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Insurance Essentials – Rented Villas – Tenants

It would be great to live in a world where nothing ever goes wrong. Best advice: be prepared. Here's an intro to insurance if you rent a Dubai villa.

Updated 24-February-2015  

Do we really understand insurance policies? If you don’t have insurance you would have to start from scratch with whatever you own which was in your villa and affected by the accident. Flooding is an issue in Dubai because of the air conditioning units but anything can go wrong. Landlords should have their own insurance for the building and any items they have left in the property whilst it is rented, e.g. cooker or stove as it’s known in some parts of the world, fridge/freezer etc. If it is fully furnished then the Landlord is responsible for all the items but you are responsible for any damage which you may have caused – again, being insured is a good idea!

Insurance will provide protection for the contents of your villa and is often sold as a package policy, covering the standard ‘perils’ of:

  • damage due to a fire, explosion or lightning
  • earthquake damage
  • smoke damage
  • flood & water leakage
  • theft

Included in the package policy is an extensive range of additional covers such as:

  • accidental damage – including cover for TVs, computers, mirrors, glass
  • deep-freezer cover – if, for example, a power cut means the freezer food is spoilt
  • replacement locks – if you lose your house keys and have to get the locks replaced
  • cover for contents in the garden
  • loss or theft of money
  • loss and fraudulent use of credit/ debit cards
  • loss of documents – cost of replacing important documents such as a passport, work permit

One important cover is for alternative accommodation if your villa is uninhabitable due to a fire, water damage etc. If your total contents cover was for AED 1,000,000, then you would get up to AED 200,000 for such alternative accommodation – which could pay for rental or hotel stay until you can move back in to your villa or, if necessary, another property.

You and your family’s personal liability are also protected. Firstly, as a tenant occupying the villa and secondly, in a personal capacity – with this cover being provided on a worldwide basis.

You can also get cover to protect your liability, as a tenant of the villa, to your landlord for damage to the villa, the landlord’s decorations, fixtures and fittings, pipes and cables, glass and sanitary ware.

Personal Possessions cover is also provided for those belongings that are often taken by you and your family outside – bags, laptops, clothes etc. Cover is provided outside of your villa across the UAE and also for up to 60 days anywhere in the world – important cover for the frequent traveller.

A number of insurers also provide cover for sports equipment and bicycles.

If you have a housemaid, you can also have cover for your liability as an employer to the maid or any other domestic staff in respect of injury or illness as a result of their employment.

Finally, cover is provided for your contents when moving to another villa or an apartment in the UAE. You must use professional, licensed movers though.

An insurance policy is a contract between you and the insurance company, so there are a number of things of which you should be aware within the contract. For example, you must notify the insurance company as soon as possible regarding any incident that may result in a claim. You also have to notify the police in certain circumstances – such as theft or loss – remember to get a copy of the police report.

You cannot leave your villa unoccupied for more than 60 days. If you are planning a long period away from Dubai, you should contact the insurance company, who will advise what steps to take, which may include turning off the water etc.

And a quick reminder – the main thing an insurance policy does not cover is wear and tear.

Planning to purchase an home contents insurance policy?  Here are a few pointers.

What are your views on the insurance market in Dubai? Let us hear your stories via Rant n Rave.

Richard Schofield writes for the Dubai Survival Guide and would be happy to help with any questions.  Contact him through ‘thumbs up’or send him an email.

The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only. Readers are encouraged to seek appropriate independent legal advice.

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