Property insurance: Strategic option or eternal necessity?

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In Photo: Insuring your home means insuring your investments and gaining peace of mind against possible risks.

IN the Philippines there is a strange outlook on insurance. Often, the Filipino perception of insurance—especially life or health—is almost akin to admitting that morbid and unpleasant circumstances are inevitable for us.

There is also the belief that insuring something is a luxury reserved for the more well-to-do. But here’s the truth, yes, some insurance policies are not a need for everybody, but everybody can most certainly get insured. It’s just about looking for the right insurance fit for you and your needs. While we know that health, life and education plans are popular, let’s delve into a less-publicized—but I find just as important—plan: property insurance.

Property is more than a home

It may be obvious for some, but it must be clarified: property insurance is not limited to your home or to commercial dwellings. In fact, as its name clues us in, property insurance extends itself to all your belongings, like your automobiles.

Fire protection is popular among local property-insurance plans. The National Statistical Coordination Board reported that in 2010 to 2013, most fires occurred in residential areas.

Theoretically, anything you own can be insured. When you insure your property, you are adding a layer of security to the investment you put into it. The enormity of how much you need insurance depends largely on what you built or bought it for. For example, a mixed-use commercial building has multiple occupants of varying industries and, therefore, could put the building at risk for more accidents as opposed to a condominium unit that you live in with your small family.

In the event that you do own properties that are exposed to the public (vehicles, commercial buildings, etc.) you may also want to look into casualty insurance. This protects you in case somebody sues you for damage. Getting casualty insurance isn’t really a must for everybody looking into acquiring property insurance, but does complement the latter very well.

Why all-risk means no risk

When you say “all-risk” it means that your plan covers every possible risk or accident. It is generally more ideal to cover all bases, plus those that you or your insurance agent can’t foresee.

It may entail a higher premium but, in the long run, you’re paying for a much more flexible plan that doesn’t limit what you’ll be covered for. The other option to all-risk is “named-peril”, and this is when your plan lists down exactly what it will cover.

All-risk plans will allow you to lessen the expense of multiple separate plans, dealing with multiple parties and lessen any redundancies in policies.

Look into your locale’s specialized plans

If you’re still unsure of what type of coverage your insurance should have, then a simple choice would be to ask your agent what is ideal for the location of your property. In the Philippines it is encouraged that fire and natural calamities be the primary risks covered by a property-insurance plan.

Given that the country is prone to numerous typhoons and earthquakes, getting a plan that includes coverage should those calamities befall you will be a top recommendation.

Many local agents also offer fire or theft insurance, especially in areas where there is a large rate of burglary and accidental fires. If you are not too attracted to an all-risk plan, then perhaps the best option for you would be to ask your agent about these recommended plans. It gives you a peek into the landscape you’re working with, while also eliminating any unlikely risks.

Find an insurance partner that can adapt

While the Philippine insurance scene may not breach as many market segments as they do abroad, there are a growing number of insurance companies—as well as a few banks like BDO and BPI—that offer various plans.

Some of them offer specialty insurance plans that target a specific generation even, like how FWD Life Philippines targets millennials and the millennial-minded. Look for a company that can personalize a package to suit your preferences. A good agent can craft a package for you that take into account how much you’re willing to shell out, how often you want to pay, what special coverage you prefer and much more. Remember that insurance is not one-size-fits-all.

Before you sign up with one agent, don’t hesitate to make an extensive search with other companies. Compare the coverage, packages and even comfort level you feel. Getting insurance should not feel like a burden or a mere business move. It should feel like you are getting reassurance that, come what may, your property investments are not just idle targets.

Image Credits: www.pinterest.com; sourced from: bluecirclebuilders.com, www.psst.ph