The Human Rights Commission has released guidelines to help insurers to prioritise vulnerable customers.
It says the guidelines were developed following a Commission review that found there was a variation across insurers in terms of how they determined vulnerability and then supported those customers, following the Canterbury earthquakes.
"People who are vulnerable are less able to cope with and recover from stresses and pressures, which is why there is a responsibility to ensure their needs are incorporated into business practices and policies," Chief Commissioner David Rutherford says.
"The aftermath of Canterbury earthquakes has highlighted the need for consistent approaches to how vulnerable customers are prioritised. The guidelines will be an invaluable resource for insurers, and potentially other businesses and social sector agencies, going forward.
New Zealand insurers and the Insurance Council of New Zealand had input into the guidelines.