Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman Scheme

We resolve complaints about insurance and financial services.

Our service is independent, fair and free for consumers.

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Cyclone Gabrielle - Consumers – Insurance Claims

Cyclone Gabrielle has caused havoc around the North Island. Flooding, landslips, gale force winds and displacement of communities have resulted in the Government declaring a National State of Emergency at 8.43 AM on Tuesday, 14 February 2023. This is an unprecedented weather event and is likely to give rise to many thousands of insurance claims.


  1. Customers need to be patient, particularly where they may have claims unrelated to the flooding and cyclone; the most urgent cases will be dealt with as a priority. If you do not have an urgent claim, expect it to be processed after urgent claims – realistically, this may take many weeks or even months.
  2. Insurers will continue to work hard to settle claims and will prioritise those most in need when doing so.
  3. We understand from ICNZ that insurers have already brought in as many staff as possible to continue to be able to service their customers.
  4. Demand for assessors, tradies and related materials and other goods is already incredibly high. The 27 January flooding and now the devastation from Cyclone Gabrielle has put enormous pressure on supply chains and transport routes.
  5. Insurers are expecting thousands and thousands of flood and Cyclone claims, likely to be the most claims in a natural disaster event since the Canterbury earthquakes in 2010/2011.
  6. It is in the best interests of customers and insurers alike that claims are settled quickly. You can help by not ringing your insurer if it is not urgent – contact them online. Make the claim process as easy as possible by having a good photographic record of any lost or damaged contents and vehicles, and any damage to your house. Any other documents showing purchase and/or ownership should also be provided if you have them.

Check out our webpage - Natural disasters - after the event

How we can help

The IFSO Scheme uses the New Zealand Relay Service, which is a telecommunications service for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind or speech-impaired. All NZ Relay calls are strictly private, so information is safe and secure.

We can also arrange an interpreter by telephone and have information available about the IFSO Scheme on our website in 7 languages below.


'Saturated' Auckland warned of more heavy rain, thunderstorms

Almost a week after record-setting rainfalls hit Auckland, the city remains under a state of emergency. With high saturation levels and the weather system on its way back, MetService has put eastern areas of Auckland under a heavy rain watch from 11pm Thursday Feb 2 until 11am Friday Feb 3 2023.

Make sure you read our media release to prepare for your insurance claims.

read more
Flood Claim Tips

Mud, silt and sewage have been left behind in Nelson and Marlborough homes after a deluge of rain brought flooding and slips. But, if you're allowed back home, how do you clean it up? Here's what you need to know:

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The word Asia is in Australasia

A Kiwi holidaymaker landed with a $28,000 hospital bill after contracting Covid-19 in India thought his insurance would cover him because "Asia" was in the word "Australasia".

But his insurer said the term Australasia was only broadly applicable to treatment in Australia and New Zealand.

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Fraud vs non-disclosure

The Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman Scheme (IFSO) isn’t in the business of detecting, reporting and reducing insurance fraud; that is the job of the Insurance Fraud Bureau New Zealand (IFB) and insurers. However, IFSO does encounter insurance complaints where fraud and the separate issue of non-disclosure are factors. Read on to find out the difference between them.

read more

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