General Insurance

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What is General Insurance?

Also known as non-life insurance, general insurance offers financial coverage for all kinds of assets that you may have and yourself as well against natural or man-made threats like illnesses, fire, flood, riots, vandalism, etc. The protection umbrella of general insurance plans commonly includes your health in general, your car, motorbikes, home, etc. In simple words, general insurance includes all plans that are not life insurance plans. Where life insurance handles the death of the insured and the repercussions that come with it, general insurance plans lend a helping hand in preventing these risks. Unlike life insurance, the tenure of general insurance plans is short and extends to a maximum of 5 years at once. Although, can be renewed at the end of each tenure cycle, for as long as the buyers wants like it.

Types of General Insurance

General insurance in Dubai can be divided into four basic types based on the types of assets they protect and the coverage that they provide. These types are explained as follows:

1. Health Insurance

As evident by the name, a health insurance plan covers for the medical expenses that you have to make in getting yourself treated for a medical condition. The expenses covered by a health insurance plan can be partial or in full as per the design and structure of the plan that you choose.

Health insurance cover generally includes hospitalisation expenses, prescription drugs, ambulance expenses, and several post-procedure services as well. There are several further classifications for health insurance plans as well. Depending on the plan that you have chosen and the unique services offered by your insurance provider, the plan coverage may also include maternity covers, dental and optical cover, therapy session expenses, rehabilitation expenses, day care facilities, home nurse expenses, doctor consultations, etc.

Health insurance plans can be divided into three basic types as per the coverage that they offer and who they are meant for. These types are briefly explained below:

  • Individual Health Insurance: Designed to cover and suit the needs of a single individual, individual health insurance plans cover for the medical expenses of the single person insured in the plan as per the assured value.
  • Family Health Insurance: A family health insurance can be used to insure all the members of your family under a single plan. This includes your spouse, elderly parents, and children (till a pre-set age only).
  • Critical Illness Health Insurance: Critical Illness health insurance is designed specially to cover critical and life-threatening diseases. It can be opted by anyone who is eligible to buy insurance in UAE.
  • Senior Citizen Health Insurance: Senior citizen health insurance plans are available for UAE residents and nationals who are older than 60 years of age.
  • Group Medical Insurance: A group health insurance plan is made for corporates to provide insurance for their employees and dependents.

2. Motor Insurance

A mandatory thing to have for all vehicle owners in UAE, motor insurance widely refers to the insurance plans that cover almost every kind of vehicle that can be owned by an individual. This can include cars, two-wheelers, three-wheelers, buses, and even trucks. Both personal and commercial vehicles are covered under motor insurance plans although the plans targeting a certain kind of vehicle can differ. Following is a broad classification of motor insurance on the basis of vehicles covered by them.

  • Car Insurance: covers all kinds of personal cars including family cars, wagons, and SUVs.
  • Two-wheeler vehicle insurance: covers all kinds of two-wheeler vehicles including motorbikes and scooters.
  • Commercial Vehicle Insurance: covers trucks, taxis, cabs, three or wheeler commercial vehicles, buses, etc.

You will find that motor insurance for any kind of vehicle – cars, two-wheelers, or commercial – is offered in two variants – third-party liability covers and comprehensive insurance. A third-party liability cover protects you, the vehicle owner, from any financial threats that can arise due to a third-party liability in case of an accident where the fault lied at your end. It basically covers the cost of any claims made by any third-party person involved in the accident. It does not cover the repairs and damages caused to own vehicle in the accident though.

A comprehensive motor insurance plan covers everything that a third-party plan does along with covering own vehicle against damages caused due to natural disasters like (rain, storms, etc.), man-made calamities (like riots, fire, etc.), theft of the vehicle, and total loss due to irreparable damages or otherwise. Comprehensive car insurance also comes with an option to opt for additional covers like engine repair, personal accident, no depreciation, etc. which makes it the most extensive kind of motor insurance available in the market.

3. Home Insurance

A home insurance policy is designed to protect your house and the contents (depending on the variants that you choose) from unavoidable damages. For example, damages caused by natural disasters (like rain, storms, earthquakes, etc.), man-made calamities (like vandalism, riots, fire, etc.), accidents, electric breakdowns, and theft. Home insurance also covers for third-party liabilities of a tenant or a home owner. This means that if a third person happens to incur any damages to their personal belongings, then the insurance company will cover the said damages. Home insurance plans can be broadly classified as plans for home owners and plans for tenants. However, there are several kinds of home insurance plans when you get to the bottom of it.

