Oman Insurance Company (OIC), insurer of the Torch Tower in Dubai Marina, has announced that, subject to certain conditions, it considers making an advance payment to homeowners affected by the fire to reduce their financial hardship.
dFollowing the fire that broke out in the building on Saturday February 21st, an indicative 81 apartments out of 676 units are potentially unfit for habitation pending official confirmation by the Dubai Authorities.
The property insurance contracted by the Owner Association to protect the Torch Tower’s owners contains two supplemental provisions: Cost of Alternative Accommodation and Loss of Rental Income cover. The first one compensates owners who live in their property for reasonable, additional cost of living under a new roof whilst their home is uninhabitable. The second one indemnifies the owner landlord for loss of rent when the leased premise is uninhabitable.
As an industry standard, both covers are payable when the extent of loss has been established and the owner is back in his/her property. Therefore the compensation is only given once the property has been repaired which can take quite some time.
Explaining the position, Patrick Choffel, Chief Executive Officer of Oman Insurance Company said, “We understand that some Torch Tower’s owners have been placed in a position of financial pressure by this unfortunate fire. In order to provide a degree of immediate financial relief to affected owners, we have decided that in this instance, advance, staged, payments shall be made in respect of Cost of Alternative Accommodation and Loss of Rental Income.”
The interim relief will start for an initial three month period with the presentation of appropriate documentation. Balaji Ganapathy, SVP Head of Non-Motor Claims at OIC explains, “For the Alternate Accommodation, we are requesting owners to provide the Loss Adjuster team with their title deed, passport & visa copy, the new accommodation tenancy contract and proof they paid for it. For the Loss of Rental Income, we will need the title deed, passport & visa copy of both owner and tenant, a copy of the original Torch Tower tenancy contract, and proof they reimbursed the tenant part of his/her rent. Any payment will be subject to the terms and conditions of the Policy.” He added “Any calculation of loss will be calculated on a pro rata basis and the covers will cease as soon as the apartments become both habitable and accessible.”
OIC, the largest insurer in the UAE, has been very proactive and transparent to support the Torch Tower’s owner. Following the Emergency Accommodation, OIC’s appointed loss adjuster had on going communication with affected owners via Kingfield Owner Association Management Services to inform them of the progress of the claim. This proactive communication and the reassuring support have helped reduced the stress typically incurred during this type of traumatic events.