- Not understanding your policy could prove costly when you make a claim.
- Comprehensive car insurance can be more complicated than you might expect.
When it comes to car insurance in the UAE, there are plenty of myths and mistaken assumptions that can haunt a policyholder when they come to make a claim. Even the basics can stump drivers who are loathing to delve into the finer points of their insurance agreement.
Third-party car insurance
As well as being the cheapest form of insurance, third-party liability is the simplest to wrap your head around. If you’re at fault for an accident, your insurer’s only commitment is to cover the other party’s costs – spanning everything from a broken bumper to a whiplash injury to a flattened fence.
Fixing your own car is squarely your responsibility, as are any resulting medical bills. If the other party is at fault, their insurance will cover your repairs – although it’s still better to have your own coverage, as this provides you with more options and greater flexibility.
For greater peace of mind at not much extra cost, a third-party liability policy can be bolstered to cover the holder in the event of fire and theft.
Common misconceptions of a comprehensive policy
By its very nature, a comprehensive policy tends to be more complex in terms of what is and isn’t included. A common misconception is that, if a friend or family member gets behind the wheel of your car and causes an accident, their insurance will cover your costs. This is not the case – in the UAE, the car is insured rather than the driver. Wear and tear, certain mechanical failures and accidents involving drunk driving are also not covered in your agreement.
If you drive out of the country, it’s also vitally important that you have purchased the proper insurance. Your policy is valid only within the UAE; coverage in either Oman or the wider GCC will require extra expenditure.
Break-ins are another misunderstood area; if somebody smashes your car window and steals valuables from inside, your insurance provider will not be held accountable under the standard terms of a policy (although damage to the vehicle will fall under its remit). If you would like to be covered in such an event, most companies offer the loss of personal belongings as an additional benefit. Similarly, if you find yourself locked out of your vehicle, your insurer will only provide a free lock-replacement service if you have paid in advance for that add-on.
Windscreen repair or replacement without excess is another addition that can prove useful, as is accident and emergency breakdown cover. Other vital areas of a driver’s policy to learn about include:
- Agency versus non-agency repairs (in other words, whether the insurer will take your car to an official UAE agency that represents the brand, or a garage of its choice),
- As well as personal accident cover for a lump-sum payout of medical bills, for you and your passengers, in case of injury following a crash.
Before you pay extra for any service, however, it’s important to distinguish what is already included in your standard agreement, as these can vary widely from provider to provider. And if you’re still uncertain about the ins and outs of your policy, delve into an aggregator site like Aqeed.com and speak with independent experts.