Insuring a Vehicle in Dubai
Information on the different types of car insurance available in Dubai, plus details on claims and cancelling an insurance contract...
By law, third party liability coverage is the minimum level of motor insurance necessary for all vehicles driven in Dubai. Third party liability only covers the owner's liabilities for death, injury or damage to the property of third parties.
Types of Insurance
Different types of insurance available include:
- Third party, fire and theft
- Fully comprehensive
- Fully comprehensive with options such as free car hire and cover in other emirates
Not all insurance policies provide off-road driving insurance cover. It may be difficult to get comprehensive cover for cars over a certain age (usually seven years old) or certain classes of sports cars.
Younger drivers may also find it more difficult to find comprehensive insurance, particularly if male.
Obtaining Vehicle Insurance
There are insurance companies in Dubai who will arrange cover online or by telephone, as well as insurance brokers who will arrange several quotes from different companies to choose from.
In order to obtain vehicle insurance it is necessary to have a valid UAE residence visa and a UAE driving licence with at least one year's validity. Proof of any previous no claims discount should be provided when arranging insurance, as it can make a significant difference to the cost.
Insurers require the following documents:
- Valid passport with residence visa
- UAE driving licence
- Sight test and/or a copy of the home driving licence
- Vehicle details; model, age
- Vehicle registration documents
- Proof of no claims if available
Insurance policies are valid for 13 months, covering the one month grace period the Traffic Police allow after the registration expires (registration must be renewed annually). It is not possible to renew vehicle registration without proof of insurance.
Making a Claim
In the event of an accident call the emergency hotline (tel: 999) and ask for the Traffic Police. In the case of a minor accident with little damage and no injuries (and all drivers involved can agree on who is at fault), the phone operator may advise both parties to drive to the nearest police station to complete the appropriate forms.
When possible, vehicles should be moved to the side of the road to avoid traffic jams while waiting for the Traffic Police to arrive. There may be a fine imposed if vehicles are not moved.
After assessing an accident, the police will give a pink copy of their report form to the driver they believe was at fault, and its green counterpart to the innocent party. Garages will not repair a car without either copy of the form. The Traffic Police also take the driving licence of the person who caused the accident - it may be necessary to pay a fee before it is returned. Only the police have the right to ask the driver at fault for their driving licence and car registration documents.
The person who receives the pink form should take it to their insurance company as soon as possible. They may arrange for repairs to the vehicle (depending on the level of cover), and provide a letter which must then be taken to the police station so that their licence can be returned. An increase in insurance premiums is the probable result.
The holder of the green form must take it to the other driver's insurance company, which will arrange to have the vehicle repaired.
In the event of a a serious accident, call 999 and request an ambulance and police assistance. Do not move a victim, unless the situation is so dangerous that you have no choice.
When particularly poor driving results in a serious accident or death, the driver at fault can expect a large fine and even a prison sentence. This is often followed by deportation.
Diya, or blood money, is a fine imposed for causing death willfully or by accident. The minimum fine imposed by the Dubai Courts is AED 200,000, and can be higher depending on the circumstances and claims of the victim's family.
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
There is a zero tolerance policy for driving while intoxicated. Drinking and driving will result in arrest (and most likely jail time), fines and 24 black points on the driver's record.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs may also void insurance coverage in the event of an accident.
Cancelling Car Insurance
A motor insurance policy can be cancelled with written notice, sent by registered mail to the insurance company. Check the terms and conditions of the policy for specific information.