Fire or flood: How Dubai tenants can recover valuables
75% of tenants have no home content insurance policy, says survey
By Parag Deulgaonkar
Published Monday, August 24, 2015
Dubai tenants have not adequately insured their home content and may incur huge losses in case a fire makes the tower uninhabitable.
A survey, by MoveSouq.com, an online home services marketplace, and RSA, an insurance services provider, has found that 60 per cent of the residents here do not take any home insurance policy, the largest chunk of these being tenants.
Seventy-five per cent of tenants have no content insurance policy at all, claims the report.
The results are based on an online survey of over 200 respondents.
Nevertheless, the survey maintained that 67 per cent of apartment buildings and 50 per cent of villas in the emirate were “uninsured”. The latest case of fire i the emirate was in the Torch tower in Dubai Marina.
Tamweel Tower in the Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT) is uninhabitable after a fire, since 2012.
“Given the widely reported incidents of apartment building fires in major residential areas of Dubai, it is quite surprising that so many homes remain uninsured even when basic content insurance is widely available and affordable,” said MoveSouq.com CEO Bana Shomali.
The report found that health and car insurance were widely adopted in the emirate.
Over nine out of 10 employed residents reported they have medical insurance, while all respondents that drive confirmed they have motor insurance.
“The relatively higher uptake of these types of insurance should come as no surprise as they are mandated by the government,” Shomali said.
As per the report, the other insurance policies with low penetration levels were travel insurance (36 per cent); personal accident insurance (40 per cent) and life insurance (45 per cent).
“While it is not surprising to see that the uptake of home content insurance remains low in Dubai, it is alarming that it is used the least when compared to other types of insurance with only three out of 10 saying they have applied for it,” said RSA’s Sales & Marketing Director, David Harris.
“These penetration levels are far lower than more mature markets in the West and can be attributed to the prevailing perception among a majority of residents that home and content insurance is not necessary or that it is not worth the expense.
“We have seen that people are often only likely to consider this type of insurance once the damage has already been done,” he added.
Contents insurance is insurance that pays for damage to, or loss of, an individual’s personal possessions while they are located within that individual’s home.
It is usually sold alongside home insurance, but can also be purchased as a stand-alone policy, especially for those who are renting rather than owning their home, with the cost being as low as Dh250 per annum.
Andrias Klaus from Holland, who is renting a two-bed apartment in Dubai Marina, admits he has not taken any content insurance. “I have read about content insurance and I know it is important, but I still haven’t taken out one,” he states.
Rajesh Kumar, who owns a one-bed unit in Tecom, says he has insured his property.
“We had got an offer from our facilities management team for content insurance post the Torch fire. We have taken one for which I pay Dh650 per annum. I think people don’t understand the need of it until they face a mishap,” he asserts.