UAE rains: Still waiting on your insurance claim after weeks? Firms explain delays

Availability of spare parts and the magnitude of the damage are the two most critical factors that might contribute to turnaround time


SM Ayaz Zakir

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Image used for illustrative purposes. KT Photo: Shihab
Image used for illustrative purposes. KT Photo: Shihab

Published: Tue 14 May 2024, 1:38 PM

Last updated: Tue 14 May 2024, 11:33 PM

Nearly a month has passed since the record breaking rainfall on April 16, which left thousands of cars damaged. Yet, these vehicles remain idle in garages or parking lots due to extensive repair timelines or lack of insurance claim approval.

Khaleej Times reported that many motorists have resorted to renting cars as their vehicles were damaged from the rain, and without insurance claims approved, they face repair costs exceeding Dh15,000.

Insurance companies have offered explanations for the delays in claim approvals and outlined the correct procedures for processing them.

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Why are claims being delayed?

According to insurance firms, the complexity of the vehicle’s make/model, especially the availability of spare parts and the magnitude of the damage, are the two most critical factors that might contribute to turnaround time.

“In some cases, the approval from the other insurance company (faulty party) might take time to come (in case of multi-vehicle involvement). At the present stage, the insurance companies and garages are overwhelmed with repair cases due to a large number of vehicles that needs to be attended to at the same time. There is a capacity constraint. Over a passage of few weeks this bottleneck will start to ease out,” said Dev Maitra, managing director of Savington International Insurance Brokers.

Dev Maitra
Dev Maitra

According to Anas Mistareehi, CEO, eSanad, the severity of the damage incurred plays a crucial role. “The volume of claims received within the same period can affect processing times. Moreover, if multiple parties are involved in the claim, it may necessitate different assessment approaches, leading to varied processing directions,” said Mistareehi.

Reasons for delays

According to insurance firms, chances of a delay will be lessened if the following criteria are met.

  • Buy your insurance from a company licensed by the Central Bank of the UAE
  • Have a comprehensive policy to cover for natural perils
  • Vehicles should have periodic maintenance and service as recommended by the car manufacturer
  • The insurance company needs to ensure that the vehicle is used for the purpose it was intended for by the vehicle manufacturer. The correct material information should be provided to the insurance company at the time of purchasing the motor insurance policy
  • The vehicle should be parked at a safe place and not driven when it is not necessary when there is a forecast of unnatural weather phenomenon

"Insurance companies have a number of protocols to validate the legitimacy of the claim. If the documentation is complete and legitimacy is established, the claim is processed systematically,” said Maitra.

Claims can also be rejected in case of incomplete or inaccurate information provided during the initial claim filing process, which can prolong the assessment period.

Anas Mistareehi
Anas Mistareehi

“If the claim falls into a category that requires specialized investigation or verification, it may require more time for thorough evaluation,” said Mistareehi.

In cases where repairs are necessary, insurers expedite the repair process by surveyor report, garage assessment, and completion of requisite documentation to establish the validity and extent of the claim.

Insurance companies have well-established claim departments within their organizations that work closely with workshops to monitor the repair process with their panel garages.

"At Savington, our claim team has the expertise and well-established relationship with the key personnel inside the panel garages. We are continuously following up with the garages as well as the insurance company to complete the repair process including the release of the LPO in a timely manner, approval from the insurance company to the garage to start the repair process, and approving rent-a-car benefit (for eligible customers),” said Maitra.

“In case of the vehicle being declared a total loss (as per the definition of their insurance company) we will also assist the client to get his compensation at the earliest,” added Maitra.

Many insurance companies necessitate repairs and employ a meticulously coordinated approach with repair shops to swiftly assess the extent of damage.

“Leveraging advanced technology, all communications with garages occur seamlessly through our digital platform. This ensures not only faster but real-time responses, guaranteeing that both the policyholder and the garage remain updated on any actions taken regarding the claim,” said Mistareehi.


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