Dubai: UAE motorists who woke up to find their cars submerged by recent rainwaters could be in for another shock – their insurance may not cover the damages.
Experts have said only certain types of car insurance – that too with conditions – covers damage caused by flooding.
Ambareen Musa, founder and CEO of Souqalmal.com, said it was essential to go through the fine print when buying car insurance.
“It’s important for car owners to be aware that providers all have different policies and conditions to covering your claim in the event of a natural calamity. Policyholders must look out for natural calamities coverage under the policy schedule of benefits, and go through the fine print surrounding such coverage,” she added.
“For example, some insurers clearly specify that flood damage is only covered if the car is parked and not driven during a flood. You are also required to produce a police report to submit a claim arising due to rain damage. Others would clearly mention that they will only consider the event as a natural calamity if the authorities have officially declared it to be so.”
Third-party insurance, in which the cover is only for damage to others caused by the motorist, does not pay for car repairs needed after rainwater damage. Only comprehensive insurance covers for “natural calamities” (with conditions).
InsuranceMarket.ae told Gulf News: “The most important document needed to file a claim is the police report. Along with the police report, the driving license and vehicle registration card is to be submitted, to file a claim. The vehicle is then sent to the repair workshop where the workshop advisor would prepare an estimate of the repair cost, which will then have to be reviewed and approved by the insurance company. Once approved, the repairs start and once completed, the vehicle is returned to the customer.”
Rain damage – what car owners need to know
Third-party insurance does not cover car damage by rainwater
Only comprehensive insurance covers “natural calamities” – often with conditions:
Car is parked and not driven during the flood
There is a police report on the car’s condition/circumstances
Authorities have officially declared the weather to be a natural calamity
Many insurance companies also ask motorists to not move or open the car
The cost of the deductible (what the motorist pays to file a claim) can be higher than the repair cost
How to file a claim:
Ensure there is a Police Report
Driving License and Vehicle Registration Card must also be submitted
Vehicle is sent to repair workshop
Workshop advisor prepares estimate of the repair cost
Cost reviewed and approved by insurance company
Once approved repairs start