The festive season and splendour of Diwali brings to mind beautifully decorated and illuminated homes sparkling with diyas, stores full of exciting new merchandise beckoning eager shoppers with exciting offers, and the silence being frequently broken by the chirpy sounds of firecrackers.
Occasionally we are saddened to read about unfortunate and unnecessary casualties in this otherwise festive and happy season when safety is overlooked. It is a pity that the most common reason for many accidents is mere negligence, which can be easily avoided with careful checks and balances. But however careful you may be, you do not have absolute control on every situation every time. Accidents are beyond one’s control by virtue of uncertainty, and hence it’s best to secure your assets with insurance to tide over the resultant loss.
Most customers get swayed by attractive sales each season and shop lavishly for everything under the sun, be it clothes, jewellery, electrical or electronic appliances. Low prices attract people to compromise on the quality of products. For example, when you buy a string of fairy lights for your home, you consider several product and aesthetic features, design and colour. But how many check the ISI mark? Cheap quality electrical articles are fraught with the risk of sparking and short-circuiting, which in turn heightens the vulnerability of appliances at our homes.
A majority of the fire cases reported are due to mishandling of firecrackers—the impact of which can be fatal and may extend the misfortune even to the neighbourhood.
Another common mishap during this season is theft and burglary. They happen because of overconfidence and carelessness. Picture this common scenario on a Diwali evening, when the neighbourhood comes together to burn crackers through local residential associations and societies. These are occasions when house doors are either not shut properly in a hurry or left open deliberately as a gesture of welcoming Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth.
Prudent home insurance safeguards household articles from risks such as fire and burglary; natural calamities such as earthquake, flood and storm; and breakdown of appliances. The insurance coverage extends to furniture, fixtures, clothing, carpet, linen, electrical items such as refrigerators, air conditioners, washing machines, DVD players, television sets and tape recorders; and electronic items such as computers. It is also applicable for jewellery either kept in the house or worn by family members. You can choose a policy where individual items and values need to be declared or a pre-fixed plan where items and sum insured are pre-defined.
If you are looking for a customized policy, a meticulous list is advised while declaring household items. Care should be taken in declaring additional assets during the policy period and reviewing the sum insured accordingly at the time of renewal. It would be a good idea to preserve the bills of contents purchased, which can help you to substantiate your claim, should the need arise.
Valuable add-ons for sports equipment, ornamental trees and shrubs, sauna and spa equipment are also available for a wider coverage and protection.
While there is no substitute to cautious approach, it is worthwhile to be protected under the safety blanket that insurance provides. It is vital to provide for protecting our homes and property as much as we do for life, as these are also one-time investments in our life.
Ajay Bimbhet is managing director, Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance Co. Ltd.
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