What is Home Insurance ?

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Home insurance is an insurance given to the home owner to cover the losses incurred if there are any damages to his/her private property. It is an insurance policy that combines various personal insurance protections, which can include losses occurring to one’s home, its contents, loss of use (additional living expenses), or loss of other personal possessions of the homeowner, as well as liability insurance for accidents that may happen at the home or at the hands of the homeowner within the policy territory.

Most of these home insurance policies which are available to Indian homeowners come with the following benefits:

  • Comprehensive cover for both structure and or contents of his/her home
  • Coverage up to a stipulated year for contents of the home and a stipulated year for structure
  • Cover against fire and allied perils, burglary & theft and at times optional cover for terrorism or natural disasters.

The coverage’s vary from one ‘insurance’ company to another, so the homeowner has to read the ‘Terms and Conditions’ of the policy carefully before buying one for themselves. Also comparison is very important, as certain Insurance companies give definite additional coverage’s for specific natural calamities which others don’t. Compare at least a few home insurance policies from various insurance companies before making your final choice.

Some of the coverage’s offered for unforeseen events are:

  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Impact damage
  • Aircraft damage
  • Explosion / implosion
  • Storm, cyclone, typhoon, tempest, hurricane, tornado, flood and inundation
  • Riot, strike, malicious damage
  • Subsidence and landslide including rockslide
  • Bursting and/or overflowing of water tanks, apparatus and pipes
  • Missile testing operations
  • Leakage from automatic sprinkler installations
  • Bush fire
  • Earthquake Cover: Under the earthquake cover, the policy covers loss or damage (including loss or damage by fire) to any of the property Insured by this policy occasioned by earthquake including landslide / rockslide resulting there from but excluding flood or overflow of the sea, lakes, reservoirs and rivers caused by Earthquake.
  • Burglary cover and theft cover (only for contents): The contents of your home are also covered against loss due to burglary or theft or an attempted burglary. It also covers loss of jewellery, silver articles and precious stones kept under lock and key, up to 25% of the total content sum insured or 1 Lakh, whichever is lower. Jewellery, silver articles and precious stones are only covered for ‘Burglary’ cover and not for ‘Theft’.

Optional covers: (Some Insurance companies do provide these additional coverages)

  • Terrorism cover: Covers any damages and losses to the structure and / or contents of your home due to acts of terrorism.
  • Additional expenses of rent for alternative accommodation: If you are forced to shift into an alternative accommodation because your home is destroyed or damaged by any insured peril, the policy will cover you against the additional rent. The maximum coverage is up to Rs.1 Lakh for up to 6 months. This cover is available only if you are insuring the structure of your home.

Above mentioned are features which are mostly covered by one home insurance policy or another. However as a policy-buyer you also require to understand what is not covered through a ‘home-insurance’ policy, like:

  • Willful destruction of property
  •  Loss or damage caused by depreciation or wear and tear and consequential loss of any kind
  •  Loss or damage, directly or indirectly, caused by or arising from or in consequence of or contributed to by nuclear weapons material and / or ionizing radiations
  • Loss or damage, whether direct or indirect occasioned by the happening through or arising from any consequences of war, invasion, act of foreign enemy, hostilities (whether war be declared or not), civil war, rebellion, revolution, insurrection military or usurped power or civil commotion or loot or pillage in connection therewith.

Home insurance is imperative for homeowners so that they can live worry-free and be at peace. For those who own property, or a home it is advisable they get one done.

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