Poles are increasingly afraid of violent weather phenomena and insure their property

Poles are increasingly afraid of violent weather phenomena and insure their property
photo: Jacek Szydłowski / / FORUM

Weather phenomena can cause significant damage to apartments, houses and property. Storms, torrential downpours, hurricanes – usually peaking in the spring and summer – are increasingly frequenting Poland, which also means greater catastrophic damage, often in the hundreds of thousands of zlotys.

According to Munich Re, various types of weather events, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, torrential rains, floods, storms, caused damage worth $280 billion worldwide last year. Just over 40 percent. of these were covered by insurance (120 billion). This marks one of the most expensive seasons for the insurance industry.

– Last year the market was above 20 percent. an increase in the number of catastrophic damages. In Compensa itself, we recorded an increase of more than 40%. Every year. The biggest catastrophic loss is almost a million zloty – says the news agency Newseria Biznes Andrzej Paduszyński, director of the Individual Insurance Division of Compensa TU SA Vienna Insurance Group.

The amount of damages and compensation paid may increase from year to year as climate change increases the risk of natural disasters.

The “Risk Map of Poland”, produced by the Polish Insurance Association last year, shows that we consider the risks associated with weather and climate warming more and more likely. For example, 55 percent. of respondents believe that the dangers associated with strong winds and hurricanes are likely in their lifetime, half of them fear the effects of drought. Concerns about these kinds of weather phenomena are stronger in rural areas, but they are also increasingly referred to in metropolitan areas. Floods are concerned by 46 percent. villagers and 34 percent. inhabitants of large cities. Research by the Polish Insurance Association in 2018 showed that Poland mainly rely on state aid in such cases. The losses resulting from such phenomena are not always covered by the local government or central authorities. Even if some support is provided, it may not be sufficient for the necessary renovation or reconstruction. That is why we decide to insure our home more and more often.

– In home and apartment insurance, we have two types of protection: the first is against mentioned risks, the second is against all risks, says the director of the Individual Insurance Department of Compensa TU SA Vienna Insurance Group. – In the first policy all risks are listed ie we start with a fire, flood, hurricane, torrential rain, falling trees, landslides. There are usually a few, sometimes a few dozen such risks. The second type of policy covers all risks except those excluded in the insurance contract.

According to Compensa, all risk is the best solution in the case of a housing policy. It is an insurance against all possible events that are not excluded by the insurer. These include future, uncertain, sudden, unexpected risks and risks beyond the control of the Insured, leading to destruction or damage to the Insured Items. Security works both in the event of events resulting from natural forces and human activity, ie fire caused by leaving the iron on, flooding from open windows or vandalism.

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Experts recommend that the insurance covers not only walls, but also fixed elements of the property and related objects, such as installations, entrance doors, built-in appliances, garage, roof, garden furniture or paving stones on the property. The policy may also provide insurance for solar panels, solar collectors and heat pumps, so it’s worth checking to see if the contract covers these elements. The protection can also cover household goods, such as electronic equipment or works of art.

– In addition, with home and apartment insurance, we should have a civil liability policy in private life. It is worth remembering that we insure the apartment a little differently, we have to insure the house a little differently. When it comes to apartment insurance, it is worth paying attention to insuring items on the balcony, terrace or loggia, and in home insurance – for elements such as the impact of wild animals, for example, marten. With home insurance, it’s worth extending insurance coverage to include damage caused by animals and don’t forget to insure outdoor property: landscaping, garden furniture, children’s toys, swings, plants. It is also worth remembering about the fence and the garage – lists Andrzej Paduszyński.

Insurers can often add an accident insurance offer to a real estate policy, a home help that works for example with a hydraulic breakdown or pet insurance. The price of the insurance depends on these types of surcharges. However, the most important part is the insured amount. The higher the value of the house or flat that we insure, the more support we can count on with a benefit.

– Customers often underestimate the value of a flat or house, resulting in a lower premium. However, it must be remembered that such an action can lead to a lower compensation, which may not be enough to rebuild the house or buy an apartment on the free market – warns the Compensa expert.

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