Rains in UAE: Demand grows for car insurance against floods, natural calamities

Heavy rains lashed the country earlier this month, resulting in roads and vehicles being submerged in water in many parts of the country

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Waheed Abbas

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Photo: KT file
Photo: KT file

Published: Mon 27 Nov 2023, 10:11 AM

Last updated: Mon 27 Nov 2023, 10:08 PM

Demand for comprehensive motor insurance has increased with motorists specifically asking for protection against floods and natural calamities, according to industry executives.

Heavy rains lashed the UAE earlier this month, resulting in roads and vehicles being submerged in water in many parts of the country. The floods and waterlogging damaged vehicles’ engines and other parts, causing motorists losses.

Avinash Babur, CEO of insurancemarket.ae, said there has been a noticeable increase in claims following last week's rains, given that some areas in the UAE witnessed quite unprecedented downpour.

He also added that there is a significant increase in people seeking insurance protection against natural calamities, rain and flood damage.

“In light of the recent heavy rains, we have noticed an increase in claims received. The core reasons for the increase in these claims are vehicles being driven through waterlogged areas, vehicles being damaged whilst parked in flood-prone areas and homes which have incurred water leakage damages (water seeping inside the house).”

He advised people to not drive through any waterlogged areas to prevent a breakdown and also to move their vehicles to a safer area if they reside in a flood-prone area.

Julien Audrerie, EVP – head of consumer lines and marketing at Sukoon Insurance, said frequent weather events such as flash floods and heavy rains in the past 3-4 years have resulted in greater demand for comprehensive motor insurance.

“It has also been observed that potential customers specifically ask for protection against floods and other natural calamities as part of their vehicle’s cover,” he added.

Toshita Chauhan, business head for health and motor insurance at Policy Bazaar, also echoed her peer’s comments, saying there was a slight rise in claims after rains earlier last week.

How to get the best insurance?

For peace of mind, Julien Audrerie recommended comprehensive motor cover against natural calamities like floods, storms, hail etc. for personal vehicles.

“Vehicle owners that opt for third party insurance will not be able to claim for damages to their vehicles resulting from rain or flood-related incidents.”

Similarly, he said, homeowners and tenants should also get protected against unforeseen weather-related incidents because sometimes damages can run into tens of thousands of dirhams.

Avinash Babur asked residents to check their policy to understand the risks and ensure that certain covers like roadside assistance, damage against water or natural calamities are included and part of their policy.

Toshita Chauhan suggested that consumers need to buy a comprehensive cover which allows them to use facilities such as towing, roadside assistance and off-road recovery as these services can come in handy if the vehicle gets stuck in a waterlogged area.

She added that vehicle damages due to storms and heavy rains are usually under a comprehensive plan but conditions and criteria can differ from one insurance provider to another.

“For instance, some insurance providers clearly state that they will cover the car against flood damage only if the car is parked and not driven in case of a flood. You will also be required to file a report with the police so that you can submit a claim arising because of rain damage. Any damage caused due to flood or rain is not covered under third-party cover because by default these policies don’t provide any protection to the holder’s vehicle,” Chauhan added.

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