For house owners, damage to property remains the biggest concern during the rainy season. These instances are witnessed every year during floods in different parts of India. Yet, a very small percentage of houses in India are properly insured, leaving a majority of them vulnerable.
“Insuring your house isn’t a luxury anymore. But stats reveal that less than 1% of Indian houses are insured, leaving the rest 99% vulnerable to damages from monsoon, fire, etc.,” says Pranjal Kamra, CEO of Finology Ventures, a financial service provider.
How home insurance helps
House insurance policies generally don’t have any waiting period and the claim gets paid in case of any natural calamity. “A home insurancecan help people protect their property and the contents of the house. Any fire or short circuit due to floods is also usually covered under home insurance. Damages due storm, lightning, etc are also typically covered under home insurance,” says Kunal Jha, head of Motor Product and Actuarial at Digit Insurance.
What policy you should buy
Kamra suggests buying a home insurance plan that provides 360-degree protection covering external damages as well as damages to furniture, appliances, etc. It should ideally contain personal accident cover for members as well as workers.
“If you live in a low-lying flood-prone area or an earthquake zone, take appropriate cover for natural calamities as well. Gadget repair, pest control and plumbing/carpentry are an important add-on,” he says.
Avoid contributory negligence
It is important to take precautionary measures as insurers often deny benefits in the name of contributory negligence. “From an insurer’s perspective, it is the primary responsibility of the property owner to protect and safeguard the insured assets from vagaries of nature, as if they are not insured,” says Vivek Narain, an insurance specialist at Sana Insurance Brokers. “Should the insurance company detect any contributory negligence, then it could lead to repudiation of submitted claims or substantial deductions from payable claims for aggravation of losses,” he adds.
Check before buying
Read the different types of cover the insurance company is offering and assess whether it suits your needs or not. Apart from protecting your home and its contents from floods, earthquakes, storms, etc, home insurance also covers unfortunate events such as burglaries, accidental fire, explosion, and other such perils as mentioned in the policy document. “Some plans only cover the contents of your home, while others cover the contents as well as the building structure. Some insurers also protect your valuables such as cash, gold, etc., up to a certain amount,” says Jha.