What is our role when you have an accident?

We realise that having an accident in a place like Dubai is pretty stressful. It’s never easy to see one of your most expensive assets damaged so badly or, worse, written off completely. Moreover, now that the car has to be repaired, you’re not in a position to get to work, or drop off your kids to school. Taxis are not always available at peak times and the costs will add up. You therefore need your car to be repaired properly and returned to you ASAP.

While we at cannot completely remove the inconvenience of being in a car accident (as much as we wish we could), we can try our very best to minimize the length of time taken to repair and ensure that this is done to your satisfaction. We believe in the insurance principle of indemnity, i.e. we believe that our role is to put you exactly in the same position as you were at the time just before your accident. And we try to speed up the process to the best of our ability. Below are some of the areas where we exercise our efforts to help you get back on the road.

Dedicated Claims Managers: Our claims managers, the people who will take care of you if you have an accident have the technical expertise and experience to be able to mediate your claim with the insurance companies. They have been trained to treat the scenario as if their own car has been in an accident – we truly empathise and sympathise with you if you’ve had an accident because we know how inconvenient and stressful it sometimes can be.

We (as your dedicated claims managers) therefore do our very best to get you back on the road ASAP. The best part is that you have one dedicated claims manager representing you at the time of a claim – he or she knows your entire story and will be the single point of contact for everything related to your claim. This, we can tell you from experience, is a great benefit that we offer you – it’s perhaps the most important benefit that we offer.

Would it not be for your claims manager, you would have to speak with at least seven different people at the time of an accident in order to have everything sorted. This means that some interactions can be less pleasant than others and can also mean that things have to be repeated several times. In addition to being a great effort, due to the complexities of the parties and processes involved,it can also mean that there will be some bottlenecks that will inevitably cause delays or, worse, bring you to a deadlock.

Your claims manager does this as a full time job and as such has the networks and processes in place in order to minimise delays. Moreover, since their only job is to serve you, you can be sure not to have any random unpleasant interactions or find yourself repeating something that you’ve already told the call center agents at the insurance company a couple of times. Finally, should things not go as per plan with some of the stakeholders involved in the claim, they will fight on your behalf to have it sorted.

Praise email from client posted (the insurance company’s name has been censored!):

Dear Team,
I would like to bring to your notice of the hard work and initiative taken by your Staff, Mr. Hitesh from Operations Team who immediately registered the Claim upon my request, then getting the Approval from Insurance company for expediting the Claim Process and mainly getting the Car Released after completion of work.

When the car was left at ******Agency on 07th November 2013 for Body Repair, I was informed by the Service Person at ****** that ****** company do not respond to the Claims quickly and that they will start the work only after receiving the Approval from the Insurance Company. He also informed me they will not release the Car after completing the work till they receive the Cheque from the Insurance Company.

I had contacted Mr. Hitesh who quickly managed to contact ****** Insurance and obtained the approval for the work to start and also was in constant touch with the Insurance Company for getting the LPO issued. When the work was completed on 18th November , ****** Agency had sent the Performa Invoice to ****** Insurance to release the Cheque as they did not want to release my car with the support of the LPO from ****** Insurance company. Therefore this drawback or reliability of ****** Insurance in the market affected me (the Customer) getting my car. This issue was informed to Mr. Hitesh, who immediately contacted ****** Insurance Company to release the cheque to the Agency. ****** Agency released the car only after getting the confirmation from ****** Insurance that they will get the Cheque no later than 24th November 2013.

If Mr. Hitesh had not registered the Claim thru ****** Insurance Company AND if Mr. Hitesh had not got the Approval from ****** Insurance Company AND If Mr. Hitesh had not expedited the process for the Car Release, I would have got the Car back maybe after 30 Days considering the reliability and Process time of ****** Insurance Company.

I would like to say BIG THANK YOU to your staff, Mr. Hitesh for the superb service rendered.


What we do for you?


Everything Is Online, being an online solution to insurance in the UAE, have made sure that you don’t have to run around and visit several offices at the time of a claim. We would simply require digital copies of documents like the police report sent across to your dedicated claims manager. Originals can then be submitted to the workshops. Most of our insurance companies don’t even need to survey your vehicle in their office before approving your claim.

Workshop Relationships

Since your dedicated claims manager manages car insurance claims on a daily basis they have learned which workshops provide a faster and better service than others. This has allowed them to recommend you the provider that you can take your car to at the time of a claim. Since the workshops are happy to receive our recommendation, they make sure to keep us happy by doing a good job and giving our clients ‘fast-track’ priority.

