If you’re a resident driving a car in Singapore, it is important to know how to choose and claim car insurance in Singapore.
Not only is it mandatory to have car insurance in the country, but it will also benefit you should a car accident occur, or in the case that your car is stolen. Save yourself plenty of added costs as you receive substantial compensation and get a temporary replacement car (from a car workshop) in the nick of time – Think about the frustrations you do not have to deal with!
If you’ve had car insurance before and are well-educated about the benefits, drawbacks, and costs involved, then you know just how expensive car insurance can be. Having to pay a monthly installment for proper insurance doesn’t come easy, and even though it may seem like you’re wasting your money when purchasing it, it will surely help you when needed.
When it comes to the cost of car insurance, it is also quite important to compare different company costs with one another. While you should not settle for a company that offers you some of the cheapest rates, as you can’t be assured whether they’ll follow through with paying out your claim or even assist you properly, there are still affordable companies that offer proper insurance packages.
An individual’s circumstance or preferences will heavily affect the decision when selecting your car insurance plan.
The Importance of Choosing the Right Insurance Plan
Looking for an insurance policy that fits your preferences is difficult enough, but by narrowing down exactly what you’re looking for, you can simplify the entire process of finding your perfect insurance match.
With three insurance plans set in place in Singapore, including a comprehensive plan, TPO (Third Party Only) and TPFT (Third Party Fire and Theft), you can decide which will be best for you and then choose your insurance provider accordingly.
Here’s a quick definition breakdown of the common terms when looking at car insurance:
First Party: Party being insured (i.e. the party who purchases the insurance)
Second Party: Insurer (i.e. the Insurance Company)
Third Party: A third party would normally be someone who is damaged (injured) to whom the insured (First Party) is liable.
By choosing one of these plans, and fully understanding the terms and conditions of each, you will already be taking a step in the right direction, especially because you will be aware of what your options are, and whether you choose the right one. You must never let a car insurance company choose your insurance policy for you.
Offering different benefits and pricing plans, you can choose one of the following plans at the insurance provider of your choice:
Choose an Insurance Plan
3 Insurance Options – Comprehensive Coverage, TPFT Coverage, and TPO
Here’s a quick overview of what might be suitable for you:
- Comprehensive Plan:
- Covers both you and the third party
- Best if your car is new and a big expense
- TPO Car Insurance
- Insures the third party only
- Best for older, second-hand cars
- TPFT Car Insurance
- Middle-Tier Plan
- With benefits of TPO, but extends coverage to losses due to accidental fires and theft
As the most expensive insurance plan, as well as the best, there isn’t necessarily a lot of people that choose the comprehensive plan. Unless you have a very valuable car, there’s no real need to choose this plan. With an average annual price of $1,750 per year inclusive of the broadest scope of services and benefits, you can weigh the pros and cons against the other two insurance plans. The TPFT annual plan is 14% cheaper at $1,250, while the TPO annual plan is a whopping 30% cheaper at just $1,080.
*Prices are just an estimated average for reference
Keep in mind that when you purchase a new car with a loan, banks might insist on the comprehensive plan (or they will not consider your loan). This is mainly because it will insure both your car, along with the third party’s car damages, which will be paid out by the insurance company. Even though the comprehensive plan is expensive, it comes in handy when you are involved in an accident, as it will end up costing you a lot cheaper than repairing your car without the insurance plan.
Alternatively, you may look into the TPFT or TPO plans, as they are still adequate for covering the necessary costs of repairing your car. Always make sure you know what you’re getting out of your insurance company. The TPFT and TPO coverage plans are best for those who own a car that is older than 8 to 10 years, as the market value of the car will drop during this given period of owning a car.
Once you’ve chosen a car insurance plan, you must also choose an appropriate excess.
How to Choose Excess to Suit Your Car Insurance Plan
Some may identify better with the name “deductible” (excess), which refers to the total amount one must pay when they claim their own insurance, prior to your insurer paying the cost of your car’s repair and/ or replacement.
By not choosing the correct excess plan, an accident may increase the amount you have to pay for your car to be fixed When it is involved in a car accident.
