In InsuranceSamadhan.com’s A-Z Blog series on Insurance topics, we try to provide all vital information related to the Insurance sector and demystify certain myths related to the sector. In today's blog, we are sharing detailed information regarding Fire Insurance policy – and everything that one needs to know.
All assets have a financial value and are exposed to various type of risks like fire, flood, storm and many others. These risks are uncertain and can cause financial loss to the asset owner. Asset owner can take fire insurance to minimize the financial loss. This Fire Insurance is given by General Insurance company under a contract between insurer and insured. Insurer underwrites the asset and risks involved. A premium is fixed based on asset valuation, risk mitigation arrangements and probability of risk exposure.
Fire insurance is an integral part of economic system and all creditors like banks, financial institutions, partners expect that proper insurance has been taken for the project. Fire insurance include building, fixture, furniture, machinery, stocks as desired in the proposal.
Though it is commonly known as Fire Insurance but its real name is Fire and other Perils Insurance.
How does the Fire Insurance Contract work?
- Insurable Interest: Insured should have insurable interest in the asset at the proposal stage and at the time of loss. For example, Zakira Private Limited had a fire insurance and they opened another office on rent. Office was burnt due to fire, Zakira got claim for the losses within the office but claim was rejected for the damage to the building structure as there was no insurable interest. Zakira should have insisted landlord to take insurance of building.
- Indemnity: Insurer would only compensate the loss in proportion to the sum assured taken. For example, Ashok was running a small factory which was valued for Rs 2 crores. Just to save the premium, Ashok applied for sum assured of Rs 1 crore and got factory covered. Ashok factory had a major fire with 100% damage with loss of over Rs 2 crores, but Ashok will receive Rs 1 crore only. Not only that if Ashok had 50% loss even then Ashok will get Rs 25 lacs only because it will be calculated on prorate basis. So, it is necessary that insured declares full value of assets.
- Proximate cause: reason of fire or damage should be linked to the actions at work. For example, there was a fire in a neighbourhood factory due to which the insured building collapsed. Once again, proximate cause will be fire and claim will be admissible.
- Covered Perils: Although name of policy is Fire Insurance, but it covers defined perils like flood, storm etc. Generally, there are 11 defined cover perils and come as package. However, if insured wants to include any other peril then premiums are revised.
- Utmost good faith: It is the duty of insured to disclose all material facts and insurer can terminate the contract if any non-disclosures are identified. It is duty of the insured to update any modifications, changes else the contract can be called null and void.
- Documentation: It is the duty of insured to regularly maintain all ledgers, stock book and other statutory books for loss valuations. Any negligence can cause contract termination.
How is claim paid?
Insurer always try to minimize the losses and offer claim as per various available options:
- Reimburse cost of repair
- Replacement cost of damaged asset
- Reconstruction cost
How Claim is processed?
- Intimation and report of Fire Department
- Intimation and report of Police
- Intimation to Insurance Company
- Submission of claim form
- Submission of S
- Surveyor report
- Photographs of damaged property and stock as evidence
- Submission of license , certification and permits
You should demand Surveyor report and it is your right to have the report. You should also discuss the surveyor report and raise objections in writing. Mostly claims are rejected and then arguments begin. Insurer takes 30 days to revert. In case of delay, you must send reminder to Insurer.
In case of any problem, you must reach Insurance Samadhan who has experts team to guide you. We shall be pleased to support your case on technical and legal grounds.
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