Who's Liable? All You Need to Know About Insurance and Rain Damage
The thunderstorms and rains that hit the UAE when their time has come are likely to bring along some flooding issues for many of the homeowners, businesses, or the tenants. Below are some of the popularly-asked questions when it comes to bearing the liabilities during such cloudy time.
Coverage and Inclusions When the Bad Weather Affects the Landlords, Tenants, and Retailers
The landlords are merely responsible for just the structure of the building as well as the property. These landlords are often advised to opt for building insurance. This kind of insurance covers any damages caused to the building, gardens, roofs, gates, yards, boundary walls, porches, etc. However, the insurance policy must state clearly that all kinds of natural calamities are covered and should have detailed them in writing.
The tenants, in any such scenario, are responsible for their personal belongings along with any home contents that they bring in to the rented building or apartment. Home content includes any of the furniture, electronics, appliances, art, and decorative items. Personal belongings coverage, generally, includes the items that one usually takes out of the home and are more mobile in nature such as jewelry, mobile phones, laptops, watches, clothes, etc. It is vital that the tenants are covered for the water and goof damage caused by the heavy rains or any of the other bad weather calamities, such as hail, hurricane, lightning, etc. If these are not covered, you cannot make any claims on any of the damages.
The retailers, in such cases, will be required to either insurance their existing inventory or opt for home contents insurance in order to protect the stuff they have in the stores. If bad weather decides to hit UAE, at least the goods are secured, only if they have coverage against water damage caused by floods or heavy rains. If there is no insurance against these, no claims can be made.
Responsibility In Case of Flooding Apartment
It can be very unfortunate for flooding to occur in an apartment, but few things need to be evaluated before putting the responsibility for damage in terms of insurance on anyone’s shoulders.
Owner of the Apartment
The building insurance provides coverage against any damages caused to the structure. So, if any of the walls, electric circuits, or other physical aspects of the apartment have been hampered, the owner of the apartment will have to go ahead and file for a claim. However, the contents of the house are not covered by building insurance. For this aspect, it is important to have home content and personal belongings coverage. These are coverage types for those people who are renting and not purchasing a property in the UAE. In such a manner, if there has been any damage caused to the content of the apartment, the tenant can file claims for the same.
Cause of Flooding
If the flooding was caused because of a natural calamity such as heavy rain, then both the building as well as the home content insurance can be claimed without any such trouble. However, if the cause of the flood had any malicious intent, or was due to an accident caused by the negligence of the property, it can be tough to file any claim on the insurance.
Compensation from Landlord to Tenants
The landlord is merely responsible for the structure and the building, including the structure of the porch, backyard, boundary walls, gardens, and other features of the property. Any personal items of the tenant are not covered under building insurance. The tenant must insure his or her own personal belongings separately.
Flooding of a Retailer Store in the Mall
In this case again, when we talk about the retail space, many retailers prefer renting out space. However, if someone has bought a retail space and they own the store, they can make a claim against their insurance. This generally includes any contents in the store, depending on the policy terms. If you are renting out space, then you can only claim against the damaged inventory, of course, if you have insured it.
Landlords of Real Estate Properties
For landlords of the real estate properties, building insurance is an advisable option. This will cover against the physical structure of the land along with any other features that come with it (garden, porches, yards, boundary walls, etc.)
This ensures that you are covered for a large space without having to stress about the tiny details of your space.
Car Insurance Coverage during Flooding
There are 2 types of car insurance coverage policies available in the UAE namely third-party liability car insurance coverage and comprehensive coverage policy.
The third-party liability coverage covers any damages caused to the third party involved in any occurrence due to the policyholder’s negligence. But in case of such a claim to be approved the police report must confirm the responsibility of the damage of the policyholder. Whereas, comprehensive coverage covers all the insurance requirements of the policyholder also. However, comprehensive coverage is costlier out of the two, but it also protects the policyholder’s vehicle in case of any fire, accidental damage, theft, and natural calamities.
Every vehicle owner in the UAE has a car insurance policy. This is simply because it is mandatory by law to hold basic car insurance coverage. If anyone is found driving without a car insurance policy, there is an applicable fine (quite hefty) along with other forms of punishment. This means that most of the car owners based in the UAE are covered but that is not enough.
Third-party car insurance coverage does not provide any sort of coverage against the natural calamities. Only comprehensive cover provides this sort of protection, but you have to be well aware of its fine print to see what it actually includes. It is important to ensure that water damage caused by floods and heavy rains is covered. In insurance terms, water damage and flood damage are different terms.
If your car insurance coverage policy provides for the damages caused by heavy rains, there might be certain conditions apply depending on your provider. Generally, these conditions are:
- The heavy rain or flooding must be a natural calamity and should not be because of intentional seeding.
- The insured car must be parked during flooding and heavy rains and should not be driven during such times.
The Bottom Line
Natural disasters along with bad weather conditions are the types of unexpected occurrences that lead us to purchase insurance coverage. It can be frustrating to come to a conclusion of them not being part of our insurance coverage. However, there is no malicious intent behind this. We, as policy seekers, tend to go for cheaper premiums without realizing that slashed premiums also mean slashed coverage. Also, we tend to ignore the fine print of our policies.