If you don’t own your own home, then your car may well be the most expensive item that you possess. So, whether it’s a Fiat or a Ferrari, it’s an asset worth protecting with a good car insurance policy.
Car insurance is mandatory in the UAE – you won’t be able to register your vehicle without it – but the type of policies on offer and the benefits they provide can vary widely. By law, you are required to have a minimum of third party liability coverage, but that will only cover damage of property, death or injury to a third party caused by your vehicle.
Unless your car is of absolutely no value, it is worth investing in a fully comprehensive policy. The good news is there is a lot of competition amongst car insurance providers in the UAE, so they are offering increasingly attractive packages with lower and lower premiums.
The first step is to shop around for a policy that suits your specific needs and compare, compare, compare. It is best to get a quote from at least three different companies; you may be surprised at how much your premium varies.
The cost will be calculated by a number of factors, including the type and age of your vehicle, its engine size, your age and how many years of driving experience you have. It’s worth mentioning that the car insurance value will be based on what the insurance company thinks your car is worth, regardless of what you paid for it. Proof of no claims will also be taken into account.
For example RSA’s Standard Comprehensive cover offers a no claim discount of up to 50%, so be sure to get the necessary documentation from your previous insurer, if possible. It is generally in a form of No Claim certificate that you need to request from your old provider while getting a quote from a new provider.
Tiers of comprehensive cover
A basic comprehensive car insurance policy will cover damage caused by accident, natural calamities and riot, as well as injury to the driver, spouse and passengers. But there are varying tiers when it comes to comprehensive – Zurich offers Essential, Extra and Elite policies, for example – so look out for added benefits. Do you drive to Oman regularly or enjoy a spot of off-roading? If so, invest in a policy that takes this into account. AXA’s Motor Executive and Motor Perfect policies both offer Oman cover, while RSA’s Comprehensive Executive Plus package offers GCC-wide coverage.
Many car insurance policies will also offer roadside assistance, a handy addition if you have a long commute and don’t want to be stranded on a hard shoulder somewhere for hours on end if your car conks out.
Check whether any personal belongings left in the car are insured in case of theft or fire. Orient Insurance’s Motor Plus package offers protection for clothing and personal effects of up to AED1,000, while RSA’s Standard Comprehensive Cover will offer personal belongings cover of up to AED4,000.
Always be sure to read the fine print. Not all policies will cover damage to your windscreen or locks, for example. Will you be provided with a hire car if something goes wrong? And where will your car be sent for repairs in the case of an accident? Some insurance companies will offer agency repairs for up to five years after the car is registered, rather than sending the car to a garage of their choice.
Finally, make sure to ask your insurer about any discounts that you may be eligible for. For example, RSA will offer a special discount if a husband and wife insure more than one vehicle, while Zurich is offering 10% off home insurance policies for clients that sign up for one of its select car insurance policies.
When it comes to your wheels, there’s no shortage of reasonably priced insurance options. It’s just a matter of shopping around and finding the one that suits you best.