Home insurance can be tricky, one policy doesn’t insure all

Tags: Insurance

Reveal contents properly and produce invoices for easy claims

To get the best possible coverage from your home insurance policy, you need to go through the fine print and make sure that you get adequate cover for important items.

“Insurance companies provide options to cover only building and building and its content, against loss due to fire, burglary, breakdown of electronic equipment and all-risk coverage,” said Narender Anand, vice-president and product head of general insurance at Bajaj Capital.

If someone has opted only for fire and burglary cover, the insurance company would not cover damage due to some other hazards. “Separate cover for breakdown has to be taken by a policyholder for coverage against any electrical and mechanical failure, or accidental damage,” said Ramesh Ramani, senior vice-president of Tata AIG General Insurance.

Two main categories where you might lose money at the time of making claim are jewellery and electronic items.

Jewellery coverage: While insuring jewellery, you should provide invoices so that the inventory is created accordingly. “To avoid any hassle at the time of claim, policyholders should provide authorised valuer’s report at the time of getting insurance cover for jewellery,” said S K Sethi, vice-president of Insurance Foundation of India.

Moreover, in case, you insured your jewellery valued at Rs 25,000 in March and registered a theft claim in November, the insurance company would pay a claim of Rs 25,000 only and not the present market value, which might be higher.

Electronic item coverage: You should be careful while getting cover for your electronic items as well. At the time of purchasing the policy, you should properly reveal items that are to be covered, based on which insurance company charges the premium.

For example, for a building and content policy from Royal Sundaram, the premium would be charged at Rs 60 per Rs 1 lakh of sum insured. If you choose to take a more comprehensive cover against theft and breakage of electronic items, an additional Rs 2.5 per Rs 1,000 of sum insured will have to paid. For gold ornaments and television, Rs 10 per Rs 1,000 is the additional premium.

Although your insurance company might not ask for invoices of electronic items at the time of issuing the policy, it might be important at the time of making claim. Insurance company surveyors investigate the loss and determine the extent of loss and actual circumstances. Based on surveyors’ report, the insurer disburses the claim amount. Supposing a television has been damaged due to some electrical fault and is in a condition to be repaired, then insurance company would pay only for repairs and original cost of television.

While for registering a theft-related claim, it is important that you submit police first information report (FIR) and non-traceable certificate to your insurance company.

“Policyholders should also bear in mind that whenever they adds a new item at his home, like washing machine, television or microwave oven, they get it included in their home insurance policy by paying the requisite premium so that all items are covered at all times,” said Ajay Bimbhet, managing director of Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance.

sagarsen@mydigitalfc.com

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