School Building Insurance Funding Programme

The Ministry Programme (backed by private sector insurance) covers repairs to school buildings damaged in an incident. This guidance provides criteria, ERC resources, and advice for making a claim.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Boards
  • Proprietors
  • Administrators

State and state-integrated schools must follow the steps when making a claim in order to qualify for the funding Programme. Schools must contact their local property advisor before undertaking any urgent work. Consider having prearranged contractors for afterhours call outs for urgent repairs or call the Ministry’s emergency response coordinator to attend if it is an emergency. 

Urgent repairs

Emergency Response Coordinators

The Programme covers

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

  • fire
  • water – from unexpected flooding or plumbing failure
  • earthquakes, including events that happen following an earthquake, such as fire, tsunami, or geothermal activity
  • extreme weather like storms, heavy snow, gales, lightning strikes and floods
  • lost or stolen keys (up to $50,000).

Read more on Key management at your schools.

The funding can only be used for:

  • like-for-like reinstatement of school buildings owned by the Ministry
  • replacing actual square metres lost up to what’s specified in your School’s Property Guide (SPG) entitlement
  • 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) — Space entitlement

You might also be covered for ‘consequential costs’ incurred as a result of the insured incident. These are costs to keep the school running for the period between the loss and reinstatement 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
  • temporary security patrol costs.

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.

Leasing or hiring school land and buildings

Buildings owned jointly by you and a community group

No cover.

Ex. Block A is 40% MOE owned and 60% BOT owned. Reinstatement costs amount to a total of $10,000 (incl. fees, contingency, etc). MOE will fund $4000 while BOT will fund $6000.

Boards should insure property that they own. Ministry funding will only address Ministry owned “school buildings” to the proportion that the building is Ministry owned. The Board must fund the repairs to the proportion that they own the building. Buildings are indivisible, so it doesn’t matter what part of the building was damaged.

The Ministry recommends against school boards insuring Ministry owned property. We strongly recommend that school boards seek independent insurance and/or legal advice before taking out insurance on a Ministry owned asset including understanding potential issues with demonstrating an ‘insurable interest’.

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 may be declined.

3. Do the urgent repairs

You will need to do an emergency procurement to engage contractors. Wherever possible you should get Ministry approval prior to going ahead with the procurement. Contact your property advisor who can give you verbal approval over the phone, if they are not available to take the call leave a message and then follow this up with an email.

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 damage, all the work completed to make the site safe and all invoices – you will need this to get funding under the Programme, provided the situation and repair work meets our criteria.

Using the Emergency Response Coordinator

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

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.

Emergency Response Coordinators

4. Repair costs

You must always follow the Ministry’s procurement rules.

When calculating the total cost of repairs make sure this is exclusive of GST and the documents include:

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

Repairs from $2,500 to $10,000

You can organise the work yourself if it is 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 or your project manager to organise it for you.

Repairs $10,000 and over

Make sure to follow Ministry procurement rules and liaise with your property advisor throughout the process.

A loss adjuster must be involved if the total cost could go over $20,000, if a professional opinion could be needed, or it might be possible to recover costs from another party. Your property advisor will engage them when necessary.

The loss adjuster's role

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

  • investigate the cause and confirm that the loss is covered by the Programme
  • 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 or project manager and estimate remedial costs (for tendered work, the building plans must be developed with and approved by the loss adjuster before work can start).

To contact loss adjuster services please refer to the region specific contact list below or call 0800 800 270 for after-hours emergency assistance. 

Loss adjusters contact list [PDF, 127 KB]

Reinstating the damaged property

If the remedial work is approved under the Programme, you must start the work within one year or the project budget will be withdrawn. Speak to your property advisor to apply for an extension if you can’t start within the year.

Engage your project manager to complete the remedial work including:

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

Role of the project manager in school property projects

You don’t have to rebuild exactly what was there before. Discuss your options with your property advisor.

Designing learning environments

The Programme won't cover damage to/from

Not covered Additional information
Natural bulging of the land, or ground heave, or landslips Cover for slips only where it damages or threatens to damage (protection costs) an insured building
Gradually developing causes such as general deterioration, wear and tear (“old age”), mold, mildew, rust, corrosion or the natural movement in building materials  
Smoke, fume, dust, or gas Covered if caused by fire
Vermin/rats damage (ex. pipes/cables)  

Covered if caused by arson or very high cost events ($100k+)

Refer to Vandalism funding

Faulty workmanship/materials/design Resulting damage is covered
Leaky buildings Refer to Weathertightness remediation
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.
Machinery breakdown replacement (ex. Heat pump/air-conditioning, computers, ICT Network switches, PCB/hard drives, other removable electrical services and equipment), contents, keys that are lost over time

Lost or Stolen keys are covered provided that it can be answered by “when/how” (not covered if lost track over time)

Refer to Contents Insurance

Services (ex. Water, sewerage, gas, data supply, electricity) where it is more than 3 metres from an insured school building  
Other non-"school building"
  • land, trees, shrubs, crops, lawns, grassed area, garden, light/electric poles
  • paths, driveway, parking lot, playground, courts, fields, paving, roads, asphalt, fences, gates
  • covered way, shade sails, canopy, pergola, veranda, decking, glass awning, Clearlite roofing
  • swimming pools, and associated buildings/infrastructure, residential property
  • caretakers’ and groundsmen sheds, tractor sheds, equipment sheds, tuck shop, sports pavilions, boiler and pump houses, water tanks, and other associated ancillary buildings
  • board or community funded buildings
Covered only if it is listed as a "School Building" in K2 and is owned by MOE.

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 insured building and removal of the tree from the damaged building. Make sure you keep your trees well-trimmed so this is less likely to occur.

Power surge/failure

Damage to essential electrical infrastructure such as alarm/security system and cabling that’s within 3 metres of a building is covered. But damage to machinery and removable IT equipment from power failures isn't covered.

CCTV cameras

CCTV cameras are covered if they are installed for the purpose of building protection, are wired into the building, are Ministry-owned assets, and the cause of the damage is not an excluded cause. CCTV cameras installed for the purpose of protecting contents are not covered (i.e., angled to monitor the building interior).

Solar panels

Solar panels (on a roof or standalone) can be covered under the Programme if they are a Ministry-owned asset, provided the reason for the damage is not an excluded reason. For example, they won’t be covered if the damage is from general deterioration.

Solar panels or CCTV cameras that are not owned by the Ministry won't be covered, and the owner of the solar panel/CCTV cameras needs to arrange insurance separately.


The Programme will cover testing fees and costs to remove damaged asbestos if it is from one of the following perils:

  • Fire, smoke, explosion
  • Lightning
  • Windstorm, hail
  • Direct impact of vehicle
  • Aircraft or vessel
  • Riot or civil commotion, vandalism or malicious mischief; or accidental discharge of fire protective equipment.

The Programme will not cover the costs of testing and removing undamaged asbestos unless caused by a covered peril above. Underlying or pre-existing contamination is not covered because it was not caused by the peril.

Managing asbestos in schools

Paying for damage not covered by the Programme

Damage costing less than $5,000 using your operational funding.

Operational funding — Property Maintenance Grant for state school maintenance work

Damage over $5,000 use your 5 Year Agreement (5YA) funding. If you don’t have available 5YA funding to pay for the repair, talk to your property advisor.

5 Year Agreement (5YA) Funding

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