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Monday, May 27, 2024

home insurance what it is and what it covers

Apartment owners can see the item “voluntary home insurance” in the monthly payment document. We found out what kind of insurance it is, what risks it covers, how it works and whether it is necessary to buy it.

What is home insurance in the utility bill?

Voluntary insurance in the utility bill is insurance against loss of property in the event of an emergency: fire, earthquake, flood, explosion, and so on. It can be implemented both within the framework of the regional home insurance program against emergencies, and separately from it. There are no restrictions on the regions, the policy can work everywhere – it all depends on the specific agreement of the management company with the insurer. Homeowners of the HOA must vote at a meeting of tenants for the inclusion of insurance in the utility bill.

It is the utility bill that is the insurance contract, which is concluded in an acceptance-free manner: the policy as such is not issued. This is an offer accepted by the policyholder by paying the insurance premium. In other words, if the decision to include the “insurance” line in the receipt is made and the owner or person living in the apartment has paid the premium indicated in the “insurance” line, then the apartment is automatically considered insured for the month following the month of payment of the premium. If a person has paid only the utility bill, then the insurance contract is not concluded.

“If this service is provided through a payment document for housing and communal services, then registration takes place online: for example, in the client’s personal account of the management company. To confirm the fact of payment for the insurance service, it is enough for the owner of the apartment to keep the check, “explains Alexei Shakhov, Director for Work with Key Partners of the Department for Work with Partners of IC Rosgosstrakh.

Rospotrebnadzor and the Supreme Court have previously drawn attention to the fact that this type of contract leads to a violation of the principle of freedom of contract associated with the consumer’s independent choice of an insurance company, which is an imposition of a service. Therefore, such insurance is now included in the payment of housing and communal services only after the consent of the tenants of an apartment building and depends on specific agreements with the Criminal Code or other partners of the insurer.

Now insurers offer a wide variety of programs, conditions, insurance amounts, the risks of which differ.

What risks does such insurance cover?

Usually, insurance covers the standard risks of damage to the load-bearing structures of the house and the decoration of the apartment. Some insurers also offer to protect equipment and movable property inside the apartment.

Such insurance protects against fire, gas explosion, lightning strike, flooding of the house (including accidents of engineering systems or due to an accident in the apartment of neighbors), natural disasters: tornado, hurricane, flood and so on. In some cases, we can talk about an insurance policy against theft, robbery or even liability for causing harm to third parties.

The insurance itself is similar to a policy purchased from an agent or on the company’s website – all procedures are the same: compensation for damage caused to property in the event of an insured event.

How much does such insurance cost?

The cost is determined depending on the sum insured of the objects, the number of rooms in the apartment and the set of risks, but, as a rule, it is several rubles per square meter per month, said Igor Alexandrov, deputy director of the retail business support department of Ingosstrakh. As a rule, the insurance premium starts from an amount of less than 100 rubles, add to the VSCs.

The sum insured, in turn, can range from 100 thousand to more than 1 million rubles, depending on the size of the apartment and the risks chosen.

What you should pay attention to

When paying for housing and communal services online, always check if there is a clause on voluntary home insurance in the payment. If you do not plan to enter into such an agreement, then you do not need to check the boxes under this item, as well as pay for the insurance itself.
If you really need such insurance, then note that it must be renewed every month, since it is concluded for only 30 days. If you have not paid at least once, then it expires for the next month.
Such programs always imply reduced insurance coverage compared to classic home insurance programs: these are inexpensive policies with a limit on insurance amounts or risks, as well as on payment limits for each insured event, according to RESO-Insurance. Most often, this is a boxed, standardized product that is not tailored to the characteristics of each house.
It is necessary to pay attention to the condition of the house and the year of construction and discuss this issue with the Criminal Code and the insurer. Since not all residential buildings are eligible for this insurance, there are exceptions: housing in low-rise residential buildings, wooden apartment buildings or buildings recognized as unsuitable for living is not subject to protection.
It is not necessary to pay for such insurance – it is voluntary and is not included in the general line “Total payable” in the utility bill. Autopayment does not apply to it either.

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