New Zealanders continue to face a range
of unforeseen financial challenges and it’s
hard to know what’s round the corner.
We’re here to help, so you can focus on
the things that matter most to you.
As well as affecting the health of people around the world, COVID-19 is also affecting financial markets because investors are unsure about the effect it might have on the global economy in the short term.
Since markets have been volatile in recent months, you may have noticed your Westpac KiwiSaver Scheme balance has fluctuated as well.
KiwiSaver is generally designed to be a long-term investment and balances will increase or decrease in value, depending on how markets perform. These movements are called volatility.
While share market volatility is likely to continue for a while, the good news is that markets generally recover with time.
The main thing is to choose the right fund for your life stage, adapted to your tolerance of investment risk, and then stick with it.
To check that your Westpac KiwiSaver Scheme fund is right for you, take a look at our Risk Profiler.
For other things to keep in mind when managing your Westpac KiwiSaver Scheme account, click here.
Alternatively, if you have any further questions you can find our KiwiSaver contact details here.
We also have answers to 10 questions you might have about Kiwisaver and COVID-19.
If you’re experiencing significant financial hardship, you may be eligible to withdraw some of your KiwiSaver funds.
However, it’s important to remember that KiwiSaver is designed to provide you with money to live on during retirement. Any money you take out now could impact upon your retirement savings and potentially affect your standard of living in the future, and the government considers it to be a last resort. Westpac NZ is following this government recommendation, which you can read more about here.
Before you make any hardship withdrawal, it’s important to consider these alternative options and support programmes:
If you’ve already considered the above and none are suitable for your circumstances, learn more about the Westpac KiwiSaver Scheme hardship withdrawal process here.
Call us on 0800 738 641 if you need help with your premium payments, want to make a claim or have questions about your policy. We’re here Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 5pm. If overseas, call +64 3 372 4855. Our Contact Centre is currently experiencing higher than normal call volumes, so we appreciate your patience. If your query is not urgent, you can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
There are no specific pandemic exclusions in existing policies that are issued and underwritten by Westpac Life-NZ-Limited (Westpac Life)*.
If you need to make a claim, our standard process will be followed to determine if your claim meets the applicable claims criteria. This includes assessing your claim against:
The benefits provided, and the terms and conditions that apply to your policy, are set out in your policy document and your policy schedule (if applicable). Please refer to those documents for more information.
*This means the following Westpac Life products: Card Repayment Cover, Disability Income Cover, Flexicover, Gold Disability Income Cover, Gold Term Cover, Lifetime Guarantee, Loan Protection Plan / Loan Insurance, Mortgage Repayment Insurance, Simplicity Life, Term Cover, Westpac Accident Cover, Westpac Bill Protection, Westpac Loan Cover and Westpac Retirement Plan Insurance (together referred to as “Westpac Life, Income and Debt Insurance Products”).
We can continue to help you with your insurance needs at this time. Call us on 0800 177 277 and we can help you determine what is right for you.
Please be aware that for applications for new insurance cover or increases to existing insurance cover:
If you have a Westpac Loan Cover policy attached to your personal loan, and you’re eligible for COVID-19 loan repayment assistance, your Westpac Loan Cover can remain in place during your COVID-19 loan repayment assistance period, as per your latest policy schedule, until the policy expiry date. Remember, this cover may not match your actual personal loan term or balance if these have changed since you took out your policy. If you think you might be able to claim on one of the benefits under your policy, or have any questions on this or if you need another copy of your policy schedule, then get in touch at email@example.com, call us on 0800 738 641.
Note, your policy would normally terminate if the limit or term of your personal loan increases. To help ease the process, as an exception you’re able to keep your policy in place if you need to restructure your loan at the end of your COVID-19 loan repayment assistance period (unless your policy has expired or terminated prior to this). Just be aware that your policy won’t cover any increase in loan limit or term resulting from any personal loan variation. If your personal loan account is restructured again in the future (after any initial end-of-assistance restructure), your Westpac Loan Cover policy will terminate as per the usual process. Since we no longer accept applications for Westpac Loan Cover, we won’t be able to offer additional cover under your policy, or provide a new policy.
