Disaster Cover

Most of the people living in the UAE do not opt for disaster cover while buying motor or home insurance. So, they lament when their vehicles or homes get damaged due to natural disasters and the insurance company refuses to cover the damages.

People cannot avert natural calamities like the floods or an inferno. But they can make the wise decision of covering the damages to their homes or vehicles by opting for disaster cover.

Insurance companies in the UAE assert that they certainly cover damages due to natural disasters but not many people opt for this cover. Of course, people must pay a small additional premium for this cover but they do not tick this option perhaps to save money.

This is nothing but penny wisdom. Lazhar Charfeddine, Chief Operations Officer at Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company points out that his company offers the option of covering natural disasters in their comprehensive policies. But when people do not opt for it, they cannot help.

Past incidents are believed to be good lessons but people do not seem to learn from the past or by observing how others suffer due to such small but expensive mistakes. That is why they face uninsured losses.

According to David Harris, Director of Marketing and Affinity of RSA Insurance, UAE and Bahrain, all their enhanced motor insurance policies provide disaster covers which means policy holders can claim repair or replacement expenses towards damages caused due to natural calamities. Their cover offers even rent-a-car benefits when motorists leave their vehicles for repairs. In short, the company treats such claims just like other accident claims. Of course, the claims should be supported by police reports giving the details of the incidents.

Experts strongly advise that while buying policies, people should delve deep, do policy shopping and choose the right insurer and policy because covers may differ from one policy to another and from one insurer to another. People will do well by reading the policy documents thoroughly also so they can know the ‘exclusions’ listed on them. This will help them opt for the add-on covers they need including the one that covers disasters.

Protection of vehicles or homes from disasters is not just a private issue because it may have an indirect impact on a number of other aspects. But that people have the ability to be concerned about themselves and their assets seems to be an alien idea to the present-day milieu.

What matters most is how UAE authorities will educate people about the importance of disaster cover. Writs are quite often stodgy and so, they may not create the required impact.

The economy of the UAE is on the diversification path. In fact, among the Middle East economies, the economy of the UAE is the second largest. Had the policy makers taken complete advantage of this and put in place a sophisticated system to educate people in all spheres including the insurance sector, this unwise reluctance of people to opt for disaster cover may perhaps be not there.

Saving as much money as possible is understandably exciting but at the same time, people should have concern for their own safety and that of their possessions.