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Home insurance interest surges following the Torch tower fire
Posted on Aug 24, 2017 by Luther
Earlier in the month, Dubai’s Torch Tower caught fire for the second time in two years. The large blaze tore through the building, one of the largest residential complexes in the world, leaving it badly damaged and causing damage to nearby property. In the wake of this tragedy, which luckily saw no loss of life, we’re going to discuss a bit about home insurance products and some common mistakes people make when purchasing such plans.
What has the UAE learned from the two Torch fires?
The fire that threatened many lives and homes in early August has reignited the debate on keeping people and property safe in the UAE. According to an article in USA Today, highly flammable cladding was suggested as the possible cause of the 86 storey skyscraper’s second inferno in as many years. Dubai’s Civil Defense brought the fire under control around 3:30 am, ushering the residents of more than 600 apartments to evacuate.
The UAE revised its building safety code in 2013 to mandate that all buildings over 15 metres tall be fire-resistant, however older buildings were exempt from such laws. The Marina Torch tower’s construction began in 2007 and was opened in 2011. The first fire in 2015 saw flammable cladding blamed as the cause; many older buildings in the Emirate use panels of plastic or polyurethane fillings sandwiched between aluminium sheets.
In fact, the UAE has seen a number of building fires in recent years that have been of note. In August 2016, a 28-storey building that was under construction in Abu Dhabi caught fire and injured 13 people, including emergency staff. That same month, fire had damaged a part of another multi-storey building part way through construction in Dubai, and earlier in the year Dubai’s 75-storey Sulafa Tower caught fire.
In response, many in Dubai are reported to have begun inquiries into home insurance coverage, with insurers and brokers noticing a bump in sales. We’ve previously written about the low take-up of home insurance in the UAE and how to secure a comprehensive plan before, so this time we’ve got these tips for when you’re shopping for a house plan.
Tips for getting the best out of your home insurance
1. Know the value of your property
In the event that disaster strikes your home, knowing exactly what the cost of your losses are will greatly help you with your home insurance. Finding out you’re underinsured following an event can add extra heartbreak and misery to an already stressful time, so make sure you keep track of the value of your home (or the value of homes in your area) as well as keeping track of the personal belongings it holds.
This can start you on the right foot when you’re purchasing a plan, and reviewing the value of your home and contents can ensure that your home insurance plan covers what you need when you need it.
2. Schedule your valuable items
If your home contains valuable jewellery or art, then you’ll want to make clear whether their full values are covered. Some basic home insurance plans may place a cap on expensive items, but consumers can opt to schedule them within their policy to insure them for their full value. Failing to do this can leave many homeowners out of pocket should the unthinkable occur.
3. Be clear about flood insurance
Homes that are in a flood-prone area can often find that home insurance plans will exclude damage related to natural flooding. This may seem unfair, however it’s common practice with home insurers around the world. The alternative is to include flood protection to your plan as an additional benefit. Some basic plans may refer to flooding but actually mean damage from water caused by, say, burst water pipes. Double check the policy wording!
4. Forgetting about your policy after purchase
All insurance consumers, regardless of their type of product, should regularly consider and review their plans. Home insurance is no different. Insurance premiums are generally set based upon the current value and circumstances of a person’s life and health, or a home’s value and contents. As time goes on, those factors the premiums are based on can change.
Just like knowing the value of your property, you should know how your home insurance values your house and contents and whether or not the coverage you have is outdated or not.
5. Shop around
Shopping around is almost expected these days. With so many different products and providers on offer, you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t consider more than one option for your home insurance. Insurers can differ not just in products, but in the level and quality of their service. Plans definitely have a wide range of coverage options and getting the perfect one can seem like a lot of effort. When it comes to shopping around, the best way is to use a broker.
Connect with the best insurance broker in the UAE
UAE Medical Insurance is a well known brand across the Emirates for providing solid healthcare plans, but did you know we also offer home insurance? Our expert advisors have a wealth of knowledge and can negotiate with insurers on your behalf to ensure you get the best house and contents plan available. Want to know more about how our team can secure your property in the UAE? Contact the team at UAE Medical Insurance today!