Insurance premiums in the UAE declined by an average of Dh169 in the first half of 2018 for the most insured car brands compared to the same period last year, according to a study from comparison site InsuranceMarket.ae and the classifieds platform dubizzle.
The report found that Ford, Honda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, and Toyota are the top five insured car brands in the UAE, according to InsuranceMarket.ae, which assessed about 56,000 enquiries to the site between January 1 and June 14 2018.
“Our insights reveal an overall decline in premiums on average for car owners in the UAE,” said Avinash Babur, chief executive of InsuranceMarket.ae, which tied up with dubizzle on Monday to offer its insurance comparison services directly on their site. “These cost savings likely reflect a reduction in traffic accidents this year as well as the recent announcement from the UAE Insurance Authority that allows insurers to reduce premiums for policyholders with claims-free records."
According to the study, Ford drivers have experienced the biggest drop in premiums, paying Dh216 less on average for their car insurance.
Imad Hammad, founder and chief executive of CarSwitch.com, a UAE platform for buying and selling certified used cars, said declining insurance premiums reflect the growing trend of "the rise of the price conscious consumer".
“With everything we've been hit with in 2018, from VAT to price hikes on car registration/renewal, to all time highs on petrol, it's no surprise that buyers are conscious of their costs and trying to manage it,” he said. “We are noticing buyers are showing higher interest in cars with better fuel economy, and negotiating car prices more aggressively, and are asking for more options to compare when it comes to bank financing interest rates and of course insurance.”
Mr Hammad said competition in the market is heating up as new car dealerships, insurers and financing banks fight for market share.
“It often results in consumer offers and discounts," he said. "For insurance specifically, several online aggregators now exist that enable consumers to compare underlying insurance premiums to get the best rates, so insurers are facing price pressure and the aggregators themselves offer discounts on top to attract buyers to their own portals versus others.”
The study found that more than three quarters (76 per cent) of InsuranceMarket.ae users opted for comprehensive insurance coverage rather than third party only insurance. About 45,300 enquiries to InsuranceMarket.ae were for comprehensive cover while just 10,700 were for third party only policies.
The study also revealed that the largest number of insurance claims is made during the summer with 142 claims made at InsuranceMarket.ae last August, compared to just 36 in December when the least amount of claims are typically submtitted.
“The peaks in claims are likely driven by car purchase cycles as insurance renewal cycles are 13 months from first registration," said Mr Hammad. "We generally see a rise in car purchases near the end of summer, right around start of school often driven by new residents that time their purchases with when their families move over and start school. We also see a decline right before the December holidays, as most people prefer to buy a car once they are back from holidays and plan to use it.”
The highest number of claims submitted, according to InsuranceMarket.ae, were by clients under the age of 30 and above the age of 60, while those aged 51 to 60 submitted the lowest number of claims.