The decision to insure your car against damage and/or theft is an important one. However, if you are not careful, you can still get into some trouble even before putting your first thousand kilometers on the odometer. Believe it or not, car insurance fraud is one of the costliest forms of white-collar crime in many countries, including the United Arab Emirates.
For some policyholders, insurance seems way too complicated, which is how they got lured by scammers into signing something that does not protect them, but actually costs them thousands of dollars. In today’s blog, we are showing you some of the most common car insurance scams in the UAE and how to avoid them.
1. The agent fraud
The moment you buy your first car, you become an immediate target for scams. If your insurance agent is corrupt, they might steal your money by failing to set up the insurance plan they promised you and keeping your payment instead. So, if an accident occurs to you afterward, you’ll need to pay the costs yourself.
There are also agents that sneak extra coverage you don’t want into your policy, just so they earn off of it. While it may seem unnoticeable, coverage like this can add thousands of dollars per year to your payments. If you are a first-time car buyer, make sure to evaluate all of the conditions when signing on for car insurance, and be always sure to work with a legitimate provider.
2. Intentional accidents
There are many situations where people would intentionally cause an accident by slamming into their cars (which were previously damaged) just so they get the insurance providers to cover their damage. In other similar scenarios, drivers could cause you to collide with them and then make a claim against you.
While it’s difficult to prevent this from happening if someone wants to collide with you, you should always be careful on the road and make sure your car insurance is well documented with photos and full examinations of your car’s condition.
3. Compensation scams
If you ever received a call from an unknown number saying that you have been in an accident and you are awarded compensation, don’t settle for this common scam. The person on the other side of the telephone line is only interested in your personal information (more precisely, your bank account information), saying that they “will pay you.”
However, in reality, these scammers want to pull more information on you and/or your car insurance policy, which is why you need to disregard them and make sure you are speaking with someone from your car insurance company.
4. Fraudulent car repairs
Lastly, we have the fraudulent car repair scam, which takes advantage of the lack of knowledge that drivers have. Mechanics are the ones that scam the drivers into agreeing on a replacement or a repair, charging a lot of money to install substandard parts, all while getting the new parts for themselves or earning on the difference. This is another reason why you should always take your vehicle to a licensed car service station and make sure that they are working directly with your car insurance provider.
How do you protect yourself against the common car insurance scams?
Fortunately, there are many ways to protect yourself against common car insurance scams. According to experts, you should:
- Drive carefully: Keep a reasonable distance between yourself and other cars, and avoid tailgating, speeding, and turning quickly. All of these can help you prevent a crash.
- Take notes and photos: Get as many photos of any damage to your car (and the other driver’s vehicle) as you can, to show the angle of the accident.
- Keep a cautious eye on bystanders: Know your options for car insurance – no matter how “helpful” someone is or persuasive in helping you sign on a specific policy.
- Do your own research: The top car insurance providers in the UAE nowadays have resources like blogs, FAQ sections, and so on, helping you do your own research and prevent common scams.
If you think you have been the victim of a scam, make sure to immediately alert your insurance agent and document everything (with policy, bills, copies of estimates, etc.).
Buy a car insurance policy online in the UAE
If you are interested in choosing and buying your car insurance coverage today, you can do it quickly, whether you are on your phone or laptop. It’s now easy to do your research for car insurance online.
You can customize a plan to meet your needs, talk to an expert, keep a digital record of your insurance, and have 24/7 access to your policy online (via an app or browser).
Buying car insurance online in the UAE has never been easier. In fact, many drivers prefer previewing their policies online. Even if they require assistance, today’s online platforms offer help from advisors and a lot of materials on how to choose the best policy for their needs.