Unseasonal Rain Batters North India: Time You Protect Your Home With Right Insurance

Unseasonal Rain Batters North India: Time You Protect Your Home With Right Insurance

As news of the damage and death caused by heavy rainfall and floods in parts of north India pours in, it’s high time you review your home insurance cover

Heavy rain and floods have caused widespread death and destruction across parts of north India. According to reports coming from the office of the Uttar Pradesh relief commissioner, more than 650 villages in 16 districts have been affected by the floods, impacting the lives of around 580,000 people.

Needless to say, in times such as this, one feels the need for a home insurance cover.

According to climate experts, cyclones, floods, storms, and earthquakes have unfortunately become more frequent in many parts of the country.

That is also why it is advisable that one takes the right home insurance policy that covers their region’s seismic or climatologic tendencies.

Says Pankaj Verma, head-underwriting, SBI General Insurance: “Bharat Griha Raksha, a standard product introduced by the regulator, is available with all general insurers and helps during such natural catastrophes. It can be purchased to protect unforeseen financial losses arising out of such unforeseen circumstances.”

Gurdeep Singh Batra, national head – retail non-motor underwriting and co-insurance, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance says that the primary concern behind taking a home insurance policy is to protect your home.

“You should insure your dwelling/home or any asset by availing comprehensive insurance, which protects the immovable assets, such as buildings and movable assets, as well as the contents within the home. Your home insurance policy will provide your home with a cover against any damages/losses incurred due to natural causes like flooding and inundation resulting from the recent incessant rains in North India, or earthquakes or other manmade calamities. You can opt for a home insurance plan for a longer period (multiple years) than an annual period only, as it will be more cost-effective.”

But does ‘rain’ come under natural calamity insurance?

Insurance products that are available in the market, cover risks of all-natural calamities termed as ‘Acts of God’. These include floods, storms, hurricanes, cyclones, and earthquakes, to name a few.

Your comprehensive home insurance policy should be opted to include coverage against ‘Acts of God' as well other unpredictable incidents. As such, your home insurance policy will provide your home with a cover against any damages/losses incurred due to natural or manmade calamities.

Insurance for someone living on the top floor of a high-rise apartment: Comprehensive Insurance policy for your home (including those living on top floors) will provide coverage for any loss suffered to the building from natural calamities, such as flooding or inundation of floodwaters resulting from such “Acts of God”, namely heavy rains.

“We have seen damages to the first and second floor residences from such flooding, in the past. Hence, comprehensive insurance for homes become all the more imperative. Such flooding also damages the pillars and plinth of the building or common amenities, such as club house, security cabin, compound wall, etc. Hence, insurance cover for such common amenities should also be availed separately by housing colonies and societies,” adds Batra.

Owning a home is a big financial and emotional investment. People also often decorate their homes with expensive artefacts, antiques, and so on. They may even keep some expensive belongings at home.

Adds Verma: “A comprehensive home insurance policy covers not just the structure, but also its contents. High-rise flat owners have responsibility towards common areas and utilities which may be covered under the policy.”

Things to keep in mind: According to Batra, the company should have a quick turnaround time for claim settlement . Another important thing to remember is that multiple-year plans are cheaper than single-year plans.

“Your house insurance coverage will cover any natural or accidental damages/losses like fire, etc. Additional coverages for old contents, basis of valuation of assets, and adequate sum insured, should also be looked at,” says Batra.

“To comprehensively protect one’s home, all aspects, such as personal requirements, the replacement value of contents, present infrastructure, and geographical location must be considered and included. These considerations will help in making a well-informed decision about the right, adequate and bespoke home insurance policy,” adds Verma.

“Further, floods can affect/weaken the plinth and damage contents in case any basement storage or installation is done in high-rise buildings too,” adds Batra.

Low premiums: Floods can cause damage to not just the structure of the home, but also to the contents inside. Premiums are decided based on a number of factors, including the value of the total property, including the contents of the house. They could start for as low as Re 1 per day.

One can visit an online insurance aggregators and get an idea about his/her home insurance premium. Further, if one goes to a company website, one can request a call back to discuss their home insurance needs.

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