You can be the safest driver on the road but you will never know when you are unfortunate to encounter a reckless or careless driver or get into an accident due to a brief loss of focus on the road.
Add to this the astronomical costs of vehicles in Singapore, repairs, issues with the police and the stress of it all and car insurance becomes an essential investment. Moreover, at least the entry-level coverage option is required by law.
However, simply having just any car insurance is not enough. You definitely need an insurance provider that will make you feel confident you have done everything in order after an accident and you can leave the scene knowing you are covered.
Before we move on to the specific points, we should give some general information about the three main kinds of car insurance in Singapore.
TPO is the entry-level option and it stands for Third-Party Only. It is the minimum required level of car insurance in Singapore. It covers the costs of damaging someone’s car and potential medical expenses. Understandably, being the entry-level option, it is the most affordable one.
One step up is (TPFT) Third-Party, Fire and Theft. It includes the coverage of TOP and adds coverage against accidental fires and theft.
The very top is reserved for Comprehensive. It covers all of the above and adds losses and damages to you, your vehicle, your passengers and/of your belongings.
Here is what a good car insurance policy is and how it can help you.
1. 24/7 Support
Getting in contact with your insurance provider is essential and they are usually easily reachable – when they are working. However, accidents don’t only happen during working hours. This is why you should choose a provider with round the clock availability.
If you happen to get into an accident, make sure you get in touch with your insurer right away. Getting the insurance provider involved as early as possible is essential, so those with a 24/7 hotline are a must. Aside from leading you through the necessary steps and gathering information, they should also be clear with the car accident insurance claim procedure.
They will also know where the nearest approved reporting centres are and also where you can find authorised towing companies and workshops.
Just as an example, you should know that getting your vehicle to an approved reporting centre is necessary even if it is not damaged. Also, you only have 24 hours to do this. Many people are not aware of these two requirements and a reliable insurance provider can easily guide you through steps like these.
2. Car Insurance Excess
Having car insurance does not necessarily mean that you are totally covered in the event of an accident. There’s a thing called ‘Car Insurance Excess’ which is the portion you would have to pay in the event of a claim. This amount depends on your age and driving experience.
A good car insurance should be able to give you the option to reduce your excess by paying more insurance premiums.
3. Transparent Operation
This is essential! Insurance helps you be sure you are covered and you know what your duties and benefits are. You have to be able to rely on these, especially in a stressful situation such as a car accident.
You should be completely clear about each and every step of the process, all the costs and benefits, car insurance excess, how you can make a car insurance claim and exactly what the car accident insurance claim procedure is.
You are paying for your insurance and you should know exactly what the benefits are and what the easiest way to get to them is.
4. Courtesy and/or Replacement Vehicle Option
In case your car gets damaged in an accident and needs to be repaired, this may take some time. In this case, you will welcome an option of a courtesy vehicle provided by your insurance provider.
Some insurance companies offer a replacement vehicle if you had an accident with your brand new vehicle, within a certain time frame, of course.
Another option is covering your daily transport costs with a capped amount.
5. Workshop Access
A car insurance plan with access to an authorised workshop is definitely the way to go. Some insurance providers also have car sales and servicing and they are a very good choice. Having in mind how limited our car market is, such a business will do their best to keep you as a customer in all aspects of their business, so you would have a good experience buying a car, servicing it and also repairing it after an accident, all within one business.
They will also try and make you come back to them when you are buying your next car, so they will do their best to make you happy throughout your car ownership journey.
6. Coverage in Malaysia
This is a must for anyone who travels to Malaysia. Having in mind that not everyone needs this kind of coverage, it is usually an optional feature that needs to be added to the policy. The last thing you want is to be involved in an accident in Malaysia and without any car insurance coverage.
No Claim Discount (NCD)
NCD stands for No-Claim Discount and its name already starts to explain what it is. Basically, if you are a careful driver who doesn’t make any claims, you get a discount. The discount is usually 10% for each year that you do not make a claim up to 50%, which means that if you do not make any claims for 5 years, you pay only half of your initial premium.
Even though it may look like it is difficult to find an insurance company that gives all or most of these benefits, there are good, reliable insurance providers who give comprehensive coverage for a reasonable price, especially if you can benefit from NCD. Some even have an additional rider to protect your NCD in the event of a claim.