UAE floods: Car owners in Fujairah count their losses

Those with third-party insurance will not receive compensation, expert says


Nasreen Abdulla

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KT photo/Shihab
KT photo/Shihab

Published: Wed 3 Aug 2022, 8:17 PM

Last updated: Wed 3 Aug 2022, 10:03 PM

As Fujairah returns to normalcy after the unprecedented flooding, several car owners are counting their losses, especially those who had third-party insurance covers for their vehicles.

Subair PP, who runs the Royal Trading Company, has had damages to three of his vehicles, all under the 3rd party insurance. “One was a sedan car and the other two were delivery vehicles,” he said.

“One of the delivery vehicles was on the way to drop off some stock. All of it got ruined as well. It is indeed a great loss to us and we are trying to see how we can salvage what we can.”

The Indian expat says he is not sure why third-party insurance was taken for these vehicles. “My brother was in charge of it at the time,” he said.

KT photo/Shihab
KT photo/Shihab

“So I am not sure why he chose the third party insurance. However, I have submitted my details on the website by Ministry of Interior (MoI). I don’t think it will make a difference but I did it anyway.”

The Ministry of Interior has launched a website for car owners in Fujairah to get an incident report for their damaged vehicles. Those who have had their cars totalled or wrecked in the record-breaking rain will be able to use this report to claim insurance.

Tony Joseph has also had extensive damage to his Honda CRV, which was under third party insurance. “It is an older vehicle so I was only able to get third party insurance,” he said.

“Now it has water in its gear box. The insurance won't cover it. The garage is trying to see if it will get second hand parts. If it is not available, the car will have to be considered as totalled.”

He is hoping that the Fujairah government might offer some respite. “A few years ago when there was flooding in Kalba, the government had offered some compensation to those with third party insurance,” he said.

“I am hopeful that the Fujairah government might also do something similar.”

Last week, the UAE recorded the highest rainfall in 27 years, resulting in flooding in different areas of Fujairah, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah. In total, seven people died, thousands of cars were destroyed and many were displaced.

Sreekumar Chittedathu’s car was also damaged in the rains, but the Fujairah resident has a comprehensive insurance with natural calamities cover. “We have had rains in the past,” he said.

KT photo/Shihab
KT photo/Shihab

“So I took an insurance that covers me here as well as in Oman. I thought it was the sensible thing to do considering that both places have had increasing incidents of rain.”

On Tuesday, the Fujairah National Insurance Company announced that it will compensate everyone with a comprehensive insurance coverage, irrespective of whether they had a cover for natural calamity or not.

Siraj, an insurance industry expert in Fujairah said that many other companies have decided to do the same. “On humanitarian grounds, several insurance companies have decided to offer compensation to those with comprehensive insurance” he said.

“However, those with third-party insurance will not receive anything. At least, so far we have not had any word from the government to give them compensation.”

Supplied photo
Supplied photo

Meanwhile, Emirates Auction has been lauded for aiding the Fujairah government in clearing damaged cars from the streets. According to a spokesperson, the company deployed 200 vehicles and 300 employees over four days in Fujairah.

“We have specialised equipment in from Europe and US to assist in rescuing and towing vehicles – from small cars to heavy machinery,” said the company's spokesperson.

“We moved vehicles from the rainwater puddles to dry area. This was provided free of cost across Fujairah. Additionally, we assisted the military, police and other departments with the rescue and recovery of vehicles; clearing roads and ensuring the safety of roads and drivers.”

Rescue officials from multiple entities and volunteers have been working around the clock to help the residents hit by the record-breaking rainfall and flash floods.


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