By Aliyya Sawadjaan
For most Filipinos, owning a home is a dream come true. They work hard to achieve this dream, making sure that every cent they earn goes into buying a house they could call their own. Some even go as far as working overseas, sacrificing time they could have spent with family to ensure that they have enough money to buy a house. Moreover, buying a house is one of the most expensive investments people will ever do. It is where we house our loved ones, family heirlooms and keepsakes, and precious memories.
Prone to disasters
The Philippines is the third most prone to disasters out of the top 15 countries in the world, based on the World Risk Report last year. Natural disasters are almost an annual occurrence with typhoons, flooding, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. In fact, an average of 20 typhoons hit the country every year and at least three earthquakes shake our islands per year.
Fire incidents are also another occurrence that happens often in the country. Last year, the Bureau of Fire Protection recorded a total of 14,316 fires, with 3,943 recorded in Metro Manila alone.
Unfortunately, many Filipino homeowners and business owners do not bother getting property insurance for their homes and businesses, or do not think it is necessary. They are confident that nothing will happen to their properties for one reason or another. Not true says, Edena Enfestan, senior vice president and head of claims for Standard Insurance.
“When you acquire a property — whether in the city or in the provinces, whether a house or a business — it is important for you to think and protect your investment in the long run because of the many unforeseen incidents or events,” she says.
“It may be true that years ago, the location where your house is standing now may not have been a flood zone. But with climate change, those areas could either have the potential to flood or have experienced flooding already. For example, years ago, Metro Manila experienced Habagat. Habagat was not even declared as a typhoon and yet many areas flooded, causing many damages to properties,” she adds.
The importance of property insurance
Now 61 years in operation, Standard Insurance Company Inc. (SICI) is becoming one of the world’s finest general insurers with over 60 locations nationwide. It specializes in insuring cars, residential buildings and houses, commercial buildings (like offices, malls, hospitals, and schools), private and commercial vehicles including motorcycles and trucks, travel, personal accidents, and marine cargo.
It has a substantial protection from their panel of reinsurers, meaning, the company buys insurance from three of the world’s largest and best reinsurers to protect clients in the event of catastrophic events such as earthquakes, floods, typhoons and tsunamis.
Property insurance is one of its many products. It is a type of insurance that covers physical assets such as houses, businesses, commercial establishments, and condominiums against damages due to fire, typhoon, flooding, earthquake and other Acts of Nature. This also covers the contents inside the physical structure. For example, if a person owns a condominium unit or is a tenant of a condominium building, he or she may secure coverage for the contents inside his unit.
For residential properties, Standard Insurance offers House Protect. In the case of a serious damage or complete destruction to the home due to fire or Acts of Nature, the insurance can cover the cost to repair or rebuild the property, including the costs for temporary accommodations while it is being repaired or rebuilt.
Biz Protect, on the other hand, covers businesses and commercial establishments. By insuring the commercial establishment, business assets such as the equipment, furniture, fixtures, and the like can be protected.
Unfortunately, many Filipinos think that getting an insurance policy for their physical assets is expensive. Enfestan says otherwise.
“I would like to believe that property owners today are more intelligent and wiser. In today’s troubling times, it is important for them to be ready and to be protected by a reputable insurance company that would sufficiently cover the value of their properties,” she says.
“Every property is an investment. You worked hard in order to acquire the property. If you can pay for the ticket for a show or concert, pay for private transportation services during peak hours, and pay for designer coffee, why not pay for protection that is good for at least a year? If you divide the cost of what you spend in a year to 365 days, a property insurance policy is not that much if you think about it. You don’t think twice about spending money on designer coffee but you would think twice on spending protection on a property that you worked so hard for?”
As a responsible homeowner, it is important to properly maintain and protect the home, which is why it is important to buy the right type of insurance and the necessary additional protection, to avoid the financial and emotional impact of any disaster.
“It’s really knowing what to prioritize. For your peace of mind and of your family’s,” Enfestan adds.
To put your mind at ease, insure with Standard Insurance. For inquiries on how to secure your business or your home with property insurance, visit www.standard-insurance.com, call 845-1111 or visit the nearest Standard Insurance branch.