Look beneath the surface: To find the right insurance, it is important to figure out what suits your needs, understand the terms and conditions and not settle for the first insurance provider you talk to Image Credit: Corbis

The auto insurance market in the UAE has evolved considerably and become fairly sophisticated with increasing customer awareness and a larger range of product coverage.

But it is also a very competitive sector, says Issam Mouslimani, Head of Regional Retail Product Offering, AXA. “This is because third-party liability towards the public is a mandatory insurance requirement for all cars. In addition, insurers offer different types of comprehensive products to cover loss or damage to the customer’s car.”

The key to the right insurance is understanding the terms and conditions, figuring out what best suits your needs and not just settling for the first insurance provider that you talk to.

“It is important to have confidence in your insurer being able to deliver an ethical and reliable service in the event of a claim. The amount you save on a quotation may turn out to be a false economy when you have to make a claim. It is important to review the level of cover and service being offered, in addition to the financial standing and brand values of the insurer providing the policy,” says David Harris, Sales & Marketing Director, RSA.

Third-party liability cover protects individuals from third-party liabilities that arise from accidents. However, it does not protect against damage caused to their own vehicles. Executive cover offers a host of additional benefits compared to the standard product. In addition to a higher third-party liability coverage limit of Dh5 million, drivers are insured across the GCC and can avail of a courtesy car. This protection is dependent on the car owners’ driving record and vehicle value.

“Coverage for accidental damage is the most fundamental type of protection that insulates drivers from any loss, damage and theft,” says Harris. “Protection for passengers in the car is also an important cover. Look at optional benefits including territorial coverage and whether they have access to a no claims discount. Another benefit is 24-hour roadside assistance.”

Mouslimani says, “The best products offer a single point of contact for claims; long-term agency repair; a fixed-sum hire car reimbursement; an additional premium covering driver’s personal accident, ideally around Dh350,000; a pick-up-and-delivery service; waiver of depreciation for total loss in first and second year of registration; third-party property damage up to Dh5 million; and emergency medical expenses up to Dh6,000.”

Suresh Nair, Executive Director, Gargash Insurance, adds, “Your insurance wish list should include agency repairs, natural perils coverage [such as] storm and flood cover, sufficiently high third-party property damage coverage, personal accident coverage, cover for countries other than the UAE, road-side assistance and a hire car facility.” n