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Car insurance firms must cover damage from heavy rains

Motorists who encountered expensive repair bills as a result of heavy rainfall in the United Arab Emirates recently damaging their cars must be guaranteed protection by car insurance firms, according to a minister.

Members of the Federal National Council have been assured by the UAE minister of commerce Sultan Al Mansouri that car insurance firms were under an obligation to honour claims from those members whose vehicles were damaged in recent storms.

Earlier this month, the UAE was left battered by an enormous downpour that saw roads flooded and drivers caught in extremely hazardous conditions.

The Insurance Authority of the UAE, of which Al Mansouri is the chief executive, had said last week that damages caused by the unstable weather would be covered by insurance claims.

It is mandatory for rain damage to be covered by insurance companies, the Insurance Authority-issued Unified Motor Vehicle Insurance Policy Against Loss and Damage establishes.

However, such coverage can be excepted if the damages are the result of a natural disaster, but because this classification was not given to the floods by the UAE government, the exception does not apply, according to the minister.

The message was delivered by Al Mansouri in a letter that was read out at the Federal National Council session on Tuesday following a query from Hamad Al Rahoomi, the deputy speaker of the Council.

Al Rahoomi noted that motorists throughout the UAE were confused as to whether damage caused by the stormy conditions would be covered by their car insurance policies, noting that even the police were unsure.

Al Rahoomi says that the Insurance Authority needs to increase awareness over motorists’ rights in regard to coverage of rain damage costs, particularly for those who do not speak Arabic.

Al Rahoomi also claims that some car insurance firms in the UAE are trying to take advantage of the widespread confusion to avoid having to pay out for repairs.

Some UAE motorists have been sent text messages from their car insurance providers warning that they may not be covered for damages to motor vehicles that are the result of driving through water.

Al Rahoomi says that any car insurance company in the UAE that attempts to get out of paying rain damage costs should be reported to the Insurance Authority.

Any damage suffered by vehicles as a result of bad weather are covered as an aspect of the unified policy to ensure that cars are covered against the risk of mass damage and loss.

It is against the law in the UAE for motorists to not take out at least some form of basic third-party car insurance.

Car insurance helps to protect motorists against damage to vehicles in almost any circumstances, as well as covering the cost of damage to other vehicles due to accidents for which they are responsible, and car theft.

There are a number of car insurance firms from which such policies are available in the UAE, including the likes of SALAMA Car Insurance and WATANIA Car Insurance.