Commercial Automobile Insurance

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If you are using a vehicle for use in your business, you must carry commercial automobile insurance. The coverage on a commercial vehicle, is almost the same as the insurance provided by a personal vehicle.

Commercial Insurance is required all vehicles used in your business. If you have more that 4, you would probably qualify for Fleet Insurance. It insures all the vehicles on one policy and depending on the insurance company, the premium for the policy can be much lower than insuring them separately.

Type of Vehicles

There are many types of vehicles that can be insured under a fleet policy. A few examples of these would be, delivery trucks, dump trucks, tractor trailers, cars, tow trucks and the list goes on. If you have a large company with various types of vehicles, it may be worth splitting them up in groups. An example would be – all tractor trailers on one policy and all your delivery trucks on another policy. This is a great way to make the most of all the discounts being offered on a fleet policy.

What is the Difference – Commercial or Business Vehicle?

If you own a business and drive your vehicle everyday for work, it would be considered business use. This would also include any cars driven by the owners, sales people, managers etc. If you need to make use of a vehicle (s) to complete the work you have been hired to do,  it would be classified as a commercial vehicle.

What Kind of Coverage is Available on Commercial Auto Insurance Policy? 

Commercial automobile insurance is really no different than personal insurance. The vehicles are rated differently because of their use.  All the mandatory laws set out for personal insurance applies to a commercial vehicle.  There are different endorsements that can be added to the policy to extend the basic coverage to include your needs. Mandatory coverage would include-

  • Third party Liability -This is the most important insurance you need to operate your vehicle. It is mandatory but without it, one accident could cause financial ruin for both your business and your personal business. You need to carry the highest limit of liability available. It insures you for any damages or injuries that you have caused another driver.
  • Accident Benefits coverage – Accident Benefits coverage is mandatory coverage which provides compensation for any type of injury that may be needed after an accident. It does not matter who is at fault, your insurance company will automatically respond to any need required for injuries. It would include medical and rehabilitation, loss of income, disability or death. Accident Benefits vary by location, and may be unique to your area.

Uninsured or Underinsured

The uninsured  – If you are involved in an accident with someone who has no insurance, your policy will pay for what ever coverage is required. Underinsured is being involved with another driver who carries the bare minimum coverage available. There are endorsements available that can be added to your policy to increase the coverage to the limit you have on your policy.

Direct Compensation – Property Damage

Direct compensation is coverage is used for an accident that is not your fault. There is no deductible required for repairs.

Collision coverage

If you are involved in an at fault accident, you would use your collision coverage to pay for repairs of your vehicle. It is subject to your deductible. This is an optional coverage, unless you have financing or are leasing a vehicle, then it becomes a mandatory coverage.

Comprehensive coverage

Comprehensive coverage, like Collision, is optional unless you have financing or leasing on the vehicle. It protects your vehicle against loss or damage resulting from something other than a collision like,  Fire, theft, flying objects, vandalism and windshield.

Family Protection coverage

This is the endorsement required to extend your coverage up to your own limits of coverage if the other party has base limits.

Commercial – EXTRAS

There are specialized endorsements that can be added to your policy depending on what the use of the vehicle. An example would be – cargo being shipped across the border or additional rules on machinery and/or equipment.

Meet Alfred to learn more about our solutions for business vehicles.

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Yacht Insurance in the UAE

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If you are lucky enough to own a yacht, you will want to make sure that your investment is covered by an all risk yacht insurance policy. Some of these yachts today are bigger than residential homes. Most Insurance Companies do offer comprehensive coverage on a all risk yacht policy. Here are a few of them.

  • A total loss of the yacht – stolen, extensive damage, fire.
  • The hull and machinery – includes all electrical and fuel lines, the motor, inside furnishing.
  • Personal & Third Party Liability, Medical Payments. – The coverage would pay for injuries to others on the boat and/or any injuries to others due to your negligence operating your yacht.
  • There is liability coverage for a third party in case of their injuries or property damage to their boat. **** Always take the highest liability you can. Any type fixture or an anything that is actually attached to the yacht. This would be all lighting fixtures, beds, fridge, stove or microwaves and television.
  • Personal Effects – including clothing, water boards, water skis, tubes, scuba diving and other water equipment. Additional Coverage beside what is included in a yacht policy may be available at an additional cost. You may be able to increase the limits if needed.

