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There's No Sure In Insurance
By TI3GIB @ Wednesday, May 30, 2007
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The Royal Oman's Police plan to simplify the paperwork process regarding insurance policies in minor accidents car accidents announced back in February is underway. Experimentally, for Muscat only, the new system supposedly will smoothen out all the post-accident processing for inspecting any damaged vehicles, and if you’ve been reading the newspapers leaflets briefing the new system have been attached.

Wasn't the initial rip-off bringing enough money to the violently money hungry Insurance companies ? Whose idea was this in the first place and will the consumer really benefit from it as much as it claims ? .. No one can tell, but what anyone would tell you is that there could have been another million ways to improve the insurance system in Oman.

Starting for example with fixed rates that have to be approved by the CMA before being burdened on the consumer. Especially now that the 'Insurance Contribution' rate was raised from 50 Rials to 100 Rials. Couldn't have that been a better start for an insurance turn-around in the country ?

From what I know, it's the Capital Market Authority (CMA) who are concerned in writing and enforcing laws, and guidelines about commercial insurance. Reviewing the Automotive Insurance Code on the CMA's website gives you a good idea about how the system works, but doesn't suffice in understanding the technicalities of it. It doesn't cover the extra policy clauses that appear in The Unified Motor Vehicle Insurance Policy, the document that contracts the consumer with the insurance company. I don't know who that's unionized by. That difference made me think of how much insurance companies can get away with, and I came up to the following ...

1) Third party Insurance should be mandatory on insurance companies, just like it is on the consumer : The consumer takes full blame for any damages, deaths or injuries that incur in an accident during any time the car is not insured in. But how much responsability does he deserve when can't find an insurance company to cater his needs. There have been a lot of stories about companies that call to inform about refusing to give service to customers.

2) Respecting Privacy : If you read the unified motor vehicle insurance policy carefully you will see this ..

The insured shall take all reasonable steps to safeguard the insured vehicle from loss and damage and to maintain the vehicle in roadworthy condition and the company shall have at all times free and full access to examine the vehicle or any part thereof.

Free access ?! ALL TIMES ?! ... Now, I'm no lawyer and I can't autopsy every last little technical contract detail, but that bolded phrase sounds very comprehendible to me. The way I see that, it says that any identified representative from the insurance company can come to your house, workplace, girl friend's house or wherever you go unannounced at any time invading the privacy of yourself, your house and your family. I don't know how unified this contract is, but I got this one from Al-Ahlia Insurance Oman.

3) Pricing & Factor Control : This new system is yet to tell us how it'll work out, but really how much success are we expecting if we give absolute power to the decisive figure that controls where, what and how much will it cost to repair damages that occurred in an accident. It's just too much control to give to the market that's most known for it's mastery in the thievery. I don't think we need to reconsider how Insurance is applied in Oman, we need full change of how it’s operating mechanism.

I believe that it’s time insurance packages should include robberies and natural disaster damages to vehicles, especially after the horrifying images of damaged cars we’ve seen after the most recent rain. It’s also time that insurance companies offer more reasonable depreciation in partial losses or deaths. It’s time these companies also learn to put the consumer first, to gain his trust, by doing the most simplest of things that would make him feel safe with his choice, take for an example providing a substitute car while any damaged cars are being repaired. Considering the ridiculous pricing these companies have set for their services, it’s time we see a more reliable progressive service.

Links :-
1) Capital Market Authority Oman : Vehicle Insurance Law : [Link]
2) Capital Market Authority Oman : Rules For Vehicle Insurance [Link]

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