If you’ve begun to look for your next car insurance policy, you’ll know that working out what level of coverage to pay for can be a bit of a headache.
Ask an insurance expert and they would tell you that you need basic cover as required by law. They would also insist you consider adding some of the five options listed here. This will give you a broad range of insurance cover to protect yourself financially from the most common driving mishaps.
What level of car insurance do I need?
A basic car insurance policy is a must for two significant reasons:
- To comply with the law
Here in Dubai, car insurance is a legal requirement. In fact, you cannot register your car without it. This mirrors government policy almost everywhere else across the world. Car insurance is statutory in most places and you should always check the legal requirements for insurance before driving wherever you are.
- For third-party liability cover
In most places, including Dubai, third-party liability cover is the most basic required by law. In essence, it is cover that allows other drivers (third parties) to claim for death, injury and vehicle damage from your insurance company in the event of an accident that you have caused. So, for example, if their car is totaled, your insurance company pays out.
Third-party liability cover protects drivers from other drivers’ negligence. This means you yourself can drive knowing that if someone else was to cause an accident, there would be no financial loss on your part. You would be able to make a claim on their policy.
Any additional coverage beyond the basic legal requirement is optional. You will need to consider whether you want to pay for it.
What additional coverage should I consider?
Consider these five popular options:
- Fire and theft cover
To cover repair or replacement costs related to a vehicle fire or theft of the vehicle, you can add fire and theft cover to a third-party liability policy. Paying an additional cost for this cover would be well worth considering.
The theft of a vehicle or a vehicle fire are both sudden, unpredictable and highly stressful situations to be a part of. They are also costly. You do not want to find yourself out of pocket as the result of either of these unpleasant events. Without this level of cover, you would need to pay the entire cost of a replacement car yourself.
- Comprehensive cover
Most drivers choose to pay extra again for a comprehensive insurance policy. This is because it protects you in so many more situations, as well as still offering third-party liability cover and fire and theft cover.
In the event of an accident caused by yourself, you can claim the cost of:
- Damage repair for your vehicle
- Replacing a totaled car (to the same value as the insured vehicle)
- Damage to personal belongings within the vehicle
This level of coverage is typical for comprehensive policies. However, many offer more insurance cover than this. It is well worth comparing several before you click to buy.
Comprehensive policies are popular because they offer drivers far greater peace of mind. Accidents involving vehicles can be incredibly costly. Being involved in an accident is very upsetting and stressful, too, but knowing that you are free from financial liability whether it was your fault or not is very reassuring.
- Cover for medical costs
In the event of an accident, this coverage would entitle you to claim for medical costs related to any injury you sustained during the accident. It may also cover the medical expenses of your passengers.
You will usually be entitled to claim for costs up to a specific amount that will be determined in the policy document.
- Off-road driving cover
In Dubai, off-road driving in the nearby desert is a popular pastime. But wherever you are in the world, if you enjoy or intend to enjoy off-road driving, you need to make sure your vehicle is adequately insured.
With off-road driving, you are far more likely to get into a bump or scrape situation. It is possible you may be covered for accident repairs under a comprehensive policy, but it is more likely you will need to add specific cover for off-road driving to your policy. Be sure you know and understand any limitations set by the policy you choose to make sure you are always insured.
- 24/7 roadside assistance
There are several very common situations where you may need emergency roadside assistance. These include mechanical breakdown, a flat tire or battery, and running out of fuel. With roadside assistance cover through your insurance company, you would have 24/7 access to an approved breakdown rescue service. This convenient insurance extra would soon have you back on four wheels and is nearly always worth the small extra cost in your premium.
Your best options
Remember that while you are likely to be legally covered by third-party liability cover, paying for additional coverage is nearly always the wisest choice.
Being a driver and a car owner carries some serious financial risk. It’s important to consider buying some peace of mind and some financial protection with some or all the additional levels of cover listed here. What small sum you pay out in additional premiums now may ultimately save you a fortune.