  • Building Structure Insurance: This type of home insurance covers for only the damages that have been incurred by the building and the structure itself.
  • Home Content Insurance: This type of home insurance covers for the damages that are incurred by the contents of the home such as electronics, furniture, etc.
  • Personal Belonging Insurance: This type of home insurance plan includes personal items of the insured like clothing, furniture, etc.

4. Travel Insurance

A travel insurance plan covers you against several expected or unexpected perils that can come to pass while travelling in your own or foreign country. Travel Insurance Plan can include theft, baggage loss, illness, accident, emergency medical covers, emergency evacuation, flight delays, missed flights, cancellation of trips, repatriation expenses, etc.  Depending on the individual/group to be insured, travel insurance can be divided into the following parts:

  • Solo Trip Travel Insurance – for solo travellers
  • Single Trip Travel Insurance – for a single round-trip
  • Multi-Trip Travel Insurance – for individuals who go on trips frequently
  • Corporate Travel Insurance – offered corporates to their travelling employees
  • Senior Citizen Travel Insurance – designed for senior citizens going on trips
  • Student Travel Insurance – custom-made student travel insurance plans

Schengen Travel Insurance – for folks travelling to the Schengen group of countries

How does General Insurance work?

General insurance in Dubai typically works on a reimbursement-style payment basis. For example, you have comprehensive car insurance for your SUV which also includes protection against off-roading damages, car accessories, and engine. Your car gets damaged during an off-road ride which includes significant damage to the accessories like brake lights as well. In this case, you will be informing your insurance company about the said damages and transport the vehicle to a garage. You will then file for reimbursement for the expenses that went in repairing the aforementioned damages which will be paid back to you by the insurance company since they are covered in the insurance plans. This applies to all other types of general insurance in UAE as well. General health insurance plans also offer a cashless claim feature where the insured can have the insurance provider pay for the included services from the very start – directly to the hospital.

Why do we need General Insurance?

Having general insurance to protect yourself and your assets is more of a necessity than an option in today’s world. We can see or suspect some threats from afar and take preventive measures to escape them however there are several of those that knock on our doors unexpectedly, giving us no time to prepare to tackle them. This is where general insurance steps forward to lend a helping hand. Following are a few reasons for which one needs a general insurance plan:

1. Protects Against Unknown and Unexpected Threats

From natural disasters like rain and storms to man-made ones like fire and riots, there are several things that are completely unexpected and often even unknown until the time they befall us. General insurance plans offer cover and protection against these calamities and ensure that we are not faced with a sudden financial hit that could be very hefty to take on, especially in the situation of a crisis.

2. Protection of Assets

It takes most people their whole lives to gather some of their most valuable assets like a house of their own, their car, and more. These are an investment of a lifetime but still exposed to many threats that can destroy them in a matter of minutes like riots, storms, and more. Most of these threats are out of our hands to be handled and hence it is a huge risk to just leave your most precious assets be at the mercy of these threats. General insurance plans offer a protective cover for these assets and ensure that you are covered in case of any damages that are incurred by these unavoidable hazards.

3. Financial Support and Stability

Having general insurance for your assets, your family, and yourself results in the often-sought financial stability. You no longer have to cover for petty damages that are covered by your insurance company and you can rest assured that your assets and your family member are protected in case of a situation that requires immediate attention.

4. Helps During Emergencies

It is entirely possible that you will be able to cover for threats that are expected to come sooner or later but it is a whole different story with emergencies. From a road accident, emergency help to emergency intensive care in a hospital, general insurance plans are designed to ensure that you have the support that you need in the time of crisis.

5. Covers for Legal Liabilities

It is a big enough adversity when your asset is damaged due to an accident. Although, it becomes an even worse situation if a third party happens to be involved in the situation where you happen to be at fault. General insurance covers for the third-party liabilities in situations and accidents where you are at fault ensuring you have one less thing to worry about.

