Initio Insurance: Canstar Innovation Award Winner 2024

Congratulations to Initio Insurance, winner of a Canstar Innovation Award 2024 for its unique online insurance tool.

When Initio launched, it was the first company in New Zealand to offer home insurance policies directly to consumers online. And now, over ten years later, it’s still setting the standard in online insurance.

Initio’s groundbreaking digital insurance experience boasts real-time quoting, instant coverage and streamlined claims processing, all driven by cutting-edge technology.

Thanks to the insurance company’s dedication to fast-tracking the claims process, Initio has managed to reduce payout times considerably. In some simple cases, the money can be in a claimant’s account in under an hour.

It’s Initio’s continued push to implement such advanced, smart technology that makes it a worthy winner of one of Canstar’s latest Innovation Awards.

What is Initio’s Online Insurance Experience?

Initio offers a groundbreaking digital insurance experience, boasting real-time quotes, instant coverage and streamlined claims processing, all driven by cutting-edge technology.

Customers can quote insurance for their property in a single click, organise cover in less than two minutes and make claims in an instant.

Allowing for more accurate risk assessments, Initio’s risk-mapping application Locatio assesses property risks with high precision, taking into account factors such as flooding and earthquakes.

At the other end of the insurance process, Smart Claims provides customers real-time education, updates and results via the Initio customer dashboard, enabling super-fast payment of non-complex claims.

However, it’s also worth noting that despite Initio’s focus on online, digital processes, human claims consultants are still on hand at all times, enhancing the overall consumer experience.

Initio’s offering includes comprehensive home and contents insurance, landlord cover, holiday home insurance, and policies tailored for house flippers.

Its digital platform streamlines the claims process, offering 24/7 lodging of claims via an online dashboard and instant payment for non-complex claims.

What are Canstar’s Innovation Excellence Awards

Canstar’s Innovation Excellence Awards reward the best and most innovative financial products to come to market over the past 12 months. All submissions and nominations for the 2024 Innovation Excellence Awards were judged and assessed by Canstar’s expert research committee using our sophisticated and unique ratings methodology.

Products and services assessed were measured and calculated against two factors:

Degree of innovation: 

  • How unique is the product?
  • How disruptive is the innovation?
  • Does it have a WOW factor?


  • How many customers does it benefit?
  • Is it affordable and easy to use?
  • How will it improve and affect a consumer’s life?

All these factors were scored on a rating from one to five, and then weighted to produce a final score. The degree of innovation is weighted at 40% and a product’s impact is weighted at 60%.

You can learn more about the evaluation and calculation details in our awards methodology, here.

What our judges said about Initio’s Online Insurance Experience

Our awards panel noted that Initio is the first insurer in New Zealand that allows customers to arrange quotes and cover and file claims quickly and easily through a digital portal.

The panel commended Initio for the way its service enables homeowners to manage their insurance needs with ease, leveraging technology to assess risks quickly and accurately.

However, the judges were most impressed by the ease and efficiency of receiving a quote with Initio, and there was consensus around the judging table that this could be disruptive as other insurers look to adopt a similar approach.

About the author of this page

This report was written by Canstar’s Editor, Bruce Pitchers. Bruce has three decades’ experience as a journalist and has worked for major media companies in the UK and Australasia, including ACP, Bauer Media Group, Fairfax, Pacific Magazines, News Corp and TVNZ. Prior to Canstar, he worked as a freelancer, including for The Australian Financial Review, the NZ Financial Markets Authority, and for real estate companies on both sides of the Tasman.

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