home insurance

What are the things You Must Know about Home Insurance

Rana Dasgupta lives in a flat near EM Bypass, Kolkata with his wife and 5-year-old son.

Rana never thought about home insurance ever in his life. The threat of any damage to his home did not appear normal to him in Kolkata. There is rarely any devastating natural disaster in Kolkata, and in his secured guarded home, the chance of theft or burglary is remote.

Little did he anticipate the damage cyclone Amphan would cause to his home. Had he known that, he would have been the first to go for home insurance.

As the whistling sound of the cyclone started in that fateful evening, Sutapa, Rana’s wife closed all the windows of their apartment. But they never anticipated what happened after that.

One of the window panes got shattered, and water sprays entered his home with a fierce gust of wind. His laptop was nearby along with his phone. They got drenched first.

For about an hour, his home bore the brunt of the huge force of the cyclone. Some of his home electronics like TV also got damaged, apart from the sofa which was completely soaked with water.

Rana had no alternative but to spend a lot of money to replace the damaged stuff as they are essentials. Had he opted for home insurance, all these would have been covered.

Protection from Natural Disasters  

Home insurance offers coverage to a house and its content from unforeseen circumstances such as damages caused by natural calamities such as earthquake, fire, flood, storm, landslide, etc.

Therefore, if your house is ever damaged due to flood, earthquake, or any other accidental damage then the expenses for repair and renovation are covered. However, with changing trends, a good home insurance plan goes a bit beyond than the usual structural damage; it also secures your expensive electronics, furniture, and jewellery too at an additional premium. Therefore, you are not just covering your home but also your belongings including your home interiors.

Not so long ago, cyclone Amphan created havoc with widespread damage of properties. Home insurance covers such eventualities.

In our cities, incidents of a devastating fire that gutted an entire building are ample in number. It is important to buy home insurance to cover losses due to fire.

One of the major reasons for structural damages is bursting or overflowing of the water tanks, pipes, and other apparatus and a suitable home insurance policy protects against that.

Protection from Man-made Damages

In spite of the best security instruments installed in your home, theft or burglary can happen.  Theft or burglary can take place, particularly when the home is vacant. Such an incident can cause substantial monetary loss. There are home insurance policies that cover losses due to such incidents.

Let’s understand that when we use the term ‘home insurance,’ it does not mean the home only but also the contents of the home including valuable home decor, furniture, electronic goods, etc.

Opt for home insurance policies that cover all of these and not only the house structure, even if the premium is a little higher.

Home Insurance for Tenants

If you are living in a house as a tenant, then you should focus on protecting the contents of your home. Buying insurance to cover any damage to the building structure is not exactly your priority.

It is important to buy such home insurance even if you are staying in a rented home.

Home Insurance for Landlords

As a landlord, the maintenance and upkeep of the building/apartment/structure of the house (that you are renting out) are clearly your responsibility. A standard buildings insurance policy usually is not exclusively designed for the need of landlords, because there are also other residents who live in the same building. As a landlord, you need something specifically designed for landlords. Hence, a landlords’ insurance policy is ideal for you and it also covers things like loss of rent and public liability.

Home only, Content only, and Home plus Content Insurance

In general, there are three types of policies depending upon the extent of coverage they offer.

A home-only policy offers coverage to the home and its structure, namely the base, walls, and roof against any damage due to natural disasters man-made calamity.

When you opt for a home contents-only property insurance policy, you get covered for losses to your belongings like furniture, and appliances, etc. You can also protect your valuable jewellery under such a policy.

When you opt for home insurance covering the building and its contents, your house structure and possessions are secured under the same policy. You get comprehensive protection, which includes (i) repair expenses in case of damage to the property and/or its content (ii) reconstruction/repair costs in case of complete loss of property/contents.

You must do this even after Buying Home Insurance

Buying a home insurance cover does not mean you can be less careful about the well-being of your property. In fact, you must take every possible step to protect your property from any damage.

Also, in case of a tragedy, inform the insurer immediately. If the arrival of the surveyor is likely to be delayed, take pictures of the scene with proof of the damages. These would work as evidence.

In the case of any grievance, approach the insurance company first. If your complaint is not redressed within 15 days, you have the option of registering a complaint to the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) by logging in https://igms.irda.gov.in/. You can also email complaints@irdai.gov.in or use the toll-free number given on the IRDA website.

Now that you have a good idea about home insurance, buy a suitable one and enjoy the mental peace it offers.

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