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Understanding your sum insured

Knowing the total cost to rebuild your home can be difficult. So, our friends at NZI* have delved into the details to provide you information on what your Sum Insured is, and how to calculate it.

How home sum insured applies to you

Welcome! Let’s get your Sum Insured figured out for your home policy. The Cordell Sum Sure calculator is a great place to start to get an estimate. Once you’ve crunched the numbers, let us know what you’d like the Sum Insured to be so we can provide you with a quote.

Thanks for sticking with NZPA and trusting us to take care of your home. It’s a good idea to review your Sum Insured at least every year when your policy comes up for renewal. We’ll adjust your Sum Insured at renewal for changes in building costs but if you are making changes or additions to your home you should contact us immediately to ensure this is covered. 

Once you’ve used the Cordell Sum Sure calculator or got a professional in to re-evaluate your Sum Insured, get in touch and we’ll set your new total amount.

This is such an exciting time. We’re so pleased you’ve chosen us to insure your newest asset. Use the Cordell Sum Sure calculator or get a professional in to assess your new property. When you have an estimate you’re happy with, get in touch for a quote.


If you have any questions relating to your insurance quote or calculating your Sum Insured, contact our insurances team on [email protected] or call 0800 500 122.

*Police Fire & General Insurance: Exclusively for PWF members and their families. Arranged by PWF General Insurances Limited and underwritten by NZI, a business division of IAG New Zealand

What does ‘sum insured’ mean?

When you first take out Home Insurance with NZPA, we’ll ask you to specify the total amount you would need to rebuild your home to the same quality – this is your Sum Insured. Your Sum Insured is made up of your Home Sum Insured, and the Sum Insured for any Special Features you buy cover for. It’s the maximum amount to be paid, after any applicable excess, if your house was wiped out by a natural disaster or suffered significant damage from major events like flooding or fire. It not only needs to cover materials and labour, but other costs to rebuild your home like demolition, consents and other fees.

What Sum Insured Is:

  • The estimated maximum amount it would cost to repair or rebuild your home if it were destroyed, including Recreational Features, Retaining Walls, and Special Features.
  • An amount that covers materials and labour as well as costs like demolition, consents and other fees.
  • An amount you need to choose.

What Sum Insured Isn't:

  • It’s not the rateable value (RV) or capital value (CV) of your home.
  • The market value or the price you paid for your home.
  • It’s not the value of the land.
  • It’s not automatically inclusive of Special Features (such as a bridge, jetty or cable car) on your property - you may need additional cover for these.

Calculating your Sum Insured

If your Sum Insured is too low, you may not be able to repair or rebuild your home to the same size and quality. You could also find yourself paying for some of the repairs or rebuild yourself. So, it’s important to get it right.

Use an online calculator

The Cordell Sum Sure calculator is free, easy-to-use and takes only a short time to complete. Find out more below.

Ask a professional

If you want more peace of mind that your sum insured is accurate, it may be useful for you to get a professional to assess your property. This is strongly recommended for large (>500sqm), high value (>$2m) or architecturally designed homes.

Construction Cost Consultants can provide residential valuations at a competitive price for NZPA customers.

Alternatively find other registered professionals such as:


Cordell Sum Sure Calculator

The good news is the Cordell Sum Sure calculator is easy to use and is a good place to start. It’s helpful in giving you an estimated figure of the cost to rebuild your home based on construction costs, allowances for professional fees, demolition, removal of debris and GST.

Core Logic's Sum Insured calculator 

More information on Cordell Sum Sure

All you need to do is to pop your address in and it will generate an estimated cost for rebuilding your home. If the calculator prepopulates any incorrect information in its initial calculation, you can make changes manually so it provides a more realistic estimate for your home.

The figure is based on information gathered throughout New Zealand from third party organisations, such as your local council. The calculator takes into consideration anticipated construction costs, allowances for professional fees, demolition, removal of debris and GST.

