Flooding in UAE: Fujairah residents struggle to repair flood-damaged cars

Several find it challenging to file insurance claims as offices are closed

By SM Ayaz Zakir

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Photo by Shihab
Photo by Shihab

Published: Sat 30 Jul 2022, 3:54 PM

Last updated: Sat 30 Jul 2022, 10:27 PM

Several residents in flood-hit Fujairah are struggling to repair their flood damaged vehicles.

Recovery trucks have retrieved many submerged vehicles and carried them to garages and dry land, but their owners say they have no idea how to get them to start again.

"We have been advised not to start the damaged vehicles as the problem may worsen," says Nawaz, a sales executive. Floods damaged six cars that the company he works at owned - a Mitsubishi Lancer, a Mercedes Benz C-Class, a Toyota Corolla, a Honda Accord, a Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, and a Nissan Altima.

"We are expected to reach out to mechanics to understand what the problem is. However, police have advised us to keep the bonnet of the damaged cars open for the water to evaporate."

Egyptian expat Ahmed Asim said his car was swept away by the flood, but he had no idea how to fix it after it was retrieved.

"I have been on leave for the last three days, and no one here has any information on what should be done next. I was able to recover my Nissan Maxima, which was parked in an open ground near my residence, and now the documentation process and claiming insurance should be my next step."

Residents also noted that it was difficult to get any insurance information or file claims as most offices were closed.

Another Fujairah resident Shahji Attingal said he was still waiting for his documentation procedures after the flood damaged his Toyota Corolla.

"The water is still at the level of my car's tires, and it is a bit complex to get the car out. We are waiting for the water levels to lower to get our vehicles out," said Attingal.

Mechanics ready to repair flood-damage

Mechanics in the emirate say they are receiving several enquires as "hundreds of vehicles have been damaged," said Miswar, an electrician from Al Ameed Auto Repairing Garage in Al Hail.

"At present, we have five vehicles that need to be repaired, and we expect many vehicles will be brought to the garage as residents are waiting for insurance and other paperwork to be done," said Miswar.

He noted that vehicles that were only mildly damaged by the flood would only have damaged electrical circuits, a few mechanical issues and a bit of wear and tear in the engine. These could be fixed in two days.

"A few cars will only need cleaning of the interiors and mechanical parts. But vehicles that have completely submerged in water must be evaluated thoroughly before repairing."

Nawaz Ahmed from Three Star Mechanic Garage said that the owners of vehicles damaged by floods were in distress.

"We are unable to figure out the real problem as these vehicles can only be started after completely draining out the water. Assessing the exact problem will take time, and the cost of repair depends on the intensity of the damage," said Ahmed. "Vehicles that had been swept away by the flood will incur huge repair costs if not covered in insurance."


Claiming vehicle insurance

In an earlier interview with Khaleej Times, Sanjeev Anand, general manager of business development at Al Sayegh Insurance Brokers said that mostly engine damage-related claims occur after heavy rains and flooding, and it is covered by the motor comprehensive insurance policy. While replying to a query about how much time it takes to settle customer claims for rain-induced damages, Anand said there are no prescribed timelines as it can take a few weeks to months, depending upon damages.

"Once the claim is reported and registered with the insurer, the insurer/broker will advise the customer whether a claim is admissible or not and provides guidance on loss minimisation measures. In case of huge claims, the loss surveyors/experts are immediately deputed at the loss site by the insurer to assess the damages," he said.


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