Insurance

What are the features of fire insurance in India?

Fire is a serious risk for pretty much all physical structures, whether it’s your house or your shop. This is why insurance is essential to mitigate the loss to building, machinery, goods, furniture and fixtures, plumbing, electrical appliances and other assets in the event of a fire. Fire insurance is an indemnity based contract, where the insurer agrees to compensate for any loss or damage during the policy term, not exceeding the maximum amount for which the premium is being paid. Here are some features offered by fire insurance companies in India that you should know.

Coverage

As per section 2(6A) of the Indian Insurance Act 1938, in addition to fire, other hazards are also clubbed with the insurance plan known as the ‘Standard Fire and Allied Perils Policy’. The policy also covers losses on account of lightning, storms, flood, earthquakes, landslides, bush fire, explosions, aircraft damage, riots or malicious damage, impact damage, bursting or overflowing pipes, missile testing, etc.

Policies available

There are different types of policies one can opt for while purchasing fire insurance in India. A comprehensive policy even covers theft or burglary whereas a floating policy is useful for businesses that have assets or stocks in different places. Thus, allowing you to pick a policy based on your individual needs.

Add-ons

Insurance providers such as Magma HDI also offer covers on fire insurance policies such as compensation for architect or surveyors fee, temporary removal of assets, loss of rental income or rent for an alternative accommodation till you rebuild your home or business.

Uberrimae Fidei

Fire insurance is based on the principle of Uberrimae Fidei or utmost good faith, where the insured party makes full and honest disclosure of all facts. Failure to do so can render the policy void and absolve the insurer of any financial responsibility.

Insurable interest

The insured party must have an insurable interest in the asset not only at the time of purchasing the policy but also at the time of the incident. For example, you insured your house but later sold the house to someone. The place catches fire while the policy is active, but you cannot make a claim because you have no insurable interest in the property anymore.

Policy tenure

The tenure of coverage is clearly stated in the policy document. Usually, the insurance does not exceed one year so make sure you renew timely it for continued coverage.

Exclusions

Like any other insurance policy, fire insurance also has its exclusions. Damages caused by normal heating, own fermentation or spontaneous burning; loss or damage of the property due to nuclear perils, electrical or mechanical breakdown and terrorist act, war and warlike operations are some common exclusions of fire insurance companies in India. Fire insurance ultimately provides you with financial security for your home or business to help you get back to your normal life as soon as possible.

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