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Supermarket chain now offers insurance

Supermarket chain Countdown is partnering with Cigna to offer insurance.

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Countdown is part of Progressive Enterprises, a subsidiary of Australian company Woolworths Limited. Countdown Insurance will include bill protection, pet, travel, accidental death and life insurance.

The products will be offered online and by phone but they won’t be available in stores.

Countdown’s managing director Dave Chambers said the supermarket’s key point of difference in the insurance industry was that it was already a part of people’s lives.

Cigna, which is backing the policies, has a financial strength rating of A-.

Cigna’s chief executive Lance Walker said: "While Countdown might be new to the insurance game, they'll be solidly backed by our knowledge and expertise every step of the way."

Meanwhile, Tower has just brought back full replacement cover for New Zealand houses destroyed by fire, one of the main reasons for the total loss of a home.

The move means Tower is one of the few insurers to offer any form of full replacement benefit since the industry moved to sum insured in early 2013.

Full replacement for fire applies to any new Tower house insurance policies purchased from today, as well as all existing Tower house insurance policies. Policy holders’ homes will be fully replaced to the same standards as before the fire.

Tower chief executive David Hancock said customers repeatedly said they found the concept of sum-insured confusing and worried about whether they had the right insurance cover.

“Being able to provide full replacement for fire means one less worry for homeowners in the traumatic event of a fire. TOWER can guarantee your home will be fully rebuilt if it’s destroyed by fire, regardless of the cost or the sum you’re insured for,” Mr Hancock said.

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