There are many reasons why you’ll need to have car insurance in Dubai. The most obvious being that it’s a mandatory requirement, and the least that you’ll be protected against theft.

Why do we say the least? Well, that’s because theft is a very low risk occurrence in Dubai, and indeed across the UAE in general. The country is consistently rated in the top 3 safest in the world with incredibly low crime rates thanks to strict rules and a peaceful society.

That said, insurance is there to protect against the unexpected and unforeseen so theft is an included peril in many policies. This blog explores that in a little more detail.

Does car insurance include car theft in Dubai?

That depends on the type of car insurance policy you have. The mandatory Third Party Liability insurance won’t cover theft of the vehicle. You’ll need a Comprehensive car insurance for theft to be included. Typically, theft of the vehicle itself is covered, as is damage caused by attempted theft.  Car insurance typically doesn’t cover theft of personal property inside the car—you’ll need to have separate insurance for that which we’ll discuss next.

What about my items inside the vehicle?

In general, personal effects (put simply your belongings) whilst in your vehicle are not covered by your Comprehensive car insurance unless you specifically have an added extension for this type of cover. Personal belongings are usually insured by a Home Insurance policy under the following sections:

  • Contents
  • Personal Possessions

Most Home Insurance policies have extensions that provide cover for either Contents or Personal Possessions whilst temporarily removed from the home. For Contents, this covers removal and transit of items, for example when moving home, and for Personal Possessions (this includes items such as laptops, mobile phones, watches and jewellery) this covers the items while they are “out and about” with you, or being worn. The coverage typically extends to cover theft of the items and any claims of this nature will require you to prove that the items have been stolen and not just lost by you and have an accompanying Crime Report officially reporting the incident to the Police.

However, the situation alters according to what has happened in the underlying car theft claim itself and the type of cover you have. It’s a little complicated so the following scenarios should help to illustrate the subtle differences.

Your Vehicle Has Been Stolen

If your vehicle has been stolen, you should report it as soon as possible to both the Police and your insurance company. The Police should be the first step as you’ll need to get an Incident/Crime Report, the reference of which you will then pass to the insurance company for their claim file.

If your vehicle had your personal effects inside when it was stolen, and you have the necessary personal possessions cover extension on your Comprehensive car insurance policy, then the theft of your car would be dealt with under the main coverage and your personal effects’ theft, under the extension.

If you don’t have the cover extension on your Comprehensive car insurance policy but you do have a Home Contents insurance, then the theft of your personal possessions can be claimed for under that policy, subject of course to the policy terms and conditions.

Someone Has Attempted To Steal Your Vehicle

If someone has broken into your vehicle in either an attempt to steal it, or simply to take the personal effects you had inside, then again, if you have personal effects cover extension on your Comprehensive car insurance, this could cover your claim. Any damage to your vehicle caused by the person breaking into it, would be considered under the main vehicle insurance policy cover.

What Won’t Be Covered If You Have A Theft Claim

All car insurance policies have terms and conditions and when it comes to making a valid claim, you’ll need to demonstrate that you have complied with these fully.

In the case of car theft claims, whether you are claiming for the theft of your vehicle, any personal possessions in it, or simply damage caused by an attempted theft, you should note that the following rules will generally apply, and your claim may be inadmissible:

  • If you left the vehicle unsecured overnight.
  • If any of the car doors or windows were not properly closed/secured.
  • If you had parked the car in a place that was prohibited for parking.
  • If the car was parked in a place known for high instances of theft.
  • If you failed to notify both the police, and the insurance company, immediately after the theft of the car.
  • If you try to claim for any items that you failed to include within the police report.
  • If any of the items you are trying to claim for are owned by anyone other than you as the policyholder or the named driver. Generally, this is applicable when the car is being used as a borrowed vehicle.
  • If you were negligent in any way that could have contributed to theft of the car and/or the items in it.

What You Need To Do To Make A Claim For A Car Theft Incident

A car theft can be a distressing event but try to keep a cool head, follow the steps required and the process should be a straightforward one.

  • Contact the police if you discover your vehicle has been stolen. It is important to let the police do their job as quickly as possible since they have detection expertise that could lead to the prompt recovery of your vehicle. Don’t be tempted to try and play detective yourself in the first instance: the sooner you report it to the police the better!
  • After contacting the police and opening your theft report, contact your insurance company, giving them full details about the theft and to complete the claim form (this is usually over the phone or online). The original police report is required by the insurance company so be sure to send it to them as soon as you receive it from the police but don’t delay contacting the insurance company.
  • In the event your car registration documents were in the vehicle when it was stolen, you’ll need to get copies from the RTA (Dubai Road Traffic Authority) to finalise your claim. It’s also a good idea to let the RTA know about your vehicle’s theft in case it is involved in any form of misdemeanour or criminal activity, as this could be falsely traced back to you and not the perpetrators!
  • Assemble all the necessary documentation requested by your insurers and submit your claim form, if it is required in paper format. Don’t expect things to happen overnight. Theft claims take a while to settle because thorough investigations need to be made and any claim can’t be closed off until the police confirm their investigation has ended too. As soon as all the investigations have been completed, your insurer will settle your claim and payment is usually based on the current market value of the vehicle.

About Author

Rachel Al Mughairi

About Author

With over 34 years in the international insurance industry in a variety of senior management roles, and as holder of the Diploma in Insurance from the Chartered Insurance Institute, Rachel surely knows her insurance! With experience in London, continental Europe and the Middle East, Rachel is here to share her knowledge and help you understand more about insurance products in this easy-to-understand series of videos and blogs.