COVID-19 response

As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds rapidly around the globe, many people face uncertain times. Information about insurance and financial services can be accessed below. The IFSO Scheme welcomes your questions, enquiries or complaints to our free and independent service. Contact us.

Government financial support package

The Government is acting to support people and the economy with a $12.1 billion package, which includes:
- leave and self-isolation support
- wage subsidy scheme
- mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes
- business cash flow support
- Maori community and business support

See covid19.govt.nz or call the free government helpline: 0800 779 997

Insurance and Financial Services industry updates

Commerce Commission
Find out about the Commission’s response to COVID-19, consumer rights and business obligations, including guidance for lenders and guidance for borrowers.
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Commission for Financial Capability (CFFC)
The CFFC summarises sources of help and information for kiwis to access during the COVID-19 response, particularly those under financial stress. The Retirement Commissioner says beware of Coronavirus scams, only apply for KiwiSaver hardship as a last resort, and check out the Sorted and Money Talks websites. The government’s COVID-19 website should be the first port of call.
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Financial Advice NZ
Financial Advice NZ provides a range of updates on regulation, investments, insurance and the volatility of the markets.
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Financial Advice providers: FSLAA on hold: a stay of execution for the Financial Advice Act
In this Financial Law Insight, Dentons looks at the implications for financial advice providers (FAPs), the regulatory development programme, the opportunities and risks created, and consider what this will mean for the current regime.
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Financial Markets Authority (FMA)
The COVID-19 crisis has had a dramatic effect on the New Zealand economy, consumers and markets. The FMA is monitoring the impact on financial markets and considering options to ensure markets can continue to support participants, customers and investors. See FMA updates on regulation, (including the delay to the new financial advice regulatory regime FSLAA), essential services, Kiwisaver and consumer advice are available.
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Financial Services Council (FSC)
The FSC has issued advice on life insurance, Kiwisaver and investments in light of COVID-19. They urge consumers to keep calm and keep informed, and to contact their financial services provider before making big decisions. FSC Connect is a programme to inform the sector and consumers about the COVID-19 response.
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Financial Services Federation (FSF)
The FSF is encouraging borrowers who have been financially affected by COVID-19 to talk to their providers, ask about repayment deferrals or repayment holidays, and check if they have a credit-related insurance policy.
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Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ)
Insurance has been classified as an essential service. Insurers remain open to maintain their level of service to their customers. Insurers are asking customers experiencing financial hardship to contact their insurers to discuss options. ICNZ represents general insurers including house, contents, vehicle, travel and business interruption insurance.
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Life insurer response
RiskInfoNZ asks life insurers about their approach to underwriting new insurance applications, and measures for customers financially impacted by COVID19, including premium waivers.
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Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)
Information for small businesses, workplaces, landlords, and information on health & safety and essential services can be found on the MBIE website.
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Quick links for consumers

Ministry of Health website: for the latest COVID-19 updates and health advice.

Safe Travel: the Government’s official travel site is currently on the highest alert: do not travel overseas.

Age Concern: for older New Zealanders, Age Concern is offering a range of advice and support.

Citizens Advice Bureau: the CAB can help with information about COVID-19

Commission for Financial Capability: the CFFC site leads to a range of resources and information to support people and businesses.

Community Law: during the COVID-19 response, most community law centres are still providing free support on the phone or online

Consumer NZ: find out about essential services and what’s open and closed during lockdown

FinCap: a nationwide organisation providing budgeting and financial capability advice

Sorted: Advice on a huge range of money issues can be found on this site, including COVID-19 tips and guidance

Money Talks: Free and confidential budgeting advice is available here: 0800 345 123