The Insurer who provides the coverage for these yachts, may require an out of water survey if the vessel is more than 7 years old. The age of the driver and their experience operating a similar vessel, will affect the Insurance rate. If you stand in the middle of your house and look around, there are yachts larger than your house. Can you imagine driving something so large. That is where boating schools and courses are highly recommended. There may be discounts available for completing and passing a boat course.

There are various boat schools that offer one on one training and others in a group setting. Similar to an airline course, you would have classroom training and 800 hours actually driving the boat on the water. The amount of hours varies however, if it is a 262ft boat, you can understand there may be more requirements.

The banks both local and international, have taken notice of the increase in the popularity of boating. They are now setting up financing similar to financing a car. Boating has become a social niche. There are boating clubhouses which include sailing, fishing, scuba diving and all the leisure you can handle.  It is almost a little community at the marinas. You could live on some of these boats.

Insurers also are aware of the popularity of boating and have set up their claims department accordingly. Client files are accessible by all claims personnel to assist you in an emergency situation. There are claims adjusters all over the area ready to help you in case of an emergency.

For anyone looking for a job, it might be worth looking into one of the yacht courses. There are plenty of them that are held during the year. If the trend continues, they will be looking for more people to hire for maintenance on the yachts, at the marina, or think about looking into employment on the yachts themselves.

To have your yacht insurance tailor made, whether you charter your yacht or even live on your boat, whether you own a dhow or are looking to cover a speedboat, let your personal shopper find the right pleasure craft insurance for you. Visit the yacht section on now!

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How Insurance Companies Are Trying To Save Costs

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Why is it so expensive to insure a high priced vehicle in Dubai. For the most part, it is the make of the vehicle and the cost to repair it or if it has shown to have a high injury rate.

Insurance Companies are trying to reduce their costs as much as possible for the consumer. There are a few ways behind the scenes that most do not know about, but it is making a difference.

  • They have partnered with various auto dealers and repair shops. If  they need a vehicle repaired, it would be sent to  one of their approved shops for repair. The cost of repairing a vehicle would be less than if they sent it to an independent repair shop.
  • Double Dipping – If a vehicle is involved in an accident, the tow truck drivers on the road, are ready to swoop in to be first in line to assist the driver. They will hook up the vehicle and take it to one of their  repair shops, for repairs.

A scenario would be, someone has had an accident on the highway, say Emirates Road. A tow truck driver shows up and waits for the police to come, the police take a report and release the vehicle. The tow truck driver offers to help you take your car to a repair shop that does excellent repairs. Sounds good, you agree and the driver hooks up the vehicle and tows it to the shop that they use. If that repair shop is not an insurance approved shop, the Insurance Company may want it towed over to one of their shops. Hence, double dipping or double towing charges.

It may not seem to be that much money, but over a year, it does add up.  If you look at 15,000 accidents over a year at AED 200.00 a tow, that would be AED 30,000. If the car had been taken directly to a Company sponsored garage, it would have saved the Company AED 15,000 to be used elsewhere. A small note here, check for storage fees if the vehicle has to stay where it is overnight.

The same reasoning behind having their own Garage affiliates, it saves huge amount of money and they can give their customers a guarantee on the work. It also allows for a quicker response for repairs and immediate rental vehicles if needed, by the customer.

One other way that all insurance companies are saving money is on the processing of documentation. All Company websites have been set up so the brokers have access to their portals. The can write up new policies, changes, claims, or cancellations. They have streamlined their work flow so the brokers are actually doing all the processing.

It is a good business decision. A large portion of the processing is now being done off site, which leaves them more efficient in staff hiring, or for future endeavors down the road.

You can meet Alfred if you wish to benefit from the most efficient way of buying car insurance in Dubai and across the UAE.

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Home Insurance Coverage in the UAE

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This article gives you a breakdown of the coverage provided by Home Insurance. The usage of the words, you, your, insured, policyholder refers to you – our client, and the usage of us, we, insurer, refers to the insurance company.

Home Insurance is protection for you and your family. There are various types of coverage available, most are included in the actual homeowners package. There are also other types that can be purchased separately in addition to your policy. The main perils or (causes)of damage, are fire, vandalism, water damage, smoke, theft, flood or falling items. There is additional protection not listed here. This is just an outline of the type of Insurance available.


