Urgent call for home insurance in UAE following devastating Dubai floods

Total damages have not been fully assessed

Urgent call for home insurance in UAE following devastating Dubai floods

Catastrophe & Flood

By Roxanne Libatique

Recent flooding in Dubai has put a spotlight on the low uptake of home insurance in the region, with industry professionals stressing its importance.

According to The National, fewer than 15% of UAE residents have secured home insurance coverage, a statistic that experts find concerning. This pattern persists across the Middle East, where interest in insurance generally peaks following significant weather-related events or fires.

Home insurance market in Dubai

Andrea McNulty, head of product development at Yallacompare, discussed the situation.

“Take-up rates for home insurance are still shockingly low and we only seem to see an influx of enquiries whenever there is heavy rainfall, or news of a fire in an apartment block,” she told The National.

McNulty highlighted the immediate repercussions of the floods, noting “people facing the prospect of having to replace furniture, pay for alternative accommodation, [and] replace food in a fridge/freezer that's no longer running. A lot of the insurance policies will pay out in all of these instances.”

Dubai floods highlight importance of home insurance

Dubai has commenced a substantial cleanup operation following the flood, yet the total damages have not been fully assessed.
Anthony Cerchiai, head of general insurance at Nexus Insurance, emphasised preventive strategies and highlighted a general lack of insurance coverage in the area.

“The best cure is prevention,” he told The National, adding that home insurance was low in the UAE. “All the Middle East is underinsured as it is seen here mostly in terms of mandatory cover such as medical. It has not been popular.”

McNulty advises affected individuals to contact their insurance provider promptly, pointing out that some policies require claims to be made within 48 hours after the damage occurs.

“Some insurers will have set time frames to notify them. This can be as low as 48 hours from when the loss occurred,” he said. “Take lots of photographs of any damaged property. Don't try to move a waterlogged vehicle yourself, you risk causing more damage.”

A recent analysis revealed that the recent floods are expected to lead to a surge in claims across motor, property, and business interruption insurance sectors.

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