Touted as a highly efficient combination of modern tech and smooth flowing bureaucratic process; the car insurance claim procedure in UAE is said to be near flawless. When you look beyond this seemingly modern miracle, some people find the car insurance process to be less than ideal. In this article, we will shed some light on car insurance claims in the UAE.
Before we proceed any further, it is necessary to give credit where credit is due. The car insurance claim process in UAE adheres to highest standards and despite the involvement of so many parties (insurers, police, policyholder and the third party) – the process is relatively a painless one. No car insurance provider purposefully rejects claims, as their emphasis lies in providing excellent customer support.
It’s Not Alive
One of the most important aspects of car insurance claims in the UAE is the mandated requirement of reporting collisions with inanimate objects. Even collisions at one’s own private property are not exempted. So the next time you accidentally hit the side of your sedan on a boundary wall; get ready to call the police before even thinking about filing a claim.
Time to Learn Arabic
The first thing you are supposed to do in case of a collision is to report it to the police and call your insurer for instructions on how to proceed. In the UAE, the police report is filed in Arabic. However, in a nation comprised of expatriates from over different nationalities, it makes sense to provide a translated copy of the report in a more commonly accessible language. The concerned authorities should think about this.
Don’t even think about leaving the scene, because your car insurance claim can be rejected the moment you do.
Got plans? Not anymore!
Despite having called the police and taken photographic evidence of the incident (some insurers even insist on conducting a survey of the car), you are required to stay at the accident scene until the police have conducted their investigation and filed a report. While this seems logical from a legal point of view, it fails to take into account the negative implications on the policyholder, who may have an urgent business such as a medical emergency that needs to be attended to.
Commuting in Public Transport
In the unfortunate event when your vehicle collided with another vehicle and the third-party flees the scene, be prepared to suffer for their indiscretion. Car insurance claims are put on hold for a maximum period of three days until the third-party can be contacted and details of his/her insurance ironed out. And yes, no repairs are done on your vehicle during this period. As a result, you will have to use the public mode of transportation.
Modify at your Own Risk
Bad news for motor enthusiasts, vehicle modifications carries enormous downsides in the UAE. In the best case scenario, a modification will require you to apply for a car modification certificate from the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA), followed by a conversation with your car insurance provider about coverage. But in the worst scenario modifications may effectively categorize your vehicle under non-GCC criteria and as a result, it will void your insurance policy. Furthermore, depending on the level of customization (or where your car was imported from), modified car parts can be hard to come across and repairs for such cars can take a lot longer than standard GCC cars.
Agency Repairs are not that Easy
The best organizations for car repair are agency workshops, i.e. authorized centres of the particular car brand. These centres are few in number and highly sought after. Vehicles repaired in agency workshops carry high resale value and low premiums at the time of policy renewals. But this is also a highly one-sided affair; if the agency workshop says your car will need a week more to be repaired, you will have to wait.
Overcapacity is the Culprit
Not only driving with extra people in your car is frowned upon, but it also leads to rejected car insurance claims. Most insurance providers clearly state that an accident caused due to a vehicle being overloaded is not liable for any benefits. Yet very often this is used as justification to deny claims, regardless of whether or not it was a contributing factor to the incident.
No Collision? No Claim
The most common example of insurance claim rejection is the ‘no collision’ clause. Imagine having to foot the bill for a ruined suspension caused by an uneven road or abnormally large speed breaker, because your car insurance provider has categorized the incident to fall outside coverage since there was no collision!
Over to You
It is time for a revamp of the current car insurance claims process in UAE, one that focuses more closely on policyholders and the circumstances they are in.
If you’re on the lookout for a personalized insurance plan, make sure you compare various online insurance policies and find one that suits you best.