UAE Storm Impact: Will insurance pay for your home, car repair

Majority of home insurance products cover storm damage

The 130 kilometre per hour wind speed in the UAE did damage a number of homes and cars last week, leaving owners wondering on if they could claim damages from their insurance companies.

The good news here is that majority of home insurance products cover storm damage.

“The good news is that storm damage is covered in most home insurance products on the market. In addition to storms, we also cover] other natural calamities such as flood and fire, as well as damage caused by burst water pipes, theft, and vandalism,” says Ramsey Chami, the Head of Personal Property insurance at AIG.

Home insurance is one of the most affordable insurance products available, with coverage starting around Dh250 per year for basic home contents and personal belongings cover.

“The prevalence of recent incidents of fire and water damage, coupled with the fact that a home insurance premium for a month could cost as little as Dh19, make it even more compelling to insure our precious homes and belongings,” he adds.

The insurance company estimates that only about six per cent of UAE residents actually have home insurance. A survey, by MoveSouq.com, an online home services marketplace, and RSA, an insurance services provider, in August 2015 found 60 per cent of the residents do not take any home insurance policy.

MoveSouq.com CEO Bana Shomali reveals very few people take these risks seriously and do not buy home insurance.”

Not having a home insurance policy puts the onus of repair of the home owner.

So how to file for a claim when your house is damaged?

According to experts, the first step to do is to contact the home insurance provider as soon as possible as there could be more policy benefits which they are not aware of.

 “This could include benefits such as alternative accommodation, if the damage is too extensive for the homeowner/tenant to stay at home,” Chami added.

Though companies have different policies, the below process is followed by AIG for reporting and collecting a claim:

* After a covered loss, customers report claim by phone or email as soon as possible

* Within one business day, customers receive a formal claim acknowledgment

* For simple cases, customers provide supporting evidence that a claims expert reviews in-house to fast track the claim – a process that can take as little as one day

* For complex claims, a dedicated loss adjuster must review the claim, often requiring a visit to the property to evaluate and quantify the loss.

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