In­sur­ance Cover against Tsunami

Consumer Voice - - Home Insurance -

Deadly tsunamis in re­cent years – there was the tsunami that dev­as­tated the coastal ar­eas of In­dia in 2004 and the one that hit Ja­pan in 2011 – must have left many home­own­ers won­der­ing if their home in­sur­ance would cover tsunami dam­age. How­ever, in­sur­ance com­pa­nies are yet to pro­vide a tsunami pol­icy and the world over, the only op­tion for tsunami in­sur­ance is through cov­er­age pro­vided for nat­u­ral calami­ties like flood, land­slide, earth­quake and vol­canic move­ment. The In­dian penin­sula is sur­rounded by wa­ter bod­ies on three sides; there­fore, those stay­ing in the coastal area in earth­quake-vul­ner­a­ble ar­eas re­quire tsunami in­sur­ance cov­er­age. Cov­er­age for tsunami in­sur­ance is not re­quired if you are living in the in­lands, com­fort­ably far away from the sea.

Why no tsunami in­sur­ance cover

The world ‘tsunami’, a Ja­panese word, was coined by the sci­en­tific com­mu­nity to dis­tin­guish tsunami dam­age from other forms of flood and earth­quake dam­age. Earth­quakes, sub­ma­rine land­slides and vol­canic erup­tions are some of the sources of th­ese killer waves. A char­ac­ter­is­tic that dis­tin­guishes tsunami from most other ma­jor haz­ards is that it does not oc­cur from one cause. As some ex­perts say, to de­fine tsunami as a re­sult of earth­quake only is a nar­row def­i­ni­tion. While ‘earth­quake’ is a nar­row term to de­fine the cause of tsunami, ‘earth move­ment’ is a broad term that in­cludes earth­quakes, land­slides, rock­slides, mud­slides, sub­si­dence, etc. There­fore, it is bet­ter to take in­sur­ance for both flood and earth­quake.

Types of pos­si­ble in­sur­ance cov­er­age

In In­dia, in­sur­ance for per­ils due to tsunami can be en­sured through some cov­er­age pro­vided in home, auto, and fire and spe­cial peril in­sur­ance poli­cies.

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