As countries all over the globe continue to grapple with the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, residents in the UAE haven’t been immune to the resulting economic slowdown either. After weeks and months of facing full or partial closures, commercial establishments and businesses are only now beginning to cautiously open up.
Where purchasing power has started going down, price sensitivity has started creeping upwards. This trend doesn’t come as a surprise as more reports surface of businesses cutting back on costs, leaving several employees in the country facing involuntary pay cuts. Many others in some of the worst-affected sectors have been put on unpaid leave or have simply been made redundant. Small business owners are also reeling under the financial impact of the pandemic, with lack of demand hurting revenues and growth projections.
The team over at Souqalmal realized this was the right time to find a meaningful way to offer financial support to its UAE-based customers. In a bid to support as many residents as it can from the get-go, the team has been working around the clock in the last few weeks to launch a first-of-its-kind ‘Insure Now, Pay Monthly’ service for car insurance buyers.
According to Souqalmal.com Founder & CEO Ambareen Musa, “The Covid-19 pandemic has left people dealing with tight finances, and so it’s understandable that most of us are trying to manage our cashflow as much as we can. Our customers have been finding it hard to pay for their insurance upfront and seeing this trend has forced us to be innovative and adapt to a new reality. Car insurance is an unavoidable expense if you own a car in the UAE, so having the option to turn that lump-sum annual commitment into affordable monthly installments without blocking the premium amount on your credit card will go a long way in easing the financial burden on car owners.”
The installment payment option that’s seamlessly tied into Souqalmal’s online car insurance purchase journey, gives users the option to choose from multiple installment tenures – three, six or twelve months. It is available on both Comprehensive and TPL (Third-Party Liability) insurance policies.
One of the most noteworthy features of the Souqalmal solution is that, unlike regular credit card installment facilities, it does not block the total premium amount on the customer’s credit card. This means the credit limit is not affected and the customer is able to use this limit for other important expenses required during this challenging time.
Deepika, the first customer availing the service said “I get a monthly salary and therefore paying my insurance monthly makes total sense. In the current situation it allowed me to not have one big amount going out from my monthly salary. The process was super easy. I have another car and will be using the same service through Souqalmal.”
Musa adds, “The whole idea of introducing such a facility was to give car owners the flexibility to spread out their car insurance premium over multiple months. Earlier, if customers wanted to opt for an installment plan on their credit card, they would only be able to access the facility if they had enough credit limit available to cover the full insurance premium. Providing this service without blocking the credit card limit is, in fact, the only way to truly help customers make the most of this service. It helps free up your usable credit limit and gives you the financial freedom of using your credit card to pay for more important purchases.”
Another goal this service aims to meet is to allow customers to get the right insurance coverage for their cars by paying monthly instead of going down the cheapest route due to a cash crunch.
Musa explains, “If you’re a car owner who’s been financially impacted by the crisis, you may be inclined to downgrade your coverage at this time, either by dropping crucial add-on benefits from your comprehensive car insurance, or by simply swapping your comprehensive cover for a TPL one. But having the opportunity to convert your car insurance purchase into monthly installments will allow you to retain the same or even higher insurance coverage, without having to pay for all of it up front.”