Dubai Torch fire: 81 of 676 apartments still uninhabitable

Oman Insurance Company says it will consider making advance payment to homeowners affected by fire

PHOTO: A massive fire in February ripped through the upper floors of the Torch Tower in Dubai. Credit: Twitter

Oman Insurance Company, the insurer of the Torch Tower in Dubai, has said that 81 out of the 676 apartment units in the building are still unfit for habitation following the fire that struck the building in February.

The insurance agency said that although official confirmation was still pending from Dubai authorities, it would still consider making an advance payment to homeowners affected by the blaze, so as to reduce their financial hardship.

“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,” said Patrick Choffel, chief executive officer of Oman Insurance Company (OIC), in a statement.

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 provision compensates owners who live in their property for reasonable, additional cost of living under a new roof whilst their home is uninhabitable. The second 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.

The interim relief will start for an initial three month period with the presentation of appropriate documentation.

“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,” explained Balaji Ganapathy, SVP head of Non-Motor Claims at OIC.

“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,” he added.


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