List of Top general insurance companies in Dubai

Following is a list of the best general insurance companies in Dubai and UAE along with a brief of the types of general insurance that they offer:

General Insurance Companies in Dubai

Insurance Products Offered

Oman Insurance

  • Motor
  1. Comprehensive
  2. Third-party liability
  3. InsureMyTesla
  4. High Net Worth Vehicles
  5. Fleet Insurance (commercial)
  • Health
  1. DHA EBP Plans
  2. Group Health Insurance Plans
  • Home
  1. Home Easy
  2. Home Umbrella
  3. Home Arte
  • Travel
  1. Travel Easy
  2. Visitor Health
  3. Business Travel Insurance

AXA Insurance

  • Car
  1. Motor Prestige
  2. Motor Perfect
  3. Motor Third Party
  4. Motor Fleet (commercial)
  • Travel
  1. Travel Smart
  2. Travel Inbound
  3. Travel Schengen
  4. Business Travel Insurance
  • Home Insurance
  • Health
  1. Smart Health Global
  2. Smart Health Regional
  3. Smart Health Gold
  4. Smart Health Silver
  5. Smart Health Bronze
  6. Group Health Insurance for Employees

Orient Insurance

  • Health
  1. EMed
  2. IMed
  3. NEMed
  4. DMed
  5. Family Care Plan
  • Motor
  1. Third-party
  2. Comprehensive
  • Travel Insurance
  • Home

RSA Insurance

  • Motor
  1. Motor Executive
  2. Motor Smart
  3. Motor Value
  • Home
  1. Contents
  2. Personal Effects
  3. Building
  • Travel
  1. Holiday
  2. Executive
  3. Schengen

Union Insurance

  • Health
  1. Essential Benefits
  2. Sanad
  3. Enhanced Individual (Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Northern Emirates variants)
  • Motor
  1. Standard Comprehensive
  2. Superior Comprehensive
  3. Third-Party
  • Home
  1. Contents and Belongings
  2. Buildings
  • Travel Insurance

Salama Insurance

  • Auto
  1. Comprehensive
  2. Third-Party
  3. Fleet insurance (commercial)
  • Health
  1. Individual Plans
  2. Group Medical Plans
  • Home (Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Diamond)

Noor Takaful Insurance

  • Health
  1. Dependants (Basic and Enhanced versions)
  2. Domestic Staff
  • Car
  1. Comprehensive
  2. Third-Party
  • Home Insurance (+ optional covers)
  • Travel
  1. Travel Gold
  2. Travel Gold Plus
  3. Travel Schengen

MetLife Insurance

  • Health
  1. Individual Medical
  2. Accidental and Health
  3. Group Medical Insurance

Difference between General Insurance and Life Insurance

General and life insurance plans are often found to be confusing by a lot of people. However, both these have quite a lot of differences among them, starting from their very nature. Following is a detailed differentiation between life and general insurance in UAE:

Parameters

General Insurance

Life Insurance

Definition

It is a contract between the insurance company and the insured where the insurance company ensures the safety of the health and assets of the insured people and the assets by offering reimbursement for the injuries/damages caused to them. This is a contract between the insured and the insurance company where the company has to reimburse the family of the insured person upon their death.

Period of Contract

Short term (1 to 5 years) Long term (till death of the insured)

Nature

An indemnity contract Not an indemnity contract

Payment of Claims

Upon maturity or occurrence of the insured incident Upon the death of the insured

Insurable Interest

The insured person has to be present at the time of claim payment (exclusions apply) The insured interest is not present

Investment Factor

There is no investment or savings factor It is like an investment towards the life of the insured

Premium Payment

Lump-sum payment of the premium amount Can be paid over the years

Amount of Premium

Decided by the value of the asset to be insured Decided by the insured person voluntarily

Step-by-Step Guide to File a Claim for General Insurance in Dubai

Most claims made under general insurance plans are reimbursement claims which are filed after the insured has borne the cost themselves. Even with different types of general insurance policies in consideration, the claim process is pretty much the same for almost every reimbursement case, whether it is a health insurance policy or travel insurance. Following is a step-by-step guide of the claim process:

  • Decide whether you want to submit the claim online or offline via a broker/by visiting the insurance company. Online claims are comparatively easier to submit and get processed faster too.
  • Once you have made the decision, obtain the claim reimbursement form which is available on the online portals of all insurance providers. Fill it duly, stamp and sign.
  • Each kind of general health insurance often has different claim forms which are available on their respective claim submission portals. Make sure you have the right one.
  • Gather all the required documents that are asked for by the insurance provider. The list of required documents is also given on the claim submission or the “downloads” section of the website. If you have some doubts, you can always take help from the customer support of the provider.
  • Attach the documents with the claim reimbursement form and submit them to the insurance company.