If you have Flexicover, Trustcover Loan Insurance, Loan Protection Insurance or Mortgage Repayment Insurance, and you’re eligible for COVID-19 loan financial assistance on the associated home loan, your cover can remain in place during your COVID-19 loan financial assistance, as per the terms of your policy. If you think you might be able to claim on one of the benefits under your policy, or have any questions on this or if you need another copy of your policy document, then get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0800 738 641.
During your COVID-19 loan financial assistance period, insurance premiums will continue to be deducted whilst your policy remains in force, and (if paid from a loan account) interest will continue to be charged on the premium amount.
Just a reminder that, as these products have been withdrawn from sale, we won’t be able to offer additional cover under these policies, or provide new policies for them. So if, at the end of your COVID-19 loan financial assistance period, you need to increase a home loan account limit (or extend the term for TLI or LPI) above that covered by your policy, this increase won’t be covered. The only exception to this is any increase to your loan limit as a result of interest that may have accumulated on your loan during your COVID-19 financial assistance period, and which will be added to your loan limit at the end of the assistance period.
Your Mortgage Repayment Insurance policy can remain in place during your COVID-19 home loan financial assistance, as per the terms of your policy. The one-off premium for this policy was added to your home loan when your policy commenced. This was based on the term and limit of the loan as at the commencement of the policy. Remember, this cover may not match your actual home loan term or balance if these have changed since you took out your policy.
Please note: Your policy would normally terminate if the balance of your home loan increases. To help you, we’ve made an exception so you’re able to keep your policy in place if you need to restructure your home loan at the end of your COVID-19 loan financial assistance period (unless your policy has expired or terminated prior to this). Just be aware that your policy won’t cover any increase in loan limit or term resulting from any home loan variation.
If this home loan account balance is increased again in the future (after any initial end-of-assistance restructure), this Mortgage Repayment Insurance policy will terminate as per the usual process. Since we no longer accept applications for Mortgage Repayment Insurance, we won’t be able to offer additional cover under this policy, or provide a new policy.
Westpac Home, Contents, Vehicle and Boat cover is arranged by Westpac New Zealand Limited (“Westpac”) and underwritten by IAG New Zealand Limited (“IAG”).
As an essential service IAG’s customer service and claims teams remain open and here to support you should you have an enquiry or need to claim.
To lodge a claim please call the claims team on 0800 309 378.
For existing claims we have worked closely with our extensive network of suppliers, repairers and tradespeople to ensure they can operate safely and within the Ministry of Health guidelines for the current Alert Level. We will continue to assess and settle customer claims during this time.
If you’re experiencing financial hardship because of COVID-19, we’d like to understand your situation and see how we may be able to help. Please contact our customer service team on 0800 809 378 Monday to Friday, 8am to 6.30pm and Saturday, 8.30am to 5pm.
The option for landlords to add the Rent Protection benefit to new Home Cover policies or to add it to existing Home Cover policies is not currently available. If you’re an existing Home Cover policyholder with the Rent Protection benefit shown on your policy schedule, your cover is unaffected.
The NZ Government is now advising that New Zealanders do not travel overseas at this time due to outbreak of COVID-19. This may affect customers with Westpac Travel Insurance and travel insurance provided in conjunction with some Westpac credit cards.
If you need help with your credit card payments, please email us at email@example.com or call 0800 606 606 (+64 9 375 9907 for overseas) 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
If you haven’t already done so you may wish to seek free, independent and confidential budgeting advice by contacting MoneyTalks at moneytalks.co.nz
If you have credit card repayment cover insurance, please refer to your policy wording. If you think you might be able to claim on one of the benefits under your policy, or if you’d like to cancel your cover, please call: 0800 738 641 (if underwritten by Westpac Life-NZ-Limited) or 0800 167 167 (if underwritten by both Westpac Life-NZ-Limited and/or Cigna Life Insurance New Zealand Limited). As we are no longer issuing new policies for card repayment cover, you will not be able to reinstate your cover at a later date if you choose to cancel it.