After buying a car in Dubai and UAE, you will need to sort your car insurance out. A car cannot be registered until it’s insured. A car can be insured without being registered – check policy carefully but it would be unusual that an unregistered car is not covered unless there is something preventing registration eg worn or old tyres (tires). Insurance is usually about 5% of the cars value, but get a few quotes and haggle and you will find that you can get some good deals. When you move to the UAE don’t forget to bring an original no claims bonus certificate with you (if you have one). Usually it’s worth 0-40% discount on the normal rates. No claims bonuses rarely exceed 40% discount in the UAE.
According to a study released this week by Souqalmal.com, a website which compares the prices of financial services, 80 per cent of drivers prefer to buy their car insurance online. And of the 600 drivers surveyed, only 35 per cent said they would definitely be renewing their car insurance with their current provider. The majority of those over the age of 35 are likely to stick with the same provider.
Insurance products sold through banks are also growing at almost twice the rate of direct policies as lenders seek new ways of boosting their bottom lines amid record low interest rates.
There are various types of car insurance available, they tend differ by geographical cover i.e. GCC v’s UAE only and by options such as breakdown assistance, hire cars in case of accident etc.
- TP (Third Party) only – you are not covered for any damage to your vehicle unless there is another party at fault, and they are insured, and a claim can be made against them. Fire and theft is excluded. Even if your car is stolen and the thief is found, and he (or she but female car thieves seem to be extremely rare in the UAE) has an insurance policy, it is unlikely that his insurance company will reimburse you for your stolen car.
- TPFT (Third Party, Fire & Theft) which is the legal minimum you are required to have, and is the cheapest [check – might not be legal minimum – some insurance companies only offering TP without fire and theft]. In an accident, your insurance company will not pay for damage to your own car – someone else’s might if they’re to blame.
- Comprehensive or Fully Comprehensive (basic level) – there is a legal obligation for insurance companies to provide this at a certain maximum price level of about 3-5% of the value of the car. It covers damage to your own car but expect lots of restrictions and loopholes or get-out clauses.
- Comprehensive with options – for extra cost you get options like dealer repair, free hire car, free insurance in Oman and other GCC countries, recognition of no claims bonuses (either UAE and/or from overseas). Expect to pay 3-10% of the value of the car depending on company and no claims bonus.
- Comprehensive, premium level – for even more money you get options similar to previous level. Usually there are some restrictions on who can buy this level of insurance. Expect to pay an extra 1 or 2% of the value of the car.
Some policies do not insure cars when driven off-road. This could include parking your vehicle on the sand behind the building. This might also just be urban legend but potential for disagreement with your insurance company is there. Even if an insurance policy insures vehicles for off-road driving, don’t expect it to apply if you damage your 2wd Toyota Echo while dune-bashing in the Liwa sand dunes.
Drinking alcohol + driving + accident or crash = no insurance in the UAE. This also applies to the expensive fine you have to pay if someone seriously gets injured / dies as a result of your actions.