whether our own or somebody else's, is a great teacher. Often, by
observing the actions of others, we learn what to do (or not to do) in
certain situations. That's why this article will give you two case studies
of houseowners and their experience with home insurance.
CASE 1 - BURGLED BUT
ALL'S NOT LOST
Mr and Mrs Lo, a
newly-wed urban professional couple, live in a fairly posh bungalow in
Kuala Lumpur. While Mr Lo has made it his hobby to collect expensive
liquor, Mrs Lo has a passion for designer handbags.
They both travel
extensively and in the course of their travels, they have both accumulated
some fairly expensive luxury items. However, because they travel a lot,
they were prudent enough to install a burglar alarm and a safe in their
bungalow for valuable items and cash.
One evening when
Mrs Lo was out of town, her husband returned from work alone to find that
somebody (or bodies) had broken into their home. Not only had the burglars
seriously damaged the door, the locks and the alarm system, they had also
broken into the safe and caused some minor damage to the extensively
Mr Lo's expensive
liquor collection, Mrs Lo's designer handbags, their extremely expensive
watches and a number of valuable gifts they had received as wedding
presents were all swiped by the busy burglars.
Luckily, Mr Lo had
ensured he not only had homeowners' insurance but also a householders'
policy (which also covers moveable contents, such as his wife's valuable
designer handbag collection). He made a police report and duly informed
his insurance agent of the break-in.
He was reimbursed
for the damage to the dwelling , including the alarm system and the door
from his houseowners' policy. The insurance company also coughed up more
than RM50,000 for the loss of the possessions in his house after its
adjusters had checked the retail prices of the items that Mr Lo had listed
as missing. The good news for Mrs Lo was that she could go out
shopping for more designer handbags to replace the ones that had been
The claim was
processed and the cheque was handed over to Mr Lo within a week of
submitting all relevant documents. Now, that's something practically
unheard of these days, judging from the number of people out there with
horror stories compared with happy stories about insurance claims.
The simple reason
Mr Lo's claim was processed so fast was because he had made the adjusters'
jobs much simpler by submitting all the right documents - he completed the
claim form properly and sent in a copy of the police report as well as the
invoices for all the repairs.
In addition, he had
items such as purchase receipts and credit card statements for the missing
items to furnish proof of ownership and back up his claim list. His claim
was also submitted within 30 days of the incident.
In cases such as
these, and if you had read your policy and done everything right, the
insurance company would have no choice but to cough up the amount needed
to replace your losses.
CASE 2 - FIRE? IT'S
OKAY, HE'S INSURED
thing about insurance and living in a condominium these days is this: how
do you insure your four walls and ceiling against perils, knowing they are
also somebody else's four walls and floor?
The answer is - you
don't. But you had better make sure the company that is managing the high
rise property you are living in has some form of insurance against things
like fire, flood and lightning.
It is highly likely
that the property management company would have effected the fire
insurance cover for all the apartment units under a master policy. It is
also likely that you, as the unit owner, are paying your portion of the
insurance cost every time you pay your maintenance bill.
Many people are
actually unaware that they are already paying for such insurance coverage
together with their monthly maintenance bill. Do check if you are unsure
and pay your maintenance bill on time so your interest is protected as
illustrated in this case study.
Mr Ng was asleep
late one night when a fire started in his apartment. He woke up, panicked,
ran out, and injured himself.
By the time the
fire engine came, the damage to his apartment unit and the common corridor
was fairly extensive due in part to the effect of smoke and water.
insurance adjusters - from the management company's insurance firm - could
not speak to Mr Ng, investigations ascertained that the fire was due to an
electrical wiring problem and was not his fault.
Because the master
insurance policy was held by the management company, the insurance company
only reimbursed the company for damage done to the original building
structure. Mr Ng's interest was protected by the management company, which
was entrusted with the responsibility of rebuilding his unit and the
Imagine if Mr Ng
had taken a policy on his own; who would have been responsible for
rebuilding the common corridor? Furthermore, would Mr Ng have had the
ability to rebuild his own unit if the insurance monies were paid to him,
especially as the reconstruction work required co-ordination and
co-operation from other unit owners?
To avoid this
unnecessary complication, it pays to insure through your management
Luckily, Mr Ng had
also taken out a householders' policy on the contents as well as on
renovations done to the apartment. He submitted a claim to his insurance
company and after investigating, the insurance company reimbursed Mr Ng's
losses for the contents as well as the renovation work.
extracted from NST Property Times - Signed&Safe