Choose an Excess Plan
- The Standard Excess Plan
To figure out the total amount of excess your car requires, which will pay for each claim made, can be quite confusing. It’s essential to know that most drivers have between $600 and $800 standard excess on their cars.
It is better if your insurance provider can decide this amount for you, as there are amounts ranging from $200 to $2,500 annually. To decrease your standard excess rate, you must increase the amount of your premium.
- Inexperienced Driver Excess
If you are under 26 years of age or haven’t owned a driver’s license for over 2 years, you need this policy, which is recommended by insurance providers. The excess for this policy is thus, higher, due to an increased risk for insuring such a car. These rates range from $2,000 to $3,000 annually.
- Unnamed Driver Excess
Should you be sharing your car with others, and the name of the driver involved in the accident isn’t written on your policy, some insurance plans will recommend you add the Unnamed Driver Excess along with either a standard or inexperienced excess, should an accident occur. This could cost an additional $500 annually.
Claim Car Insurance from Your Insurance Provider
Once you’ve chosen a car insurance plan, you should know what your insurance provider is willing to cover when an accident occurs.
In the event of an accident, the number one mistake to avoid is to wait too long to contact your insurance provider. Before moving your car, you must contact your insurance provider immediately.
It is something that is educated to car owners when they apply for an insurance plan. Once you’ve contacted your provider and explained the situation to them, you must accumulate evidence of the accident, along with photos thereof and the contact details of the other parties involved in the accident.
How Should You Make a Claim?
Q: What do you do when /you get into a car accident with another a third-party driver?
A: When you are involved in a car accident and it is the other party’s fault, you are eligible to claim against the other person’s car insurance company. This should be discussed as soon as possible. You must also ensure that you have their contact details, which should be collected preferably after the car accident occurs.
You should also remain aware of the importance of reporting the accident within 24 hours. It is in your best interest to take as many photos as possible at the scene, to not move your vehicle unless it’s necessary and to report the accident to your insurer within 24 hours.
When an accident occurs, you must ensure your car is also taken to a car workshop, to assess the damage and cost thereof. It is also important to get proper car servicing done on your car before you take it back out on the road.
Q: What happens if you’ve got into a car accident yourself?
A: Should you cause a car accident you must seek damage assessment the damage from a professional car body shop and decide whether it’s worth making a claim on your car insurance. If the repair cost is less than your excess, then there’s no need to claim your insurance provider. However, if the repair cost is way more than your excess, which needs to be fixed at a car workshop, you should make an own damage claim (OD Claim). If the damage caused, is minimal, you should not claim your own policy, as your premiums will most likely increase the following year.
Q: What happens if you’re unsure whose at fault?
A: should you be involved in a situation where no parties acknowledge that they are at fault (such as sideswipe or turning at traffic light), it’s better to clarify the situation with your insurance company or trusted car body workshop for advice. If you happened to install a recording camera, extract the SD card immediately to prevent evidence from being overwritten. Then let the professionals assess whether the liability is in your favour. Regardless of whether you’re going through an insurance claim or not, it is advisable to make an accident report at any of the insurance authorized reporting centers to provide your statement of how the accident happen and the damage incurred. This is to safeguard yourself from falsehood claims.
How to Avoid Additional Costs
- Ensure you don’t discuss the liability of the accident straight after it occurred. This could save you a lot of money, as you may not know what to say or what the protocol is to discuss the payment of the damages at hand.
- Be sure to take photos that are clear and show license registration plates. Avoid photos of the accident that won’t be helpful. Only take photos of the cars involved, including your own car.
- Be sure to get all the contact details of all the parties involved.
- Be vigilant of accepting help from unauthorized tow-trucks, that may end up costing you a lot more money than you would have to pay if your car was picked up by an authorized tow-truck.
Owning a car in Singapore is costly enough, we hope that with this article, we can help you in saving some penny through getting the right motor policy for your car and avoiding unnecessary repair cost due to lack of experiences.
Sin Heng Long Motor Work provides reliable car accident repairs and we assist on the proper procedures of car accident insurance claims. Simply contact us here to find out more.
Also See: How Much Does a Car Workshop Cost