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Residency Catches Exist in New Zealand Policies Too - Not Just Australian Ones

With the treatment of New Zealanders at the hands of our Australian cousins being a bit topical right now I can see why Ben Heather's article yesterday on got the title: "Kiwis sold 'worthless' insurance in Australia"

ANZ's policy has a permanent residency requirement, and it turns out that even though Kiwis can stay as long as they like in Australia (subject to some conditions) this isn't, technically, 'permanent'. You can imagine some customers wouldn't know that. You can also imagine that the sales process may have been undertaken by a busy, non-expert, banker who might not have spent the evening prior scanning the policy document for possible fish-hooks. But when the issue was spotted ANZ did the decent thing and refunded the premiums. Although, given the number of New Zealanders in Australia, of which probably a quarter bank with ANZ, I respectfully suggest that everyone would win if ANZ were able to include New Zealanders in their cover somehow. 

It turns out that ANZ has a similar exclusion in their New Zealand policy document. This is the actual wording: 

• No benefit will be paid if at the date of the event of the claim the Person Insured is not legally entitled to live, or to work in Full Time Employment (or Self-employment), in New Zealand.

I think this probably covers Australians. Good on ANZ New Zealand for being more forward-thinking. 

The wider issue of residency is worth highlighting, however, and while ANZ's exclusion is considered more restrictive there may be a residency fish-hook buried in the application form of most other insurers. Some will ask the residency question directly on the application and decline cover to non-residents. Some will ask about country of birth because where you grew up can have a big impact on risk. Applicants need to read questions and answer them truthfully to ensure that their cover is valid. 


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