70% UAE residents have no home insurance; 35% see ‘no point’

By Angel Chan

Torch Tower blaze (File)

DUBAI 3 September 2017: A recent survey in UAE shows that the majority of residents are not signed up to a home contents insurance policy, despite understanding the risks associated with not being covered.

Though in recent weeks home insurance reportedly increased [see below] after the Dubai Marina Tower Tower blaze, majority of residents continue to ‘take a chance’.

But the survey offers encouragement as percentage of UAE residents covered increases dramatically on last year.

The survey from compareit4me.com, revealed that 69.1 per cent of people in the UAE are currently not signed up to a home contents insurance policy.

This is despite the fact that the vast majority (84.5 per cent) of UAE residents admit that they would feel more comfortable in the knowledge that their belongings are covered by home insurance when they travel.

The reasons why so many UAE residents aren’t signed up to home insurance despite understanding the risks associated with not being covered are varied. The reason cited by the most respondents (35.5 per cent) was that they understood the importance of home insurance, but prefer to simply take the chance that nothing will happen.

No Point?

However, the biggest surprise of the survey was that 35 per cent of respondents said that they don’t see the point in home insurance. This is despite the fact that two-thirds of respondents who provided this answer also claimed they’d feel safer about their homes when they travel if they were covered with home insurance.

Jonathan Rawling
Jonathan Rawling

“What this survey illustrates is a need for greater education on home insurance in the UAE. It would appear that, while UAE residents associate the idea of home insurance with safety and protection, many don’t understand the practical benefits that come with having your belongings covered by a home insurance policy,” said Jonathan Rawling, CFO of compareit4me.com

“If disaster struck and all of your belongings were either lost or destroyed, replacing everything would mean parting with an awful lot of money. A home insurance policy would protect you against that expense, with the insurer footing all, or at least part, of the bill. Of course, we live in a relatively safe part of the world, but accidents and upsets can and do happen, meaning it makes sense to protect yourself.”

Risk Worth Taking

For many respondents to the survey, however, the risk of this expense is one worth taking. Over 19 per cent said that the primary reason for not being covered by home insurance was that they thought coverage was too expensive, while 9.2 per cent claimed that home insurance was too difficult to arrange.

“We’re hoping to get across with this survey that, actually, home insurance is useful, and it can be cheap and easy to arrange. The average policy sold on compareit4me.com goes for Dh220 – not bad compared to the Dh28,000 it would cost to re-furnish the average one-bedroom apartment in the UAE. And the best part is that coverage can be arranged at the click of a button,” said Rawling.

However, the survey did offer some encouragement that UAE residents are, on the whole, taking the idea of home insurance more seriously. A survey conducted by an insurance company in 2016 found that just 9 per cent of UAE residents were covered with home insurance. That over 30 per cent are now covered, according to compareit4me’s more recent survey, suggests that UAE residents are more willing to purchase coverage.

“This statistic is supported by the growth we’ve seen in home insurance policy sales, which have tripled during the first half of 2017. However, there are plenty of people still without protection, and as we argued in a study conducted last year, given the numbers, it’s a no-brainer to get coverage in case anything happens to your home,” said Rawling.

The survey this press release is based on was conducted between June and July 2017, and compiled responses from over 330 individuals residing in the UAE.

ALSO READ: Home insurance soars in Dubai after Marina Torch blaze