- Pet ownership continues to climb in the UAE as the country becomes more pet-friendly.
- There are home insurance policies available in the UAE that cover against potential damage or injury caused by pets.
- Federal Laws issued in 2016 to regulate the ownership of dangerous animals includes several breeds of dogs that should be reviewed by pet owners.
- The cost of a home insurance policy is far outweighed by the potential legal and medical expenses that can be incurred by a civil or criminal complaint in the event of an animal bite or attack on a third party.
They say that a dog is a man’s best friend. Whatever pet you share your life with, they are most often a source of joy and amusement and are thought of as part of the family.
When looking for a place to live, you may come across some places that ban pets from the property, this can be particularly true in buildings which are sold on a leasehold basis or where you are renting a home or apartment from a landlord. The reason for this may sometimes be something we rarely stop to consider: insurance.
The UAE continues to become more pet-friendly, with an ample variety of spaces and businesses that cater for pet owners and their furry friends. Thus, it is essential to consider the impact that pet ownership can have on home insurance, and to understand what is and isn’t covered. The most common costs incurred in the home from pet ownership come in the form of damage to your goods and valuable items; this can include clothes, shoes, furniture, and electronics.
What do Home Insurance Policies in the UAE say?
It is always important to check the wording of any insurance policy, with Home Insurance policies this is especially important as it will provide you with a definitive answer as to what is covered and what isn’t.
Insurance companies in the UAE differ in the cover they offer and in particular in the exclusions they outline in their policy wording, where a majority of them do not cover any loss, theft or death of pets themselves nor do they cover any loss or damage caused by domestic pets, including birds.
Aqeed’s home insurance comparison service, a 100% independent organization, will help you study your options with a comparison of policies and prices from the leading home insurance companies in the UAE that best suit your needs and budget.
How would owning a pet affect my home insurance in the UAE?
Simply put, it depends on the kind of pet you have, but for the most part in the UAE, it would not significantly affect your insurance premium if at all. Damage caused by your pets, however, would not be covered by most insurers in the country.
In other parts of the world, pet ownership can have a detrimental impact on the premiums paid for home and contents insurance. For example, homeowners insurance becomes quite strict when it comes to dog breed restrictions which can also significantly impact the premium paid.
In the UAE, Federal Law Number 22 of 2016 was issued to regulate the ownership of dangerous animals, as well as certain breeds of dogs. This law is responsible for reducing the risks faced by insurance companies that are generally associated with pet ownership in other countries. As you can see in the table below, dangerous animals, such as scorpions or snakes, are highly regulated if permissible at all.
|Dangerous Animals (Annexure I of Federal Law No. 22 of 2016 )|
|Family Canidae||All types except for the Allowed Pet dogs and those authorized according to Article 12 of the present Law|
|Family Felidae||All types except for the Domestic and Hybrid Pet cat|
|Family Hyaenidae||All types|
|Family Mustelidae||All types|
|Family Procyonidae||All types|
|Family Ursidae||All types|
|Family Viverridae||All types|
|Family Ailuridae||All types|
|Sea Mammals||All types|
|Manidae||All types of Pangolin|
|Rodents||All types except for Domesticated Hamsters, Guinea pigs, rats, and mice.|
|Family Elephamtidae||All types|
|Family Equidae||All types of Zebra – Przewalski horse – African wild donkey – Onager – Tibetan Wild Ass|
|Family Rhinocerotidae||All types|
|Family Bovidae||All types except for domestic cattle, goats and sheep|
|Family Camelidae||Wild, Bactrian Camel – Llama – Alpaca – Vicuna – Guanaco|
|Family Cervidae||All types|
|Family Giraffidae||All types|
|Family Hippopotamidae||All types|
|Family Suidae||All types|
|Family Tayassuidae||All types|
|Family Struthiobudae||All types|
|Family Dromaiidae||The Emu|
|Lizards, snakes and Vipers||All types|
What are the most common home insurance claims related to pets?
In most countries, the most common cause of liability claims related to home insurance is caused by animal bites. In the USA for example, over the year 2017 homeowner insurers paid out over $686 million in liability claims related to dog bites, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s statistics showing that there were 4.5 million people bitten by dogs that year, over 11,000 people were admitted to hospital for dog bites in the year 2016.
In Summary, make sure you read the small print
The most important take away for pet owners when it comes to home insurance, is always to read the fine print; policy wordings and exclusions are very important.
For example, a key area to consider is a “dog bite insurance”, in other words, whether you are protected legally and financially in the unlikely event your pet bites or attacks a third party.
When you compare the cost of home insurance to the cost of potential medical treatment, any legal fees or expenses incurred by civil or even criminal claims that could be raised against you in the event an incident such as a dog bite, you really can see why if you obtain the right home insurance, this is one risk that will definitely not keep you up at night!