Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Flood Insurance Coverage For Your House And Car

Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Flood Insurance Coverage For Your House And Car

Just like in the western countries, there are four seasons in Malaysia as well. But instead of having spring, summer, fall and winter, we in Malaysia have the dengue season, the haze season, the durian season, and the flood season.

It might sound humorous, but unfortunately it’s very true. And right now, we’re fully in the flood season, as evidenced by what happened in Puchong and Johor earlier. The correct term is actually the monsoon season, but for most Malaysians, this means ‘rain and flood’.

flood statistics 2022 Malaysia

It’s a fact that in Malaysia, floods are something that we can expect to happen almost annually. Which is why in this article, we’re going to talk about flood coverage for both your house and cars.

What is flood coverage?

The first thing we’re going to do in this article is simple, to properly explain to you what flood coverage means in terms of insurance.

And thankfully, the meaning is as straightforward as can be, as flood coverage basically means that your property, whether your house or your car, is protected in case it is affected by floods.

If your property is protected by flood coverage, the insurance will compensate you for any losses incurred due to flooding. 

This point is where most people fail to act on getting proper insurance coverage. For example, in a DOSM survey on the residents affected by the floods in Segamat, Johor in January 2022, less than 5% of those affected had any form of car, property or home insurance coverage.

Source: DOSM

Is your house/car protected by default?

Okay, so now we understand that a flood protection coverage insurance means that your property, whether it is your house or car, will be protected in case of any flooding damage.

But is it something that comes by default when you purchase your house or car?

The simple answer to that question is, it varies on a case-to-case basis.

The long answer however, let me explain.

House

In general, the basic home insurance policy only includes protection from fire, lightning, and explosions. This means that flood protection is not included in your basic home insurance policy.

However, due to the fact that the bank will want to protect their own interest as well, there is a possibility that your basic home insurance policy will include flood coverage, especially if your house is located in a location that is deemed to be prone to floods.

This is because if the flood causes your house to collapse, the bank will not be able to seize or auction your house if your house is destroyed. So for your house, it’s better for you to contact your bank and get the full details of your home insurance policy.

Car

Now for cars, the answer is pretty much straightforward. In your basic car insurance policy, you are protected from loss or damage to your own vehicle due to accident, fire and theft, third-party death or bodily injury, and third-party property damage or loss.

If you want your car to be protected from flood-related damage, then you will have to add on a special peril coverage, which will protect your car from any loss or damage caused by flood, storm, typhoon, landslide and other acts of nature.

Read More: Things Your Car Insurance Does (And Does Not) Cover

How much does it cost to add on flood coverage?

We’ve made it clear that for both houses and cars, typically flood protection coverage is not included in your basic default insurance policy.

Which is why in this section, we’re going to have a look at how much it will cost for you to add on flood protection coverage to your basic insurance policy.

Car

As mentioned above, flood protection coverage doesn’t come as a standalone for car insurance. So if you want to add on flood protection to your vehicle’s insurance, you will have to add on the special perils coverage to your basic car insurance policy.

How much does that cost? According to Kurnia, the special perils coverage add-on will cost you around 0.2% to 0.5% of your car’s worth in additional premium.

So if your car costs RM100,000, the special perils coverage add-on will cost you around RM200 to RM500 in additional premium.

House

For houses however, it’s a lot more complicated than that. If you’ve contacted your bank and made sure that your home insurance policy does not include flood protection coverage, let’s break down how much it will cost you.

Okay, the first thing you need to know regarding a home insurance policy is that there is three basic types of home insurance, which is;

  • Basic fire policy

The basic fire policy is the most basic, simple house insurance you can have for your house. This policy covers your house in case of damage caused by lightning or fire.

However, one important thing to note is that this policy only covers the value of the building, not the content of the building. Meaning in the event of a fire, this insurance will compensate you for the value of your house, but not the content inside it.

  • Houseowner policy

A houseowner policy protects your property in a more comprehensive fashion. A houseowner policy will protect your house from severe weather damage, floods, fire, burst pipes, and a range of other negative events that could impact your home.

However, just like the basic fire policy, this policy only covers the value of the building, not the content.

  • Householder policy

And finally, we get to the householder policy, which is designed to provide additional protection to the contents of your house.

With a householder policy, the value of the contents of your house will be compensated by the insurance company in the event of any insurable event, such as fire, floods, natural disasters, among others.

So, what insurance should you get to protect your house from floods?

To protect your house in the event of a flood, you will need to get both the houseowner policy and the householder policy.

Most insurance companies however, such as Allianz, combine the two insurance policies into one encompassing policy.

So back to our main question, how much will that cost?

It depends on many factors, such as the value of your house, how many storeys is your house, the value of the contents of your house, among other things.

Another important factor that will also affect the cost is your house’s location. If your house is located in areas that are prone to flooding, your premium might be higher, and in some extreme instances, the insurance company can also outright refuse to insure your house.

To help you calculate the cost, you can use Etiqa’s house insurance calculator right here.

How long does the claim process take?

Now, you’ve protected both your car and your house from floods with your additional insurance coverage, what happens when the flood actually happens? There are two parts to this question. The first part is the steps to file your claim. Next part is the claims process and length of time.

Read the fine print! Different insurance providers may have other requirements. All claims must be made in the time frame specified in your policy. The same applies for the claim offer where there is a time frame for you to accept it.

For the first part, how do you file your claim for your flood damages from your insurers? Let’s have a look.

House

When a flood happens and damages both your house and the contents inside it, here are the steps you can take to initiate the claim process;

  1. Inform your insurance agent or insurance company of the event
  2. Make sure that the insurance panel has received all the necessary information regarding the event, such as the extent of the damage. Be sure to provide the insurance panel with all the necessary documentation, pictures, and information.
  3. The insurance panel will carry out a further investigation and assess the level of damage.
  4. And finally, the insurance panel will help you make a claim based on amount of protection in the policy.

Car

For car, the claim procedure is as follows;

  1. Take a picture of your vehicle, along with the damages the flood has caused
  2. Lodge a police report, which will be included in your insurance claim
  3. Contact your agent or insurance company and inform them of the event.
  4. Your insurance agent or company will assist you in further procedures of making the claim

One important thing to note is that in the event of flood damage to your car, never ever attempt to start your engine. Doing so might cause further damage, such as causing water to leak into the electrical system, which might cause a fire. 

Instead, what you should do is contact your insurance, and ask them to send a tow truck to your location.

The second part is on the claims process and length of time. For both cars and property, a lot depends on the type and extent of damage. Persatuan Insurans Am Malaysia (PIAM) has a simple guide on the claims, repair and dispute process you can refer. 

The time needed to process insurance claims will vary from provider to provider. On average, after the claim is successfully filed, it can take between 21 to 60 working days for the claim payment to be released.

PIAM Information Centre or Ombudsman for Financial Services is where you can refer your complaints on the way your claim is being handled by your provider.

So now that you’ve understood what flood protection coverage for both your car and your house is, one question remains;

Do you really need flood protection coverage? 

Well, to be honest this is a question that only you can answer. If you feel that there is truly no risk of flooding to any of your property, then perhaps you can do without it.

However, our advice? It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

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