Buying a home is a big achievement , but the amount of formalities and documentation associated with it can be a bit overwhelming. After buying the home, making a check-list of the things to be done can be of great help. The most important thing to be done after buying a home and setting it all up is getting a home insurance in order to financially protect yourself from all possible risks related to home and its contents.
What is Home Insurance?
Natural or man-made calamities like earthquakes, floods or fire can cause extensive damage to your home and possessions.
This can lead to huge financial losses. To protect against these calamities, it is imperative that you buy a home insurance. If you are availing the insurance yourself, you will have to keep in mind that you get the best rates. For this, make a comparative study of the companies offering home loans, and then choose the one which suits your requirement. Home insurance will protect you from financial losses in case any unforeseen incident happens to damage your house and its content.
Types of Home Insurance
Insurance companies provide a wide range of home insurance plans to cater to the needs and requirements of the customers. Various types of home insurance policies ensure protection from unseen financial losses. You can either go for all of them or pick the ones that best suit your requirement. Various types of home insurance are:
- Structure/building insurance
- Standard fire and special perils policy
- Personal accident
- Public liability coverage
- Householder’s package policy (Burglary and theft)
What all Home Insurance Covers?
Home insurance provides coverage that protects not only the house but also the content inside it under various situations. Let us look at the coverage provided under home insurance.
- Damage or loss to content of the house
- Damage or loss to valuables and jewellery
- Loss of the content due to theft or burglary
- Loss or damage due to calamities like fire, explosion, storm, cyclone, earthquake, riots, lightning, flood, terrorism, etc.
Home insurance is an important aspect to protect your home from unseen circumstances. Let us look at the situation when you can buy a home insurance.
- Any one who owns a property
- Tenants using a rented place can also insure the content of the place
Home Insurance Claim Process
In case of any eventuality, you will need to register a claim for which you need to approach the insurance company. Following are the steps to take the claim process forward:
- Call on the 24×7 toll free number of the insurance company to immediately inform them about the problem
- In case of loss or theft, file a complaint or an FIR with the provider
- Provide other required information like the policy number and details regarding the claim
- Once the claim request is registered with the company, a surveyor is assigned to evaluate the case
- Provide other required documents needed to take the case ahead like photographs and other causes of loss
- The surveyor will submit the survey report to the provider
- If the provider finds it an apt case, it will deposit the compensation in your account, else it will reject it
- If you are not satisfied with the case, you can approach the court of law
Documents Required for Claim Process
While reporting a claim, all the documents should be in place in order to get the work done quickly and smoothly. Different sets of documents are needed for different types of claims. Some of the documents are:
- Duly filled in claim form
- Plan of the building
- FIR or fire brigade report in case of theft or loss
- KYC documents
- Cancelled cheque leaf of your bank account for receiving claim amount
Cases Where You Can’t Claim Home Insurance (Exclusions)
In spite of providing a wide coverage, certain situations are not covered under home insurance. These are also called exclusions. Let us look at some of these cases:
- Loss or damage to house acquired illegally
- Loss or damage to the house if it was unoccupied for over 30 days and you failed to inform the company about it
- Manufacturing problems with electronic, electrical and mechanical items
- Flat, building which is over 30 years old
- Non-disclosure of any information
- Routine wear and tear
Companies Offering Home Insurance in India
With the construction costs going up, more and more insurance companies in India are now offering home insurance at affordable rates. Some of the companies providing home insurance in India are:
- ICICI Lombard
- HDFC Ergo
- Bajaj Allianz
- Royal Sundaram
- Tata AIG
Before finalising a home insurance plan, compare and evaluate various insurance companies and plans. It makes sense to know certain important aspects before getting a policy. Let us look at some of them.
- While calculating the value of your home to be insured, few components need to be kept in mind: the land, building and your specific area costs. Your insurance provider will only insure your home for the building cost. So, if your building cost is Rs 40 lakh, but its market value is Rs. 1.25 crore, your policy will only cover Rs. 40 lakh.
- Your insurance provider gives you cover for the rebuilding cost of the house, not for its market value or your possessions in it. The contents of your house, moveable assets though they may be, keep piling up in your house over the years. These contents can add up to quite a bit of value, and are bound to get destroyed along with your house should a calamity occur. The furniture that you buy for your house are essentially assets that you would utilise over the years, and hence it is always a good idea to invest in an insurance policy for it. That is why it is important to include the value of your household contents while making a valuation of your house.
- Your home insurance cover needs to be reviewed periodically to ensure that your home is not underinsured. The value of your property keeps on increasing over the time, and so does the cost of reconstructing it. In such a situation if you do not review your cover periodically, and increase it accordingly, you will be putting yourself at a greater risk. For instance, if you bought a home insurance policy for Rs 30 lakh, and five years later the cost of reconstructing your house is Rs 50 lakh, and you do not increase your cover accordingly, you will be compensated for only Rs 30 lakh. Should a calamity occur, you will not be able to reconstruct your home as per the standard of living you were maintaining.
Advantages of Buying Home Insurance
Considering the types of protection offered under home insurance, people should consider it and not take it lightly. Some of the advantages of purchasing a home insurance are:
- You get coverage against financial losses from theft, burglary or any other natural calamity
- It provides coverage for the content as well as other valuables like jewellery
- You get the cost of replacement of items and of reconstruction of the house
- Attractive discounts make it an affordable policy
Q1. What will happen if I sell the property during the insurance term?
The policy can be cancelled and the premium can be taken back.
Q2. If three people happen to share an apartment, can a separate home insurance be taken by each?
Yes, they can do so for their share of the asset.