Thursday, January 13, 2011

Ensure you insure

I thought the man in the insurance shop was winding me up. To paraphrase: “Your car insurance includes Oman cover, but it doesn’t actually cover you in Oman.”

This blog post has been subject to clarification!

The situation with motor insurance back in Europe is that it’s automatically extended when abroad, but only to the minimum required by law. Thus a Brit, driving his British-registered vehicle in France has Third Party Only cover. This protects the French public against loss, damage or injury at the hands of someone who’s not used to driving on the right. This Brit’s insurance company will, on request, issue a Green Card either for free or else for a fee. The document temporarily extends the insurance cover enjoyed at home to forn parts. (Or possibly even faun parts, if taking a Narnian road trip.) Huzzah, comprehensive insurance everywhere!

And I thought that there was a similar arrangement in the UAE regarding Oman cover. But I was wrong.

Motor insurance in the UAE usually has Oman cover thrown in. Without it, driving over the border is illegal, and this includes forays along the Hatta Road, up the Mussandam, and visiting Nahwa and Shis.

It transpires, at least for those having full insurance with Axa and Royal Sun Alliance, that Oman cover includes loss or damage to self, but not to third parties.

This bizarre situation means that I can legally drive in Oman without any protection to anyone else’s property or person. Just because my insurance company will pay to repair the Goatmobile after a prang in Muscat is of little comfort if I’ve to fork out of my own wallet for Mr Abdullah’s broken arm (or worse) and his trashed Lamborghini. Add to the mix a ‘Throw him in jail until he’s paid up’ mentality, and the situation becomes very scary indeed. Why, oh why is it permitted to drive without Third Party coverage? Weird.

Axa told me that an extension to full GCC coverage would cost around Dh500 for the year. Apparently, it’s called the Orange Card system, and provides essentially the same arrangement as the Green Card I mentioned earlier. Or buy insurance at the border and be prepared to jump through a large number of widely-spaced hoops in several countries if you ever find yourself in the unenviable position of having to make a claim.

In the light of actually receiving the paperwork from AXA, I find myself in the position of needing to make a clarification! Have a look at the next blog post.



hemlock said...

WTF! thanks for the heads up Goat.

I'm with AXA now and was with RSA last year - not realizing such *technicalities* existed in fine print...

When you get "comprehensive" insurance "including Oman cover", the assumption would be you are "comprehensively covered in Oman". Apparently not.

Umm, I'm feeling very cheated right now. :/

EyeOnDubai said...

Thanks for the heads-up. That's worth knowing.

Seabee said...

Yes, thanks for the warning Mr Goat. Another of the inexplicable rules here designed to confuse us and catch us out? Or just an example of the bizzare way people who design these things think?

Anonymous said...

Actually, perhaps the guy at the insurance shop was winding you up, after all! I'm pretty sure this is not true. For one, on my car, which currently only has third party insurance, the Oman cover is still listed.

Also, I once hit a bike with my car in Oman (actually he cut in front of the car - but I learned that if a bike & a car collide, the car is automatically at fault). I actually got to spend the night at the local police station, as at the time my RSA insurance docs only mentioned the Oman cover in English but not in Arabic. After much red tape and a letter from RSA the next day confirming that they would cover the medical costs of the other party, I was allowed to leave. Of course, I did get a few phone calls from the bicyclist asking me to intervene with RSA as they were giving him the run-around (the police kindly gave him my phone number), but I believe he eventually got his money.

Mme Cyn said...

Anon -- when was this? I heard from RSA when I renewed this year that, no, I would need to buy extra coverage at the border. I had always thought the Oman cover was full coverage, too. If your story is a couple of years old, could things have changed?

Seabee said...

Mr Goat, off subject but something for you on my blog

Anonymous said...

Yes, the story is several years old. I'm now with AXA, but I'll check on this, as I regularly drive in Oman. Two reasons to believe the insurance policies haven't changed:

1. On cars with third party insurance only, the Oman cover is still listed as a separate line item.

2. I've had my insurance docs checked dozens of times (as recently as last month) by Omani border officials or at checkpoints(their primary concern being third party, of course) - the Oman cover has never been questioned.

Grumpy Goat said...

Please check out the follow-up blog post. It turns out that what AXA told me about Third Party liability in Oman and GCC cover was incorrect.

public liability insurance quote said...

Hi, nice post. I have been wondering about this topic,so thanks for sharing. I will certainly be subscribing to your blog.


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