Explainer: Can UAE motorists claim insurance for fires that break out at warehouses and factories?

Last week, a number of vehicles were damaged in a blaze that broke out in Al Qusais Industrial Area 1



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Published: Tue 12 Apr 2022, 10:40 AM

Last updated: Tue 12 Apr 2022, 10:48 PM

Some cars in the compound of a warehouse in the Al Qusais Industrial area were either partially or fully damaged last week.

Authorities also confirmed that the fire engulfed several cars due to inflammable material on the site.

MM is one of the victims whose car was damaged in the fire.

“I have been parking my car there for the last four years. Since it’s free, many other people also park their cars in this place which is in the vicinity of a mosque,” said MM.

“I was sleeping in the apartment when the fire broke out. Hence, I didn’t know about the fire. I came to know about it when I went for Friday prayer. When I reached for Friday prayer, the fire had already been put out. But my car’s number plate and some plastic got burnt due to the fire that broke in the nearby warehouse. Around 10 to 20 burnt vehicles are still lying there,” said MM.

To get it repaired, the insurance company has asked MM to get the post-fire report from the police to proceed with the claims.

Insurance industry executives said motorists in UAE can claim fire damages for their vehicles that breaks out in a warehouse or any other residential and commercial facility.

They said that both comprehensive and third-party insurance policyholders can claim damages but the latter will have to approach the warehouse or residential/commercial facility’s insurance company to claim the damages caused by the fire.

Last week, a number of vehicles were burnt and damaged in a fire that broke in Al Qusais Industrial Area 1.

Authorities also confirmed that the fire engulfed several cars.

Hitesh Motwani, chief marketing officer at Insurancemarket.ae, said usually, those with a third party coverage do not get paid for any damage caused to their own vehicle but only to other vehicles -- may be damaged due to an incident.

“Those with third party coverage may have to reach out to the faulty party's insurance company in order to claim for damage caused to their own vehicle. In this case, assuming the warehouse had an insurance cover, the vehicle owner may try to get the claim recovered via their insurance policy,” said Motwani.

Anas Mistareehi, COO of Al Wathba National Insurance Co., said comprehensive policyholders can approach their insurance company to report the claims which will be processed instantly, but third-party liability policyholders need to visit the insurance company of the faulty party and report the claims, then. The procedure will take place depending on the damage severity, repair condition, and so.

PV George, executive director of Al Sayegh Insurance Brokers, said if the client has a motor third party with an additional clause of fire and theft, then the insurer will cover fire damage.

However, if the damage was not caused by the fire, and both parties were not at fault in the accident, then they can file a claim with their insurers. The insurance company will settle the damages based on the market price of the car.

Procedure and time

Motwani said motorists need to obtain the police report and submit it along with the registration card and driver's licence in order to start the process with their insurance company.

The loss adjusters or surveyors of the insurance company may want to survey the car to analyse the quantum of the damage before they approve the claim for repairs of the vehicle or a settlement in case of a total loss.

He said under normal circumstances, as long as the final report has been concluded by the police after all examinations/investigations, this should not take more than two weeks for the insurance company to settle.

George added that to process the claim, the insurer requires a police report, registration card copy, driving licence copy and Emirates ID copy of the driver at the time of the accident.

The whole process is usually processed within two to three working days following survey approval. Total loss claims require a minimum settlement of 15 days.

waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com


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