2016 - 2017
Home and contents insurance
In 2007, Mr T met with a bank staff member to arrange finance and insurance for an investment property he was buying. He said that the staff member also advised him at that meeting that he should replace the home and contents insurance for his family home with a policy offered by the bank. Some months later he replaced his existing house and contents insurance for his family home with a policy offered by the bank.
When an earthquake damaged a retaining wall at Mr T’s home, he made a claim – which was declined because the policy covered damage to retaining walls caused by fire or the impact of a vehicle only, not earthquakes.
It seemed Mr T’s original policy did not limit cover for retaining walls and could have provided cover for earthquake damage. Mr T complained to us that the bank had recommended its policy to him. He explained he assumed this would mean he would have the same cover under the bank’s policy as he had under his existing policy.
We were not satisfied that the bank had misled Mr T at the 2007 meeting. Further, some time had passed between the meeting about his investment property and him replacing his home insurance. It seemed that the change of insurer was triggered by a renewal letter from his previous insurer and not by the meeting Mr T had with the bank about his investment property. The bank’s policy document made it clear that cover for retaining walls was limited.
We had sympathy for Mr T’s situation but could not find the bank was responsible for his decision to change his insurance and we did not uphold his complaint.