The submission of your claim documents will be followed by a review of your application, an investigation by the insurance company for fact-checking, and finally, the approval of the claim.

Cashless Claims Process

Cashless claims are often only available for a few services included in health insurance plans like hospitalisation. The following are the steps you need to follow to make sure that your cashless claim picks up on time before the hospitalisation itself:

  • Inform the insurance company of the upcoming cashless claim request so that they are prepared to process it on priority.
  • Collect all the documents that you need for verification and KYC including your cashless claim card issued by the company, insurance documents, and identity proofs.
  • Submit the document to the hospital TPA counter and they will send them for approval to the insurance company.
  • Once they receive the approval, the cashless benefit will begin. Keep a copy of the approved paperwork with yourself as well.

FAQs

Q1. What is the Premium amount?

Ans. Premium is the amount that is paid in a lump sum to the insurance company by the insured to cover the risk that it takes upon when offering insurance to the policyholder. It is simply the amount that the insurance company charges from the policyholder for taking up their risk of protecting their assets on itself.

Q2. What is Deductible?

Ans. The deductible is the part of the insured sum that is paid by the policyholder themselves. It is decided initially when the policy is bought and can be voluntarily chosen by the policyholder in most cases. Some insurance plans come with a mandatory set amount of deductible with them as well. The amount of deductible decides how much an insurance company will have to cover in event of a claim. Total insured amount – deductible amount = payable amount by the insurance company.

Q3. How much amount should I insure for?

Ans. The assured amount of your general insurance in Dubai is influenced by a lot of factors including the value of the assets to be insured, your budget for premiums, the deductible amount that you can pay, the term of the insurance plan, etc. You can easily decide the amount you should get insured for. Note that this amount can change anytime in the foreseeable future depending on the needs of the hour.

Q4. Can I buy general insurance plans online?

Ans. Yes, you can easily buy general insurance online in UAE. Most insurance providers have online websites and mobile applications which can be used by customers to get insurance in Dubai via online platforms.

Q5. Who is eligible to buy general insurance in UAE?

Ans. Any UAE resident or national who is 18 years of age or older with a valid passport, resident visa page, or address proof and all other required documents is eligible to buy general insurance under their name.

Q6. What is a No Claim Bonus?

Ans. An NCB or no claim bonus is a reward that is given to the policyholders for every claim-free year they spend with the insurance company. The NCB is often presented as a discount on the premium amount to be paid for the next year by the policyholder.

Q7. Can claims be rejected or denied?

Ans. Rather unlikely but yes, claims can be rejected in event of a few situations. Most claims rejections and denials happen due to clerical errors in the claim forms, incomplete documents when the services claimed for are not covered by the plan, or when a claim is made after the expiration of the policy.

Q8. How do I make sure my claim does not get rejected?

Ans. Read the terms and conditions of your general insurance plan thoroughly before filing the claim and make sure that the services you want reimbursement for are covered by the provider. Keep the paperwork clean and crisp and free of clerical errors. Make sure you have added all required documents including receipts, bills, prescriptions, etc. to the document folder.

Q9. Do I Have to pay more premium next year if I file for a claim?

Ans. No, the premium amount has nothing to do with the number of times you file and get and a claim against your insurance policy.

Q10. How many types of claims are there?

Ans. There can be two basic kinds of claims depending on the type of your general insurance policy. The first one is the cashless claim which is applicable for hospitalisation costs cover in a health insurance policy and the second one is a reimbursement claim where you are reimbursed for the full or partial amount of expenses that were made for the damages/services covered by the insurance plan.

Q11. Can I cancel my general insurance policy?

Ans. Yes, any general insurance plan can be easily cancelled only in a few steps. Simply contact the insurance provider or your insurance broker (if any) and inform them about the cancellation. The company will initiate the process and within a week or two, you will be done with all the cancelation formalities.

Q12. Do I get a refund upon cancellation of my general insurance in Dubai?

Ans. If there is time remaining in the maturity of the policy at the time of cancellation, the insurance companies offer a refund on a pro-rata basis. However, make sure that you confirm the details with the provider to get a better picture of all the terms.

Q13. What is reinsurance?

Ans. Reinsurance is the process where an insurance provider seeks insurance cover from another insurance provider to eliminate the possibility of a high-risk situation. Reinsurance allows the insurance providers to transfer a part of their legal liabilities (towards the insured customers) to another insurance company to minimise loss.