By Neil Halligan
Insurance firm has promised to make advance payments to some homeowners, in a bid to ease the financial burden
Oman Insurance Company (OIC), insurer of The Torch tower in Dubai Marina, has announced it will make advance payments to some of the homeowners affected by the fire.
Subject to certain conditions, OIC said it will consider making an advance payment to homeowners affected by the blaze, in a bid to reduce their financial hardship since the fire on Saturday, February 21.
Out of the 676 apartments units in The Torch tower, OIC said 81 apartments are potentially unfit for habitation, pending official confirmation by the Dubai Authorities.
The property insurance contracted by the owners’ association to protect The Torch tower’s owners contains two supplemental provisions: Cost of Alternative Accommodation and Loss of Rental Income cover.
The first one compensates owners who live in their property for reasonable, additional cost of living under a new roof whilst their home is uninhabitable. The second one indemnifies the owner landlord for loss of rent when the leased premise is uninhabitable.
As an industry standard, both covers are payable when the extent of loss has been established and the owner is back in the property. Therefore the compensation is only given once the property has been repaired which can take quite some time.
“We understand that some Torch tower’s owners have been placed in a position of financial pressure by this unfortunate fire. In order to provide a degree of immediate financial relief to affected owners, we have decided that in this instance, advance, staged, payments shall be made in respect of Cost of Alternative Accommodation and Loss of Rental Income,” said Patrick Choffel, CEO of Oman Insurance Company.
The interim relief will start for an initial three month period with the presentation of appropriate documentation.
Balaji Ganapathy, senior vice president head of non-motor claims at OIC explained that certain documents will need to be provided before any potential payments are made.
“For the Alternate Accommodation, we are requesting owners to provide the Loss Adjuster team with their title deed, passport and visa copy, the new accommodation tenancy contract and proof they paid for it.
“For the Loss of Rental Income, we will need the title deed, passport and visa copy of both owner and tenant, a copy of the original Torch Tower tenancy contract, and proof they reimbursed the tenant part of his/her rent. Any payment will be subject to the terms and conditions of the Policy.”
“Any calculation of loss will be calculated on a pro rata basis and the covers will cease as soon as the apartments become both habitable and accessible,” he added.