Methamphetamine is partly to blame for a rise in property insurance costs.

New figures show the cost to insure property could go up by more than 50 per cent over the next three months.

Runacres Insurance said prices are going up to cover the cost of methamphetamine damage to rental properties. Company managing director David Crick said fire service and EQC levies were also pushing up prices.

"From figures that we've looked at, an overall increase, somebody could [now] be looking at a 50 to 55 per cent increase on their premium for a property that could be worth $300,000 to $400,000."


Crick said changes to the fire levy meant prices had gone up 40 per cent and the levy paid for EQC had also gone up by 33 per cent.

"We're finding that because of the increase cost of methamphetamine testings, the fire service levy and the EQC levies is going to dramatically increase the level of housing insurance," Crick said. "The cost to repair housing from the damage is increasing and insurers have introduced a new cost in the insurance package."

An increasing number of properties now needed to be tested for drugs, prior to being insured, he said.

"Over the last four or five years insurers have become more prevalent, so when a property is taken on by an insurer they are wanting a meth test done on the property, in a lot of cases before they will cover insurance for the property," he said.

"When people look at the actual full cost for insurance now, there could be people that may take the chance to self-insure the property, which would be the wrong thing to do."

A combination these factors meant dramatic increases for homeowners, when looking at the overall cost for insurance, Cricks said.

The Insurance Council of New Zealand and others were looking to talk to the Government about the increases to see if they could be challenged, he said.

"At the moment they [increase to levies] have been passed and at the moment they do stand, but we'd like them to be reviewed by Government but it may take a little time for that to happen."


Jo Mason, chief executive of NZbrokers, also said the cost of cover for methamphetamine damage in tenanted building would increase - by up to 56 per cent - for some properties, according to analysis.

"If we take the example of a 1970s farmhouse occupied by a farm worker with a replacement value of $230,000 which cost $944 to insure eight months ago, this will rise to $1478 in November - an increase of 56 per cent," Mason said.

"While the fire service and EQC are essential factors in managing the risk of home ownership, it's a real concern to see that this increase is going to hit many of those in lower value housing disproportionately higher."