Only 9% UAE residents ready to buy home insurance

A majority consider taking out cover too expensive, which is a myth.
A staggering 91 per cent of UAE residents do not have home insurance. This was revealed by a survey conducted among over 1,500 UAE residents by ServiceMarket, an online marketplace for home services, and Qatar Insurance.

The top reason for not having home insurance was that respondents (42 per cent) didn’t see the point since they are only renting the property. The majority of UAE residents rent their homes and this makes home insurance less appealing or unnecessary in the minds of many respondents, despite the fact that their belongings would not be covered under their landlord’s building insurance policy.

There is a general lack of knowledge about home insurance in the market, with almost a third (31 per cent) saying they do not know enough about home insurance. Over a quarter (27 per cent) of respondents who do not have insurance believe that home insurance is too expensive. However, you can get home insurance from Dh17 a month in the UAE.

Frederik Bisbjerg, head of group retail and executive vice-president Mena in Qatar Insurance Company, said: “Home insurance has benefits to both homeowners and tenants. Even if you do not own the property you are living in, purchasing home contents insurance protects your own belongings against damages caused by events such as a flood, fire or theft. Your personal belongings, such as your furniture and electronics, would not be covered under your landlord’s insurance policy. You may not consider your belongings to be valuable, however replacing them after such an event would cost thousands, and you could potentially need to pay for replacement accommodation.”

Among those who have taken out home insurance, the top reason for purchasing it was for peace of mind (44 per cent), while over a quarter (26 per cent) purchased home insurance because it was mandatory.

When it is mandatory
Bisbjerg said: “In the UAE, home insurance is mandatory in certain cases. For example, you are required by the bank to have home insurance if your home is being mortgaged.”

Reports of events such as a fire or theft are also key drivers for people to purchase home insurance. Over a fifth (21 per cent) of those who had purchased home insurance said they purchased it after seeing an event in the news.

Bana Shomali, CEO and co-founder of ServiceMarket, said: “We always notice a significant increase in the number of people who are looking for home insurance after a key event such as a fire. After the recent fire in Sulafa Tower in Dubai Marina, we noticed around a 200 per cent increase in the number of people expressing interest in purchasing home insurance.”

If you are a tenant, you should have home contents and personal possessions insurance as your belongings would not be covered under your landlord’s building insurance policy. Home contents insurance covers items inside the house such as furniture and your electronics in case of an event such as a flood, fire or vandalism. Personal possessions can include items such as your phone, laptop, jewellery and handbags.

If you are a homeowner, then you should have building insurance. This covers the structure of the property against damage caused by natural disasters, theft, vandalism or fires. If you are renting out the property, then this insurance would offer protection against any damages made to the property by the tenant. On the other hand, if you are living in the property yourself, you should also take out home contents and personal possessions insurance to protect your belongings.

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