The old adage goes ‘Home is where the heart is’ - and this couldn’t be more true. Our homes are our most prized possessions, our private havens, and one of the biggest investments we ever make. Our families, memories, possessions, and in general our entire lives are within our homes.

To ensure the protection of our homes and everything within, we need to be prepared for any expected and unexpected contingencies. A smart solution is to purchase a comprehensive home insurance policy that assures our homes are protected and covered against various risks, thus giving us absolute peace of mind.

The insurance market is flooded with numerous home insurance policies that could spoil buyers for choice. Here, we take a look at the home insurance policies offered by HDFC Ergo and Bharti AXA.

HDFC Ergo Home Insurance

A joint venture between HDFC Limited and ERGO International AG is HDFC ERGO, which was established in 2002, and has today earned the ISO certification. The company caters to the varied insurance needs of corporates and individuals through their diverse insurance products – home, auto, travel, personal accident insurance; business, marine and liability assurance. HDFC ERGO operates in 89 cities and has over 109 branches.

HDFC ERGO’s home insurance policy not only offers all-round cover but also assures customers of quick and hassle-free policy issuance, and excellent customer and claims services.

Key Features and Benefits

  • HDFC ERGO home insurance covers major risks such as fire, flood, storm, lightning, explosion, inundation, burglary, strike, riot, etc.
  • The policy offers coverage for up to five years, along with an additional provision to increase the sum insured by 10% at the end of each year.
  • Policyholders are offered discounts of up to 25% plus an additional 15% (as per chosen policy tenure), if security systems are installed in their homes.
  • Customers get the convenience of instantly getting the home insurance policy online without any documentation.
  • For those seeking long term coverage for the security of their homes, HDFC ERGO offers a unique umbrella policy.
  • Cover against terrorism-related acts can be taken optionally.
  • Customers can choose between two customised schemes, explained below

Coverage Offered

Section I: Fire and Special Perils - Building and Contents

Under this section, cover is provided against natural disasters and fire-related risks – fire, bushfire, earthquake lightning, explosion, implosion, tornado, subsidence, landslides, rockslides, hurricane, tempest, cyclones, storms, flood and inundation, typhoon, riots, strikes, malicious damage, impact damage, water tanks bursting and/or overflowing, leakages through automatic sprinkler installations, pipes and apparatus/missile testing operations, volcanic eruptions and other natural calamities etc.

Section II: Burglary and Housebreaking

Under this section, cover is offered against burglary for the contents in the house. However, this cannot be opted for on a stand-alone basis.

At an extra cost, optional add-on covers can be taken for the below-mentioned risks:

  • Terrorism and all acts relating to terrorism
  • Any damage or loss caused to the policyholder’s house due to burglary, housebreaking or similar attempts – this is restricted to maximum 5% of the sum insured as specified under the burglary section

Calculation of Sum Insured

The house structure’s sum insured is based on the Reinstatement Value. The reconstruction value for the structure is determined by the construction cost, excluding the cost of the land. The reconstruction cost is arrived at by multiplying the house’s built-up area (square feet) with the cost of construction in that locality.

For contents and valuables, the sum insured is based on the market value – which would be the current cost minus depreciation allowance, in the event of loss or damage. For jewellery, no depreciation needs to be deducted.

Once the sum insured for the structure and the contents is decided upon, the policyholder simply has to pick the closest sum insured value and then arrive at the premium.

Notes:

  • The premium is based on the type of plan, policy tenure, covers and add-on covers opted for
  • The inception date is seven days from the premium payment being made
  • In case the home owner decides to sell his/her insured house, then after ownership transfer, the policy gets cancelled. Nevertheless, the premium is refunded for the balance insured period

Exclusions

Damage or loss caused because of nuclear perils, war, invasion, act of foreign enemy, hostilities, pollution, contamination, deliberate misconduct or negligence, willful property destruction, normal wear and tear, gradual deterioration and similar such gradually developing flaws are all excluded under this plan. Consequential losses are also excluded.

The plan does not cover under-construction and “kutcha” construction properties, shops, land, and residence-cum-office properties. Also, co-operative societies cannot take a long-term policy for the entire society building.

Further, damage to or loss of jewellery, precious stones, money, documents and bullion of any kind are not covered, unless the same is specifically declared.

Claims Process

To register a claim, the policyholder may call HDFC ERGO’s toll-free number 1800-2-700-700. The policy number, details about the nature and location of the loss, and an approximate estimate of the loss amount are required.

An FIR is necessary for claims arising due to terrorism, riots, strike, theft, burglary, and malicious damage. For loss or damage caused by natural calamities, an FIR is not necessary.

After a claim is filed, a surveyor contacts the policyholder within 48 hours. A claim form is then sent to the policyholder’s correspondence address within seven working days, following which, HDFC ERGO processes the claim at the earliest.

Bharti AXA Home Insurance

A joint venture between the Bharti Group and AXA - Bharti AXA General Insurance Co. Ltd. commenced national operations in 2008. Currently, Bharti AXA General Insurance has 87 branch offices across India.

