In a recent judgement, the Supreme Court has ruled that to claim insurance for burglary, the theft has to be accompanies by forced entry, violence, or threat of violence. Did you know that ‘burglary’ and ‘theft’ are terms that get different treatment by insurance companies?
“Coverage for burglary and theft are separate. Due to lack of awareness, many customers equal burglaries and theft as same thing. The Supreme Court judgement refers to ‘Burglary’ coverage wherein the forceful/violent entry is necessary for claims to be considered under burglary coverage. While in case of theft, forceful or violent entry is not necessary for claims to be considered. Hence the effect of this judgement will be when the policy does not cover theft and covers only burglary, the claim will not be payable if there is no evidence of forceful/violent entry,” Nikhil Apte (Chief Product Officer), Royal Sundaram General Insurance Co. Limited, told FeMoney.
To illustrate, Apte says if the customer has taken only a burglary cover without theft then the claim will be rejected if there is no forceful/violent entry.
K G Krishnamoorthy Rao, MD & CEO, Future Generali India Insurance says as Supreme Court pointed out in the recent judgment, the acceptance of liability by the insurer would depend on the policy conditions. “If the policy mandates that the coverage is only when there is forced entry or exit then this has to be proved for accepting the claim. All insurance companies are following this and this judgment will reinforce the practice as well as create an awareness among the policyholders,” Krishnamoorthy said.
Apte advises customers to check their policy carefully. “It becomes all the more important that customers check their Home Insurance/Property Insurance policies, if burglary and theft both are covered under the policy or not. Most of the commercial establishments are not getting a theft cover today, as this is offered only to residential properties by insurance companies,” Apte said.