Remember, the estimated figure produced by the calculator is a guide only. It also doesn’t take into consideration future changes to building costs (i.e. inflation) over your policy period so if you want to include an allowance for this in your Sum Insured, you’ll need to add it to the estimate generated by the calculator. The calculator includes professional fees, demolition, removal of debris and GST and will account for price difference in some of these services around New Zealand.

  • Demolition costs
  • Council consents and other professional fees
  • Labour costs
  • The floor area of your home
  • Fixed floor coverings (like carpet)
  • Land slope
  • Construction materials
  • Quality of materials and finish
  • Fixtures and fittings (i.e. baths, toilets, ovens, heat pumps)
  • Number of levels
  • Your home’s design: villa, bungalow contemporary and one-off architectural
  • Outbuildings such as detached garages and carports, granny flats
  • Driveways, decks, paths and fences

Make sure you include Recreational Features (such as swimming pools and tennis courts), Retaining Walls or Special Features (such as bridges, cable cars, jetties). Don’t forget them, as you might need to add extra cover for Recreational Features or Retaining Walls if their cost is more than the policy limit, and if you have any Special Features, they aren’t automatically covered so please tell us what they are and what the cost is. Make sure you check your Policy Wording for everything you need to consider in your Sum Insured.

  • If your address can’t be found and it includes a unit number (e.g. 23a), try different variations (e.g. 1/23, 23/1). If your address still can’t be found, Cordell Sum Sure calculator may not have details of the property, it may be a new subdivision, or the calculator is not suitable for the property at that address.
  • Don’t worry if the photograph doesn’t match your house. The photograph might be different (e.g. your house is brand new, or there is an old photo, a boundary photo or street front photo) but the property details are based on the address not the photo.
  • The calculator assumes an average floor area for any garages, sheds or pool houses, so if you have a particularly large, detached building you might want to select a Sum Insured higher than the estimate the calculator provides.
  • If you’re in the Canterbury area and your property has been identified as having a CERA technical category rating (foundation requirements), then an allowance will have been made for this. This is indicative only and you should seek specific engineering advice for a reliable estimate of any costs.
  • The calculator uses typical building costs for standard finishes to provide an estimate. If your home has significant special features and fittings, was built to a superior standard, is very large or has a high value, consider using other options to establish a better estimate of the rebuilding cost, such as a registered property valuer or quantity surveyor, or select a Sum Insured higher than the estimate the calculator provides.
  • Factors such as the slope (steepness) of your land, the style and quality of construction are important to get right when using the calculator. Ask for advice if you’re unsure what to enter in the calculator.
  • This calculator has been customised for NZPA so it’s important that you use the calculator provided by your insurer. The NZPA Cordell Sum Sure calculator adds GST to the estimate it produces because your NZPA Sum Insured is an amount which needs to include GST.

  • Owners of cross-leased properties need to consider how to cover shared assets such as driveways, fences and retaining walls. Check your property's Title documents for reference to a 'plan of flats' (or similar) that sets out the various areas the cross lease applies to, and if you're still unsure, talk to your legal advisor.
  • Body corporates must consider all the units in their multi-dwelling property as well as any common property.

This calculator provides an estimate Sum Insured for your home, but the final decision is yours, so if you think your amount is not correct you can change it. This is general information and is not a recommendation, opinion or guidance. If you would like a recommendation, please contact a registered valuer or quantity surveyor. This calculator information does not provide any advice or opinion on the extent or adequacy of the cover provided by Sum Insured insurance. This information is not personalised financial advice and does not consider your particular situation. You must make your own decision on the Sum Insured that is appropriate for your circumstances.

The Cordell Sum Sure calculator is an independent tool. NZPA does not have access to the information you enter, or access to the estimate that it produces, so if you’d like to adjust your home’s Sum Insured, or add additional cover for retaining walls, Recreational Features or Special Features, you’ll need to contact us. It’s your responsibility to ensure that your Sum Insured is adequate.