Bharti AXA’s home insurance, i.e. Bharti AXA Smart Plan Householder’s Package Policy, is a simple yet comprehensive policy that offers coverage for the entire household property inclusive of all items for which the policyholder may be legally liable. It also covers the policyholder, his/her spouse and two dependent children under 23 years of age, against accidents that could be fatal or cause disability.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Over-the-counter plans are available.
  • Automatic increase in the sum insured is provided up to 10% for items that are newly purchased in course of the policy period.
  • Unique benefits like coverage for pedigree pets are provided.

Coverage Offered

Section I)

Under coverage for buildings, fittings and fixtures, and renovation, against fire and any associated hazards (earthquake included), the inclusions are:

  • Underground facilities in buildings such as sewage systems, drains as well as their covers, water systems, and electricity cables
  • All capital changes made to buildings - be it additions, improvements or alterations, as long as it does not overshoot 10% of the original sum insured
  • Subject to their removal following the transfer of occupational authority, tenant fixtures are included
  • Keys and locks accidentally lost or damaged
  • Any expenditure related to fire extinguishing

Section II)

For home contents, valuables, appliances, jewellery, fixed plate glass, and sanitary ware, coverage is provided for:

  • Fire and associated hazards, inclusive of earthquake
  • Housebreaking, burglary, and hold-ups
  • With respect to jewellery (gold and silver) and valuables (camera, watches, etc.), the cover includes burglary, housebreaking, snatching, robbery, theft, waylaying and natural calamities
  • Newly purchased contents (during the policy tenure) are covered up to 10% of the sum insured
  • Compensation for damage or loss to home contents and domestic appliances (refrigerator, washing machine, etc.) in course of them being transported to another home by professional packers and movers (within India). This includes damages/losses caused by fire and other natural disasters, burglary, and breakdown. Theft is excluded.

Section III) Rental

  • Cover against rent loss, if the structure or any part of the insured home is considered unfit to live in
  • Cover for additional rent expenses that the policyholder may need to incur for alternate accommodation while the policy is in force

Section IV) Personal

  • Personal accident cover
  • Cover against loss of important documents such as passport, title deeds, etc.
  • Baggage loss compensation
  • Compensation for theft or accidental death of up to three pedigree pets
  • If the optional terrorismcover is taken, then the policyholder’s building and the contents therein, are covered against any loss or damage caused due to terrorism/terrorisms-related acts

Customised Cover Levels for Online Purchase

Two customised levels of cover are available exclusively on online purchase of Bharti AXA’s Smart Householder’s Package Policy:

  • Basic cover: Fire insurance for structure/building; Fire insurance for contents.
  • Basic + Burglary cover: Fire insurance for structure/building and its contents; Burglary insurance covering fittings, fixtures and personal content

Exclusions/Limitations

Coverage for items against fire and associated hazards is provided as per the terms and conditions of erstwhile All India Fire tariff. Coverage against housebreaking, burglary, hold-ups, and appliances against breakdown - all are subject to first loss basis and the company’s liability remains limited to the type of plan selected.

Additionally, coverage of sanitary ware and fixed plate glass is limited to the sum insured as per the chosen plan.

Claims Process

To register a claim, the policyholder may call Bharti AXA’s helpline number080–49123900. Alternatively, policyholders may also register a claim by sending an email on claims[at]bharti-axagi[dot]co.in.

The help desk should be informed as soon as a claim occurs in order to ensure timely completing of formalities and quick claim settlement. While registering the claim, the policy number, policyholder’s contact details, date, time, location, nature and extent of the loss will be asked for.

After all details are received, Bharti AXA will conduct the necessary formalities and ensure that the claim is settled without delay.

Comparison between HDFC Ergo Home Insurance and Bharti AXA Home Insurance

Feature

HDFC Ergo Home Insurance

Bharti AXA Home Insurance

Coverage offered

  • Section I: Fire and Special Perils - Building and Contents - Cover provided against natural disasters, fire-related risks, riots, strikes, malicious and impact damage, water tanks bursting and/or overflowing, leakages through automatic sprinkler installations, pipes and apparatus/missile testing operations, etc.

 

  • Section II: Burglary and Housebreaking - Cover offered against burglary for the contents in the house (Cannot be taken as a stand-alone option). Here, the damage/loss is restricted to maximum 5% of the sum insured

 

  • Coverage for buildings, fittings and fixtures, and renovation, against fire and any associated perils (earthquake included)

 

  • Coverage for home contents, appliances, fixed plate glass, and sanitary ware

 

  • Compensation for damage or loss to home contents and domestic appliances during transit within India

 

  • Personal accident cover

 

  • Baggage loss compensation

Cover for jewellery, valuables and documents

 

Unless specifically declared, damage/loss of jewellery, precious stones, money, documents and bullion of any kind are excluded

Coverage for valuables, jewellery and loss of important documents is offered

 

 

Terrorism cover

Optional

Optional

Special cover for rent expenses

No

 

  • Cover against rent loss is provided if the structure/any part of the insured home is considered unfit for occupation

 

  • Cover provided for additional rent expenses incurred towards alternate accommodation availed in course of the policy

Compensation for theft or accidental death of pets

 

No

Yes – For up to three pedigree pets

Customised cover for online plan purchase

No

Yes - Two customised levels of cover available exclusively on online purchase

 

Cover against legal liabilities to third parties

No

Yes - Against legal liabilities to third parties and domestic servants

Claims process

 

Quick and easy

Quick and easy


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