Vero Voice

Insurance claims for mortgaged or financed items

By Derek Cherry
Executive Manager Property, Marine & Specialty Claims

14 September, 2017

If something you own is lost, damaged or stolen and it’s covered by your insurance policy, your insurance company might repair or replace it when you make a claim, or maybe just give you the money for it.

But insurance claims can sometimes get a little tricky if you’re claiming for something that you purchased using debt.

Financed cars and insurance

The most common scenario for this is for cars purchased on finance.

If they’re stolen or written off, in many cases your insurer will be required to pay your claim money to the finance company first, to repay any outstanding debt on the vehicle.

You’ll get whatever is left, and you’ll need to make new finance arrangements to purchase a replacement car.

Mortgaged houses and insurance

Losing your home is an overwhelming experience, and picking up the pieces after it happens is hard enough without worrying about insurance issues.

But it’s important to remember that if you have a mortgage, your mortgagee holds an interest in your home.

If your home is damaged, it will usually only need repairs and we’ll settle your claim with you directly. But if the damage is very significant, or your home is totally destroyed, we may be obliged to pay your settlement money your bank.

This is most common if there’s been a natural disaster.

Residential claims for the Kaikoura earthquake

For Kaikoura earthquake claims, EQC and Vero are required to pay your insurance settlement money to your bank if they hold a mortgage over your property.  If you have no mortgage over your property, then the settlement money will be paid to you directly.

If your property has been significantly damaged, and your insurance settlement money has been paid to your bank, you’ll need to make arrangements with them to draw down funds, or to organise a new funding arrangement, when you repair or rebuild your house.

For houses with only minor or EQC exempt damage, some banks have provided EQC and Vero with a waiver up to certain limits – what this means is that we can pay your insurance settlement money to you directly and you can begin making your repairs right away. 

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The information in this article has been compiled from various sources and is intended to be factual information only. Full details of policy terms and conditions are available from Vero Insurance New Zealand Limited or your financial adviser. For advice on product suitability, please contact your financial adviser. While we take reasonable steps to ensure that the information contained in this article is accurate and up-to-date, it is subject to change without notice. Vero Insurance New Zealand and its related companies does/do not accept any responsibility or liability in connection with your use of or reliance on this article.