When you own a car in the UAE, there are two things that you should strictly steer clear of – traffic fines, and car insurance myths.

Well, there isn’t much that we can do about the former. However, we certainly can make sure to rid you of the latter. After all, myths should never be held onto, for they can blur your judgment and keep you from making an informed decision.

Read through our list of popular myths surrounding car insurance and let your facts stand corrected.

Personal accident cover doesn’t cover your medical bills in the event of an accident

It’s obvious to assume that the personal accident cover in your car insurance policy will cover your medical bills in the event of an injury resulting from a car accident. But sadly, that’s not the case. Personal accident covers only amounts to lump-sum payouts in the event of very specific injuries.

If you lose your life in a car accident, your personal accident cover will typically award your family up to AED 200,000. In the event of blindness, you’ll typically be eligible for up to AED 100,000 per eye, and if you lose a limb, it’s AED 50,000 each. These are one-off payouts that are given to you in a lump sum once a diagnosis has been confirmed. As a result, you can’t simply show a copy of your policy document at the hospital if you’re injured during an accident – you’ll have to rely on your health insurance policy to cover your medical care.

Oman cover doesn’t legally entitle you to drive in Oman

A lot many insurance providers offer GCC-wide cover as a part of their gold car insurance packages, but what really does this cover entail? It’s important to understand that this type of cover doesn’t actually allow you to legally drive in another GCC country. What this feature offers is protection against ‘own damage’ – i.e. damage to your car that you’re responsible for. For example, if you hit a tree in Oman, you can claim back the cost of the repairs that are needed from that.

However, with this sort of cover, you’re not insured for third-party damage, which is what makes driving in another GCC country with no other type of cover illegal. In the insured/insurer relationship, you’re the first party, the insurer is the second party, and the third party is whoever you may hit in an accident. So if you’re in Oman and you hit someone else in an accident, your UAE policy with GCC-wide cover won’t cover the damage to the third party’s car. It’s not legal to drive without that basic cover in any country. This means that, if you’re going on a road trip to another Gulf country, you should buy basic cover from a local insurer at the border.

Mechanical repairs aren’t covered by your insurance policy

We hate to break this to you but the notion that your fully comprehensive policy will cover the costs of mechanical repairs in the event that your car breaks down is in fact a misconception. The job of the insurer is to, in the event of an accident, return your car to the state it was in when the policy was issued. This means that mechanical repairs may be covered if they’re needed after an accident.

What’s not covered, though, are general mechanical repairs that are needed if your car breaks down or has fallen into a state of disrepair. For that, you’ll need a warranty, which may be included when you buy a new car, or can be purchased from your dealer. Either way, it’s important to remember that your insurer isn’t responsible for your car’s general maintenance.

Your car dealer is very unlikely to give you the best insurance deal

Isn’t it always preferable and tempting for you to have the dealer arrange everything when you’re buying a car? You simply pay your deposit, fill out some forms, and the dealer will take care of the finance, insurance, and registration for you. But insurance is one thing you should keep under your own control, as the margins that dealers charge on these insurance policies are out of this world.

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Agency repair isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

Agency repair is the feature everyone seeks when applying for car insurance. If any repairs are needed for your car after an accident, the insurer will pay for the official dealer of your car to carry out these repairs. Sure. That’s of course desirable.

But the problem with this, of course, is that policies featuring agency repair tend to be more expensive than non-agency repair policies.

The thing is, if we assume that, in the event of an accident, it is the insurer’s responsibility to return your car to the state it was in when the policy is issued (and it is), do you really care about where the spare parts come from? There are plenty of good non-agency repair offerings – you can even opt for a premium garage add-on – meaning that, unless you’re driving a supercar for which spare parts are hard to come by, you shouldn’t see many issues with a policy that doesn’t offer agency repair. Indeed, you should really question whether or not the added cost of an agency repair policy is worth it.

A high valuation on your policy document isn’t always a good thing

People looking to insure their cars often go about seeking a higher vehicle value without precisely knowing what this value entails. First things first, it will fetch you a hefty premium thereby increasing the cost of your policy. Secondly, the car value mentioned on the policy document only comes into play in the event of a total loss – which is a rare occurrence.

But the really big thing here that people fail to realize about their car valuations is that, from your insurer’s point of view, the value of the vehicle decreases over the course of the year. So what really matters is not the value of the car when you bought it, but rather the value of it today – in its current state. When your policy starts, you may have your car valued at AED 100,000, but after three months, that value will have dropped slightly, and it’ll drop again in the following three months. This means that, if you write off your car during the last three months of your policy, you won’t get the quoted amount back as part of the insurance payout.

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