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ImageThe earthquake and tsunami combo in Japan destroyed private property worth billions of dollars. While there's little you can do to control natural calamities, steps can be taken to cushion yourself against the after-effects by taking the relevant insurance. Most of the damage caused by the Japan quake will be paid for by insurance companies.

Unfortunately, even though the cost of insuring a house is extremely low, not many Indians have covered their houses against disasters. "The daily cost of covering your house for Rs 24 lakh is not more than the price of a cup of tea. The benefits far outweigh the cost," says Neelesh Garg, executive director, ICICI Lombard General Insurance.

To be fair, it's hard to imagine ourselves in the same situation as the Japanese. After all, India is in a safer zone than Japan when it comes to tectonic activity. But Latur (1993), Bhuj (2001) and Pakistan (2005) have shown that quakes can strike anywhere, any time. What's more, tectonic shifts can result in a tsunami thousands of kilometres away.
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