(File pix) The smart home cover protects homeowners in all aspects of owning a home, including property rental.

DO households need insurance to protect their home? Currently, only 25 per cent of the over eight million homes in Malaysia are insured resulting in a figure of two million homes.

“Previously, cost and rigid home insurance products have always been the biggest factors that hold customers back. We launched smart home cover last July that fits individual requirements and sales have been encouraging. With more houses built, the numbers will definitely increase,” said Allianz Malaysia Bhd chief executive officer Zakri Khir.

The smart home cover protects homeowners in all aspects of owning a home, including property rental. There are five components, namely HouseOwner (Building), HouseHolder (Content), Mortgage Loan Installment Protection, HomeFix and Landlord Insurance.

HouseOwner covers residential properties, including fixtures, fittings, garages, walls, gates, and fences around the house while HouseHolder covers household contents and personal effects owned by the occupants.

Zakri said one may choose to insure on a full value basis which protects all the household contents in the building, or first loss basis which protects the household contents by selecting from three different plans.

The mortgage loan installment protection covers one’s monthly loan installment in the event that the house is deemed temporarily uninhabitable due to insured events or evacuation by local authority exceeding 72 hours or the insured suffers accidental death or total permanent disablement.

HomeFix covers the repair of burst pipe, repair or temporary repair of doors, locks and windows, domestic help allowance and home repair or service, while landlord insurance covers malicious damage by tenant and tenant runaway.

For landlord insurance, Allianz will also bear the legal fee of issuing a letter of demand for rent past due.

“We offer homeowners the freedom to choose and customise their own home insurance based on their needs and wants. Out of the five, the most popular one is HouseOwner (Building),” Zakri told NST Property.

Zakri said this policy is open to both locals and foreigners who have registered under the Malaysia My Second Home Programme, as long as the property is located in Malaysia.

On the outlook for the insurance industry, Zakri said he expects direct purchase insurance to be implemented soon while the coming of digital marketing may change consumer behaviour.

“These days there is a shift in customer behaviour which has an impact on the way businesses are conducted.

With the turf growing considerably smaller, especially with the advent of fintech (financial technology), businesses in the financial sector have to quickly realise that customers no longer wish to be bound by terms and conditions, but be more accommodating towards their needs,” he said.

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