Motor insurance premiums in the UAE have increased sharply as insurance companies end Covid-19 discounts of up to 50% on premiums, announced by the Insurance Authority in 2020. Before the pandemic, insurance companies could offer up to a 30% discount, depending on the driver’s history. In November 2022, all insurers announced a rate change to reduce the impact of the 50% discount scheme and streamline rates back to a minimum of up to 30% discount, according to Neeraj Gupta, CEO of Policybazaar UAE. Previously, insurance companies offered drivers with no claims a 10% discount for a year, 20% for a two-year policy, and 30% for three years and above with no claims history. Insurance companies started revising premiums at the beginning of the third quarter, and most insurers would have changed their pricing by the end of November, Gupta added.
Hitesh Motwani, Chief Marketing Officer of Insurancemarket.ae, said that motor insurance premiums have been low since mid-2020 when the Insurance Authority announced Covid-19 discounts of up to 50%. According to Motwani, the minimum premium for a saloon vehicle was previously Dh1,300 and Dh2,000 for an SUV, which came down to Dh650 and Dh1,000, respectively. Currently, the average premium for a saloon is between Dh1,000 and Dh1,200, while for an SUV, it is expected to go up by 15-20% in the upcoming year. However, Motwani added that premiums are moving towards a stabilization rate before the pandemic.
Regarding health insurance, Motwani stated that average premiums increase around 5 to 10% yearly due to factors such as the ageing population and healthcare inflation. He emphasized the importance of having health insurance, especially during the pandemic, which has led to an increase in demand for health insurance policies. He advised people to ensure they have comprehensive coverage that includes Covid-19 related treatments and procedures.
While the increase in motor insurance premiums may be a burden for some drivers, experts suggest that the increase is necessary to ensure the sustainability of the insurance industry. Insurance companies need to make sure that they are charging enough premiums to cover the cost of claims and make a profit. However, they also need to ensure that their premiums remain affordable for consumers. Drivers are advised to shop around for insurance policies and compare quotes from different insurance companies to find the best deal.