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Car insurance policies rarely cover wear and tear

Dubai: Over one third of car owners in the UAE wrongly believe that general wear and tear is covered by their car insurance policy, a survey by compareit4me.com has found.

The survey, which questioned participants across the UAE on a selection of personal financial products, found that 34 per cent of respondents believe they can use their car insurance to claim for any damage that occurs naturally as a result of general usage, such as worn brakes or a faulty exhaust. More often than not, however, car insurance policies do not cover the replacement of auto parts that deteriorate with time and use, such as brake pads and tyres.

Car insurance is generally in place to cover unpredictable events such as accidents and collisions, said Jon Richards, CEO of the compareit4me Group. Wear and tear is inevitable, therefore not covered by most, if not all, car insurers in the UAE.

Nabil F., a car owner in Dubai, told Khaleej Times that his car insurance is comprehensive and valid across the GCC, with a cover on passenger liability and acts of God. I dont recall anything in the contract on wear and tear. I chose all the options the provider had. I have never met anyone who said their insurance covers wear and tear, he said.

Asked if he would be interested in an insurance package that covers the cost of wear and tear, he said: It depends on the cost and terms of the insurance provider. If its a plan with terms and conditions that hinder any claims, I would steer clear of it. For me, insurance is to protect against sudden accidents and the big costs that you dont account for when you buy a car. Maintenance of a vehicle is something you take into account when budgeting for car ownership.

Another car owner, Sherif Zakaria, who owns a Toyota Corolla, said his insurance only covers accidents. Zakarias wife, Abeer Ali Ismail, who owns a Hyundai Tucson, added that insurance companies never cover wear and tear. Currently registered with Al Wathba Insurance, she pays Dh350 to cover collisions, although she knows that some other companies charge Dh200.

The survey found that 44 per cent of respondents believe the type of vehicle will have a large bearing on how much they pay for car insurance, while 24 per cent cited age. Driving history and nationality were identified by 16 per cent of participants as key factors that come into play when insurers work out how much an applicant should pay for their premium.

Generally, the more expensive the car, the higher the auto insurance price. There are also a number of other factors considered in the calculation of insurance premiums, such as vehicle type, length of driving experience, accident history, age and where the applicant lives.

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