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Insurance, reports and legal advice

Sometimes the list of things to think about when buying a home can seem overwhelming. But as this may be one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make, it’s important to be well informed before putting in an offer.


Your new home is likely to be your most valuable asset. To protect it against damage or loss caused by natural disasters you need to purchase private insurance for your home that includes fire insurance (most policies do).This will give you automatic natural hazards cover from NHC Toka Tū Ake for your home and limited cover for your land. 

Your insurer has more information about natural hazards cover, what to check with your private insurance, and how to work out what a rebuild might cost. 

Builder’s reports

It’s a good idea to get a builder’s report (also called property inspections, pre-purchase inspections or building surveys) before purchasing a property from an accredited property inspector. 

An accredited property inspector will assess the home, or particular features of the home, and prepare a report for you. Make sure you know what they will include in their inspection and ask for a sample report so you know what to expect. Check that they’ll consider how chimneys, foundations and retaining walls might perform or be affected by a natural disaster. Ask them to comment on the maintenance of the home.

You can learn more about researching a property on the Real Estate Authority’s Settled website.(external link)

LIM reports

Local councils provide Land Information Memorandum (LIM) reports – usually for a fee. A LIM report will have historical and current information that the local council has on a property, including:

  • potential erosion, subsidence or slippage of land
  • risk of flooding
  • any consents, notices, orders or requisitions affecting the land or buildings

You can ask your lawyer to explain any important issues or potential problems that might arise from the LIM report. LIM reports can take a few days to receive - check with the council for current turnaround times.

Legal advice

Your lawyer can help with obtaining and reviewing any relevant information about a property. Make sure you understand the scope of the advice they will provide so that you are clear about the work your lawyer will do for you, and which aspects you need to look after.

The Natural Hazards Portal

The Natural Hazards Portal shows settled EQCover and NHCover claims from 1997 onwards on residential buildings and land throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. 

Find out whether there has been a previous claim on the property you’re interested in. (external link)