Less than 1 percent of homes are insured against theft
Whilst it is commendable that 2015 witnessed lesser home burglaries than in 2014, it is alarming that 289 families residing in the UAE had been devastated by home burglaries. (Ref: Gulf News dated 16.3.16)
Qatar Insurance Company’s retail arm QIC Insured’s statistics reveal that less than one percent of its customers’ in the UAE have their valuables covered with home contents insurance, which effectively would imply that maximum three of these 289 families would have had their losses covered.
“Effects of crimes such as theft and burglary can become a lot more magnified because of the financial losses that are associated with it”, comments Frederik Bisbjerg, Executive Vice President, MENA Retail from QIC Insured.”
Frederik adds, “We have witnessed this trend in many instances; people believe that since their apartment or villa is insured, their home contents or valuables would be insured too – which explains why more than 99% of customers do not have home contents insurance. The matter of the fact is that home contents have to be insured separately.”
Home contents insurance can be purchased for less than a dirham per day and when purchased, the family would be covered for loss of or damage to their belongings against theft or burglary.
“I believe the main reason for not taking out insurance apart from what’s required by law is the understanding of personal insurance, which is deeply rooted in the Middle Eastern culture. Historically, families have always helped the affected when losses have occurred and this belief and practice is still prevalent in the culture”, explains Frederik Bisbjerg. “However, this does not change the fact that burglaries and accidents do happen and it saddens me to see families in financial distress after the incident.”
For many, it is still an unknown known fact that families with domestic servants are liable for accidents caused during the course of work and that they would have to reimburse the servants in case of accidents that cause permanent disability or death. Such eventualities can also be covered by home contents insurance.
5 useful tips that UAE residents can follow to keep their home and belongings safe and secure when away:
- Have friends watch over the house so that it appears inhabited.
- Keep the doors and windows shut and locked when stepping out to prevent a passerby from committing a crime.
- If possible, do not take all cars out from the car park as it may leave a hint that there are no occupants in the house.
- Stop your supply of newspapers if you’re going on vacation. Newspapers piled up in front of your door step could tip off criminals that the homeowner is out of town.
- If you keep your jewelry at home, make sure to keep them in a fire resistant locker/safe in a discreet location in your house.