Car insurance premiums declined by almost 10 per cent in the first half of 2019, compared to the same period last year, on the back of few accidents and weaker car sales, according to UAE financial aggregator Insurancemarket.ae.
The company examined the top five insured brands on its platform – Nissan, Toyota, Ford, Honda and Mitsubishi – and found gross premiums declined by an average of 9.5 per cent since the beginning of this year compared to the same period in 2018.
Avinash Babur, chief executive of InsuranceMarket said the cost savings are driven by a reduction in traffic accidents in the Emirates this year and “increasing efficiency in insurance distribution”.
"The regulation from the UAE Insurance Authority introducing no-claims bonuses has also had an impact, as safer drivers begin to be rewarded with discounts on premiums for policyholders with claims-free records" Mr Babur said.
Car insurance amendments, rolled out in December 2017 by the IA, entitle car owners who have not been involved in an accident to reduced premiums ranging from 10 to 20 per cent. Drivers with a clean record of one year receive a 10 per cent reduction in premiums; those with two years without incident can demand a 15 per cent discount and motorists with three years without a claim are entitled to a 20 per cent discount.
According to Insurancemarket, other factors contributing to the decrease in premiums include market depreciation, triggered by a slowdown in new car sales. A February poll from online marketplace dubizzle Motors found that nine out of 10 UAE residents looking to buy a car in 2019 will choose a second-hand model over new.
“As the process of purchasing used vehicles has become more accessible and convenient due to improved infrastructure, more people seem inclined to buy less expensive pre-owned cars, which in turn leads to lower insurance premiums,” Mr Babur said.
The study revealed the largest number of claims are made over the summer months and during Ramadan. Last year, 913 claims were made at the insurance aggregator between May and August, with the least number of claims taking place in January 2018 with just 189 claims submitted.
Three-quarters of the website’s users opted for comprehensive insurance coverage, rather than third-party only insurance.
“As premiums continue to drop, we are seeing that customers are increasingly opting for comprehensive coverage to provide maximum protection and greater peace of mind," Mr Babur said. "Comprehensive cover protects the policyholder against any damages caused due to theft, accident or fire in addition to providing cover against third-party insurance, meaning you may be covered for all car insurance eventualities."