August 2013

Congratulations to our winner!

Tom Bretherton from Envivo ( was the lucky reader who correctly answered the question in our last issue, and whose entry was pulled out of the hat. Tom won himself a fantastic basket of gourmet products from Farro Fresh. Bon Appetit, Tom!

We have a super cool ProTac LED torch up for grabs this issue - see below for competition details!

Don't be left with half a house

The Canterbury earthquake shook up more than just Christchurch. The insurance industry also took a massive financial hit – and now it’s shifting to a new way of calculating its exposure to risk.

New Zealand houses have typically been insured based on a square area. That meant your home would be rebuilt to the same size and standard as before, regardless of cost. However, the insurers have decided that this is just too open-ended.

Their new approach requires you to specify the replacement value of your home. This shifts responsibility to homeowners to choose the right Sum Insured. How does that work?

Beware of online calculators

To help customers work out their house replacement value, some insurance company websites now provide online calculators. The intention is good, but we have reservations about their usefulness.

In a recent edition of Fair Go, one Orewa homeowner attempted to work out her home’s value with an online calculator while Fair Go employed a Quantity Surveyor to assess the property.

The result was chilling, as the online calculator undervalued the house by almost 50%. This would have left the homeowner with half a house and turned a natural disaster into a huge financial loss.

See the full story here:

How can you protect yourself?

If your domestic house insurance policy hasn't already shifted to Sum Insured, this will almost certainly happen over the next year. So you'll need to think hard about the value of your property.

Our advice is not to rely on a default sum insured, a guesstimate, or an online calculator. We recommend you hire a qualified Valuer or Quantity Surveyor. A valuation professional will spot things you may overlook, such as expensive materials, issues with your site and the cost of outbuildings or garages. Armed with this information, you can provide the insurer with an accurate figure and have more certainty that your policy covers the true value of your asset.

Of course, a valuation costs money, and you may find that an accurate replacement cost means higher premiums. But in the event of a claim you'll be very glad your cover is realistic.

Make sure you're correctly covered

Glenn Stone Insurance employs a specialist domestic insurance broker. If you have any doubts about the adequacy of your cover, or would simply like a professional to facilitate your insurance for you, be sure to get in touch.

You can contact our Domestic Broker, Lynley Evans, at

Case study:
Contracts can be an insurance killer

The issue

Many business owners give little thought to the fine print in their standard business contracts – but these may contain clauses that undermine their insurance cover.

Glenn Stone Insurance suggested to its client, a panelbeating company, that a close look at its loan car agreement might be in order. This provided for an excess of $300 in cases of damage by customers. This did not match the vehicle insurance policy, so we suggested a legal review of the implications. The risk was that the panelbeater could be left out of pocket despite having a valid claim.

The response

Out of the review came a recommendation to increase the standard excess to $400 and add a provision for a $1,000 excess if the driver had not held a full licence for 12 months. This aligned the contract with the insurance cover and left the business better protected from an entirely foreseeable event.

Sure enough, a claim was made that incurred an additional $1,000 excess. Without our advice, the panelbeater could have been carrying the loss.

Are your contracts or terms of business aligned with your insurance policies?

Don't leave things to chance – get Glenn Stone Insurance to review your standard business contracts when renewing cover. We can spot potential pitfalls and point you towards specialist legal advice where it’s necessary to protect your interests.

Staff Profile:
Leanne Fiatau, Claims Consultant

Unlike some insurance brokerages, Glenn Stone Insurance employs a full-time claims expert. Leanne is an experienced professional, having worked in the insurance industry since 1996. In an ideal world, you’ll never need to make a claim – but if you do, you'll be glad to have Leanne on your side!

How did you first get into the insurance business?

After having our family, I was looking for part time work. The State Insurance call centre offered after hours and weekend work that suited family life and meant we did not need to worry about childcare. I later moved to the other side of the fence and worked full time with another brokerage before taking up the claims role at Glenn Stone Insurance.

What do you find most satisfying about your job?

Making the claims experience as easy and painless as possible for clients. It can be a stressful time, so my job is to help sort things out.

Can you give any advice to people to make life easier at claims time?

Provide the information required as quickly as possible. In most cases, the more information or proof that is provided with the claim form, the quicker the claim is settled.

What changes have you noticed in insurance over the last few years?

With regards to claims handling, the insurers have become a lot stricter and are not as flexible when applying policy wordings.

Any hobbies or interests outside work?

I'm a great believer in keeping fit and also love spending time with family and friends.

Win the ultimate torch from Sportways
RRP $170

You'll be able to shine a light into the darkest places with this super-cool LED torch. The ProTac High Lumen Professional Tactical Light generates 600 lumens of brightness. It's waterproof to one metre, impervious to shock and perfect for home, car, camping and adventures.

To go in the draw, just click on the link below and send us an email with your name, contact number, and the answer to this question:

What is the name of the Claims Consultant at Glenn Stone Insurance?

Hint: You'll find the answer in the 'Staff Profile' article.

Click to enter now

This competition is free to customers of Glenn Stone Insurance. Prize is a ProTac® HL High Lumen Professional Tactical Light. No cash alternative can be provided. Prize draw closes on 31 August 2013. Glenn Stone Insurance will contact the winner and may feature the winner’s name in the next issue of Glenn Stone News.

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Level 1, 41 Totara Ave
PO Box 15854, New Lynn
Waitakere 0640, New Zealand
Tel: +64 9 826 0053
Fax: +64 9 826 0683
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