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civil law


May 12, 2020

My car was indirectly damaged during a building fire - what can I do?

Owners of cars that were damaged after debris fell on them from Abbco Tower during a blaze that gutted the building should be entitled to compensation from their insurance companies.

As per article 1026 of Civil Transactions Law, the insurance is a contract according to which the insured and the insurer cooperate to face the risks or accidents that may face the insured.

"Should a risk or an accident happen, the insurer, in case a contract exists between both parties, must pay an amount of compensation to the insured," said Dr Hassan Elhais, legal consultant in Dubai from Al Rowaad Advocates. He explained that in insurance against fires, the insurer (the insurance company) is responsible for damages caused by the fire if the insured did not cause it intentionally as per articles 1037 and 1039 from the Civil Transactions Law 5 for year 1985 and thus must pay a compensation to the insured as per article 1034 from the same law.

"Based on the above, people whose cars were affected by the fire in the Sharjah high-rise fire last week can return to their insurance companies to file for compensation," Elhais said.

Tenants and even visitors to the building who were affected by the fire and lost all or some of their possessions may be eligible for compensation from the insurance company with which the owner of the building had signed an insurance contract against fire prior to the accident.

"It is worth mentioning that an insurance against fire is not limited to damages that occur directly from the fire, but extends to other damages that were inevitable consequences of this fire but these must be covered by the insurance contract," Elhais noted.

However it is essential to highlight that civil cases have a time bar of three years to be filed, he said.

Earlier, implementing the directives of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, the Sharjah Charity International (SCI) provided accommodation to the tenants of Abbco Tower in Al Nahda, which caught fire and resulted in a large number of its residents losing their homes and belongings, WAM reported.

Abdullah Sultan Bin Khadem, CEO of SCI, had said that the Ruler of Sharjah is closely following the conditions of the citizens and residents in Sharjah, indicating that they are coordinating with several hotels to provide rooms for families affected by the fire.

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