurance costs.

Loss reduction:

  • Get the job done as quickly as possible, the longer it takes the greater the risk of a claim
  • Don’t leave valuable materials and appliances on site any longer than is absolutely necessary
  • Install a security alarm
  • Identify and eliminate hazards associated with electrical fires, such as from lithium batteries, cables, switchboards, control panels, lighting appliances and equipment. Have a maintenance programme and safety checklists, smoke alarms and fire extinguishers readily available
  • Ask neighbours and tradespeople working at nearby sites to keep an eye out for suspicious behaviour and to record vehicle details
  • Weatherproof the site and exposed materials

Premium reduction:

Be as accurate as possible with your build timeframes, the longer the project takes the more the insurance costs. Extensions to the policy cost money too and it is usually much more cost effective to add on an extra month or two when you first take it out rather than paying for extensions later on.