This is the primary house itself. Anything that is attached to the house like awnings, railings, the roof, windows or a built in bookcase.


Any type of building like a detached garage, sheds, swimming pools,  tennis courts, any patios, gates, fencing or hedges.

Contents or Personal Belongings

All your household contents including such items as your couch, bed, clothing, blankets, stoves, fridges etc. Any valuables such as fine arts, furs, jewelry, stamp and coin collections.  This coverage will also cover damage to contents in a garage or shed, including some motorized lawn equipment.

Personal Effects

Coverage is available for a monetary loss of cash, debit or debit-credit cards. Fraudulent use of any of your accounts. This also includes passports, drivers license and limited costs for identity theft.

Unoccupied Building

There is no coverage for a building you may own that has been left unoccupied for more than 60 days. You should contact your insurer and advise them of this situation prior to leaving it unoccupied. Many insurers will add what they call ‘vacancy permits’.

Accommodation and Living Expense

If your home has been deemed inhabitable, your insurer will pay for any reasonable accommodations and expenses until you can safely move back to your home.

Liability Insurance

This is the owner’s legal liability insurance. This coverage is used if you are legally responsible for injuring another person or are negligent causing damage to another persons property.

Deductible or Excess

There is a AED $2,000 on most claims presented for an incident that has occurred and is covered by one of the perils on the policy.  If a claim should occur, and it is subject to two deductibles, the highest will apply and you will only have to pay the one.

Removal of Debris

We will pay for any type of demolishing, debris from damage to the building or falling trees.

Government Property

If you damage any local authority property, we will respond within the their guidelines and regulations, and pay any damages in which you are legally responsible.

Homeowners Contract

When you sign a Homeowners Application, it becomes a legal document between yourself and the Insurance Company. You will have agreed, by signing it that all the information is correct.


This is a serious offence to commit with an insurance company. The bottom line, it really is a type of fraud. The Insurance Company could deny a claim because of information that was purposely held back from them. There are to many examples to list, but they are all similar to these.

1. Telling the insurance company that you heat your home with oil, but in fact, your house is heated by a wood stove.

2. Completing the application and not telling them about previous claims

3. You don’t tell them that you have rented out your basement

Material Change of Risk

You have taken out an insurance policy, signed the application correctly stating everything you need to tell the Company.  Three months down the road, you decide to build an addition on the home. You don’t bother telling the insurance Company.  This would be a material change of risk. The Company insured you for what you had prior to the addition and could deny a claim if you did not inform them of the change.

Whether you are a tenant or a landlord, visit to find the right home insurance solution for you.

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Finding your way around Dubai – The Newcomer’s Guide to the Six Parallel Roads

This simple map may help you understand the main roads in Dubai. Image source:

This simple map may help you understand the main roads in Dubai.
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If you’re planning to move to Dubai or have just arrived, a basic understanding of the structural aspects of the Emirate (each city is an Emirate, there are seven in total) in terms of locations and road networks would go a long way – whether you’re buying/renting a car or using a taxi or even the metro. Though a smartphone with a navigation application is highly recommended and will go a long way in helping you with the specific turns etc.

Dubai is longer than it is wide – it is a city that flows beautifully along the coast, what is largely known as Jumeirah Beach. Parallel to the cost are some of the main freeways (highways) of Dubai. Starting from the beach, you first have Jumeirah Beach Road (also sometimes know as the Jumeirah Road) which, as the name suggests, is right by the beach. Parallel to this is the Al Wasl Road, after which is the most popular and most populated road of Dubai – the Sheikh Zayed Road – arguably this is the bloodline of Dubai and a road that we’ve all learned to love and be proud of, given that you would find much of Dubai’s architectural and infrastructural achievements on this very road (Burj Khalifa being the most visible one!). The first and the main line of the Dubai Metro (the red line) also goes along this road.

