Almost two thirds of UAE residents don’t have home insurance

The majority do not protect their homes because they think they don’t need it, believe it is the landlord’s responsibility or find it too costly​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

DUBAI , UNITED ARAB EMIRATES , AUG 5 – 2017 :- Damaged portion of the Torch Tower because of fire in the early hours of Friday morning at Dubai Marina in Dubai. ( Pawan Singh / The National )
Powered by automated translation

Nearly two thirds of UAE residents do not own home insurance, a new poll from dubizzle Property found.

Sixty-three per cent of the 1,458 respondents surveyed last month do not insure their homes, according to the classifieds platform. When asked if they are interested in purchasing home insurance, 75 per cent said they were not and 18 per cent were not sure. Only 30 per cent had full knowledge of the benefits.

“While people in the region generally adopt an ‘it won’t happen to me mentality’, they are exposing themselves to larger potential damages as opposed to taking pre-emptive measures,” said David Harris, director of distribution at RSA Insurance, an international provider operating in the UAE.

Several factors deterred residents from purchasing home insurance, with 41 per cent saying they ‘don’t need it,’ followed by 24 per cent believing ‘it is the landlord’s responsibility’ and 19 per cent stating it is ‘too expensive’. Other factors included not seeing the benefit (17 per cent), not knowing how to buy it (9 per cent) and not trusting insurance companies (8 per cent).

“The region’s low penetration of home insurance is largely a result of lack of awareness coupled with misconceptions around affordability and coverage policies,” Mr Harris said.

An essential first step, he said, is to clarify what home and home contents insurance are and what they cover. Comprehensive coverage includes building insurance, contents insurance and personal belongings insurance. Contents insurance includes household goods like furniture, appliances, televisions and carpets. Personal belongings includes items such as mobile phones, jewellery, laptops and other portable electronic devices.

“Affordability should also not be a concern, as home insurance can cost as low as Dh21 a month,” Mr Harris said.

For example, Etisalat offers a home protection plan at only Dh10 a month, but it is limited to damage to personal belongings and loss of personal documents. The plan through partner Union Insurance Company covers up to Dh50,000 of home contents damaged from water leaks, fires, electrical shorts, accidents and theft. It also offers reimbursement for up to 15 days of temporary accommodation.

Of the dubizzle poll respondents, more than 80 per cent are renting and 70 per cent live in apartments.

“It is important for those moving home to consider what’s next when they find their ideal property in case any complications arise,” said Matthew Gregory, director of sales for dubizzle Property. “Home insurance should be considered as the next step in the home-seeking journey in the UAE as it can protect residents from potential losses in the future.”