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Bill Protection FAQs


What is Bill Protection Insurance?

It’s insurance that can pay out a fixed monthly benefit for up to six months if you are unable to work due to redundancy, illness or injury. There is also bankruptcy cover for self-employed people, which can pay out three times your monthly benefit.

If you make a claim you can use the money to help pay for your groceries or to meet any of your personal expenses.

You should refer to the policy wording for full details of all terms and conditions.

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What is not covered?

You should refer to the policy wording for full details of all exclusions, but here is a brief summary of a sample of situations where you will not be covered. You will not be covered if the claim results from:

  • a pre-existing medical condition
  • a self-inflicted injury or attempted suicide
  • alcohol or drugs taken (unless prescribed)
  • backache or psychiatric conditions
  • redundancy in the first 3 months of the policy
  • voluntary redundancy, resignation or dismissal
  • bankruptcy in the first 6 months of the policy

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What is involved in applying for Bill Protection Insurance?

Acceptance is guaranteed, so there are no medical or underwriting questions to answer. We’ll just need some personal information and the amount of cover you’d like to buy. Once the application is completed you’ll be covered immediately.

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When will my policy end?

The Policy will end when any one of the following happens:

  • your premiums remain unpaid for three consecutive months. Cover stops from the date that the last paid premium provided cover to
  • you cancel your policy
  • you provide false or incorrect information in support of a claim
  • once a total of 18 months payments have been made under this policy, for Temporary Disability and/or Redundancy benefits, across all related and unrelated claims
  • the Policy Anniversary date following your 65th birthday
  • the policy is cancelled by Cigna by giving you three months’ notice
  • if you die.

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What is a pre-existing medical condition?

A pre-existing Condition means any illness, bodily injury or condition, whether existing, diagnosed or in remission that:

  • you sought or received medical advice, treatment or hospitalisation for before the Cover Start Date; or
  • you could reasonably have been expected to have sought or received, medical advice, treatment or hospitalisation for before the Cover Start Date.

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Will I be covered if I have a pre-existing medical condition?

No. Pre-existing medical conditions are not covered by this policy.

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How do I make a claim?

The first step in making an insurance claim is to contact Cigna directly. Our team will guide you through the claims process, beginning with giving you clear information on your policy and sending out any required forms for your claim. You can call us free on 0800 99 77 00, or email us at claims.nz@cigna.com.

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What type of information will I need to provide when making an insurance claim?

The information you need to provide when making an insurance claim will vary depending on the type of claim you are making. We will send you a claim form when you contact us that describes in detail the information you need to provide us to assess your claim.

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What happens once I have returned the claim form?

Once you submit your insurance claim form, we will assess your claim within five working days of receipt. At this point we will let you know if we need any additional information. We will keep you updated as we process the claim, but if you have any questions you can call us on 0800 99 77 00.

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How do I know if I have a valid claim?

Our claims team are here to help. You can call us on 0800 99 77 00 or email claims.nz@cigna.com and we will look into your policy details and help you decide if your specific circumstances may be covered.

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What payment options are available?

You can pay for your cover by Direct Debit, Visa or MasterCard debit or credit card. Premiums can be paid fortnightly, monthly, half-yearly or annually.

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Can I cancel my policy?

If you are not entirely satisfied with your policy and want to cancel it, you can do this by calling us on 0800 99 77 00.

If it is within 30 days of receiving your policy documents we'll refund your entire premium. If it's after 30 days, we will not refund any premiums.

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Can I reduce or increase my cover?

Yes you can reduce your insurance cover at any time.  As Countdown Insurance products are no longer being sold, unfortunately you are unable to increase your Countdown Policy Cover.  However please phone 0800 99 77 00 and the team will discuss options with you that best meets your requirements.  For any further inquiries on your policy, please call 0800 99 77 00.

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 What if I lose all my documents?

If you lose the documents that you have received in the post, or accidentally delete the email, just call us on 0800 99 77 00 and the documents can be resent.

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Can I have a printed copy of my documents?

Sure! The documents can be printed and posted to you on request.

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How do I make a complaint?

If you have a complaint we are happy to discuss it. Please call us on 0800 99 77 00 (or +64 4 9158777 if you are overseas), or email us on complaintsandquality.nz@cigna.com. Our Customer Service team will do their best to resolve your issue straight away. However, if they can't sort out the issue, our dedicated Customer Resolution Consultant will personally take on your case.

Also, Cigna is a member of the Insurance and Financial Services (IFSO) scheme, a free independent service which can help settle any dispute you are unable to resolve with us.

Any dispute or action relating to your policy will be determined in accordance with New Zealand law.

IFSO contact details

Post P O Box 10 845
Wellington 6143
Phone 0800 888 202
Email info@ifso.org.nz
Website www.ifso.nz

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Who arranges this insurance?

The Insurance is provided and underwritten by Cigna Life Insurance New Zealand Limited (Cigna). Only Cigna can approve and accept your Policy and will be responsible for administration, all claims and other matters relating to your Policy.

Woolworths New Zealand Limited (Countdown) and its related companies do not guarantee the obligations of the insurer/underwriter, Cigna, and will not be liable if Cigna refuses to pay a claim.

Countdown may receive a commission while your Policy remains in force.

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Who is Cigna?

Cigna New Zealand is a leading specialist provider of insurance products and services including travel insurance, life insurance, identity theft protection, funeral insurance, income protection insurance, accidental death insurance and serious illness insurance.

We’ve been operating in New Zealand for nearly a century, and now protect more than 295,000 New Zealanders with our insurance policies.

Cigna New Zealand is part of Cigna Corporation, a Fortune 500 insurance company and one of the world's largest publicly owned companies.

A copy of Cigna's latest financial statements is available on request.

Financial Strength

For information about Cigna’s Financial Strength and Solvency click here.

For more rating information visit http://www.ambest.com/ratings/guide.pdf

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Countdown Insurance
is backed by Cigna Life
Insurance New Zealand

Cigna is a leading specialist provider of insurance products and services with over 90 years of insurance experience.