You've done everything you possibly could think of to protect your dwelling - installed locks, fire extinguishers, electronic alarms, etc. However, despite all the safety measures that you’ve taken to secure your home, there always lies the risk of theft as well as damage to the structure and contents of the home from fire and natural calamities. The recent incidents involving flooding in Mumbai and several parts of Assam, as well as hurricane destruction in Texas, Florida and the Caribbean Islands have only raised the importance of having insurance for your home in place. Although there is very little we can do against natural disasters, we can at least bring down some of the consequent hardships with home insurance.
What is home insurance?
A home insurance policy has two parts - one covers the contents of your home, like your furniture and valuables, and the other covers the structure. You can opt for both contents and structure, or just go for either one. The wise decision would obviously be to take a comprehensive cove, which covers both contents and structure.
Common perils generally covered under home insurance include:
- Fire & allied perils
- Jewellery & valuables
- Portable equipment
- Rent for alternate accommodation
Insurance companies offer additional features like terrorism cover at a nominal cost. Including this in your plan is wise even if you have to pay a slightly higher premium since this will protect you from spending more in the future.
What about the sum insured?
In case of structural insurance, the sum insured should compensate you for the cost of rebuilding the property. If you have made any improvements or additions to your home, the same should be mentioned in your policy so that it gets covered under your insurance. The contents sum insured must be equal to the overall current cost of replacing all of your contents, and this should include the GST.
The process of calculating the sum insured is different for the building and its contents. In case of the structure, the insurance company will calculate the sum insured based on the reconstruction value, whereas for contents, the sum insured is calculated based on the market value, which is current market value of similar objects after applying depreciation.
When you are looking for a suitable cover for your home, begin by getting a house insurance estimate from different providers in the market. Note how much the premium rates will be for different coverage levels. Make sure you pick the plan that provides comprehensive coverage at an affordable rate.
Having a home insurance policy is not going to prevent damage to your home or valuables, but it will provide you the financial stability you need, should anything unexpected happen. With an insurance policy in place, you are going to be better equipped to weather a crisis — knowing that your cover will take care of the cost of damages and get you back on your feet again.