1. What is home insurance policy?
Home insurance is a type of property insurance that covers losses caused by fire, natural disasters, burglary or terrorist attacks. The policy has two layers -it pays for re construction of the structure and for loss of contents in the accident.
Structure insurance would pay for physical structure of the build ing, home or apartment.
It does not pay the cur rent market value of the house or the building but only the cost to reconstruct it. Content insurance pays for belongings like furniture, televi sion, refrigerator and jewellery . Some policies also pay for alternative accommodation when the structure is being re constructed.
2. What are the exclusions?
In case of jewellery , there is a cap on how much an insurer pays under the policy . Home insurance policy pays for bur glary but not for losses due to theft. Also, one has to file an FIR to get claim. Second, insurer may not pay for the actu al value of content but the depreciated value.
3. Is it different from the policy bought by a housing society?
Housing societies generally buy insurance that covers the cost of reconstructing the structure of the building. The risk of damage to the content lies with the home owners.In very few cases, the builder or the society buys group property insurance.However, the exposure is limited.
4. What are the most common claims on home owner's policy?
Like motor insurance, home in surance is not mandatory .
Typically , insurers have seen huge home insurance claims from events like earthquake and floods. Most recently , the industry had paid for home insurance during the floods in Chennai.In India, the economic losses are six times that of insured losses. In 2015, there were 25 natural catastrophic events. According to a Swiss Re report, the severe flash floods in Chennai in November last year were the largest disaster, causing estimated economic losses of $2.2 billion whereas insured losses were around $755 million, making these floods the second costliest insurance event in India on sigma records.
5. How big is the industry and what are the parameters to look for while buying home insurance?
The home insurance industry is less than `500 crore. There are 33 crore houses in India, of which around 12 crore are insurable. The premium potential of home insurance is around `5 lakh crore. While buying home insurance policy , one must look into the level of cover required and the cost of items covered. One also needs to review contents every year, depending on the valuables added or value depreciated.
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