Drivers in the UAE face an increase in car insurance premiums, after a 45 per cent surge in claims attributed to workers returning to offices.
Insurers said accident claims have returned to pre-pandemic levels, after they decreased by 60 per cent while working from home and distance learning were the norm.
But claims have risen in recent months, compared with the peak months of the coronavirus, according to RSA Insurance figures. They are now at similar levels to 2019, before the pandemic.
About 40 per cent of accidents in recent months have been attributed to driver error, with speeding and tailgating mostly responsible for collisions.
The number of claims is also being affected by more people remaining in the country as coronavirus rules make travel difficult
“The UAE is considered to be one of the first countries to have resumed similar levels of economic activity, so this trend of increased car insurance claims is likely to be a reference for other markets,” said Sunita Pais, head of claims at RSA Insurance UAE.
“With many countries still imposing strict restrictions on travel, it is likely many UAE residents will remain in the country, which may amplify the accident rates on the road."
The summer heat can also lead to more car breakdowns.
“As we approach the peak summer months, car tyre failures are more likely," Ms Pais said.
“In combination with more residents staying in the country this summer, drivers should be more alert.”
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Ms Pais said the increase in claims was likely to result in motor insurance prices being readjusted and increased over the next few months.
Insurers also reported a trend towards more drivers switching to third-party only protection to cut costs.
Dubai Police launched a three month campaign from July 1 to encourage motorists to be on their guard when driving.
The Towards a Safe Summer on the Roads project offers advice on social media and encourages drivers to follow road regulations and check their vehicles.
In 2018, burst tyres caused 110 deaths in the UAE. Accidents can be prevented by regular maintenance checks and maintaining the correct air pressure.
Thomas Edelmann, founder of RoadSafetyUAE, said drivers should take extra care during the summer to avoid accidents and the need for insurance claims.
“Insurance companies are possessing large amounts of data, which can play an important role in understanding accident patterns,” Mr Edelmann said.
“It is needless to say that the correct insurance cover is a vital part of road safety.”