With overall non-life insurance penetration standing at just 0.7% in India, it is not surprising to see a dismal contribution made by home insurance. At present, majority of home owners don’t feel that any adversity could affect their abodes. Home insurance is an effective tool to safeguard your home against adversities that may occur anytime causing substantial financial losses. As an economy we are at a tipping point, where Indians are meeting their financial goals much earlier as compared to a decade earlier, consequently asset building is also quick, thus, protection of these assets is equally important too.
Security against natural calamities
During recent natural calamities a drastic difference has been noted between the incurred economic loss and the insured losses. This is mainly due to lack of awareness about this essential financial tool, resulting in under-penetration of insurance. Hence, during a natural catastrophe home owners suffer due to lack of home insurance. Thus, opting for a home insurance policy is a step towards protecting your dwelling, where you can shield not only the structure of your house but also the contents.
Protect content, valuables
We have all heard about burglaries at home or chain snatching incidents in the neighbourhood. Jewellery kept at home or in a bank locker can be separately covered under home insurance. You can also insure your jewellery that you are wearing not just at home, but also while travelling anywhere in the world. An individual can insure the contents at home including home appliances, portable equipment like cellphone or laptop, television, etc., under home insurance.
Cover risk due to fire and theft
In case of a fire, a home insurance policy not only helps you with the cost of construction as per your policy terms and conditions, but also offers riders such as resettlement cover for situations when you need to relocate due to severe damages to your home. Despite the best security and fire protection systems installed by you, fire can still cause irreparable losses. A comprehensive home insurance policy helps you counter these situations without affecting your savings.
Protection towards liabilities
At times, sudden exigencies bring routine to a standstill, such as physical or property loss of a third person caused by some accident at your home, for instance—a cylinder blast or perhaps a repair activity at your home may cause a loss to your neighbour’s property. All such contingencies can be effectively covered under home insurance by opting for public liability coverage. There are a few insurers who now provide additional assistance for home services such as plumbing, carpenters and pest control that can make routine life much convenient. Contrary to the general perception, home insurance policies are very affordable in nature, premium for which may be as low as Rs 5 per day and can be bought either for a year or for a longer period.
When looking for a home insurance policy, one must look at the details of the coverage offered. It is also advisable to be well acquainted with the claims procedure and the exclusions. Unlike a few countries where home insurance is compulsory, in India buying insurance is largely an individual choice. One sentiment that prevails across the country is that there is no bigger matter of pride than owning a home so shouldn’t we take a step ahead and protect it with home insurance?
The writer is chief technical officer, Non Motor, Bajaj Allianz GIC