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Are you protected against floods?

July 14, 2009 12:43 IST
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Shubhodeep, a civil engineer by profession, led a very happy life in Orissa, with a beautiful life and two adorable kids. All in all after buying his own house, he thought he had everything that a humble man like himself would want.

Unfortunately, nature had other plans for him. A devastating hurricane hit Orissa, flooding the area that he used to live in and Shubhodeep had to evacuate the house. In an instant he had lost his house that he had strove hard for and his beautiful life crumbled around him.

This is a situation that anyone of us who stay in area receiving heavy rainfalls might face. This scenario may also be true for people where floods are not a frequent phenomenon.

Who would have imagined a submerged Mumbai!? However, safeguarding ourselves from natural calamities like floods is important. That's where flood insurance might help you.

Flood insurance denotes the specific insurance coverage against property loss from flooding. The protection offered by most policy covers losses incurred due to some failure at the home itself.

However, flood insurance indemnifies the insured for the loss of property that occurs specifically due to overflowing water bodies or flood. Flood insurance is specifically needed for properties situated in flood-prone areas.

A flood insurance policy has to be taken separately because most policies do not cover the natural disaster of flooding. Flood insurance, however, is not a very popular insurance option in India.

Benefits of flood insurance

  • Compensation for the loss of property due to flood
  • Personal belongings can be covered
  • Insurance may also cover loss caused due to overflowing of other water bodies, clogged storm drains, melting snow, etc.

Types of flood insurance

There are two types of flood insurances:

Building Property Coverage: This type of policy covers the insured building and the electrical and plumbing systems, furnaces, water heaters, centralized air conditioning system, cooking stoves, refrigerators, built-in appliances, window blinds inside the building. It also covers the insured for the cost of the debris removal.

However, a separate clause or policy needs to be taken for structures outside the insured building.

Personal Property Coverage: This type of coverage compensates against the loss of personal belongings, such as furniture, electronic equipment and clothing. It also covers curtains, air conditioners (both window and portable), clothes washers and dryers, portable microwave ovens and dishwashers, food freezers, including stored food, and carpets that were included in the building coverage. Furs, original artwork and other such valuable items can also be covered.

The following are excluded from the cover

  • Cash, jewelry and valuable certificates
  • Damage arising from mold, mildew and moisture
  • Temporary housing and other living expenses, cars and other self-propelled vehicles (including their parts) and the loss caused to business due to interruption.
  • Any property such as decks, fences, patios, hot tubs, seawalls, swimming pools, wells, plants, trees and septic systems located outside the building

The premium for flood insurance depends on a variety of factors, foremost of which is the flood zone or flood plain in which your house is located.

Flood insurance being something that is not very popular in India, you may need to check with your insurance company whether they offer this kind of insurance.

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