Safety tips.

Lithium-ion batteries are becoming more commonplace in everyday products, so it’s important to handle them correctly and follow safety measures to prevent battery fires.

Data from IAG New Zealand (our insurance underwriter), shows at least one home insurance claim per month is due to fire damage caused by lithium-ion batteries or their chargers.

Lithium-ion batteries can be found in phones, laptops, headphones, smart watches, children’s toys, tools, electric cars, e-bikes and scooters.

These batteries are very useful as they hold more energy, last longer and charge faster than regular batteries. However, it’s important that they’re being used and charged safely.

Lithium-ion battery powered devices.

  • Only use the charger that’s specifically designed for the battery. For example, if you have an Apple iPhone or Samsung Galaxy, only use chargers that have been produced by Apple and Samsung.
  • When charging household items like laptops, gaming consoles or cellphones, don’t place them on soft surfaces and never sleep with the item close to you (for example under pillows or bedding).
  • Don’t overcharge the battery by leaving it unattended for a prolonged period.
  • Keep an eye on the battery while it’s in use and remove it immediately if it starts to feel hot.
  • Avoid exposing lithium-ion batteries to extreme temperatures.
  • Don’t puncture, crush, or otherwise damage the battery casing.
  • Don’t dispose of batteries in household waste – they need to be disposed of carefully. Contact your local council for a recycling location.
  • Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for proper use, storage, and disposal of lithium-ion batteries.
  • Regularly check chargers and cables for signs of wear such as loose plugs, exposed wires or breaks.
  • Store lithium-ion batteries in a cool, dry place and keep them away from moisture and flammable materials.
  • When charging items in a garage or workshop, keep batteries away from flammables and areas where they could get damp.

Tips for charging EV, e-bike and e-scooter lithium-ion batteries.

  • Where possible, these should be stored and charged away from living spaces, exit doors, escape routes and combustible materials.
  • Only use electric vehicle charging adaptors supplied by the vehicle manufacturer or by an electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) manufacturer.
  • Plug EVSEs directly into a mains power point (don’t use household adaptors such as a multi-box, double plug or a travel plug).
  • Never use damaged or modified charging equipment, such as overseas equipment that has been fitted with a New Zealand plug.
  • Never leave your battery to charge overnight.

We can help.

If you need to make a claim, you can do it online or give us a call on 0800 309 378.

Things you should know.

Source: IAG New Zealand Limited

Westpac Home, Contents, Vehicle and Boat insurance cover is arranged by Westpac New Zealand Limited (“Westpac”) and underwritten by IAG New Zealand Limited (“IAG”). None of Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 (incorporated in Australia), Westpac, or any member of the Westpac group of companies guarantee the obligations of, or any products issued by, IAG or any member of the IAG group of companies. Westpac will receive commission payments as a result of the arrangement of IAG insurance policies. For IAG’s financial strength rating visit Westpac accepts no responsibility for the availability or content of any third-party websites and makes no representation as to the accuracy or currency of the materials.

Terms, conditions, exclusions and limits apply. More detail can be found in the policy document; visit or call 0800 809 378 for a copy.

Any claim payment is subject to your claim being accepted.