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DOHA: Plans to have a unified insurance policy for automobiles in the GCC region are in the pipeline and if things go as planned, regional motor insurance schemes might be launched before the year-end.
A preliminary draft of the proposed policy has been framed, and approved by the Gulf Insurance Federation at its meeting in Dubai last month.
The draft has been circulated among major insurers in the region for suggestions so finishing touches could be given to the draft after incorporating the changes. The next meeting of the Federation, an association of regional risk underwriters, is to be held in Doha and it is likely that the draft policy might be approved for implementation.
A key official of the federation told a UAE-based online newspaper, Alittihad, that a unified regional motor insurance policy could see the light of day before the end of the current year.
“The preliminary draft policy has been approved by the federation at their meeting in Dubai that was held in the middle of last month,” Mohamed Mazhar Hamda, head of the technical committee of the Federation, told Alittihad. Once the policy is in place, one would not need to buy separate motor insurance covers if driving within the region. A single policy bought in any GCC state would suffice.
Currently, motorists driving from one GCC state to another need to buy third-party insurance cover. This is most common in the case of Saudi Arabia which attracts a large number of religious visitors from the region who prefer to travel by road.
People travelling to Saudi Arabia from Qatar by road for pilgrimage like Umrah, for example, must pay up QR100 as third-party insurance fee. Hamda said there is a strong possibility that after necessary changes to the draft policy based on the feedback had from regional insurance companies the draft would be approved for implementation at the next meeting of the Federation in Doha. The official, however, didn’t specify the timeframe by which he expected the meeting to take place here, but reiterated that the unified regional policy was likely to be implemented before the end of 2013.
Model motor regulations might be introduced in the UAE on an experimental basis before their implementation in the region.
Hamda said the proposed unified policy would not affect in anyway motor insurance laws of the member-countries, but added that a mechanism of how accident claims would be settled needed to be worked out. “We are currently busy studying relevant rules and regulations of the member-countries so as to develop an effective mechanism for accidents claims settlements,” Hamda was quoted as saying. The Peninsula