Car damage caused by heavy rain must be covered by insurance firms, UAE minister says

Sultan Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, assured the Federal National Council that drivers should not be left counting the cost of the recent bout of bad weather

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Motorists who racked up repair bills when their cars were damaged during a barrage of torrential rain which hit the country must be protected by insurance companies, a minister confirmed.

Sultan Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, assured Federal National Council members that insurance companies were obliged to honour claims made by members who were caught in the eye of the storm.

A massive downpour which battered the country earlier this month left drivers grappling with hazardous conditions as water quickly left roads flooded.

Mr Al Mansouri said the UAE's Insurance Authority, which he is chief executive of, announced last week that insurance claims would be covered amid the bout of unstable weather.

The Unified Motor Vehicle Insurance Policy Against Loss and Damage - issued by the Insurance Authority - establishes that it is mandatory for insurance companies to cover rain damages.

The question was repeated by a million people during the rainy period; will my car damages be covered by insurance

The only exception for coverage would be if the damages occurred during a natural disaster, the minister stated.

However, since the UAE government did not classify last week's floods as a natural disaster, this clause does not apply, the FNC was told.

Mr Al Mansouri delivered the message in a letter read out at Tuesday's FNC session, in response to a query raised by the council's Deputy Speaker, Hamad Al Rahoomi.

Mr Al Rahoomi said motorists across the country were confused over whether their insurance would cover damages incurred during the stormy conditions.

“The question was repeated by a million people during the rainy period; will my car damages be covered by insurance?” said Mr Al Rahoomi.

He presented a letter written by Abu Dhabi Police to the Insurance Authority, asking them whether such cars are insured or not.

“It was not even clear to the police,” said the deputy speaker.

He also showed an awareness video that was produced and published by the authority about accidents that occur outside the country, and how they need a specific “orange insurance card”, and are not covered by full insurance.

“The authority made the effort to produce a video about accidents occurring outside the borders, which is not as common as the number of cars that were damaged during the rains,” said Mr Al Rahoomi.

He said the authority should increase awareness on the rights of motorists to have their rain-damage costs covered, “especially for non-Arab speakers.”

Some insurance companies took advantage of the confusion and are trying to avoid paying for repairs, he said.

A number of motorists have received text messages from their car insurers saying driving in pools of water causes damages to the car may not be covered.

“Dear Valued Customer, driving through deep water can cause serious damage to your car engine and may not be covered by your insurance unless specified. Please Drive Safely !” said one message.

Mr Al Rahoomi said companies who refuse to cover rain damages must be reported to the Insurance Authority.