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Will insurance cover damages by rain? UAE law firm clarifies

Sandhya D'Mello and Waheed Abbas/Dubai
Filed on January 13, 2020 | Last updated on January 13, 2020 at 05.16 am
rain, cloud seeding, rain, uae, law, firm, insurance, covered, clarifies, insurance cover

(Mohammad Mustafa Khan/KT)

Residents have questions whether these damages are covered under the insurance as rains are caused by "intentional act" of cloud seeding.

Damages to vehicles and properties caused by the ongoing record-breaking rain spell are generally covered under the UAE insurance policies unless it has been explicitly excluded in the agreement, legal experts have said.

Sridhar Subbaraman, founder and owner of insureatoasis.com, said all automobile insurance cover damages caused by the rains. "In fact, all insurance companies have already scores of claims for damages caused either due to accidents following the rains or damage caused to the vehicle due to flooding and water seepage. The motor insurance policies generally sold here does cover loss and/or damage due to natural perils," Subbaraman told Khaleej Times.

According to the Unified Motor Vehicle Insurance Policy, unless a weather pattern is declared a "natural disaster" by a competent authority, damages caused by it have to be covered.

The UAE Insurance Authority took to social media to clarify that damages caused by the recent rains will be included in the insurance coverage unless "a resolution issued by the competent authorities consider the heavy rains a flood situation".

Subbaraman said they have had claims reported for completed and under-construction properties affected by rains. "These, too, are covered under the policies generally, unless specifically excluded."

Sanjay Kalia, co-founder of Dana Insurance Brokers, said some insurers cover natural calamities as additional benefit under motor insurance policy. "Residents are advised to take insurance policies which cover natural calamities as they are unpredictable most of the times."

Zia Ul Jaweed, claims director at RSA Insurance, noted that customers who go for cheaper insurance tend not to read the fine print of their policies. "They see car insurance as a tick-the-box exercise. So when it comes to making a claim, they might quickly find out they're not as well covered as they first thought. This includes damage done to motors as a result of natural disasters including storms, hailstorms and flooding," he added.

Legal view

Legal experts also said that the UAE laws allow residents to insure their assets such as cars, homes and furniture etc. against natural calamities. Ravi P. Jawani, partner at Fichte & Co., said for an insured, the damage due to a rain is normally considered as a "fortuitous loss". However, the prospects for a successful claim will largely depend on the policy wordings, particularly the insurable risk and exclusion clauses.

reporters@khaleejtimes.com


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