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Average Policy In Fire Insurance: Complete Information

Updated On Jan 19, 2024

An average policy is a fundamental aspect of fire insurance that plays a crucial role in determining coverage and claims. In fire insurance, the term "average" refers to the concept of proportionate sharing of losses between the insurer and the insured. This policy ensures that the insured property is adequately insured based on its actual value and helps prevent underinsurance. When a fire loss occurs, the average policy determines the amount of compensation the insured will receive based on the insured value versus the actual value of the property. 

Understanding the average policy is essential for policyholders to accurately assess the risks they face, ensure proper coverage, and avoid potential financial hardships in the event of a fire. By familiarising themselves with this concept, property owners can make informed decisions when selecting fire insurance policies and safeguard their assets effectively.

How Does the Average Policy Work?

To understand how an average policy functions, let's consider a hypothetical situation. Suppose you have a residential property valued at INR 50,00,000, but you decide to insure it for only INR 20,00,000. Unfortunately, a fire occurs, causing extensive damage that requires INR 40,00,000 for repairs.

With an average policy, the business insurance company applies the principle of average to determine the settlement amount. Since your insured amount is only half of the property's actual value, the insurer will only cover 50% of the loss. As a result, you will receive INR 20,00,000, which represents 50% of the total repair cost. 

However, you will be responsible for the remaining INR 20,00,000 as the insurance payout does not fully cover the necessary expenses for repairing the property after the fire.

Protection Provided by a Fire Insurance Policy

A Fire Insurance Policy offers coverage for losses resulting from accidental fires, with the terms and conditions outlined in the policy determining the extent of coverage rather than the severity of damage sustained. The policy typically includes the following types of losses:

  • Actual loss of goods caused by fire
  • Reimbursement for additional living expenses resulting from damage to personal property
  • Compensation for losses to neighboring buildings or properties caused by a fire in the insured building
  • Payments made to firefighters for their services
  • Coverage for fires triggered by electrical incidents
  • Protection against losses due to a water tank or pipe overflow

It is important to review the specific terms and conditions of the policy to understand the full scope of coverage provided by a Fire Insurance Policy.

Why is the Average Policy Implemented? 

The implementation of the average policy serves multiple important purposes that are listed below:

  • Promotes Adequate Coverage: By enforcing the average policy, insurance companies strive to motivate policyholders to assess and ensure the true value of their properties accurately. This helps maintain a fair and balanced insurance system, discouraging intentional underinsurance.
  • Prevents Overcompensation: Conversely, the average policy prevents policyholders from over-insuring their properties to receive excessive compensation in the event of a fire. It ensures that individuals do not receive more than the actual value of their losses, preserving the integrity of the insurance system.
  • Facilitates Risk Distribution: Insurance operates on the principle of risk distribution, with policyholders collectively contributing to a pool of funds to cover potential losses. The average policy ensures that the risk is shared equitably among policyholders, preventing those who have accurately insured their properties from subsidising the losses of those who have not.


In summary, the average policy plays a vital role in fire insurance, guaranteeing that policyholders receive fair and appropriate compensation. It promotes the importance of accurate coverage and prevents excessive payouts, maintaining the integrity of the insurance system. As a policyholder, it is essential to comprehend the average policy and its significance to safeguard your assets effectively and minimise potential financial risks associated with fire incidents.


Q. What is an average policy in fire insurance?

A. An average policy in fire insurance refers to the principle of proportionate sharing of losses between the insurer and the insured based on the insured value versus the actual value of the property.

Q. Why is the average policy important in fire insurance?

A. The average policy ensures that the insured property is adequately insured, preventing underinsurance and ensuring fair compensation in the event of a fire loss.

Q. How does the average policy work?

A. In case of a fire loss, the compensation amount is determined by comparing the insured value of the property with its actual value. If the property is underinsured, the insured may only receive a proportionate amount of the loss.

Q. How can I avoid issues related to the average policy?

A. To avoid potential issues, it's crucial to accurately assess the value of your property when obtaining fire insurance and periodically review and update your coverage to account for any changes in the property's value.

Q. Are there any consequences for underinsuring my property?

A. Underinsuring your property can lead to financial hardships since the insurance payout may not fully cover the cost of rebuilding or repairing the property after a fire loss.

Q. Can I revise my insurance coverage after purchasing a policy?

A. Yes, you can revise your insurance coverage by contacting your insurance provider and adjusting your policy to reflect the correct value of your property.

Q. Is the average policy specific to fire insurance only?

A. While the average policy is commonly associated with fire insurance, it can also apply to other types of property insurance policies where the concept of proportionate sharing of losses is relevant.

Q. Should I consult an insurance professional to understand the average policy?

A. Consulting an insurance professional can help understand the average policy, assess your insurance needs accurately, and ensure appropriate coverage for your property.


This article is issued in the general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.