Dubai home owners, tenants: Are you aware of 'alternative accommodation' clause?

It covers cost of accommodation for period it takes to fix any damage to the building

Home insurance companies in the UAE offer the option of “alternative accommodation” in case a building becomes uninhabitable due to fire or flood, but majority of home owners are unaware of it, says a real estate expert.

“Majority of the people are not aware of the alternative accommodation clause, unless they are educated on this matter by a professional from an insurance back ground,” Zubin Firozi, Head of Property Management, Head Office, Better Homes, told Emirates 24/7.

The clause, which comes for an extra premium, covers the cost of accommodation for the period it takes to fix the damage to the building by fire or flood.

The issue of alternative accommodation comes to fore after Tamweel Towers in Dubai’s Jumeirah Lakes Towers was gutted by fire, leaving many residents stranded. Although all have been offered temporary accommodation for a month, residents are uncertain of what they will do next.

Last week, Zurich, an international insurance firm, said a study of UAE residents’ approach to home content insurance found that residents may be underestimating the value of their home contents by almost half (44 per cent).

On average, the participants in the study perceived the value of their home contents to be worth Dh199,700, while the actual average value was Dh337,350, a difference of Dh137,650, the study found out.

All participants in the study underestimated the value of their home contents by at least a fifth, with estimates ranging from 22 to 66 per cent below actual value, giving an average underestimation of 44 per cent. In monetary terms, participants underestimated the actual value of their home’s contents by between Dh27,500 and Dh360,000.

Firozi too echoes the same views.

“Sadly not all property owners/tenants are aware of the importance of having content insurance, however in recent times I believe more and more people are opting for this.”

The cost for content insurance is very nominal and depends on the contents being insured, Firozi informs.

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