The size ofIndia’s real estate industry is expected to surpass 11 lakh crore (US$ 180 billion) by 2020, mainly driven by huge growth in the housing sector, according to India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF). The housing sector alone accounts for 5-6 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), says IBEF. While more and more Indians are expanding their budget for buying or refurbishing homes, only a few are getting home insurance to cover their property against natural disaster. Premiums from the general insurance industry’s fire and special peril segment grew at a slow annual rate of 7.5 percent during 2003-04 and 2011-12, according to Ask.IndiaProperty.com.
Preventive Steps to Take
- Be ready for Fire– If your house is surrounded by plants and shrubs, you should be extra careful about preventing fire. If possible, consider moving the dead bushes and potted plants to a distant place, especially during summer and spring. One good idea would be to replace wooden shingles with the flame-retardant ones on the roof. Also, considerusing garden hoses to keep the outer walls of your house wet during fire seasons.
- Prepare for Floods- If you are living is a flood-prone area, be sure to take some precautionary steps, apart from getting a home insurance policy. Firstly, move all your valuables, assets, and documents to an upper floor. Consider positioning the fuse box and utility meters on a place higher than the usual flood level. This helps to prevent any damage to the electrical panel, and reduces the risk of any further disaster due to electrical breakdown.
- Prepare for Tornados and Hurricanes– In order to protect your house against a tornado or hurricane, consider installing storm shutters on windows and hurricane straps on roofs. You may also consider getting impact-resistant windows. It is always a good idea to hire a professional inspection service and ask for suggestions. Make sure that you have an evacuation plan ready for safety. Also, consider keeping your valuables and important documents in a safe place.
Finally, there is no alternative to a comprehensive home insurance policy. Consider getting a comprehensive plan that covers the structure of your home, your valuable contents and your family members against a wide range of perils, such as, fire, earthquake, flood,burglary and housebreaking.