Insurers and garages in the UAE are still in the process of going through claims from damages related to the recent rains and flooding. (Image used for illustrative purposes.) Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Owners of vehicles damaged by the unprecedented rains of April 16 can claim insurance if they have comprehensive cover on their policies.

This will be some relief to car owners who were caught out by the rains and the subsequent flooding in their locations.

Even then, if they had been driving these vehicles during the rains, their chances of getting those insurance claims gets diluted. Even if they do have comprehensive coverage, according to insurance industry sources.

The insurance sector is still getting started on receiving claims and going through damage assessments. It will still take longer before the claims are cleared and payments get released, insurers add.

For the moment, the insurers are using a UAE Central Bank directive as the baseline in taking on claims.

“The Central Bank has confirmed that damages to vehicles caused by the recent rains are covered if they have comprehensive insurance or similar coverage,” said Avinash Babur, CEO of, the industry aggregator.

“The insurance companies’ responses are mixed, with many looking to deny claims where there are signs of vehicles being driven into the water. Home insurance damage claims are more straightforward at this point.”

Some of the leading auto dealerships and garages in the UAE have been communicating with clients about carrying out repairs at discounted or preferential rates. Some of the independent garages have been taking on bookings or giving out repair cost assessments even through the weekend. (In some instances, workshops are moving what they believe are 'total loss' vehicles to yards to create space for repairs, even before insurers can confirm or deny the claims.)

"Insurers have started segregating claims based on scenarios - and some rejections have also started to come in," said Babur. "We are pushing back in some cases, and explaining to policyholders the best efforts at loss minimisation."

What of non-comprehensive policies?

The status of vehicle owners with only a third-party liability policy is still to be decided. Insurers have not come up with any updates on whether they can meet part of in full the cost of repairs from the unprecedented events on April 16 and over the subsequent days.

Again, if their cars were caught out in the rain waters while being driven, insurers would not be taking on such claims. Those repairs need to be done out of pocket.

Try ‘Sanadak’ in case of disputes

If vehicle owners or others have a grievance about how their insurance claims have been processed, they do have a platform available. It was recently that the UAE Central Bank brought out the ‘Sanadak’ platform to take on such disputes and come up with a fairly speedy resolution.

“The Sanadak option offers valuable support for clients in raising disputes,” said Babur. ”In these situations, when claims may or may not be upheld, it reflects an approach across the insurance industry to encourage responsible use of insured assets. All while many insurers and brokers are looking to support policyholders on a best-effort basis.”

Even then, claims will still not be covered if those vehicles have been driven into water (which is a breach of the policy terms).