The recent fire in an apartment building in Jumeirah Lake Towers has made many people wonder how they would manage if the same thing happened to them. A recent survey showed that up to 86% of residents in the UAE have not arranged insurance for their possessions and home contents.
I suspect that in part this is due to people feeling safe as burglaries are few, but they do happen and I know of a number of reported cases of break-ins to villas in recent weeks. The big scare was the recent fire, where many people had to be urgently evacuated, although at the time of writing we don’t know how much damage was caused. Bear in mind however, that smoke causes a lot of damage and it is likely that many tenants will have to replace furniture, soft furnishings, clothing, pictures and other items.
If you have not yet arranged insurance for your possessions, it is time to take action.
What can I insure?
Contents insurance is arranged to cover the cost of replacing your personal possessions such as furniture, clothes and electrical items. ‘Personal belongings’ is a vaguer category that covers things such as jewellery, watches or cameras and also provides some cover for items taken out of the home.
It can be useful to include accidental damage to contents and personal items cover, as it is not uncommon to drop a vase, spill something on a rug and both children and pets can be surprisingly destructive. Whilst as a tenant it is not compulsory to have insurance, if you add up the cost of replacing everything you own you may be surprised just how much it is worth. You are covering yourself in the event of fire, theft and can also elect to choose insurance for accidental damage.
What if I employ a maid or other domestic staff?
If someone other than a family member is living in the property this must be declared on the application so their possessions are also insured. Some plans also pay out if domestic staff are injured whilst employed.
Who offers contents insurance?
There are a number of insurance companies operating in the local market, each with slightly different plans. It can therefore be useful to use an expert broker as they have access to more providers than an individual and save you time, as well as making sure you take the most appropriate options.
I don’t advise on general insurances, but I do recommend that you get a quote from a company dealing with 15 different insurers to suit your specific needs via this link Home & contents insurance quotes
What should I do if I want to make a claim?
Before you take out the policy make sure you read the small print to make sure you are getting the cover you want and need. Be aware of the policy limits and restrictions and if there is an excess amount (also known as a deductible), the relatively small initial sum which is not covered. If you need to make a claim, contact the insurance company immediately, advising them of the situation. You may need to provide a police report for items that are stolen or receipts for items to be replaced.
Be smart, make sure your possessions are properly insured today.