My name is Rhea, and I’ve just moved into a brand new house in an upscale neighbourhood. I just had the interiors done up, and the entire cost was ₹20 lakh. The interiors include high-priced fixtures, electrical components, and furniture, in addition to valuables. I am interested in learning more about an insurance policy that will protect these belongings.

We invest our earnings in EMIs for home loans but seldom take measures to protect our homes against uncertainties and exigencies although it is quite affordable. That you understand the importance of insurance and want to buy an insurance cover is commendable.

Ideally, you should purchase a comprehensive home insurance policy that covers both the structure and contents of your home. The policy covers the losses that arise from fire and allied perils, theft, and burglary; it also offers protection against natural calamities like cyclones, hailstorms, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, rockslides, and lightning. Furthermore, it covers the breakdown of domestic appliances due to voltage fluctuations and accidental damages.

Comprehensive home insurance typically comprises two components: the  Building/ Structure only cover that shields the structure of the home and the Content only cover that protects all the belongings present in the house, including electronic appliances, portable equipment, valuable items, furniture, fixture, cupboards and jewellery. The policy offers protection to your assets  whether kept at home or being carried in person around the globe. 

Since you are looking to insure the contents of the house, you will have to declare an approximate value of the contents. Hence, the valuation certificate for precious items like gold, jewellery, or prized artefacts will enable you to assess the correct price. After purchasing the policy if you acquire new assets or valuables that you want to cover, you can easily do so by paying some additional premium. It is advisable to take a  New for Old basis cover for contents, which implies that if your assets are damaged or destroyed beyond repair, then the insurer will pay out to replace the item in full. In case the exact item is no more available in the market, then you will be reimbursed for a new similar item. Your home insurance also provides you with a portable equipment cover that covers damage or accidental loss of portable equipment like phones, laptops, cameras, etc., anywhere in India. However, with an additional premium, it can be extended to a worldwide coverage as well.

The Indian insurance market offers various packaged policies. A standardised home insurance policy called Bharat Griha Raksha has been launched by the IRDAI. It offers wide coverage for your home with add-ons like EMI protection cover, accidental damage cover, loss of rent, etc., that differs from insurer to insurer. In the wake of the ever-increasing natural catastrophes in India, it is prudent to buy home insurance to ensure that you are duly protected during any unfortunate event. I hope this helps you make an informed decision while buying a home insurance policy.

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The writer is MD & CEO, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance

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