Parallel to this road is the Al Khail road which is more of an industrial highway and goes from the Business Bay Crossing in Deira all the way up to Jebel

This is a great map to help you understand the structure of Dubai through many of its beautiful landmarks. Image source:

This is a great map to help you understand the structure of Dubai through many of its beautiful landmarks.
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Ali where it connects on to the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Road (formerly known as the Emirates Road) – all the way until then, however, the Sheilkh Mohammed Bin Rashid Road is the second last parallel road to the ones mentioned above. Parallel to this is the now Emirates Road (formerly known as the Outer Bypass Road).

Now, all of the above roads essentially take you from the Sharjah direction to Abu Dhabi and start at the Bur Dubai area (specifically Oud Metha) with the exception of Al Khail road which goes on to connect with Business Bay crossing (that leads you into the newer parts of Deira). Once you’re in Bur Dubai though, if you want to get across the other side of the creek into Deira which is the oldert part of Dubai (a river that essentially divides the Emirate into two parts), you can use any of the bridges – Maktoum Bridge, Floating Bridge, Garhoud Bridge or Business Bay Crossing. The Maktoum and Garhoud bridges have a SALIK charge applicable.

This is the Sheikh Zayed Road that we're all proud of - you can't be in Dubai and not interact with this road every now and again! Image source:

This is the Sheikh Zayed Road that we’re all proud of – you can’t be in Dubai and not interact with this road every now and again!
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And that’s pretty much it – most locations in Dubai would need you to interact with one of the above main roads in order to get to them. In terms of the five main parallel roads described above, you’d need to just make sure you get to the right exit and take the turn in the right direction in order to get on to the perpendicular road that would take you towards your destination.

Hope this gives you an introductory idea on how the roads are structured in Dubai, if you’d like any kind of guidance on insurance come visit

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Car Insurance Myths – True or False

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Auto insurance can be very complicated for most people. Like many legal documents, there is a lot of small print on the application. My guess is even if you could read it, you probably wouldn’t understand most of it. It is just legal lingo. This is where your broker or agent can be very helpful. Here are a few myths, some have been around for years.

Myth: Red cars are more expensive to insure

False: It does not make any difference in the premium. High performance cars always seem to be the color red. The price for that type of vehicle was high. You could have a silver corvette and a red corvette and the rate would be the same. 

Myth: If you’re under 25, shopping around for car insurance is a waste of time

False: Each Insurance Company has their own rates. There are some that do charge a higher premium for anyone under 25 years of age, and then there are some that do not.

Tip:  There are Insurance Companies that will add your kids under 25 to your policy. This is great platform for them. It gives them a written insurance history. Their experience driving periodically with your vehicle, will allow them the best rates when they take out their own auto policy.

Myth: Your insurance covers you when you use your car for commercial or business

False: – If you are using your vehicle for any type of commercial use, you would not be covered. Your policy will state  ‘personal/private use”. That is what you signed on the application. If that changes, you need to talk to your agent.

Myth: Your rate will go up if you get into an accident

True:  If you were in an accident that was not your fault, then no, yours rates should not increase (significantly). If you were at fault, yes your rates can increase. Check with your agent. * Some Companies will offer to give you the option of buying an additional rider, that would allow a free accident. That means, the first accident does not count.

* This would only be useful to you with your present insurer. If you move your insurance to another Company, they would base your rate on your driving record.

Myth: If your friend borrows your car and wrecks it, his insurance covers it

False: It is your Insurance. Not your friends insurance. You will have to take care of the damage using your own policy. Be careful who you lend your car too. If they happen to be unlicensed, been drinking or drive carelessly, you will be responsible for all damage or injuries to another party.

Myth: An Auto Insurance Company can charge what they want because auto insurance rates aren’t regulated

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False: There is a regulator watching closely and moreover it’s a competitive market in the UAE so even if they could charge whatever they wanted they’d need to make sure that they’re in the right range if they want to win any business!

Myth: My rates will be similar to my neighbor’s rates

False: Definitely not. There are to many variables involved determining the premium. An example, make, model of car, your age, your driving record and much more.

Myth: “Comprehensive” coverage protects drivers in all situations 

False: Comprehensive coverage does not protect drivers. It is the coverage available for fire, theft, vandalism and a few more.

Myth: If you swerve to avoid hitting an animal on the road and go into a ditch, it is classified as being a not at fault accident 

False: Though unusual in Dubai, this does actually happen! Unfortunately, it is classified as an at fault accident.  While I hate to say this, and totally do not understand the reasoning behind it, they say you are better off hitting the animal. You will still have to pay your deductible, but the Company will consider it a not at fault accident.

