Nothing to lose, spend Dh10/month

Dubai - Experts have also suggested that government intervention could come in handy to raise the importance of availing home insurance.

By Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Thu 31 Mar 2016, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Thu 31 Mar 2016, 2:00 AM

A huge fire which gutted buildings in the Ajman One residential cluster on Monday night left residents devastated after losing everything right from important documents to a place to stay.
"This is yet another incident where many families could've been free of the financial distress they faced after losing everything in the fire," said Salem Al Mannai, Deputy Group President and CEO QIC Insured - Mena region. Fires usually cause severe monetary losses, since most homes in the UAE are not protected by insurance. However, since the Ajman fire and the recent spate of fires in the UAE, insurance companies are now strongly recommending home insurance for residents.
Experts have also suggested that government intervention could come in handy to raise the importance of availing home insurance.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, Fabrice Benard, chief marketing officer and retail product offering at AXA Gulf, said: "The main reason for less number of people taking up home insurance could be lack of risk awareness, low frequency of incidents, and the fact that insurance is not a mandatory requirement."
He added: "Another reason for the low penetration is the misperception of customers on the process of getting a home insurance; they believe that the process is complex and long. As a matter of fact this was the case before e-commerce and Internet offers, but now customers can get a quote and buy their insurance online in less than 5 minutes and through a few clicks."
He said that people are also under the impression that home insurance is the landlord's or the promoter's responsibility. The fact is that the landlord's or the promoter's insurance does not cover the tenants. However, we have to remember that frequency of damages might be low but the cost is very high when an incident occurs and could change your life."
Speaking about its insurance, Mannai added: "Most families don't see the need for insurance for home contents as they assume that their contents are covered by the building's insurance, which unfortunately is not the case - the insurance covering the building or villa covers the structure but not what's inside it."
Two weeks ago, QIC Insured informed that less than 1 per cent percent of homes in Dubai have insurance of home contents, which covers for loss and financial risk in case of fire, theft and accidents.
Speaking about government intervention to make it mandatory to get home insurance, Benard said: "Of course, it is important. Home insurance not only protects the home and its contents but also protects your family with personal liability covering up to Dh2 million. Moreover, a comprehensive home insurance also provides you with alternate accommodation if your home is damaged."
According to Bernard, obtaining insurance policy has become very fast and easy. "With the AXA Home Insurance, you can have a free quote and buy it online in less than 5 minutes and starting from only Dh1 per day," he said.
Not expensive at all - less than 10 Dirhams / month
The typical cost of an average policy could differ depending on the risks involved. Home insurance premium can be as low as Dh200 per year.
Frederik Bisbjerg, Executive Vice President, QIC Insured added: "Buying a home contents insurance is not expensive at all; to raise awareness about the importance of insuring home contents against incidents like fire, we're offering our basic home contents insurance with a 50 per cent discount for the next two weeks to give people a chance to get insured before the summer season".
This will allow people to buy home contents insurance for less than Dh10 per month - the offer can be availed online at until April 14.
While purchasing home insurance, keep in mind:
- What kind of coverage you need for my home (building, household contents, and personal belongings coverage)?
- Is your family covered and/or does your insurance cover worldwide third parity liability? If yes, what is the limit?
- Is your home covered while you are away and for how long?
- Does your insurance cover unexpected events and natural calamities?
- What kind of claim services your insurance company provide? How easily can I claim?
- Does your insurance policy provide real value for cover to provide protection for the things you care about?
Insurance benefits
> Dh 75,000 worth of domestic contents within your home
> Coverage for fire
> Accidental damage, liability to third parties up to Dh2 million
> Coverage from theft
> Water leaks and storm
> Loss of rent or cost of alternative accommodation whilst the damaged home is being restored back to a habitable condition.

More news from UAE