Insurance contract law review

We are reviewing New Zealand's insurance contract law to ensure it is facilitating well-functioning insurance markets.

The purpose of the review

The review's purpose is to ensure New Zealand’s insurance contract law is facilitating insurance markets that work well and enable individuals and businesses to effectively protect themselves against risk.

Insurance plays an important role in the lives of New Zealanders, helping them cope with unforeseen life events and providing business with greater certainty. A well-functioning insurance system is integral to ensuring insurance continues to serve all New Zealanders.

Effective regulation of insurance contracts is important so that consumers, businesses and insurers can transact with confidence in a fair, efficient and transparent way.

Policy Decisions

In November 2019 the Government agreed to reform insurance contract law, including:

  • Placing the responsibility on insurers to ask consumers the right questions when processing new insurance policies, rather than leaving it to consumers to know what to tell their insurer.
  • Requiring insurance policies to be written and presented clearly, so that consumers can easily understand them.
  • Ensuring insurers respond proportionately when consumers don’t disclose something they should have, or misrepresent themselves.
  • Strengthening protections for consumers against unfair terms in insurance contracts.
  • Extending powers to the Financial Markets Authority to monitor and enforce compliance with new requirements.

Next steps for the review include release of an exposure draft Bill for consultation in 2020.

Consultation

The Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs previously released an issues paper and options paper for public consultation (links below). Submissions are now closed. Submissions on the options paper will be published shortly.

Feedback welcome

In addition to the formal consultation process, we welcome feedback at any time about the review. If you would like to contact us, please email insurancereview@mbie.govt.nz.

Related documents

Read the submissions from the consultation on the issues paper(external link)

Submissions from the consultation on the options paper will be published soon.

Financial institutions conduct review

You may also be interested in the financial institutions conduct review which is currently underway.

Find out more

Last updated: 27 April 2019