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"Making things better together".

On making enquiries into home insurance, Zoya Malik approached David Harris, Director - Direct and Affinity Channel, UAE at RSA to find out what the company offered on the B2C side tohomeowners, in UAE's quite unique real estate market

Do you draw any distinctions on insurance for house/villa versus apartments in UAE? If so, how?

"In terms of product offering and ease of cover, there is no difference based on the type of property that is involved. All cover and product options are suitable for owners of single villas, townhouses and apartments.

"The most important consideration in terms of your insurance cover is to have a realistic understanding of the value of the contents and personal belongings that you need to safeguard. All too often both individuals and companies underestimate this value.

"Of course, there is the possibility of adding optional extras to ensure that your coverage is the very best it can be for your circumstances. These include loss of documents, domestic staff cover or additional tenant liability cover."

What products to do you have for B2B (building insurance to developer/owner/association or cooperative) and B2C (private owner) home insurance?

"Our property insurance is targeted to the B2B sector and RSA has made it simple for SMEs to purchase packaged insurance products. This provides the flexibility and cover a small business needs within a cost effective framework.

"Large businesses on the other hand often need tailor-made solutions depending on the size and scale of their business. Our specialist team works with these customers to understand the risks and build the necessary cover.

"In terms of our consumer offering, the basic home insurance policy for private home owners has three different components. The first is coverage for the Building which provides protection for the structure of the residence; the second is Contents insurance for anything immovable inside the house for example furniture; and the third is for Personal Possessions, which includes items that we carry around outside the property such as mobile phones, watches or jewellery.

"And finally, RSA's strata insurance product provides cover for jointly owned properties that provide limits and covers adhering to all regulatory requirements. Not only do we offer insurance against any accidental loss or damage to the property, we can also build in a special household and contents insurance scheme based on preference.

"Again it's important to understand the different types of insurance is available on the market so that consumers, whether a large corporation or individual home owner, can find the policy that safeguards their business or home in the way they need."

What may be included or excluded for both B2B and B2C home insurance?

"Customers primarily need to be aware of the extent of cover they need, the list of their Personal Possessions and Contents that they wish to secure. At RSA, we have a long term understanding of customer needs and demands in this market and hence we have focused on creating covers that are suitable. We have created terms that clearly explain to customers the scenarios under which they are covered.

"In terms of purchasing home insurance, customers tend to focus more on the risks related to their home contents and valuable items. It is important they understand what cover their policy provides against fire, natural calamities, accidental damage, and other such unexpected events. Many home owners are not completely aware of the protection they need against liability to their landlords, neighbours or other third parties in case of an accident."

What insurance provisions do you offer for home owners in terms of Home contents, Accidental damage, Theft and Other?

"Home Contents Insurance from RSA protects both valuables and personal property. Whether the customer is a tenant, a landlord or a home owner, we guarantee all the cover our customers need under one roof. This includes cover against fire, natural calamities, accidental damage, theft and other such unexpected events."

What are the gaps and opportunities for home insurance providers in the UAE?

"It is essential for UAE residents to purchase home and content insurance, as this policy secures valuable home contents and personal possessions against unforeseeable problems. At the moment we see that the penetration rates for home insurance in the country are as low as three per cent, which indicates the need for more people to opt for this type of protection.

"A large proportion of the market in the UAE cannot connect with the concept of home insurance. In fact, we have noticed that it is only in the period following unfortunate events that people rush to purchase these policies. However, shortly after these events, we see the demand for these products decrease and people no longer see them as being important.

"At RSA, we are consistently working towards addressing this gap. We stay focused on communicating to our customers the necessity of home insurance that will help protect their most important possessions."

In a unique market such as the UAE, do you differentiate products for UAE nationals and expatriates? If so what are these and why?

"There has been no requirement to differentiate home insurance based on nationality. All home owners need cover for their home and contents that are valuable to them. The product price can start as low as AED 250 for annual premium which is extremely affordable for all nationalities."

What are the contributing factors in amount/cost of premiums i.e age of insured, property type, geographical location of property, development, and the developer?

"The property price and value of the contents and personal possessions decide the size of the premium. There is no impact due to age of insured, location, and/or developer type. Premiums can be slightly higher when customers seek worldwide cover on personal possessions such as mobile phones or jewellery for example."

What is the provision for insuring off - plan properties in the UAE? What is the criteria?

"Off- plan properties under construction are not covered under home insurance as per global standards. The suitable cover for properties under construction is Contractors All Risks (CAR) insurance. This is aimed to protect the interests of contractors, against their exposure to loss, damage or liability by a variety of external and internal causes during the course of construction."

How are you marketing and educating customers of your plans? What innovative sales channels are you deploying for B2C customer on-boarding?

"The RSA brand is about 'making things better together'. We are building on the progress we have made to date and are taking our approach to the next level.

"Any loss or damage related to one's home can be distressing and inconvenient, that's why we have focused on communicating the necessity of home insurance that will help protect our customers' most important possessions.

"We have undertaken many initiatives in the last few years to educate the market. For example, RSA is currently offering a home insurance packaged policy which covers immovable contents at home and personal belongings starting as low as AED 21 per month. This package also covers an unoccupied house for up to 60 days, particularly useful to remember during holiday periods.

"Our home insurance advertising campaigns are aimed at educating customers through simple examples and scenarios in a light hearted way which focus on real life situations, as these strike a chord with consumers the most.

"At RSA, we offer a total 'service-wrap' that includes Relationship Management, Unique Product, Service, Price, Communication and Loyalty, all of which result in total customer satisfaction and makes the process of safeguarding your assets much simpler.

"Our quote and buy journey on the website has been simplified and customers can now conduct the complete process online. Its takes 30 seconds to get a quote and three minutes in total to buy a policy and receive all your documents online.

"We have made it easy for customers to ask questions and find out more through multiple channels whether that be our user friendly website: or through our helpline: 800 RSA (772) or even via facebook. There is a communication platform for everyone."

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Publication:CPI Financial
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Nov 16, 2014
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