Congratulations on your new car! Your baby looks awesome, swanky, and really jumping with joy to rock the roads.
But, hang on a second. Before you do that, I would like to ask you, have you taken out car insurance? OK, OK, I am sorry. Stop looking at me like that. I know you did, otherwise how would you register your car and get that golden registration card in your hand, also known as 'mulkiyah' in Dubai.
So, tell me. Who have you taken out your car insurance with? Is it third-party or comprehensive? And what does it cover?
Ahh, am I asking too many questions? And let me guess, you do not have any answers to these?
OK, I got it. Because you just didn’t care. You wanted to get the registration procedure done and you took the cheapest insurance in the price table and you are ready to drive. Let me give you some insight into the types of car insurance and how they can save your life, money, and a lot more in the long run. I will do my best to be as non-technical as possible.
This is the most basic legal insurance that you can opt for. If you are in an accident and damage someone’s car and you are at fault, your insurance will cover the damage caused to that car. But, since you are at fault, your own car will not be covered and you will have to pay for your own damages.
Similarly, if you get hit by someone's car and they are at fault, then their insurance company will pay for the damage to your car since you are the affected party.
As the name suggests, it covers the damages to your car regardless of whether or not you were at fault. It also covers unknown accidents. For example, if your car was parked in the mall and someone came and hit it with theirs and drove off, and you didn’t know the party, your insurance would cover this. It also covers the payment if the car is written off, and it will also pay for your injuries caused at the time of the accident. Some insurance companies also throw in free extra add-ons when you buy comprehensive cover. (Sometimes, these won't be offered for free and you will have to pay extra for them.
Add on 1. Complimentary replacement car. It is possible that it could take days or weeks to repair your car. In that period of time, the car insurance company will give you a replacement car.
Add on 2. Breakdown cover. Car insurance is mostly about accidents and damage caused between two parties. So, what happens when your car breaks down or just doesn’t start and you don’t know what to do? Some insurance companies cover that also and can help make arrangements in such situations.
There can be many other add-ons to your car insurance, just make sure you always read terms and conditions carefully and have a look at the details when buying your car insurance.
The burning question… Which one to buy?
I will keep it simple. If you do not have a big budget and your car is old, has lower market worth, and you just use it just to commute to work and back home, and you are a very safe driver, you may well opt for third-party insurance (just make sure your medical insurance covers car accidents/injuries).
If you have a new car or you're a new driver, or you do the school run or are a professional who likes to be on time, and you are driven and passionate about doing things right, then go for comprehensive insurance. At least your car won't be something you have to worry about and hey, don’t forget the add-ons. After all, we all like to upgrade our meals with friends to a big cola with lots of ice, and yes, some extra cheese too.