Editor | May 21, 2018 @ 12:46 PM
A home insurance policy gives you the dual advantage of securing a home loan with ease and protecting your abode against risks of all kinds. Experts give you a bird’s eye view…
A home is where you put most of your life’s savings into. It’s your comfort zone for the rest of your life and your family’s too. And you wouldn’t want that jeopardised for anything in the world. Keeping your house safe against any peril should be a priority on your to-do list. Through a home insurance policy, you can recover the cost of the damage, thus giving you the opportunity to restore your home and peace of mind. Over to the experts:
What it covers?
• A basic cover, called ‘Fire’ policy indemnifies damage due to certain perils such as fire, lightning, riots, malicious damage, landslides, floods, explosions, earthquake, etc. These are largescale damages with a low probability of occurrence; hence, less premium is charged. The policy excess, or the minimum deduction of a claim is higher, between Rs 10,000 and Rs 25,000. The claims are strictly paid on a reinstatement basis (which is the cost of reconstruction).
• Some private insurance companies have an all-risk policy for homes where the person can purchase a policy at the current market value of the apartment. There are two advantages – one, the peril need not be a specific one; for example, a building collapse is not covered in the fire policy but is in the allrisk one. Two, the policy pays out the insured value or market value of an equivalent apartment so that re-building is optional. These premiums are higher, excess is lower and coverage is wider.
Yashodan Heblekar, Insurance Advisor, Bajaj Allianz Insurance, Goa
• An immense home insurance policy covers all components in your compound such as garage, fence, etc. You can also opt for add-ons and protect your furniture, electronics, home appliances, etc.
For a claim for crimes like burglary or malicious damage to your property, report to the police and get a crime reference number, which your insurer will require as a part of the claim;
Explain the details to your insurer and ask for the relevant claim form as soon as the damage has occurred. Calls to a helpline will be detailed in your policy documents too;
Put together as much evidence and the circumstances surrounding it – photos, estimates for building work, witness statements, damaged items you’re claiming for, etc;
If possible, supply receipts, or quotations, etc for items;
Reconsider small claims. If you have built up a decent no-claims bonus, losing it could mean that over the next few years, the increased cost of your home cover outweighs the value of your claim.
Varun Manian, MD, Radiance Realty, Chennai
Home insurance policy can be bought by individuals or companies; The owner/occupant of the property needs to be an Indian citizen; A multi-year policy can be purchased only by the owner of the house/flat; A housing society can buy it to provide cover for the building as well as the common utilities. It can be applied in the name of the society by any authorised member of the society’s managing committee; Many insurance companies offer cover for the contents and possessions of the tenants against loss or damage by lightning, fire, theft, smoke, flood, etc. This policy will shield everything from personal belongings, furniture to electrical items, etc; The amount of insurance premium payable to the insurance company depends on the applicant’s age, home loan amount and tenure, applicant’s medical history.
Reaping the benefits
• A home insurance policy is highly recommended as it shields the house, contents of the house and the family from financial setbacks, property damage, and personal injuries in case of unfortunate incidents, natural calamities, lawsuits, man-made and anti-social activities. The policy supports the individual to financially recover from the loss and rebuild the home. In the process of restoring an insured house in the aftermath of damages, the insurance company will not only cover your renovation expenses but also your rental outflow on another accommodation. You can choose a bundled product wherein the premium amount is funded by the lender. Check if the policy covers the death benefit, death by accident, permanent disability benefit, etc.
Harshil Mehta, Joint MD and CEO, DHFL, Mumbai
Source: Leena Mudbidri, Times Property, The Times of India, Chennai