For house owners, damage to property remains the biggest concern during the rainy season. Inundation or floods in low lying areas can damage the contents of a house. These instances are witnessed every year during floods in different parts of India. Yet, a very small percentage of houses in India are properly insured, leaving a majority of them vulnerable.
“Insuring your house isn’t a luxury anymore. But stats reveal that less than 1% of Indian houses are insured, leaving the rest 99% vulnerable to damages from monsoon, fire, etc. However, safety of the place of residence is important to ensure that you sail through day-to-day life smoothly,” says Pranjal Kamra, CEO of Finology Ventures, a financial service provider.
How home insurance helps
Damages to property due to monsoon rains is becoming quite common, especially in cities. Experts say that one should evaluate whether the region they live in is prone to such incidents and take a suitable cover for their homes.
“During the monsoon season, we see rising cases of homes getting damaged or destroyed due to flood or inundation. A home insurance can help people protect their property and the contents of the house. Any fire or short circuit due to floods is also usually covered under home insurance. Damages due storm, lightning, etc are also typically covered under home insurance,” says Kunal Jha, Head of Motor Product and Actuarial at Digit Insurance:
House insurance policies generally don’t have any waiting period and the claim gets paid in case of any natural calamity like floods.
What policy you should buy
Kamra suggests one should buy a home insurance plan that provides a 360-degree protection covering both external damages as well as damages to furniture, appliances, etc. It should ideally contain personal accident cover for members as well as workers.
“If you live in a low-lying flood-prone area or an earthquake zone, take appropriate cover for natural calamities as well. Gadget repair, pest control and plumbing/carpentry are an important add-on,” he says.
Avoid contributory negligence
It is important to take precautionary measures as insurers often deny benefits in the name of contributory negligence.
“From an insurer’s perspective, it is the primary responsibility of the property owner to protect and safeguard the insured assets viz. one’s home and the contents therein from vagaries of nature, as if they are not insured,” says Vivek Narain, an insurance specialist at Sana Insurance Brokers.
“Should the insurance company detect any contributory negligence, then it could lead to repudiation of submitted claims or substantial deductions from payable claims for aggravation of losses,” he adds.
Precautions you should take
Some of the necessary precautions house owners should take ahead of monsoon are:
- Get outer structure examined for cracks and such to avoid water seepage and ingress
- Protect/insulate exposed electrical fittings from short circuits
- Waterproof painting of all external walls and fixtures
- Glass façade should be properly lined with waterproof lining
- Roof–top drains should be unclogged of leaves and debris.
Things to consider before buying
One should properly read different types of cover the insurance company is offering and assess whether it suits his/her needs or not.
“Apart from protecting your home and its contents from unforeseen circumstances such as floods, earthquakes, storms, etc, home insurance also covers unfortunate events such as burglaries, accidental fire, explosion, and other such perils as mentioned in the policy document. Some plans only cover the contents of your home, while others cover the contents as well as the building structure. Some insurers also protect your valuables such as cash, gold, etc up to a certain amount,” says Jha.