NEGOSENTRO.COM | An Expat’s Guide to Home Insurance in the UAE | Moving to the United Arab Emirates? Widely considered as an economic safe haven, the UAE has an ever-growing expatriate community.
In Dubai, the UAE’s most populated emirate, the expat community accounts for nearly 90 percent of the local populace. A similar pattern can be seen in Abu Dhabi, the UAE’s second most populated emirate.
In fact, many expats found in the UAE primarily reside in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
One of the most challenging expenditures for expats in the UAE is home insurance. Expats must compare home insurance quotes to ensure they get the best rate available. This is especially true for those looking to invest in property in the UAE.
Though, renters should also consider home insurance as it provides protection for their belongings.
If you’ve been considering a move to the UAE or are a recent expat, here’s what you need to know about home insurance in the UAE from the country’s leading online insurance comparison platform.
Home insurance defined
Before we start evaluating insurance policies and options, let’s explore what home insurance actually is.
Home insurance is a way for home owners to protect their biggest investment, their property. While theft or vandalism is a non-issue in the UAE, other risks exist that can pose a danger to your property.
Home insurance policies cover a wide range of incidents, from structural damage to content damage.
This form of coverage protects you from having to pay out a large amount of money for damages or to replace the contents of your home all at once. A home insurance policy provides peace of mind that your home and its belongings are properly protected while you’re away.
Worryingly though, many homeowners and tenants in the UAE refrain from buying home insurance. Nearly two-thirds of UAE residents do not insure their property or belongings. Much of this stems from a lack of awareness, with many citing concerns over costs.
Home insurance coverage plans in the UAE
When it comes to coverage, there are two primary insurance policies available: building insurance and home contents insurance.
Building insurance protects your home from any physical damage that may compromise its structural safety. In the UAE, physical damage to your property can be brought on by structural damage, fire damage, and water damage.
Fire damage, in particular, can quickly engulf a home or property.
With the right conditions, it can take less than five minutes for a fire to completely consume a two-story home or villa. In tower blocks, even if fire breaks out from a neighboring property, the smoke can quickly spread, engulfing your property and its belongings.
If the damage to your home is severe enough and is considered unfit for living, this insurance policy will ensure you and your family have alternative accommodations.
Home contents insurance
While building insurance provides protection for any physical damage, it does not provide coverage for the belongings in your property. To ensure the contents of your home are adequately covered, you will need to buy home contents insurance.
Home contents insurance will provide protection for any accidental damage to any contents or personal possessions in your home. This can include content cover or personal belongings coverage.
Content cover protects fixed belongings used or found within the boundaries of the property such as furniture. Personal belongings coverage provides insurance for losses or damages against portable possessions (mobile phones, watches, etc.) used in or out of the property.
High-value items like art, antiques, or jewelry may require additional coverage as the payout limit for a standard home contents insurance policy may not cover it item’s current value.
Finding the best home insurance rates
UAE residents have several options when shopping around for home insurance quotes. One way would be to go to a bank or insurance provider to negotiate insurance rates for your property and its belongings.
While this can get you the coverage you need, not all insurance providers are created equal. And, this process may not provide you with the lowest home insurance rate possible.
The best way for UAE residents to find the best home insurance rates would be to compare home insurance policies through an online comparison platform. The UAE’s leading online insurance comparison portal allows you to compare home insurance products for the policy coverage you need at the price you require.
And as the platform is not affiliated with any particular bank or insurance provider, you can be sure that the insurance quotes you receive will be completely free of any potential biases.
To quickly compare quotes and save, simply answer a few basic questions about your property and some personal information. In less than three minutes, you’ll see quotes from a number of leading insurance providers in the UAE.
You’ll be able to compare various home insurance quotes side-by-side and see the prices and benefits of each plan and policy. What’s more, this online comparison tool also allows you to compare insurance quotes for other insurance products like travel insurance, life insurance, and car insurance.
Factors that influence home insurance rates
There are several factors insurance companies consider when calculating your home insurance premiums. Insurance premiums are what you’ll pay for the policies you’ve selected. This is typically paid in monthly or annual installments to keep your coverage active.
These factors can differ by insurance providers but usually include the following:
- Property type
- Credit score
- Internal construction (plumbing, electrical, etc.)
- Building materials
- Renovation history
- Past claims history
- Additional features on the property
- Value of the home
- Value of the contents and personal belongings
If you’re unable to maintain premium payments, your policy could lapse.
Any damage that occurs to your property, its content, or your personal possessions during this lapse period will not be covered, forcing you to pay out of pocket.
How to make a claim
Once you’ve selected the insurance policy you want with the coverage you need, it’s recommended that you have photographic proof of your home’s content and personal belongings.
You’ll also want to keep receipts of your high-value items to make the claim a straightforward process.
In the event of an unforeseen incident, contact your insurance provider.
You can use the photographs you’ve taken or the receipts you have as proof to evaluate the financial reimbursement you’re due. If any physical damage has occurred to your property, a loss adjuster may visit to evaluate the extent of the damage.
Once your insurance provider has received all the pertinent information regarding your claim, they will review your claim. Once the review has concluded, the insurer will report their findings.
Your insurance company will send you a report that includes the value of your reimbursement.
While making claims in the UAE are pretty straightforward, it’s recommended that all homeowners and tenants read the fine print of their home insurance policies.
Each policy comes with terms and exclusions that may invalidate your coverage and it’s up to the policyholder to be aware of these terms/exclusions.
Protect your investment with the right insurance
Your home is your sanctuary. It’s also one of the biggest investments you’ll make in your lifetime. Fortunately, home insurance in the UAE is available for as little as $5 a month.
Make sure your property and its belongings are properly protected with the right insurance policy. Using an online insurance comparison tool will ensure you have the best coverage to protect your most important asset, your family.
Erin Daniyel is the VP for Revenue Operations at Rubicon Project and spokesperson for CompareDubai, an online comparison portal which provides customers with a one-stop platform to compare insurance quotes offered within the UAE. CompareDubai delivers quotations from a number of insurance providers covering a range of products, from Car Insurance to Motorbike, Yacht and Boat, Medical, Life, Business and Home Insurance.