**Just a little sidenote – If you have seen the damage that a camel standing on the road can cause to your vehicle, I would take the ditch. The heck with the insurance issue.

Myth – It does not matter if I go to an Insurance Agent or an Insurance Broker, my rates will be the same

False: An Agent works directly with one insurance Company. A broker works as a representative of many Companies. They have more options to offer their clients.

Everyone has an opinion about car insurance in Dubai. Some are correct in their assumptions, other do not have a clue what they are talking about. As a driver on the road, it is your future you are putting at risk. Be prepared and keep yourself informed with all aspects of Insurance. If you have a question, call your broker for the correct answer. The guy across the road is probably just blowing hot air about his rates. Or, come see us at!  

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Dubai’s Special Number Plates

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The number plate business in this part of the world is big business, with many businesses, investors and agents just working in the trade of number plates. There is a unique sense of satisfaction in owning a fancy number plate and while some numbers may just mean something to the owner (eg. lucky number, birth date etc.) others are easily identifiable as being special (eg. 786 has a religious significance in Islam, 007 is all about having the license to kill and the number 13 is unlucky for some!).

Where should I look for one?

In Dubai, the process is simple. The best place to look around is probably under the auto accessories section – this is where all the traders and agents advertise the numbers that they have available. If you’re looking for something specific, you can also post an advert yourself with a mention which number you are looking for. Of course, even letters have their own significance, whether personally or to the public!

There are some websites that sell UAE number plates but admittedly though they seem a bit dodgy they can also be a place to learn about what’s available out there.

How to value a number plate?

In terms of the Emirate of registration, Dubai’s special number plates are worth the most!

The main thing is of course the number of digits. Five digit number plates are significantly cheaper than 4 digit number plates and 3 digits and lower are usually into the six figure AED amounts (in Dubai). Once you have decided on the number of digits, then you can consider the various options available – the market is very steep – for a small increase in fanciness you’ll find that the price goes up very significantly – it’s not easy to find the right balance if you’re not an expert or haven’t done enough research.

And of course, you should know that you can negotiate with the person you’re buying from! Also, you should agree on who will bear the cost of transfer – at the time of writing this article (29/7/13), the cost of transferring the number plate to your name is AED 110.

How likely is my number plate to increase in value over time? Is it a good investment?

Like most exotic things, sometimes you can get lucky and make big money on something you took a risk on. But, most of the time, you may find yourself not as lucky. If you really want to get into number plates, don’t do it for any kind of long term financial return (this may or may not be a byproduct) – do it for the love of number plates! At the end of the day, do bear in mind that the environment/market for the number plate can easily be entirely transformed simply by decision-making by the authorities. For example, some argue that recently the values of number plates fell drastically because new alphabets like ‘N’ and ‘L’ were released. Having said this, if you know what you’re doing, you can actually end up with a great deal at an auction and flog your plate off at several Dirhams higher soon afterwards.

The RTA Process

It’s really quite simple and you’re not even required for it. Usually, the person selling you the number plate will do everything for you. You’ll have to send them your Dubai drivers’ license and Emirates ID and they’ll go over to the RTA and transfer the plate number to your name. Usually, you’ll also receive a text message from the RTA that the plate has been transferred to your name.

The RTA Certificate

This is a surprisingly simple document, entirely in Arabic which mentions that the number plate is under its owner’s name. To ensure originality, make sure that it has the blue RTA rubber stamp applied to it. However, this certificate holds little value – if the number plate really has been transferred to your name it will be reflecting in the RTA systems – you can just give them a ring on 800 90 90 and ask them. It literally takes two minutes.

Some big and famous number plate deals

These happen every day, there is probably a big number plate in negotiation, transfer or issuance right at this moment! Here are some entertaining articles about the significant happenings in the UAE number plate world:

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The Ultimate

The best number plate in the UAE is owned by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. It is currently on a white Mercedes G55. So, if you ever spot this car on the road make sure you quickly check for the number plate – and if you’re in luck you may actually have a chance to see the ruler of our Emirate!

Do you have a special number plate? Alfred and his personal shoppers would love to learn about it! Visit and we’ll get you a special deal.

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