Home Insurance (6)
A home insurance policy provides you with protection against the risk of loss for your structure as well as its contents. A home and its contents are among the biggest investments one usually makes; and therefore a loss of a home due to a calamity or its contents can cause a major financial setback in addition to the hardship of not having a home.
These days many homes and major purchases are bought through loans and mortgages. A loss of home and its contents can cause additional burden if in addition to replacing the contents, one has to repay the loans outstanding as well. Insuring your home and its contents provides you with the certainty that your home can be replaced and your family protected.
Many Insurers today require that suitable home insurance is taken for any home that is purchased with a home mortgage or against which a loan has been taken.
A home insurance policy is a very extensive product since it covers the house, its contents, its inhabitants and also their third party liability. The covers available can be divided under various sections or categories.
1. Fire & allied Perils – protects you against fire and its associated perils that might happen due to
o Natural calamities, such as fire, lightning, earthquake, landslide, rockslide, flood, inundation, storm, tempest, typhoon, hurricane, tornado, or cyclone.
o Man-made calamities, such as domestic gas explosions, overflow and bursting of water tank or pipes, damage caused by aircrafts, riots, strikes, malicious or terrorist acts.
2. Burglary & housebreaking – provides for damage to your house and the financial loss you suffered due to burglary. You can also get cover against damage caused by falling trees, electric poles or lampposts, collapsing aerials or satellite dishes, as well as damage caused by civic authorities while fighting fire.
3. Jewellery & valuables – cover against accident or misfortune anywhere in India for valuable items, such as jewelry, gold, silver, and other precious metal items, watches, clocks, photographic equipment, video cameras, telescopes, microscopes, music instruments, and sports equipment.
4. Plate glass – provides cover for breakage of fixed glass and sanitary fittings, including cost of frame, lettering, painting etc.
5. Breakdown of domestic appliances – Provides cover for damage to domestic appliances, such as refrigerators, washing machines, air-conditioners that might occur due to accidental electrical or mechanical breakdown.
6. Breakdown of electronic equipment – Provides cover for loss or damage to electronic equipment by accident or misfortune.
7. Pedal cycle – provides cover for loss or damage to your pedal cycle against accident (including fire and its allied perils), burglary, and third party legal liability for accidental injury, death, or property damage.
8. Baggage – provides cover for loss or damage to baggage belonging to you and your family due to accidents while travelling anywhere in India/world. However, it excludes money securities, gold and silver ornaments, travel tickets, cheques, share certificates, and consumable goods.
9. Personal Accident – protects you and your family members against accidents and violence, leading to bodily injury, disablement (permanent or temporary), or death. Some companies also provide for the educational expenses for a maximum of two dependent children
10. Public Liability Risk and Workmen’s Compensation Risk – Protects against liability to the general public and your employee for accidental death, bodily injury, or property damage.
11. Increased Living Expenses- covers expenses incurred due to damage to your home by fire and its allied perils, making it inhabitable.
Most of the insurance companies make it mandatory for one to purchase at least two to five sections of the householders’ insurance policy – along with the Fire and Allied Perils section being compulsory.
Any burglary of insured items taking place outside the insured premises is not covered under the householders’ insurance plan unless specifically mentioned in the policy. Things such as valuables, jewellery, baggage etc. may be covered under some conditions/circumstances or the coverage may be taken as an add-on at a premium. Please review the terms and conditions of your home insurance policy carefully at the time of purchase.
No, the age of your house has no impact on the premium of your householders’ insurance policy. However, beyond a particular age, some companies may refuse to insure your house. This time period often varies from company to company; a few companies refuse to insure houses that are more than 50 years old while other may have this limit at 25 years.
Home insurance policy, as you might be aware, needs to be renewed each year. Therefore it’s your responsibly to adjust the amount of cover taking into consideration the inflation, the improvements/changes you make in your house. Also, most insurance companies have a maximum limit to the per sq feet price they are willing to cover so you can’t increase the sum insured beyond a limit which varies from insurer to insurer.
However, insurance companies do offer a cover against inflationary factors as an Additional risk cover, which might come at a proportionate hike in the premium. Therefore you must go through the insurance document carefully.
I have got another house that is presently not in use, can it be insured and if yes, what type of cover should I go for?
The property can be insured even if it’s not in use presently. One can go for one of the two options depending on his/her requirements-
If the home is furnished, you can opt for a policy that covers both your house and its contents.
But, if the house is not furnished, you can opt for a Standard Fire and Special Perils policy only for the building. This policy will protect the structure of your building against loss due to fire / earthquakes etc. however, there are only few companies that provide this cover.