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Majority of Malaysian homes not insured for fire damage — Zurich Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 15): A majority of Malaysian homeowners (59%) are not covered for fire damage, with fire losses estimated at RM2.25 billion in 2020 and RM3.61 billion in 2019.

In a poll released on Wednesday (Dec 15), Zurich Malaysia said this is concerning as the Fire and Rescue Department reported receiving 38,865 calls about fires in 2020, an average of a call every 14 minutes.

It said of the total number, 4,599 were fires involving buildings and their content, 1,239 of which were caused by electrical faults, while 342 were due to gas or kerosene stoves.

Other causes were cigarette buds, mosquito coils, candles and joss sticks.

Meanwhile, the survey found that two-thirds (74%) of homeowners had no coverage against flood damage.

Zurich Malaysia said the National Disaster Management Agency estimated that 4.8 million people live in flood-risk areas throughout the country.

It said during the north-east monsoon of 2020-2021, floods had displaced 42,947 people, affecting 11,973 families.

The survey found that overall, only one in two homes was covered by home insurance or takaful for potential damages.

Furthermore, 43% of homeowners were unaware that home content is not necessarily covered under home insurance or takaful.

The insurer said one in three (33%) insured homeowners did not have home content protection, and for those who did, 13% purchased separate plans specifically to cover their home content.

It said this figure may be higher as a quarter (25%) of insured homeowners were unsure of what their existing home insurance or takaful covered.

Zurich Malaysia country head Junior Cho said there needs to be greater effort and communication to inform existing and potential homeowners of the types of insurance or takaful suitable to protect their assets and sustain their way of life.

“Having that peace of mind knowing that the roof over their loved ones is protected will help them fulfil their potential in life,” he added.

Conducted in September, 1,201 Malaysians nationwide took part in the Impact of Pandemic on Protection survey.

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