School Building Insurance Funding Programme

We have a funding Programme (backed by private sector insurance) to pay for repairs to school buildings damaged in an incident. Under the Programme, your school buildings will be covered for loss or damage costing over $2,500 to repair and that meets the Programme criteria.

You must contact your property advisor as soon as possible after an incident has occurred about doing any urgent work and to apply for Programme funding.

Consider having some prearranged contractors for after hours call outs for urgent repairs.

Urgent repairs

The Programme covers

The School Building Insurance Funding Programme covers repairs for damage caused by:

  • fire
  • water, from a sudden problem including a burst pipe or sprinkler
  • earthquakes, including events that happen following an earthquake, such as fire or a tsunami
  • extreme weather like storms, heavy snow, gales, lightning strikes and floods
  • lost or stolen keys (up to $50,000).

The funding can only be used for:

  • repairing school buildings owned by the Ministry
  • replacing actual square metres lost up to what’s specified in the School Property Guide (SPG) funding programme
  • demolishing damaged buildings, including those not eligible for replacement under the SPG
  • costs, such as consultants’ fees, that are part of the repair or replacement project.

School Property Guide (SPG)

You might also be covered for ‘consequential costs’. These are costs to keep the school running such as providing:

  • transport to get staff and students to another place for classes
  • temporary services like toilets or electricity generators
  • barriers or panels to provide safe access to the school.

How the Programme works for property paid for by community groups or the board of trustees

Type of ownership

What the Programme covers

Buildings jointly owned by you and the Ministry

It covers you for the actual net square metres lost, up to our pre-agreed share or up to your entitlement in the School Property Guide, whichever is smaller.

You need to arrange insurance for your portion of any shared building. However, you shouldn't insure surplus space as we won't allow you to rebuild it.

Buildings owned jointly by the Ministry and a community group (such as halls and gyms)

It covers you for the actual net square metres lost, up to our pre agreed share or up to your entitlement in the School Property Guide, whichever is smaller.

The community group usually needs to insure the portion it owns as a condition of the standard agreement between the board and the community group.

Leases and licences of school property

Buildings owned jointly by you and a community group

No cover.

Making a claim and managing the damage after an incident

1. Stop any further damage

This can mean:

  • closing off a burst pipe to prevent flooding
  • patching roof damage from a storm to stop water entering the building.

2. Contact the Ministry

Contact your Ministry property advisor as soon as possible to advise them of the damage, get their advice on how to handle it and apply for Programme funding. If you get the work done before talking to them, your funding request will be declined.

3. Do the urgent repairs

You'll need to do an emergency procurement to engage contractors. Get our prior approval to go ahead with the procurement when you talk to your property advisor. We can give you verbal approval. Leave a message if we're not available to take the call and then follow this up with an email confirmation.

When doing urgent repairs:

  • talk to your property advisor about whether you need to call in the Emergency Response Coordinator
  • keep repairs to essential work to keep the school open and stop further damage
  • take photos showing the damage and the repairs
  • keep a record of all the work and keep all invoices — you'll need this to get funding under the Programme provided the total repair work meets our criteria.

Emergency Response Coordinators

4. Get non urgent repairs done

When we calculate the total cost of repairs we include:

  • any emergency repairs already done
  • your project manager’s fees
  • the cost of the work.

Repairs from $2,501.00 to $9,999.99

You can organise the work yourself if it's minor work like replacing damaged carpet.

You don’t need any quotes for work under $10,000. You can just contact an appropriate contractor, or you can use an emergency response coordinator to organise it for you. 

A loss adjuster may need to be involved if the total cost may go over $10,000, if a professional opinion could be needed or it might be possible to recover costs from another party. We can advise you about this.

Repairs $10,000 and over

Both the emergency response coordinator and the loss adjuster must be involved. We'll contact the loss adjuster.

Using the emergency response coordinator

Each local Ministry office has a contract for emergency response coordinators in its area. Either you, your local property advisor, the Fire Service or the Police can contact them if you need their services. They're available at all times.

