Almost two weeks on from The Torch fire – that ripped through one of the world’s tallest residential buildings in Dubai Marina — and it appears many UAE residents have learnt little about protecting their belongings.
According to a new survey from Souqalmal.com, almost seven in 10 residents in the Emirates are still not bothered about signing up for a home contents policy, even with the tower blaze fresh in their minds.
Almost half of those polled go so far as to say it is “not a priority”.
The price comparison website launched a similar survey in 2012 in the aftermath of the Tamweel Tower that revealed similar results.
“The results of this week’s survey confirm that this gap has not shrunk even after multiple incidents — like the recent Torch Tower fire which left 101 apartments inaccessible to this day due to the extent of fire damage,” says Ambareen Musa, founder of Souqalmal.com. “Very little has changed in attitude towards protecting home contents.”
Earlier this week, David Harris from RSA Insurance told Your Money that there had been a 400 per cent increase in enquiries and 90 per cent increase in policy purchases following the Torch fire. But he stressed that it is often only in the immediate aftermath of an event of this nature that residents are willing to purchase policies.
Something that is perhaps concerning for the insurance companies themselves is that 34 per cent of those polled by Souqalmal.com say they do not know how to sign up for home contents cover.
However, home contents policies can cost as little as Dh1 a day with some purchasable in minutes.
It appears that rather than just bemoaning the low penetration rates of home contents insurance in the UAE (less than 10 per cent according to industry figures), insurers need to activate more aggressive marketing campaigns to raise awareness of the need for cover and the ease of acquiring it too.