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Saturday, January 9, 2016

How to get Home Insurance?

 

How to get insurance?

 

Considering the importance and significance of a home for its owner, it is mandatory for him to get it insured. Home insurance can be obtained from any home insurance company after comparing its policy with that of others. General insurance companies offer policies that cover your home against natural calamities such as fire, floods, earthquakes, or land slides. You have to pay a premium based on the value of your home, belongings and rest assured.

Home insurance policies offer two main covers - the structure of your house and the contents. While structure refers to the walls, floors, ceiling and fixtures of your home, content refers to your belongings such as electronic equipments, domestic appliances, furniture and jewellery. You can buy a cover for either or both of these categories.

It is important to understand how value of sum assured for insurance is arrived at. The valuation for the structure is done on reinstatement basis. This means, the value required to replace your old item with a new one. The structure of your home is usually valued on this basis because, the policy will handle expenses related to reconstruction or fixing the house. It doesn't cover the market value of the house.

In case of contents, the claim is evaluated on a market value basis. This is the value of the item if you were to sell it just before the loss. Essentially, it is the purchase value minus the depreciation. It is important that you make a list of all contents of your home. Attach bills of purchase if possible. This will make the claim procedure easier as it will help investigation.

The general practices involved in home insurance as followed by the home insurance companies in India are as under:

Areas Covered Under Home Insurance

The home insurance policies protect against various natural and man made disasters including:

  • Thefts and Burglaries
  • Fire
  • Earthquake
  • Floods
  • Explosions etc.

Calculation of the Home Insurance Premium or Amount

The factors to be kept in mind while estimating the insurance premium and accepting the home insurance quote being offered by the insurance company are:

  • Area of the House (calculated in sq.ft.)
  • Location and neighborhood
  • Approximate rate of construction (calculated in Rs. per sq.ft.)
  • Permanent construction on the land
  • The time period offered for the insurance. Property more than 50 years old is not covered under home insurance
  • Whether the insurance policy offered is standard or not.

Home Insurance Claim

In case of the above-mentioned disasters, the home insurance companies settle the claim as quickly as possible. The claim settlement procedure under home insurance includes:

  • Personal information like the contact details
  • Details of the policy undertaken
  • Inspection of the site by the company appointed surveyor
  • Claim is processed within two weeks of the complete documentation
  • Claim approval  letter is sent to the claimant with the settlement amount indicated therein
  • Home insurance claim cheque is issued to the policy holder.

Documentation 

The home insurance companies follow fixed procedure to settle the insurance claim. You are required to submit completed documents in order to fasten the claim procedure. These include:

  • Duly completed and signed claim form
  • Copy of the FIR
  • Letter of indemnity

While the policy covers may seem comprehensive, you should look out for policy exclusions that usually stay hidden. Insurance companies usually don't cover any conscious damage to property. Valuables like gold, silver and bullion are not covered unless you opt for a special cover for these. 
Also watch out for certain clauses in the fine print. Some companies don't let you make a claim for damages, if you had left your home unoccupied for more than 30 days, and the calamity occurred during that period.

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