Property and Household Insurance
Whether you own a house/apartment or rent one, fire insurance is indispensable in order to protect your property and yourself against various risks; without such insurance the financial consequences would be disastrous since your property is probably the most important investment that you will ever make.
With fire insurance you can cover/protect both your belongings and any liability, such as:
- House / Building (if owner)
- Fixtures, fittings and decorations (if tenant)
- Household contents
- Precious items
- Neighbor’s recourse
- Co-owner’s Liability (if owner)
- Tenant’s Liability (if tenant)
- Landlord’s Liability (if owner)
We generally can distinguish between two types of fire insurance:
Standard Cover consists of a basic cover against the risks of fire, explosion, smoke, lightning, impact of vehicles and aircraft or other aerial devices or articles dropped there from.
Optionally you may extend the basic cover with one or more of the following risks: glass breakage, burglary by forcible entry, burglary by hold up, water damage due to bursting or overflowing of pipes, apparatus and water tanks, rain damage, earthquake, storm/tempest/flood, strikes/riots/civil commotion, damage to electrical apparatus, malicious damage, removal of debris, architect fees, loss of rent/loss of property, liability towards neighbors, liability towards co-owners and many other options.
Full Comprehensive Cover or All-Risk Cover:
Full Comprehensive Cover guards against all the risks mentioned under the standard cover plus any other unforeseen risk, as long as it is not excluded in the wordings.
Your second home (vacation home) also needs to be protected by fire insurance.
House / Building
When you own a house the fire insurance covers the construction value of the whole house/building including machinery and any installations (generator, boiler and electrical system), interior structural improvements, fixtures and fittings that are permanently attached to the home building.
By “construction value” we mean all the costs involved in order to reconstruct the house in its original shape with same/similar materials and quality.
N.B.: In cases where the home is purchased with a house loan, fire insurance is made compulsory by the bank.
Fixings, Fittings and Decorations
When you rent a house and you make some permanent structural improvements (fixings, fittings and decorations) to some parts of it such as the kitchen, bathroom, toilet, floor, ceiling, doors, electrical wiring, etc.,fire insurance covers the complete construction costs of these improvements.
Household / Contents
For your household and precious items contained in the building, fire insurance coverage is either based on the new value, replacement value, or the market value of your total household. By “household” we mean your clothes, furniture and furnishings, electrical appliances such as a TV, refrigerator, washing machine etc., and precious items (see Precious Items).
Fire insurance can also be extended to provide coverage for your precious items, your valuables and collections such as jewelry, musical instruments, photographic and film equipment, antiques and art objects, collection of stamp, coins or others. In some cases insurers require certain security measures such as safes and/or alarms or apply upper limits on some items. They also may require pictures of the items, invoices or even valuation reports from an accredited appraiser.
According to Lebanese law, you are responsible for any material damage caused to third parties due to fire which erupted at your home and expanded to your neighbour’s properties (buildings and contents). When you take this additional cover the insurance covers your legal liability towards your neighbours in case fire spreads from your home into a neighbour’s property.
Neighbour’s Recourse coverage may be therefore as important as coverage of your own property.
Optionally you can extend your coverage to also include water damage to your neighbour’s property.
When you own an apartment in a building, you share the common parts such as lifts, stairs, halls etc. with the other owners; they are referred to as co-owners. This additional insurance covers your legal liability as a co-owner against the damage to the common parts resulting from fire spreading from your own property.
This additional insurance covers your legal liability as a tenant against damage resulting to rented property due to fire in that property.
This additional insurance covers your legal liability as a landlord against damage to the property of your tenant (like household items and decorations) resulting from fire started in your property.