What Is House Insurance?
Fire / House Owner / House Holder insurance protects your building and/or contents. There are three main types of policies which you can buy to protect your home :-
BASIC FIRE POLICY
This policy covers your building and/or contents from loss or damage caused by fire and lightning. The coverage could also be extended to include special perils e.g. storm and tempest, flood, earthquake etc. The premium rates, wordings, coverage, terms and conditions including clauses and endorsements of a standard fire tariff policy are subject to the Revised Fire Tariff issued by PIAM. However under Bank Negara Malaysia’s tariff liberalization framework, insurers are also allowed to introduce non tariff fire insurance products with variations in coverage, terms and conditions. Policyholders are advised to refer related enquiries to their agents or insurers.
Fire policy can be extended to cover the following perils with additional premium:-
- Aircraft damage
- Earthquake and volcanic eruption
- Storm tempest
- Flood damage
- Impact damage
- Bursting or overflowing of water tanks apparatus or pipes
- Riot strike and malicious damage
- Electrical installation Clause B (for businesses)
- Bush fire (for businesses)
- Subsidence and landslip
- Spontaneous combustion (for businesses)
- Damage by falling tree or branches and objects thereform
- Sprinkler damage (for businesses)
- Smoke damage (for businesses)
This policy provides additional coverage compared to the basic fire policy for residential properties i.e. private dwellings, condominiums, apartments or flats.
You must make sure that your property is adequately insured at all times, taking into account the renovations and enhancements made to your property. The sum insured should cover the cost of rebuilding your property in the event of loss/damage. If your property is under financing, you should make sure that your financier has taken adequate coverage. Usually, the coverage arranged by the financier will be for the amount of loan taken. You may, therefore, want to take up a separate insurance cover to extend the coverage taken by your financier.
- Master policy and individual certificate of insurance: If you own a strata-titled property, e.g. an apartment, the company managing your apartment building [management corporation (MC)] is required to take up insurance under a master policy. You must ensure that you get a copy of your individual certificate of insurance for your property to check the coverage taken up under the master policy by your MC.
- Property under financing: If your apartment is under financing, the financier may require you to purchase another houseowner policy to cover the loan taken. This will result in double-insurance. However, if your property is financed by a bank under the supervision of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), it has been agreed that your financier will not require you to purchase another insurance policy but it will accept the insurance policy purchased by the MC as evidence of insurance for your unit. However, the MC needs to comply with the terms and conditions required by the lending institution e.g. the insurance covers the minimum risks such as fire, subsidence and landslip.
This is a policy to cover your household contents and includes coverage for fatal injury to you as the insured.
Basis of compensation
You should decide on the basis of compensation of your householder policy, whether it is on reinstatement or replacement value. You will be compensated with the value of a brand new item under reinstatement basis but on the depreciated value of item lost under replacement basis.
Specific declaration of each item
You must specifically declare each item exceeding the limits prescribed in the policy to ensure that you are adequately compensated in the event of loss / damage. It is advisable to also keep receipts of items insured, if available.
Duty of disclosure
You should disclose fully all material facts in the proposal form. When in doubt as to whether a fact is relevant or not, it is best to ask your insurance company or agent. If you fail to disclose any material fact truthfully, your insurance company may refuse to pay your claim.
The Houseowner and Householder policy provide cover for loss or damage to your building and/or contents caused by any of the following:-
- Fire, lightning, thunderbolt, subterranean fire
- Aircraft and other aerial devices and/or articles dropped therefrom
- Impact by any road vehicles or any animals not belonging to or under the control of the insured or any of his family
- Bursting or overflowing of water tanks apparatus or pipes
- Theft but only if accompanied by actual forcible and violent breaking into or out of a building or any attempt threat
- Hurricane, cyclone, typhoon, windstorm
- Earthquake, volcanic eruption
- Flood but excluding loss or damage caused by subsidence and landslip
Houseowner policy does not cover loss or damage due to subsidence, landslip, riot, strike and malicious damage. However, you can cover these exclusions with payment of additional premiums. Extensions are also available to cover loss of rent and liability to third parties for accidents in your house.
Householder policy does not cover theft claim if there is no evidence of forced and violent entry or exit.
ALL RISKS INSURANCE
The All Risk Policy provides comprehensive cover except for those causes specifically excluded under the policy. As compared to a named perils policy, the All Risk Policy affords the broadest type of coverage that can be purchased.
HOW TO MAKE A CLAIM
Notify your insurance company as soon as possible. You must notify your insurance company in writing with full details as soon as possible. Early notification is required to avoid any prejudice to your claim. Additionally, you must take the necessary measures to mitigate further loss/worsening of the situation.
- If temporary repairs are required to stop further damage, you should ensure that these are carried out immediately and the bills of work carried out should be kept as part of your claim.
- If the repairs required are of a permanent nature, you should obtain estimates of the repairs required and send them to your insurance company for approval before commencing with repairs.
- You must submit your claim with all supporting information and documents to your insurance company.
- You should cooperate fully with the adjusters/investigators appointed by your insurance company to assess your claim.