The UAE is one of the safest places to live on the planet – but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared for that worst case scenario.
It is easy for complacency to creep in when it comes to insuring your home – particularly if you are renting rather than own the property – but it could be a costly oversight in the event of an incident.
We have enlisted the expert advice of David Harris, director – affinity and director for UAE and Bahrain at RSA Insurance, to get some reassurance about insurance.
Tailor your policy to your needs
Home insurance policies can cover everything from an earthquake to a water leak, so it is essential to ensure you plump for the coverage that suits you best, says Harris. Insurance policies can be drawn up to cover just the home structure or the tenant’s belongings (such as jewellery, furniture, electronic appliances and so on).
Understand what you are signing up for
Before signing on the dotted line do your own research into the insurance firms out there (such as their reputation in the market) and make sure you cast a keen eye over all of the terms and conditions. It might be tempting to go for the cheaper option, but this could cost you more in the long run if you have to make a claim.
Make checks before making a claim
Before jumping in and making a claim, complete you own check-list to ensure you are fully covered, says Harris.
And you should always carefully read your insurance documentation before lodging your claim.
He says: “Check the policy schedule and policy wording to see whether the loss or damage is covered and if any specific evidence is required. Read the policy conditions and general exclusions, and follow any instructions given.”
Harris adds that claimants should inform police immediately if property has been stolen or deliberately damaged or if you have lost a valuable item.
He says detail is key, so get on the phone to the claims team as soon as you can to get your claim on record.
He adds: “Contact the claims team on the numbers provided in the policy document, they will take as many details as possible over the phone. A claim form may have to be filled, which should be completed and returned with all the required supporting evidence to the insurance company.”
To make sure a bad situation doesn’t get worse, it is important to arrange for repairs swiftly when necessary.
Harris says: “Whenever necessary, arrange for emergency repairs to be carried out in order to prevent further damage to the property.”
For more information, visit www.rsadirect.ae.
Tips for avoiding a claim
1 Always remember to lock your doors.
2 Check the water pipes in the house.
3 Install and maintain fire alarms.
4 Examine the electrical appliances at home with the help of an electrician.
5 Unplug the appliances that over-heat the electric sockets.
6 Do not leave things on the stove unattended.
7 When you go away, have someone watch over your home.
Harris’ Ten top tips
1 Keep complete records of your insurance policies, premiums paid, loss records and loss recoveries.
2 Check the tenancy agreement for any tenant’s liability requirement.
3 Use a safe to store precious items.
4 Rent payable or rent receivables should also be insured.
5 Keep receipts for major items for proof at the time of claim.
6 You should insure any furniture, fixtures, musical instruments, sports equipment, jewellery etc.
7 Building value should be declared on reconstruction and not on market value.
8 Annually review and update your home inventory. Always update your inventory when you buy new items.
9 Any electronic, mechanical or business equipment should be declared if kept at home.
10 When your home is at risk, it does not matter whether you own the home or you’re just renting it, therefore, it is vital for an expat renting a house to purchase insurance.