Emergency Response Coordinators

The emergency response coordinator:

  • coordinates the response effort with emergency services
  • does an inspection and arranges any urgent work to get the school functioning as quickly as possible
  • organises emergency accommodation, security and safety at the school, if needed
  • prepares the scope of work in liaison with you, your project manager, property advisor and loss adjuster.

The loss adjuster's role

We have a national contract for loss adjuster services. We'll call in a loss adjuster to:

  • investigate the cause and confirm that the loss is covered by the Programme
  • meet with you to identify risks and hazards, and review any security measures taken by the emergency response coordinator or your project manager
  • review the scope of work prepared by the emergency response coordinator and estimate remedial costs (for tendered work, the building plans must be developed with, and approved by, the loss adjuster before work can start).

Getting the work done

If the remedial work is approved under the Programme, you must start the work within 1 year or the project budget will be withdrawn.

Contact your local Ministry office to apply for an extension if you can’t start within the year.

Local Ministry offices

Your project manager:

  • manages the remedial work
  • organises security and urgent repairs (if not done by the emergency response coordinator or loss adjuster)
  • prepares the scope of work in liaison with the board of trustees, property advisor, emergency response coordinator and loss adjuster.

You don’t have to rebuild exactly what was there before. Many older style buildings aren’t suitable as an innovative learning environment and can be updated.

Designing learning environments

The Programme won't cover

  • damage to contents (refer to our Contents insurance for schools page)
  • the normal movement of the building on its foundations
  • natural bulging of the land, or ground heave, unless it was caused by a ‘convulsion of nature’
  • damage from gradually developing causes like mould, mildew, rust, corrosion or the natural movement in building materials
  • smoke, fumes, dust or gas, unless the damage comes from a sudden event, like fire
  • bad workmanship, materials or design but resultant damage may be covered
  • leaky buildings (refer to our weathertightness remediation.
  • damage arising from poor maintenance – the amount you receive under the Programme will be based on how much the repair costs would have been if the property had been properly maintained; when in doubt, this will be decided by a loss adjuster
  • damage to machinery where it’s broken down (but fire/explosion damage resulting from the breakdown would be covered)
  • damage to land, trees (see below), shrubs, crops, lawns, grassed areas, gardens
  • damage to paths, driveways, playgrounds or tennis courts, paving, roads or asphalt
  • damage to residential property, like teacher houses
  • damage to fences or retaining walls that are not an integral part of the building
  • damage to covered ways that are not an integral part of the building
  • damage to services like water, sewerage, gas, data supply and electricity where it is more than 3 metres from a building
  • damage to swimming pools and associated buildings and infrastructure
  • damage to caretakers’ and groundsmen sheds, tractor sheds, equipment sheds, sports pavilions and pump houses
  • damage to board or community funded buildings
  • damage from vandalism – other than arson. Refer to our Vandalism funding page for information about repairing this type of damage.

Contents insurance for schools

Weathertightness remediation

Vandalism funding

Further information on what is or isn't covered


Damage to trees is not covered by the Programme. However, if trees cause damage, for example, if a branch falls on a building during a storm, the Programme may cover the damage to the building. Make sure you keep your trees well trimmed so this is less likely to occur.

Damage from power failure

Damage to electrical infrastructure such as cabling that’s within 3 metres of a building is covered. But damage from power failures isn't covered.

Solar panels

Solar panels that are a part of the building are covered, provided the reason for the damage isn't an excluded reason. For example, they won’t be covered if the damage is from general deterioration or weather.

Removing asbestos

The Programme will cover the costs of removing damaged asbestos. It won’t cover the costs of removing undamaged asbestos.

Managing asbestos in schools

Paying for damage not covered by the Programme

Pay for damage costing less than $5,000 using your operational funding.

Operational funding

To pay for damage over $5,000 but not covered by the Programme, use your 5 Year Agreement (5YA) funding, but only if the property is owned by the Ministry. If you don’t have enough 5YA funding to cover the damage, talk to your local Ministry office.

5 Year Agreement (5YA) Funding

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