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Insurance Article

Protecting Your Home against Flood Damage

January 04 2016
Ravaging floods in India

Learn about recent flood losses in India and insure your home

Floods in India

India is a peninsular country, environed by Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean. This makes it the second-most flood prone country following Bangladesh. Every year we witness a number of flood incidents that cause major losses to our country’s lives and properties.

The Geological Survey of India (GSI) states that flood prone areas enshroud 12.5% of the country’s area. The major “Indian Flood Prone Areas” are West Bengal, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab. In addition, central India has now become accustomed to heavy rains and flash flood events.

Types of Losses

Wreckage from the disaster includes clogged roads, power cuts, food scarcity and many other unfortunate losses. Nevertheless, what can be avoided are your personal losses, which include the structure of your home for its reconstruction value.

Personal belongings like furniture, durables, utensils, jewellery, etc. can also be covered under the housing insurance based on the current market value. In case of an alternative accommodation due to rampant damage, you can claim for the cover against additional rent. However, loss of cash, bullion, damage to works of art, antiques, and other such valuables cannot be recovered.

Recent Examples

Some instances of such havocs wrecked in the country are floods that occurred in Chennai, Kashmir and Maharashtra.

  • Chennai Floods
    Chennai reported 1,024 mm (40.31 inches) of rain in the month of November. This is more than 300 percent of the usual rainfall expected for the entire month. The heavy rains continued till December, as more than 300 mm (12 inches) of rainfall was observed on the first day of the month. This event was marked as the wettest day in December observed in the last 100 years. The disaster is marked as the eighth most expensive natural disaster in the year causing loss of ₹20,034 crores.
  • Kashmir Floods
    In September 2014, torrential rains in Jammu and Kashmir led to a monolithic devastation causing several fatalities. A large number of displaced citizens were also reported. 2600 villages were impacted due to the floods, leaving 19,00,000 people affected by the destruction. The state suffered losses of ₹1,00,000 crores in the calamity.
  • Maharashtra Floods
    On 26th of July 2005, Mumbai witnessed heavy rainfall that caused severe loss to the city. Commercial, trading, and industrial activity were stopped due to the flash flood. More than 700 flights were cancelled or delayed. An average loss of ₹550 crores was estimated after the disaster.

Government Flood Management Plan

In order to provide central assistance to flood prone states, the Government of India has launched a “Flood Management Program” during the 11th 5-year plan. The program ensures flood control, drainage development, river management, flood proofing and anti-sea erosion works.

The Central Water Commission has established a network of “Flood Forecasting and Warning System” in State river basins. It provides flood forecasts through 175 stations including 147 river level forecasting stations and 28 inflow-forecasting stations spread over nine major river basins.

According to the report, in year 2008-09, 6,675 flood forecasts with 97% accuracy were issued to the state Government/local administration. That helped take timely action to save livestock and public properties.

How important is getting your home secured?

A good home insurance plan not only provides proper coverage against your losses, but also gives you quick service. Instant survey and documentation of losses is crucial at the time of such a catastrophe. Online claim facility is an added benefit to avoid hassles.

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