It’s a win-win situation for you and for the workshop. This is one of our main strategies in speeding up your repairs and we strongly recommend that you follow your dedicated claims manager’s advice when choosing an insurance company panel workshop to repair your car after it’s been in an accident.


Senior-Level Insurer Relationships

Every claim is different. Some claims are a bit more complex than others and fall into a ‘grey area’ in terms of whether the loss is covered or not, based on a technical interpretation of your policy. This is where we come in. Our commitment to you is that you should not even have to open your policy at any time and that once you have spoken with your personal shopper and chosen your product, you can be sure that it would perform when you need it to.

The ground reality is that, like any other business in Dubai, insurance is primarily driven by people-to-people relationships and thanks to our size, experience and respectable efforts in this industry, all our insurance companies really support us and our clients in grey area situations. Since our directors are always closely in touch with the senior management of the insurance companies, professionally and socially, it means that they just need to make one phone call to have your problem claim approved.

Of course, we make sure that we do not leverage this powerful and unique market relationship for something that we believe shouldn’t be payable and this is where we follow the professional opinion of your dedicated claims manager – if he or she believes it should be paid, we will make sure that it is.


Insurer Panels And Products Driven By Claims Service

We insured our first car in 1995 and since that date have been studying the services of insurance companies not only at the time of buying a policy (it’s always easy to take your money) but more importantly at the time of a claim. Simultaneously, we have also been investing in relationships with these insurance companies at all levels of hierarchy just so that we can protect your interests should you be involved, God forbid, in a confusing incident in terms of whether it is covered by your policy or not.

On this basis, we are constantly reviewing our strategy in terms of which insurance companies to work with. This keeps them on their toes and allows us to command the level of service that we in turn commit to you. This is why we won’t quote you for some insurance providers (some of them big mainstream insurance brands) even if you ask for them.

The areas where we are restricted in what we can do

Recovery Claims Approvals

If you are in an accident that is not your fault, it is a claim that is recoverable for the insurance company (i.e. your insurance company will recover the cost of the claim from the insurance company covering the car that was driven by the person at fault – the third party’s insurance company). Unfortunately, especially since it is not your fault,the law is that your insurance company must wait for the third party’s insurance company to respond with an approval to proceed with the claim for a maximum of three working days. Since this is the law, it is unfortunately quite usual for most insurance companies to take the full three days to respond, which means that we are not able to have your repair start during this period. We can try pushing for this to happen and it sometimes works – but if it’s not happening there isn’t much we can do.

Parts Unavailability

Once your repairs have been approved it’s up to the workshop to deliver. For some makes of cars parts aren’t available (and we’re referring to the authorized dealers of the make – also termed as the ‘agency’). These have to therefore be ordered by the workshop and depending on availability and location, they can take time to ship. We have unfortunately even seen cases where certain parts have taken three months to arrive. While we can try to push the workshop to speed things up on your behalf, there isn’t much we can do if it’s not happening. We understand that this is not a convenient situation to be in and would try to assist in any way we can. However, since it’s not the insurance company’s fault, we’re not able to have them compensate for the loss of use of your vehicle.

Mechanical Problems

It’s important to note that cars sometimes need repairs when there hasn’t been an accident! As a result, if there isn’t a collision it’s not going to be covered by insurance as it’s not an accident. It may be the case that it’s covered by your manufacturer warranty. Similarly, the lack of maintenance of a vehicle can make the car unsafe to drive – if it is then driven and causes an accident due to a mechanical or wear-and-tear issue, it won’t be covered by insurance even though there was a collision. This goes back to the fundamental insurance principle of determining the proximate cause of the loss at the time of a claim.

Excess Payable

Every insurance policy has a mandatory excess amount payable at the time of a claim (an amount that the policyholder pays – it is also known as a ‘deductible’). When it comes to car insurance here in the UAE, you have to pay your policy excess (eg. AED 500) if the claim is non-recoverable (if it’s your fault or the faulty party isn’t available). Sometimes, especially for young drivers or new drivers, your excess can be a percentage of the claim amount (eg. 10%). The excess of a policy can be negotiated and changed at the time of buying your policy (as this will accordingly affect your insurance premium) but never at the time of a claim.

Agency Workshop Delays

As explained in this blog article, the authorized workshops of the insurance companies are essentially like monopolies and hence sometimes fail to deliver to our expectations. However, since they’re the only ones who are the ‘agencies’ for that make of car we can only follow up and push – there is no other muscle power that we can exercise (as opposed to the power we can exercise against non-agency workshops, as explained above).

