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Transcript - Alfred's Story

The Importance of Insurance

I bought my first property in 2003, eight years after that I started thinking of, you know, buying an investment property.

And it was basically for my future, you know the bank had already sort of given me an idea of how much I could borrow.

The lady Kim, I never forget that name, Kim, was the lady at ANZ. She really gave me a lot of information when we started. Some insurance companies, when you talk to them they could be really vague, but Kim was really detailed, and, yeah I was really happy about that.

It wasn’t until I was discussing with my director, Ron McRae, who’s the owner of the company that I work for. He told me sort of that his son was selling his property down in Papamoa, because I knew the property as well because we went and did the renovation of the whole property, I decided to purchase the property.

The property was the one that was really enticing for me, it was three minutes away from the beach and I came from a village back home next to the beach. So that was the whole reason, so dream come true to be honest.

Straight after we bought the property we had our insurance advisors from the bank (tell me) what sort of insurance I had to take. At the same time it was an investment property and was out of Auckland, it just gave me peace of mind. You have to basically have insurance, you never know, it’s a probability cause, you definitely have to have it.

I got a call from Elsa who’s the real estate lady and it was a Sunday, I knew straight away. It could have been a robbery, or my house got burned down. Yes, the house was burning as we were speaking.

The street was full of people; I was really sad and sort of devastated at the same time. I was more worried about the people who were living there. I had to sort of you know, cool down, I tried to keep my calm because I knew I had insurance.

You know, got an interview with the fire guys and I also asked them sort of how it [the fire] started. The guy was grinding something in the garage, and there was a sofa sort of just on the left hand side of the garage, you know sort of old sofa. While he was grinding, one of those grinds sort of went into the sofa, it didn’t ignite till four or five hours.

You know so he must’ve sort of finished work, went into the house, smelled something, you know sort of walked down the garage and walked straight into the inferno of the fire and just ‘boof! He got out and went down the corridor, sort of grabbed one of the kids was still inside, it was really lucky that nobody got killed. It took only about forty minutes for the whole house to get burnt, Yep.

The insurance company at the bank gave me a call on the day of the fire, the insurance guys followed up probably three days after that again. And the bank was sort of constantly in contact with me, sort of in regards to sort of, the next move from here.

The policy sort of covered the rebuild, it also covered the rental for a whole year, you know it gives me more than enough time to rebuild the house.

The guys who were renting, they did not have any insurance. For me, I had some home contents you know, sort of in the house like TV’s and all that, I was covered for that. But for that whole family, they were not covered for anything.

The sum you have to calculate for the insurance, I think it’s the most important part of the insurance policy. And you have to really thoroughly look at you know sort of the amount that’s been assessed. It’s the external things, like you have to demolish the house.

You’ve got to look at the adjacent properties; they might have something like fences and all that. You might have a retaining wall along the house, which is quite a major cost in terms of It is advisable, yes - get advice from estimators, you know guys who estimate for the building, but at the same time have a listen to the banks as well because they will give you those external factors you never thought of that will really help if something like this happens to you.

Well it’s definitely, absolutely essential to have insurance, when it does happen you can rebuild your life and you can rebuild your house. You have to.