UAE: Car insurance claims rise 45% as more vehicles hit the road

Rates are similar to their pre-COVID-19 levels as the economy opens up and residents return to their offices

  
Insurance adjuster inspecting a car.

Insurance adjuster inspecting a car.

Getty Images

Car insurance claims have been on the rise over the last few months, reaching the pre-Covid-19 levels of 2019 as the economy opens up and UAE residents return to their offices, resulting in more vehicles on the road.

A new study revealed that the trend of reduced accidents and fall in insurance claims, which started following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic last year, is now reversing. Conducted by RSA Insurance and RoadSafetyUAE, the study found that car insurance claim rates have increased nearly 45 per cent in recent months as compared to the months of Covid-19, now reaching levels similar to 2019 rates. This upward trend is expected to continue in the coming months.

In line with the decline in the number of road accidents during Covid-19, car insurance claims had dropped by about 60 per cent.

The study said claims due to wrong actions of the driver, such as speeding and not maintain the sufficient distance between cars, made up a large portion of the claims – about 40 per cent – in recent months and that the main causes of accidents and claims are preventable.

“Many countries are still implementing restrictions to control and curb the spread of Covid-19 and its variant strains. UAE is considered, on a global scale, to be one of the first few countries to have resumed similar levels of economic activity. Hence, this trend of increased car insurance claims is likely to be a reference for other markets,” said Sunita Pais, head of claims at RSA UAE.

“Furthermore, with many countries still imposing strict restrictions on travel, it is likely that this year, many UAE residents will remain in the country, which may amplify the accident rates on the road,” said Pais.

The UAE’s insurance sector is one of the most competitive in the Gulf region due to the presence of a large number of companies. The UAE is home to the second-largest Islamic insurance market in the GCC. According to S&P Global Ratings, premium income in the market will be flat in 2021 from ongoing pressure on the motor and other rates. A pickup in tourism and the start of Expo in Dubai in October 2021 could lead to additional business, but it believes some of the larger conventional insurers will benefit more than many of the smaller Islamic insurance players.

Pais cautioned the motorists that as peak summer approaches and tyres issues are more common during these months, they should be more alert when driving.

Pais urged the customers to be cautious when purchasing insurance as intensive competition amongst insurers may mean some products don’t offer sufficient coverage.

Thomas Edelmann, founder and managing director of RoadSafetyUAE, said insurance companies possess large amounts of data that can play an important role in understanding accident patterns.

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