Managing caregiver claimsIf a caregiver's property is damaged by tamariki in their care, and it's not covered by their insurance, they may be able to make a claim to Oranga Tamariki.
Upcoming changes for this guidance
This content will be strengthened so it more completely reflects our commitment to practice framed by te Tiriti o Waitangi, based on a mana-enhancing paradigm for practice, and drawing from Te Ao Māori principles of oranga to support mana tamaiti, whakapapa and whanaungatanga. We each need to consider how we can apply these principles to our practice when reading this guidance. The following resources provide support:
Practice for working effectively with Māori
Our practice shift
What caregivers need to know
Before we approve them, we advise caregivers to make sure they have adequate insurance to cover their house, contents, car and any other items of value or importance.
Insurance covers accidental damage to property, but generally doesn't cover deliberate damage except for fire or explosion.
When a tamaiti is placed into their care, caregivers should inform:
- their insurance company in writing
- their landlord (if they have one), so that the landlord can notify their own insurance company.
This makes sure that any insurance claims can't be turned down due to a lack of disclosure of information.
Financial assistance for damage caused by tamariki in our custody
Oranga Tamariki have no legal liability for damage caused by tamariki in the custody of the chief executive.
However, we consider all claims by caregivers for uninsurable deliberate property damage or loss that happen because of tamariki placed in their care.
Oranga Tamariki use AON New Zealand, who provide an independent assessment and make recommendations about every claim. For claims exceeding $2,000, and in any other cases where further assessment is required, an investigator can be used to further assess the claim.
Oranga Tamariki can exercise discretion in situations where a caregiver is inconvenienced because of accidental damage to their property by tamariki in their care. In the case of large claims, we can consider compensating caregivers for the loss of their no-claims bonus or reimbursing part or all of their insurance policy excess.
Oranga Tamariki do not consider claims:
- for damage caused by normal wear and tear of property
- for any act of omission in response to, or related to, the commission of a crime or abusive act by the caregiver
- of liability assumed by a caregiver under any agreement, written or verbal, unless expressly approved by Oranga Tamariki
- for credit cards and their misuse unless proof is provided (limited to $200)
- that are not directly related to the actions of the child or young person in care (eg the child has a pet which destroys or damages property, or a friend who causes damage)
- that reflect a lack of supervision of the child or young person at a level that could reasonably be expected of the caregiver
- over firearms, cash, coin collections, collectibles, works of art, antiques, furs and jewellery, motor vehicles, boats or trailers
- for loss as a result of theft.
Oranga Tamariki may pay claims relating to:
- credit cards and their misuse, up to a maximum of $200
- telephone accounts, up to a maximum of $200
- replacing locks and keys when house keys have been stolen, lost or destroyed, or there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been taken by te tamaiti, up to a maximum of $200 in any one claim.
The process for a caregiver making a claim
In the first instance, caregivers should make a claim to their own insurance company.
Caregivers can make a claim to Oranga Tamariki through their caregiver social worker provided that they:
- take all reasonable steps to prevent or minimise further loss, damage or liability
- take all practicable steps to recover lost or stolen property
- inform the police if property is lost, or if theft or malicious damage is suspected
- provide full written particulars of the claim to Oranga Tamariki within 72 hours of the event,
- do not negotiate, pay, deny or admit liability for any claim.
Oranga Tamariki can choose to settle the caregiver’s claim by either payment or repair.
Caregiver claims will not be accepted if they are fraudulent or exaggerated, or if any loss or damage is caused wilfully by a caregiver. Criminal acts or omissions will be referred to the Police.
Contact details for queries and claims