UAE: Insurers reject claims of some motorists who drove through floods

Under the natural catastrophe clause, only vehicles that have a comprehensive insurance policy are covered against the losses arising from natural disasters

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Waheed Abbas

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File Photo. Image used for illustrative purposes
File Photo. Image used for illustrative purposes

Published: Wed 12 Jun 2024, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Wed 12 Jun 2024, 9:49 AM

Insurers have rejected some claims of the UAE motorists who drove in flooded streets due to negligence in the wake of the unprecedented rains on April 16.

The UAE recorded the heaviest rains in 75 years on April 16, resulting in flooding of many areas in Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman and other emirates. It is estimated that over 50,000 vehicles were damaged during the unprecedented rains.


Under the natural catastrophe clause, only vehicles that have a comprehensive insurance policy are covered against the losses arising from natural disasters while third-party liability plans do not usually cover natural catastrophes.

Avinash Babur, CEO of Insurancemarket.ae, said insurers are indeed rejecting total loss claims where it is found that motorists deliberately drove through flooded streets.


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“Insurance policies typically exclude coverage for damages resulting from negligent behaviour, and driving through deep water during a storm falls under this exclusion. Consequently, even if the vehicle sustains severe damage or is deemed a total loss, such claims are likely to be denied if intentional or reckless driving is determined,” said Babur.

Moin ur Rehman, executive director of Unitrust Insurance Broker, said: “The policies’ terms and conditions may be disregarded in this conduct, which might result in coverage being denied for damages brought on by such willful actions,” he said.

Echoing her industry peers, Toshita Chauhan, business head for health and motor insurance at Policybazaar.ae, said they are aware of instances where claims were rejected due to motorists driving intentionally on flooded roads.

Meticulously reviewing claims

Babur said insurers meticulously review each claim related to the April 16 rains to determine the circumstances under which the vehicles sustained damage.

“The focus is to ensure that claims are valid, specifically verifying that the vehicles were not driven through flooded areas during or immediately after the rainfall. Once a claim passes this scrutiny, repair approvals are swiftly granted, and vehicles are dispatched to workshops for necessary repairs. However, it’s important to note that claims are rejected if it’s established that the vehicle was driven through water or in adverse weather conditions, said chief executive of Insurancemarket.ae.

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