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Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s be honest, as much as we love our cars, the very main reason we buy car insurance is because it is mandatory in Singapore. Most of the time, we may not even know what it covers.
When you own a car, the probability of getting into a car accident is always there, be it caused by you, another driver, or external factors. Other than that, your car may be stolen, or even get caught in a fire. The cost of repairing such extensive damage can be extremely expensive.
By paying an annual premium, your car insurance protects you against financial damages or losses that may arise in such scenarios. It covers your legal responsibilities to others for bodily injury or property damage, as well as the medical costs of personal injury suffered by you or third parties.
There are three main types of car insurance in Singapore.
Third-Party Only (TPO) car insurance: This provides the most basic coverage out of the three. It ONLY covers the driver’s legal liability for damages caused to a third party in an accident, such as bodily injuries, and damage to third party’s vehicles or property. This means that should anything happen to your car, you will have to pay for the expenses out of your own pocket.
Third-Party, Fire & Theft (TPFT) car insurance: This covers whatever TPO car insurance covers, but is extended to cover damages caused by fire and/or theft to your car. Hence, the premium will be slightly higher than TPO car insurance.
Comprehensive car insurance: This is the priciest compared to TPO and TPFT car insurance as it covers all of the above, and includes coverage to the driver as well. Both bodily injury suffered by the driver and damages to the car are covered too. Besides fire and theft, a comprehensive plan also covers floods and other disasters. If your car is still under loan, it is recommended to get a comprehensive coverage.
A No Claims Discount, sometimes also known as No Claims Bonus, is a discount that is offered by the insurance companies upon your policy renewal when you have not made a claim in the past year. The NCD accumulates by 10% year on year. Hence, the longer you go without making a claim, the more discount you can get.
NCD is usually capped at a maximum of 50%.
An excess is the amount you need to pay out of your own pocket when making a claim from your car insurance.
For example, in the event your car gets damaged, the cost of repair is $3,000 and your excess is $600, this means that you will pay the first $600 on your own, and the remaining $2,400 will be paid by your insurer.
Workshops listed under the "Authorised Workshops" are approved by your insurer. The list differs across various insurers, so be sure to look through the list for approved workshops that are near where you live. If you do not mind being restricted to the list of authorised workshops, you can also get a cheaper insurance premium.
"Any workshop" means you can choose to go to ANY workshop in the event of a repair. If your car is new or still under warranty, you may want to choose this option in order to go to your dealer's workshop, as your warranty may be void if your repair is done elsewhere. However, this option also means a higher premium.
Some insurers now offer the option of going back to your dealer for repair in the first 3 years if your car is new. You may want to check with us on this! In addition, your dealer's workshop may already be in the list of approved workshops!
You will need to renew your insurance first, and get a car inspection (if required), before you can renew your road tax.
Your renewal notice is usually out 6 to 8 weeks before your car insurance expires. This will give you enough time to compare car insurance plans before you renew.
Most insurers in Singapore adopt a "risk factor rating system" when calculating the premium for car insurance. This is based on the following factors, other than your car's value or the price you paid for it:
- Vehicle Profile
- Insured/Driver(s) Profile
- What the vehicle will be used for (private use/corporate use/commercial use/hire etc)
- Type of coverage
- Past claims history
- No Claims Discount (See above)
- When there is an impending claim against you, insurers may charge a higher premium. However, you could request for a possible refund if it is concluded that you are not liable for the impending claim.
Based on statistics and past claims information, different insurers give a different weightage to each factor in setting the premium.
The Motor Claims Framework (MCF) provides a clear procedure for the reporting of motor accidents:
- Exchange particulars of parties involved in the accident and take note of the car plate numbers
- Take photos of the scene of accident and the damages to all vehicles
- Call your insurer's hotline for tow-truck or further advice on the accident
- Report the accident to your insurer within 24hrs or by the next working day
- If there are injured parties involved, call for medical assistant and the police immediately
- A traffic police report is required if the accident involves fatality, damage to government property, foreign vehicle, pedestrian or cyclist, hit-and-run case, or injury cases.
Please note that making a traffic police report is not equivalent to making a report to your insurer.
If you do not report an accident,
- Your insurer may repudiate liability;
- Your No Claims Discount may be affected upon renewal of your policy; and
- Your insurer may cancel or refuse to renew your policy