Mandatory Surveys

Some insurance companies ask for a survey of the vehicle at the time of an accident. This is something that is their right since they will be paying for the repairs. We can try to have them wave this requirement in certain cases but it’s up to them whether to agree or not. This is an unusual scenario though as at present most of our insurance companies do not require a pre-workshop survey.

Car Insurance Claims Case Studies

Below are real life case studies – scenarios where our clients have ended up in a “grey area” claim and we’ve had to support them and represent them in front of the insurance companies in order to have their claims approved.
Case Study 1
Our client, while on road somewhere near the beach, accidentally backed his BMW X5 a bit more than he should have which caused the car to enter into the water and causing severe water damage to the mechanical parts below the vehicle.

The initial feedback from the insurance company, one of the largest multinational motor insurers here in the UAE, was that seawater wasn’t a covered peril as per the policy and moreover if water damage has to be covered then the vehicle should be stationery rather than in motion (this is true as per the natural perils coverage, however the claims was not for a natural peril, hence the response from the insurer was interesting).

They added to their argument that the place where the incident occurred was beyond the geographical capabilities of the vehicle and hence this loss was not covered. It is not unusual for claims to be denied by insurance companies here in the UAE just because they’re unusual – the cost of repair in question was AED 16,500.

For a single client, once a response like this comes from an insurer denying a claim on technical grounds, there is very little they can do. If they wish to pursue the matter legally, it would be time consuming, costly and moreover in this process would have to pay for the repair and hope for it to reimbursed by the insurance company – not an easy feat in Dubai! Otherwise, the client would suffer from not using the vehicle for a long amount of time.

However, luckily the client was insured with us. Based on technical as well as commercial arguments, the claim was paid after we involved our MD to speak with the Country Manager of the company. When we say ‘commercial arguments’, we essentially used our volumes of business with the insurance company as a mechanism to negotiate for the approval of this claim. Of course, we did believe that the client had a valid claim and his loss was really an accident.

The claim was approved and the insurance company paid for the repair. It is usually a matter of great embarrassment for an insurance company to reverse a claim it has denied but they did so for our client and us!

Case Study 2
Our client’s vehicle, a Toyota Prado, was being driven on the then ‘Emirates Road’ (now Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Road) with seven passengers in it. It unfortunately met with a serious accident and overturned. The driver passed away on the spot however the others survived sustaining only minor injuries.

The policy had the optional personal accident coverage for the driver and passengers included. The client, the employer of the driver, hence claimed AED 200,000 since the driver died in the accident.

However, since the car had seven passengers in it, whereas the seating capacity of the vehicle was only for six passengers (plus the driver) the car wasn’t being driven legally. The insurance company hence delayed the approval of the claim initially and later verbally communicated to us that they are planning to reject the claim on these grounds.

Our opinion was that whilst the insurance company technically had a valid argument and hence could deny the claim on legal grounds as per their policy, it would in a sense be unfair to do so since the factor was not necessarily the issue that caused the accident.

The insurance company’s argument was that the accident worsened because the car was strained beyond its ability. It is true, but again we were not happy since we prefer to pay claims that overall seem like valid claims.

Based on our feedback and a meeting with the senior management of the insurance company, a large multinational insurer with operations across the region, the claim was approved purely on their commercial relationship with us.

Case Study 3
Our client’s 2006 Volvo V70 bottomed on a speed breaker, causing a damage that would cost AED 5000 to repair. The insurance company initially denied the claim on the basis that the incident was caused to due the lack of maintenance of the suspension struts and due to their poor condition the car bottomed out on the speed bump. They also said that since there was no collision, this would not be considered to be an ‘accident’.

We disagreed. Upon exploring, we learned from the client that the car was maintained as would be expected – it was serviced on time. Moreover, it is naturally expected that the mechanical condition of a seven-year-old vehicle will not be that of a brand new one and the insurers would naturally factor that in when offering comprehensive coverage.

While it is clear that a mechanical failure is not going to be covered by insurance, an ‘accident’ where the client by mistake (carelessness is covered by insurance as a principle, however not recklessness) drove over a speed breaker faster than would be appropriate may result in this kind of damage, which predominantly is due to an accident.

The insurance company’s surveyor had very strong arguments about the loss being caused due to poor maintenance however since we believed the claim had reasonable merit we had It paid in full by the insurance company – they did so because we told them to.

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Mamta Chaturvedi

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