So you chose your dream car and managed to get a car loan – now’s the perfect time to think of protecting it! Car insurance is a must in order to register your car… but what benefits you get from your policy can vary widely, depending on your needs and how much you’re willing to pay.

Factors that will affect the price of your quote

  • Driver’s age and how long you have been driving. If you’re 25 to 30 that could add 15 percent to your insurance cost.
  • Value/ year of car’s manufacture: Newer cars cost more to insure, particularly if you’re under 30, and certainly for high-spec or speedy models. The insurance cost is generally a percentage of the car’s value. It’s a good idea to get a professional vehicle inspection and valuation done when you buy a second-hand car.
  • No claims discount: If you have not made a claim on your insurance for several years you could benefit from up to 50 percent discount on the cost of your insurance. Any claim as a result of a third party’s fault will not affect the history of your no claims discount. You can choose to protect this no claims bonus too, where a future claim is your fault.
  • Other discounts: You might be eligible for a discount if you have family members with insurance at the same provider, say a husband and wife or a parent paying for their child’s car insurance, or if you also have home contents insurance with the same provider.

[Related: Why is my car insurance policy valid for 13 months?The wheel thing: UAE car buying sites compared | Is a new or secondhand car better?]

There are two types of car insurance: fully comprehensive cover and third party liability cover. So what is the difference?

  1. Third party liability cover: The minimum, mandatory cover.In the event of an accident that you caused, this car insurance covers only the car you caused damages to; you will need to bear the cost of fixing your own car. This cover is usually offered to very old car models where the car insurance provider does not accept providing comprehensive cover. Check how much blood money is covered for payment to any victim’s family.
  2. (Fully) comprehensive cover: The policy offers you complete protection, whether you caused the accident or not, and comes with different add-ons that you need to decide if you need.

[Related: What to remember when buying your UAE car insurance Do you have breakdown cover?Flooded cars – will the insurance cover the damage?Buying or renting a car and using public transport in Dubai]

Optional add-ons to your car insurance policy

  • Agency repair: If you are buying a new car, you can usually choose a car insurance policy that offers agency repairs (repairs at the actual garage associated to your car manufacturer/ dealership) for up to five years after the car is registered. The cost increases but you ensure a full agency service history. Otherwise, an insurer will send your car to a regular car maintenance outlet of its choice if you have a crash and need repairs.
  • Roadside assistance/ breakdown cover: If your car breaks down, this allows you to call an agent associated to your insurance provider to tow your car or jump-start your battery.
  • Off-road and GCC cover: Do you enjoy driving in the desert? It might be a good idea to ensure your car insurance policy covers you while you are off-roading. And if you drive across the GCC, you can also choose to upgrade your policy with GCC cover and enjoy enhanced protection.
  • Personal accident and passenger cover: Car insurance providers can also cover you and your passengers. Check the level of blood money paid to any victim’s family.
  • Excess fee: This is the fee you pay in the event you caused the accident and the payment is made at the car maintenance shop or the agency dependent on what coverage your car insurance policy provides you.
  • Additional benefits: Other benefits can also come with your car insurance policy so for example, will you be provided a car replacement when your car is in the agency? Can you renew your car insurance policy online or do you need to personally go to the broker or car insurance provider?
  • Hire car: Will your insurance provide a hire car while damage to your car after an accident is fixed?
  • Personal belongings: Are your possessions covered, if left in the vehicle, in case of theft or fire?
  • Flooding: More common in the GCC than elsewhere in the winter, check whether you’re insured if this happens to you; it can cause a lot of damage to a vehicle, even in a basement car park.