Cyclones and frequent flooding in different parts of the country, leaving damaged buildings behind, have underscored the importance of a home insurance policy. Following directives from the insurance regulator, general insurance companies launched standard home insurance – the Bharat Griha Rakshak policy.
The standard policy covers natural disasters, fires, all types of damage caused by impact, strikes, riots, etc. Besides the structure of the house, it covers the contents of the house such as furniture and appliances. The owner or the tenant of a building for residential use can buy it. The term of the policy is from one to 10 years and the age of the building must be less than 40 years. The maximum amount paid under the policy is the sum insured based on the cost of constructing the building in effect on the policy start date and the premium is calculated based on the sum insured.
The Bharat Griha Rakshak policy has built-in coverage for the contents of the house which is 20% of the sum insured for the construction of the house, subject to the limit of 10 lakh. In the case of cover only for the contents of the accommodation, the sum insured for the general contents must be declared and must cover the costs of replacing the contents. The policy covers all fittings and installations, additional structures such as garages, domestic outbuildings for the residence, compound walls, fences, gates, retaining walls and interior roads, parking lots, storage tanks. water for residents and parking lots.
The policy also offers two optional coverages: cover for valuable contents such as jewelry, silverware, artefacts; and individual accident coverage for the policyholder and his spouse when the insured risk causes damage to the construction of the house and / or the contents of the house and also results in the death of one of them or both. The amount of compensation will be Rs 5 lakh per person.
The standard policy offers built-in coverages such as loss of rent and rent from other accommodation if the building in the house is not habitable due to physical loss resulting from an insured event. It also covers the removal of debris (up to 2% of the amount of the claim) and the payment of architect, surveyor and consulting engineer fees (up to 5% of the amount of the claim). Experts say that such a policy can help increase home insurance penetration which is very low in the country.
For a long-term contract, the home insured capital will increase by 10% each year for a maximum of 100% of the insured capital on the contract start date without any additional premium. One of the biggest advantages of Bharat Griha Raksha is that underinsurance does not apply to the policy. This means that if the sum insured calculated on the basis of the information provided by the owner is less than the actual value at risk, the difference will not affect the amount that the insurance company will pay to the owner in the event of a loss. The premium for housing construction coverage and housing content coverage will depend on the amount of the sum insured and the factors that define the risk profile of the building.
How to file a complaint
In the event that the insured must file a claim, he must first inform the insurance company, specifying the number of the policy. The claim form must be submitted within 30 days of the date of the loss or damage. He must give a brief statement of the loss, the details of the report to the police or any authority, details of any other insurance of the construction or contents of the house. Then he must submit photographs of the loss or physical damage and help insurance company representatives gather evidence and details.