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Thu 21 Jan 2016 11:40 AM

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Just 6% of UAE tenants have fire insurance, say brokers

Brokers reportedly claim no dramatic spike in enquiries following The Address Downtown fire

Just 6% of UAE tenants have fire insurance, say brokers
Inside the Address Hotel lobby in Downtown Dubai after the fire had been extinguished. (Photo courtesy of Dubai Media Office)

Only as many as six percent of UAE residents have taken out fire insurance, brokers estimate, according to The National.

Brokers claim enquiries about home and contents insurance have increased only slightly since fire ravaged The Address Downtown hotel on New Year’s Eve – despite some policies costing less than AED1 ($0.27) a day, the newspaper reported.

Issam Mouslimani, head of regional retail product at Axa, was quoted as saying: “Of course, after each disaster or major accident we see people reacting, driven by awareness, to buy home insurance, but unfortunately such a trend gradually drops by time.”

Mouslimani said many tenants mistakenly believe that home insurance is the sole responsibility of the landlord, and warned the public to err on the side of caution and take out their own cover.

He said: “We have to remember that frequency of damages might be low but the costs are very high when an incident occurs and could change your life. You would be shocked to hear that only about 5 to 6 percent of residents have home insurance.”

Annual insurance cover ranges between AED300 to AED1,300 for a one-bedroom apartment, according to the newspaper.

Another broker, Ramsey Chami, head of personal property at AIG Mena, said that fire insurance can provide victims with alternative accommodation until their home is repaired. “Fires can happen to any of us, and they can often also leave people homeless,” he was quoted as saying.

Dubai Police released a report on Wednesday following its investigation into the fire at The Address Downtown hotel.

It stated that the fire was caused by an electrical short-circuit, and that there had been no trace of any flammable liquids such as petrol at the site of the blaze.

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