Drivers in Saudi Arabia are legally required to have third-party insurance. This compulsory policy is the cheapest insurance available, and will cover any damage caused to an individual, vehicle or property by the insured driver’s vehicle.
As Saudi Arabia is one of the most dangerous countries in which to drive, accidents are common. It is recommended that all expats take out a comprehensive insurance policy to cover all of the above, in addition to insuring their car against fire, theft and accidents.
What is included in third-party and comprehensive policies can vary between providers, so check exactly what is included before selecting one. Comprehensive policies are normally offered for cars that are fewer than five years’ old, as depreciation can make older cars not worth insuring fully.
Among the extra options that can be included for an additional fee are:
Car insurance must be arranged before the transfer of ownership can be finished.
There are many insurance companies in Saudi Arabia that offer local and international cover for motor vehicles, as well as insurance brokers. Car dealers may also offer insurance as part of a package, especially with finance deals, but it may be worth checking how much is charged for this in comparison with the cost of going direct to an insurance company.
It is advisable to ask around among colleagues, friends and employers about which companies offer the best policies and service, particularly with regard to how a claim was handled. It is important to check how easy it is to contact a company. For example, if a driver is involved in a car accident at the weekend or on a public holiday, is there a call centre available 24/7? It is also worth asking whether a company provides documentation in Arabic and English.
It is necessary to have valid residency and a Saudi driving licence to obtain vehicle insurance. Proof of any previous no-claims discount should be provided when arranging insurance, as it may reduce the cost of the policy.
Insurers require the following documents:
As women are forbidden from driving in Saudi Arabia, only men can apply for an insurance policy.
Diya (“blood money”) is a fine imposed for causing death either willfully or by accident. In the event of a death caused by a car accident, the insurance company will often include cover for blood money sought by relatives of the deceased. Check this before signing up to any policy.
Further details about policy terms and conditions, and what is covered, can be found on the websites of Saudi’s leading motor insurance companies. These include:
The possession and consumption of alcohol is illegal in Saudi Arabia. Drinking and driving will result in arrest, imprisonment, possibly a fine and deportation. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs will also void insurance coverage in the event of an accident.
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