Tuesday, September 23, 2008

New Policy: Omani Government taxes safe drivers to subsidise young idiots

Ever noticed how incredibly expensive it is to insure a car in Oman? Its not because of Gonu making flood a big risk, nor is it (just) the super high rate of accidents on Oman. If you are an experienced driver over the age of 25, with no history of accidents or making claims, you are being effectively taxed to subsidise the insurance for an 18 year old male in his nice new high performance car.

Yep. In another brilliant Government sponsored initiative, this year the Oman Insurance regulator [the CMA] introduced a new policy, and a new mandatory proposal form. Car insurers in Oman are no longer allowed to ask the sort of important questions you would face if buying auto insurance in most countries, like how many accidents have you had, speeding tickets, who will be driving the car, etc. The insurers are also not allowed to restrict insurance to only drivers over a set age (regardless of the type or cost of the car), and they have been told that under no circumstances can a claim (even for damage to your own car, let alone the third party) be declined for non disclosure.

Now, the insurance companies still need to make money, even when they are forced to insure 18 yr olds who have a history of accidents and are driving nice new Dodge Chargers or Porsches.

So, what that means is the difference is coming from the rates they charge everyone else, including you, even if you are 50 years old, have never had an accident, and drive a Toyota Echo. It also means the insurers are fighting to try and skew their insured population as far as possible away from higher risk drivers, while staying within the regulations.

But, gee, thanks CMA. Like my insurance wasn't high enough already because of these young idiots risking my life and limb, now I even have to subsidise their adventures.


  1. My little corner of Oman is Majees. I love the village and its people. Of course, the young boys, and not so young boys, drive as reckless here as the do in the rest of Oman. But what bothers me the most are the younger boys on scooters driving on the public roads. They are unlicensed, unregistered,uninsured, and untrained. And what they are learning is a complete disregard for the traffic laws. No wonder when they get their licenses and first car, they pay no attention to the regulations- they never have in the past.
    I think ROP does a great job maintaining our security here in Oman and I certainly appreciate it,(I think it is the best in the world) but what is the use of all that security if I am going to be killed or injured by a reckless driver instead of a terrorist.

  2. Arent there some religious leader or scholars to teach them to be clever and a bit more civilized? Is such behavior compatible with the wisdom of muslins? It would be more important than trying to rule about scientific questions like that of human organ donations... Unfortunatelly, this savage behavior is present in many other countries. BraSil has right now new laws with expensive fines and jail for the irresponsible drivers.

  3. Marcia:

    Guess what?

    Sheikh Abdullah al-Khalili - the Grand Mufti of the Sultanate - has a fatwa saying that whoever speeds over 120 km/h (over the speed limit), is considered committing suicide. :)

  4. The insurance companies, together with the Oman Insurance Association and the CMA is working on a new system, wherein the data with the police on drivers and the data with the insurance companies is available to each other.
    It is hoped that with this data, it will be able to identify dangerous drivers and make them pay higher premiums. I hope that this idea actually comes into force. but something is cooking folks.

  5. and in a weird and non-surprising way to find ingenious ways to make the safe drivers pay too.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. 120 km??? The midia should broadcast the videos about tests. There are huge risks, death and damage to humans in accidents with just 40 km/hour.

    So, the guys dont care about their Sheik? ;)

    The insurance companies dont need to reinvent the wheel. There are nice rules (from statistics) to decide the prices and coverage. As a woman , after some age I pay less than a boy under 25 years old. Sorry men, but WE ARE THE BEST DRIVERS!!! I pay less also because i am the only driveR. If i am a good driver, i pay less every year. Simple like that.

    Our law has decided that if you drink just a cup, you loose all the rights, etc, etc

    Maybe if women were in the power in Oman you could have a better quality of life.

  8. My Insurance brokerage will help you get the best deal out there. We have been around for 31 years so we can pull some strings if you want.

  9. Automobile insurance in Oman isn't really that expensive. In fact, I think it is much cheaper than in the UK and the US. What really sucks about insurance in Oman is that third party insurance is so ridiculously cheap. People who go for comprehensive insurance on their cars are the ones who are basically subsidizing the vast majority who go for third party cover. It pissed me off that I pay close to 1000 rials to insure my car and large percentage of my premium goes to cover the idiots who are stupid enough to buy cars without having the money to insure them. You can get third party insurance for a car for less than 50 rials. And what's worse is that if one of those idiots who only has third party insurance, and probably drives like a maniac, happens to collide with my car, I will be at the mercy of his insurance company and all the money I pay for my premium policy will be for nothing.

    By the way, when I was in the states my car was registered in the name of an elder Omani gentleman who was there doing his masters degree. He was in his mid 30's, married with kids and a spotless driving record. It still cost me close about $1200 to get insurance on my car, 5 year old VW GTI which I bought for $5700 only.

  10. Come on, come on, COME F*&%$)£G OOOOOOOON! Lets get somfing interesting going on this bloody Blog. This stuff is the same the world over. Same old , same old, same old!!! Lets give the Dragon a run eh? Muscati, tell us a good Omani joke. Someone, someone... Please. Suburban you're good for a wind-up. What's new?

    Willie Dryer.

  11. All,
    Thanks for the comments.

    Muscati, I agree the ROP needs more money (self funding?) and better training, more staff, and a political will to enforce against Omanis who think they own the road.

    As for insurance, I'm a third party guy anyhow. Always been willing to self insure against my own ability. So, thanks for the contribution.

    Stop cursing the darkness and light a candle. I hate whiners.


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