Cyclone Michaung To Hit Andhra: Here’s How To Protect Your Home, Car With Proper Insurance

Cyclone Michaung threatens Andhra Pradesh now after wreaking havoc in Chennai. Here’s how to choose the right insurance policy and make the claims process for damage to your home and car from flood
Cyclone Michaung To Hit Andhra
Cyclone Michaung To Hit Andhra

Six deaths have been reported so far due to Cyclone Michaung and the resultant rains off the southern coast of India. The cyclone, which is expected to hit landfall by Tuesday, has pummelled Chennai and surrounding districts with continuous rainfall since 3 AM on November 4, 2023. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued an alert that the cyclone is moving towards Andhra Pradesh now.

The havoc that Cyclone Michaung wreaked in Chennai may continue in Andhra Pradesh too. Thus, residents should take care to safeguard their homes and vehicles.

Proper coverage through home and motor insurance policies, along with tailored add-ons, becomes imperative in ensuring comprehensive protection. This is more important as extreme weather and climate change impacts are increasing in Asia, according to this year’s report from the World Meteorological Organization.

Ensuring Comprehensive Protection For Homes

Selecting a policy that includes local natural disaster phenomenon is vital. For instance, in Chennai, frequent flooding occurs every two years, and so, it is prudent that one includes flood coverage in home insurance policies. However, standard home insurance plans usually lack this protection.

Home insurance is meant to protect home structures and belongings against floods, landslides, earthquakes, storms, fire, and burglary. However, flood coverage is not usually part of standard plans.

When Outlook Money analysed the top-three largest insurers (largest market share) that have a combined market share of 29.46 per cent as of November-end, only one of them had flood cover as part of its standard home insurance policy.

So getting a separate flood insurance policy is advisable in such a scenario. It is equally important to ensure a meticulous review of the policy details to avoid any claim denial in future. Any kind of wilful negligence or misconduct will forfeit the cover.

This is why it is also important to do a proper research to find out what all comes under misconduct. For instance, if there is a sewage inflow, the insurance company can claim that it was not because of floods, but due to an earlier blockage in the sewage pipe.

So, it is important to enquire with your insurer what all can fall under misconduct or wilful negligence.

Car Insurance Against Floods

Car insurance safeguards against damages from accidents or natural calamities, theft, and third-party liabilities. In India, having third party car insurance is a must.

However, if you get an own damage cover or comprehensive coverage that includes own damage, it will cover damages due to flood too. However, most standard car insurance policies don’t offer engine protection.

As such, one should use ‘engine protection coverage’ as an add-on for flood-prone areas. This coverage can help you if your car’s engine is damaged from water ingress or leakage of lubricating oil.

Typically the engine protection cover will cover the cost of repairing or replacing parts, such as connecting rods and crankshaft.

What Is The Claims Process?

Do check for the claim settlement ratio (CSR) of the insurance provider. Higher CSR indicates that the insurance provider quickly and seamlessly settles the claim and offers an overall good quality of service.

Find out how fast they settle claims (turnaround time) and if they have many pending cases.

Also, remember that promptly informing insurers about claims and documenting damages will streamline the settlement process. For home insurance policies, keeping your receipts and temporarily repaired items will fasten the claims process.

When it comes to car insurance policies, choose policies and companies that allow self-inspection during claims. It’s easier too. You can just use your phone to share pictures and videos of the damage, thus skipping the need for an insurance company staff to visit the site to assess the damage. Gather enough photo and video evidence that can be shared with the insurer.

Insurers usually require claimant’s know-your-customer (KYC) documents, and usually simplify the claims process in times of natural calamities. So, they may only require the policy issuance date and year to cross-reference it with their database and facilitate the claim settlement.

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