Value of home and contents insurance

Value of home and contents insuranceAhid Shaikh

Even after purchasing or moving into a new home, property owners and tenants rarely pick up home and contents insurance – that is, if they even think of property insurance at all.

A low level of awareness and lack of knowledge with regard to this matter has left many residents in Dubai and the rest of the UAE exposed to tragedies like fire accidents, burglary and others.

It is important to remember that anything can happen at any time and leave you and your family out in the cold. Such unfortunate events can prove to be very costly and bothersome, and measures should be taken, wherever possible, to ensure you are protected from such adversities.

While most owners of property in Dubai purchase home insurance as a matter of course, this generally does not include cover for tenants and their possessions.

For Dubai property owners, comprehensive home insurance includes cover against fire, flooding and other accidental damages to the walls, ceilings, floors and any electrical equipment in the property.

Most tenants, however, remain unaware that there are various types of insurance available for them to protect them from every possible unfortunate occurrence – from the loss of the contents of their rented home such as furniture and appliances, to personal items such as electronic gadgets and jewelry.

Some policies even offer to replace the items with new ones in case of loss. Contents insurance normally covers all the items in your home that you are likely to take along with you when you decide to move elsewhere.

For people feeling all too secure in the new gated communities or those with 24-hour security, choosing to live in the newer areas within Dubai is not necessarily a safeguard against accidents that can lead to the loss of valuable articles in your home.

Judging a property by appearance alone is not always the best indicator of how well-maintained the property will be and how secure it will be in the long run. Many times, even older buildings have also been proven to be as safe as the new ones. And it is always important to not take the security of your home for granted just because you reside in a newer gated community, and to never let your guard down.

Remember to consider these points when planning on renting a property to protect your home and family from any unfortunate and unforeseen calamities or accidents:

• Check the tenancy contract to see if any insurance coverage is offered from the landlord's side. Some contracts make the tenant liable for damages to the property, whether accidental or not. It is important to always read the fine print.

• Listing all the items that require insurance is a good start. You will then need to select the appropriate insurance policy based on the calculated value of your belongings.

• Make 'Safety First' a rule in your home. Despite new measures now being implemented to prevent fires and protect properties in Dubai, these will be ineffective with a number of preventable accidents that could occur in homes. Ensure that all your appliances are used only according to user safety regulations and that children are not exposed to open flames from everyday items like lighters and candles without adult supervision.

Finally you can't really put a price tag on peace of mind, right?

Having a home and contents insurance policy won't prevent accidents, but it does put a safety net between you and a catastrophe. As long as you have that in place, you can be rest assured that you'll be better equipped to deal with the situation better.

Source: Ahid Shaikh, Special to Freehold

The writer is Director, Dejavu Real Estate


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