Damaged wipers, parking and driving in submerged waters and overestimating the capabilities of the vehicles and the driver during flooding are some of the common mistakes that motorists commit in the UAE during heavy rains and floods which could result in invalidating their claims.

Insurance industry executive says that the most common and important mistake that people make when buying an insurance policy is that they don’t even bother to read it and later they complain of certain damage not being covered.

Floods were reported in many parts of the country in the wake of heavy rains last week, causing damage to vehicles driving in the waterlogged areas.

According to Julien Audrerie, EVP – head of consumer lines and marketing at Sukoon Insurance, floods cause considerable water-related damages to the interior cabin, engine and electronics when a vehicle is parked on shallow ground or when driven into a submerged and waterlogged area.

“This results in expensive vehicle repairs or most cases, a total loss claim where the vehicle’s condition makes it not road-worthy anymore, or when the repair cost does not make economic sense considering the vehicle’s value. Depending on the intensity of the storm, damages can also be inflicted on the exterior of the vehicle and its glass window surfaces either by hail or passing debris,” he said.

What can invalidate a claim? 

“In reality, driving on waterlogged roads even after the rain has stopped, or over puddles, can cause serious damage to vehicles if the drivers are not careful,” he said, adding that it is also imperative that vehicle owners take every possible precaution to safeguard their vehicles, drive responsibly and maintain situational awareness, as failure to do so could invalidate their claim eligibility.

He pointed out that another common mistake that people make is that they repeatedly crank a stalled vehicle, or continue driving it without evaluating water damage to the engine or other parts.

The UAE authorities issue warnings about inclement weather therefore it is important to ensure that vehicles are parked safely, seek expert assistance if a vehicle stalls, and always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations in the owner’s manual to avoid any aggravation of loss, he added.

Avinash Babur, CEO of insurancemarket.ae, said a common mistake by motorists is not thoroughly reading or understanding their insurance policies.

“Skipping on essential services such as roadside assistance and specific covers that protect against natural calamities, rains, floods, etc., can lead to situations where individuals assume they are covered for certain damages but they are not. In fact, some clients think a third-party liability (TPL) cover would often be sufficient but due to such instances it is always recommended to have a comprehensive cover,” he added.

Toshita Chauhan, business head for health and motor insurance, said a key neglect that the major garages in the UAE have reported is that of damaged wipers.

“Vehicle owners often end up neglecting their damaged vehicles, given the dry weather conditions in the UAE. However, it is essential not only for wiping off the rainwater but also to remove dust in the summer. Thus, it is important to get it replaced at least once or twice a year,” she added.

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