Dubai: Zen Tower fire results 100% rise in home insurance sales

Comparison website yallacompare has witnessed a 100% increase in the number of home insurance policies being sold since the Zen Tower fire in Dubai Marina, said CFO Jonathan Rawling.

The fire that erupted in Dubai Marina’s Zen Tower on May 13 began on the balcony of a first floor, where furniture kept outdoors caught fire due to an electric short circuit or from smoking waste, according to a report by Al Barsha police station released to local media.

Rawling said it is common to see a surge in residents buying insurance following a fire incident.

“That’s usually the way that things play out after a fire is reported. People see the news coverage, and for some that’s enough of a push towards getting their belongings covered,” he said.

Nexus Insurance Brokers have also seen a rise in residents buying home and contents insurance in the wake of the fire, though they expect it to be short-lived, following the same trend as previous incidents.

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“We are definitely busier than usual with enquiries for home insurance since news of the fire, and this is a pattern we have observed after similar incidents in the past,” said John Waldron, head of private clients at the firm.

“When a fire happens, you do see that immediate response, and there is a brief surge in new business enquiries. After the fire in the Torch Tower last year, we saw a massive spike in enquiries coming into the market for maybe a three-to-four week period, but then the interest essentially reverts to typical volumes,” he added.

Waldron pointed out that penetration rates of home insurance in the UAE remain extremely low by international standards.

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Yallacompare’s Rawling also expressed concern for low home insurance penetration rates in the UAE, stating that only 11% of UAE residents are signed onto a home insurance policy compared to around 70% penetration rates in Europe, according to research by the website.

One of the main reasons behind the low rates is a perception among UAE consumers that insurance policies are too expensive, though sites such as Yallacompare offers insurance packages as low as AED200 for up to AED 50,000 worth of contents.

Waldron agrees and urges residents as well as landlords to cover their contents to avoid paying hefty post-damage amounts.

 

Source Credit: Arabian Business

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