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How to choose the right car insurance policy in UAE

How to choose the right car insurance policy in UAE

When it comes to decoding your policy and conquering those confusing clauses, try the three 'T' approach.

By John Richards

Published: Sun 3 Apr 2016, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Mon 4 Apr 2016, 8:23 AM

Car insurance: Why is it all so confusing? How do you know if you are getting value for money? Simple. Few people take the time to understand the policy paperwork. Reading the small print can sometimes be an arduous task but when thousands of dirhams are riding on it, I'd say drilling down into the detail is pretty important for car owners.
When it comes to decoding your policy and conquering those confusing clauses, try the three 'T' approach and once you've found the policy that best suits your needs, it's essential you compare quotes to ensure you get the best price.
There are two main types of car insurance: third-party and comprehensive.
Third party car insurance is the minimum level of coverage required by law. In the case of an accident, it does cover the other car involved along with the passengers but it doesn't cover the actual policy holder. That means, if you have third party coverage and are involved in an incident, you will have to pay for any damage done to your own car. Comprehensive insurance gives cover for both you and the third party, should an incident occur, and often covers your emergency medical expenses as well as loss of, or damage to any personal belongings in the insured vehicle. Depending on the insurance company and any additional benefits you purchase, it can also provide a replacement car while yours is being repaired and provide 24/7 roadside assistance. If you take a loan to purchase your car, the lender often insists that you have comprehensive cover.
Surprisingly, comprehensive policies don't always cost significantly more than third party ones which again highlights the importance of comparing quotes and policies and not just jumping for the first one you see. compareit4me.com has just launched it's very own car insurance portal - empowering users to make informed decisions and to compare, choose and buy their policies online with just a few clicks of a button.
From NCDs to excess, there's no denying that the terminology in a car insurance policy can make your head spin. Grab a pen and work your way through the small print, highlighting key terms as you go. A few words to look out for include agency (in the event of an accident will your car be fixed by the manufacturer's authorised workshop), and non-agency (your insurer will choose where your car is fixed); no claims discount (are you entitled to a special discount on your insurance premium if you have an accident-free record?); excess (how much will you need to pay to the insurance company in case of a claim); and off-road (unmarked roads are sometimes regarded as off-road so be aware of where you're driving when an accident arises).
What benefits does your policy offer? Can you remove benefits to reduce the premium? How long can you leave it before you make a claim? What documents do you need to present to your insurer when making a claim? In the unfortunate event of an accident, panic is often the first thing that sets in swiftly followed by 'how much is this going to cost me?'. To alleviate the stress that comes with the financial unknown, note down the key benefits behind your policy - for example, medical expenses, free dent repair work, windscreen damage - and pop it in your glove compartment for future reference. To make a claim following an accident you will need a police report (required by UAE law), which you then present to your insurer along with a copy of your driving license and registration card. Ultimately the insurer is there to provide a service so do not be afraid to ask them questions and do not be afraid to change insurance companies come renewal time. Sticking with an existing insurer might seem like the easiest option, it could come at a premium. If you don't compare you'll never know whether you are getting a good deal.
The writer is the CEO of compareit4me.com. Views expressed by him are his own and do not reflect the newspaper's policy.

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