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Licensing and guidelines for insurers

This page provides information on how to apply for an insurance licence and guidance for insurers on meeting the requirements of the Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Act 2010 (the IPSA).

Applying for a licence

Insurers seeking to carry on insurance business in New Zealand must be licensed under Section 19 of the IPSA. It is an offence under section 15 for a person to carry on insurance business in New Zealand without holding a licence. The exception is when Section 246 (1A) of the IPSA applies. This means that in some circumstances, insurers retain a provisional licence where they are no longer writing new policies.

You should refer to the meanings of “contract of insurance” and “carrying on insurance business in New Zealand” in sections 7 and 8 of the IPSA to determine if you need to be licensed under the IPSA. Under the IPSA only body corporates and friendly societies may apply to be licensed (see sections 12 and 17 of the IPSA).

Contact us if you intend to apply for a licence. We will:

  • provide you with an application form
  • assign an insurance supervisor to be your point of contact during the licensing process.

We encourage you to contact us early in your planning process.

Designated or portfolio supervised insurers

For the purposes of supervision, we place insurers into one of two groups:

  1. Designated insurers – insurers needing a greater intensity of supervision. Each insurer in this group is assigned a designated supervisor and their contacts details.
  2. Portfolio supervised insurers.

As soon as you are licensed, we will let you know which group you are in.

Contact us

Portfolio supervised insurers

+64 4 471 3980
+64 4 471 3995
[email protected]
FTA application currently offline

Portfolio Supervision
Insurance Supervision
Financial Stability Group
Reserve Bank of New Zealand
2 The Terrace
PO Box 2498
Wellington 6140

Designated insurers

Contact your designated supervisor with any questions.

Guidelines for insurers

The following guidelines will help you understand the supervision requirements of the Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Act 2010 and requirements for licensing.

Fit and proper policy (PDF 123 KB)

Risk management programme requirements (PDF 113 KB)

Governance (PDF 120 KB)

Insurer that has not yet commenced business (PDF 77 KB)

Exemptions for small insurers (PDF 134 KB)

Transfers and amalgamations (PDF 111 KB)

Statutory fund requirements (life insurance) (PDF 191 KB)

Carrying on business in a prudent manner (PDF 110KB)

Restriction on the use of words associated with insurance (PDF 593 KB)

Conditions of licence and licensing policies (PDF 246 KB)

Fit and proper certificate guidelines (PDF 108 KB)

Review of actuarial information (PDF 234 KB) 

Fit and proper certificate 1 template (DOC 42KB)

Fit and proper certificate 2 template (DOC 42KB)

Declarations and exemptions

The IPSA includes general provisions for declarations and exemptions that allow flexibility when applying the insurance prudential supervision regime where appropriate, provided certain conditions are met.

Read more about declarations and exemptions