Monsoon And Flood: How Health, Home, And Motor Insurance Help You Secure Your Life, Property, And Vehicle

With comprehensive insurance policies, you can prevent the destruction of your life and property in the ensuing monsoon season.
Monsoon And Flood
Monsoon And Flood

According to The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, the estimated damages to houses, crops, and public properties due to floods and heavy rain have more than tripled, rising from Rs 15,868 crore in 2019 to Rs 46,617 crore in 2021. According to a World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) report released at the end of July, India suffered the third highest losses in the region due to flooding, amounting to over $4.2 billion. Recent floods in North India have resulted in significant loss of human lives and economic losses estimated at Rs 10,000 to 15,000 crore, with Himachal Pradesh suffering extensive damage to infrastructure.

Urban flooding has become a severe issue escalated by global warming. The consequences of urban flooding include traffic congestion, potentially submerging vehicles and hence causing extensive motor damage. Secondly, it leads to infrastructural damage, causing havoc on homes by damaging house walls, roofs, or the foundation itself. Apart from the ones mentioned above, the consequences of urban flooding extend beyond physical damage and pose a risk to life as well by causing health damage. This includes the stagnant water that remains after flooding which acts as a breeding ground for vector-borne diseases such as chikungunya, malaria, and dengue causing hospitalization of the affected. This results in extensive financial burden and crisis on affected communities.

Hence, it’s important to realize that monsoons and floods can cause major disruption to lives and properties. It is therefore very important to have comprehensive insurance policies for all three areas of our lives- health, home, and vehicle- which can secure your life, property, and cars. Such insurance policies provide support in the face of flood-related damages, that can help individuals and communities rebuild their lives post a calamity.Also

Let’s look at the ways you can be insurance-ready for such a crisis:

Health Insurance: There is no specific health insurance plan for monsoons, but standard health insurance plans cover monsoon-related illnesses. These include vector-borne diseases like dengue. Some products offer disease-specific coverage, but generally, standard health insurance policies cover all monsoon-related illnesses resulting from waterlogging or bacterial infections.

Says Siddharth Singhal, head, health insurance, Policybazaar.com: “Most standard health insurance plans cover such illnesses. If your health insurance plan doesn’t cover such illnesses, you can buy add-ons that protect against such vector-borne illnesses. It’s important to note that there’s a 30-day initial waiting period, only after which seasonal illnesses are covered. So, the sooner you buy your health insurance plan, the better.”

And now with the cashless everywhere feature, you can get cashless treatment at hospitals outside your insurer’s network as well. Such seasonal illnesses can cause all family members to fall ill at once. “So, if you have a family floater plan, you should consider at least Rs 1 crore cover amount so treatment for all family members can be covered without any constraint. And if you’re going for individual plans, then each member should have at least Rs 10 lakh sum insured in a metro city,” adds Singhal.

Some insurers offer health insurance products tailored specifically for vector-borne diseases. These plans often provide lumpsum payouts after diagnosing diseases. And then there are family floater plans too, which policyholders could opt for, that cover all family members under one policy, ensuring everyone receives medical care without financial strain.

Home Insurance: “Standard home insurance policies protect against flood damage. They cover water damage to furniture, fittings, and electrical systems. For instance, if water enters a house and damages furniture or electrical wiring, the insurance policy will cover the costs of repairs and replacements,” says Hari Radhakrishnan, an expert member of Insurance Brokers Association of India (IBAI).

It's crucial to review the policy details to understand the extent of coverage, exclusions, and claim procedures. Consider policies that offer add-ons like emergency repair services, coverage for personal accidents, and burglary. Evaluating these aspects ensures you choose a plan that adequately safeguards your home and possessions against the specific risks posed by monsoon seasons.

According to experts, the Bharat Griha Raksha Plan and certain householder package policies are available in the market for individuals to secure their properties and valuables. “One of the popular policies gaining traction amongst individuals is the Bharat Griha Raksha Policy, launched under the guidance of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai). This policy offers three different types of coverage: home building cover for the building structure; home contents cover for the furniture, fixtures, and other articles; and optional cover for the valuables. Most of these covers don’t offer anything specific regarding monsoons but include damages resulting from floods, tsunamis, cyclones, lightning, and unforeseen inundations, common during July–August,” says Darvesh Panchal, vice president, Prudent Insurance Brokers.

“Certain built-in features in the policy cover policyholders against floods, water inundations, tsunamis, and cyclones that typically occur during the monsoon. It is critical that insurance buyers invest in such policies in their entirety and shouldn’t opt out of certain features. This helps them leverage the right value during unforeseen circumstances. One can opt for rent for alternate accommodation and loss of rent (in case one gives the property on rent) as additional protection in case of major damages, displacing a person for a longer period,” adds Panchal.

Motor Insurance: Monsoons can cause water-logging and traffic congestion, potentially submerging vehicles and causing extensive car damage. To mitigate the said damage, it becomes important to take the right kind of vehicle insurance that would help secure your vehicle. It’s important to have comprehensive car insurance as third-party cover alone doesn’t provide financial protection for your own damages.

“Standard vehicle insurance covers flood damage to vehicles. Additionally, there are engine and gearbox protection plans that cover specific damages to these components due to water ingress. For example, if water enters the engine through the exhaust pipe and damages it, the policy will cover the cost of overhauling the engine,” says Radhakrishnan.

One should also consider necessary add-ons for a more enhanced coverage. Here are some of the add-ons:

Engine Protection: Engine damage is also one of the most prominent causes of driving on water-logged roads. Engine damage is not covered under regular motor insurance plans and hence it is advised to take the add-on during monsoon season. The cover amount is less than what you’ll be bearing from your pocket for the engine repair if you don't have an engine protection add-on.

Tyre Protection: Tyres are more prone to being affected during the rainy season due to poor road conditions, potholes, water logging, etc and hence it becomes important to take tyre protection for your vehicle. The tyre protection add-on covers the cost of repairing or replacing damaged tyres.

Zero-dep: Motor insurance claims, when generally settled, deduct the depreciation cost of car parts. To avoid the same, you can buy a zero-dep or bumper-to-bumper cover.

Armed with the right insurance policy you can navigate the monsoon with calm and peace of mind.

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