Everything You Need To Know About Car Insurance in Malaysia - GoBear's Ultimate Guide
We dive into the details of getting car insurance in Malaysia from the types of coverage you can avail, calculating your premium, and filing for a claim.
What is car insurance?
A car insurance is a policy contract signed between you and the insurance company that protects you against financial loss or damage in the event of a road accident or theft in exchange of annual premium payments.
Why should I get a car insurance?
According to the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS), a total of 521,466 incidents of road crashes were officially reported, resulting in 7,152 fatalities on Malaysian roads in 2016. The importance of having car insurance to offer protection against any potential unforeseen losses cannot be overstated.
What are the different types of car insurance?
Before you decide what type of car insurance you want to purchase, you need to know the different types of policies available in the market. The three main categories of car insurance are:
- Third party
- Third party, fire and theft
- Comprehensive cover
These insurances provide different forms of compensations to you. Third party insurance is the most basic, and most commonly purchased among the three. True to its name, it provides coverage for the third party involved in any car accident. In other words, if you are at fault in an accident, this policy would cover the cost of the other person’s car repair works and their medical expenses as well.
The second policy - third party, fire and theft, provides additional coverage for your car in the event of fire or when your car is stolen. Simply said, besides the basic coverage mentioned above, you will also be compensated when your car is caught on fire or stolen.
The third policy, comprehensive cover, delivers the most coverage as, in addition to the above, it also provides coverage for your own car in accidents.
|Comprehensive Cover||Third Party, Fire and Theft||Third Party|
|Death or Injury to Other Parties||✔||✔||✔|
|Damage to Other Parties' Properties||✔||✔||✔|
|Loss or damage to own vehicle caused by Fire or Theft||✔||✔||X|
|Damage to own vehicle due to an accident||✔||X||X|
What are the the exclusions to my car insurance?
Bear in mind that any car insurance will not cover certain losses, such as your own death or bodily injuries due to an accident. Your liability against claims from passengers in your car and loss or damages arising from natural disasters are not covered as well. However, you do have an option to cover these exclusions by paying additional for add-ons to extend your policy to cover flood, landslides, as well as your passengers.
Another important factor that you should note is to be very honest to your insurance provider. You have to fully disclose all material facts, including your history in previous accidents, modification to your car engines etc.
Should you fail to disclose any details, your insurance company has the right to refuse to pay your claim or any claims made by a third party against you. If that is the case, you unfortunately will have to fork out money from your own pocket to pay the claims.
A typical motor insurance policy will not provide coverage for certain losses:
- own death or bodily injury due to a motor accident
- liability against claims from passengers in the vehicle (the exception is for passengers of hired vehicles such as buses and taxis)
- loss, damage or liability arising from an act of nature
- depreciation of vehicle value over a prolonged period of time due to wear and tear
- theft or loss of non-factory fitted vehicle accessories unless otherwise declared
This is a non-exhaustive list and differs between providers. When in doubt, always check the insurance policy for full details on exclusions.
How long is the cover period?
The insurance policy is effective from the time of purchase or at the agreed time of commencement, until the expiry date. Typically, the insurance will run for 12 months. The coverage period is printed explicitly in the Policy Schedule as well as any other related documents.
What does the liberalisation of motor insurance mean?
Discussions between the insurance industry and Bank Negara Malaysia had taken place as early as 2013. It was decided that the liberalisation of the motor and fire tariffs would be implemented in a phased approach to make time for consumers and industries alike to adjust to the new operating environment.
By adopting risk-based pricing, motor insurance premiums can be priced in accordance to different consumers’ risk profiles. Subsequently, the resulting competition created will encourage insurers to innovate their products and offer better variety to cater to different consumer preferences and needs.
What do I need to know before buying car insurance
The rule of thumb is to ensure the vehicle at its current market value. Market value is defined as the reasonable cost to replace the insured car with an identical car of the same make, model, age and general conditions at the time of loss. This amount is known as the sum insured.
The importance of ensuring the vehicle at the correct market value cannot be overstated. If the vehicle is under-insured, the policyholder runs the risk of getting penalised. The insurer will only bear part of the loss in proportion to the difference between the market value and the sum insured based on the formula below:
Loss Amount Payable= (Sum Insured)/(Market Value)× Assessed Loss
Let’s say the policyholder had set the sum insured of the vehicle at RM50,000 instead of market value of RM60,000. If the vehicle is involved in an accident which resulted in losses amounting to RM10,000, the insurance company will assess the amount payable by applying the formula above.
Loss Amount Payable= RM50,000/RM60,000× RM10,000
The balance of RM1,667 will be borne by the policyholder. Keep in mind that this will only apply if the under-insured amount is more than 10% of the market value.
Likewise, over-insuring the vehicle in question would be a waste of money as the insurer will not pay over the market value:
Loss Amount Payable= RM60,000/RM60,000× RM10,000
Some car insurance providers offer Agreed Value Policies which sets the maximum amount the insurer will pay for the car – less any excess (if applicable) – if the car is stolen or totally destroyed.
This amount is predetermined when the insured purchases the policy. The insurer and insured come to an agreement on a certain amount that will be paid out to the insured in the case of an accident.
The insured is required to disclose all material facts thoroughly, such as previous incidents of an accident, engine modifications, and more. Failure to do so might result in the insurance company refusing to pay out any claims leaving the policyholder liable for them instead.
No Claim Discount (NCD)
Following from the phased liberalisation of motor insurance by Bank Negara Malaysia, the No Claim Discount (NCD) structure remains unchanged.
The NCD is a form of discount or deduction the motor policyholder will be entitled to for not having made a claim during the preceding 12-month period. By having an NCD, the payable sum for the premium will be reduced for the car insurance policy. A vehicle owner’s NCD entitlement will depend on the class of vehicle and number of years of continuous driving experience without any claims made as per schedule below. The NCD is regulated by PIAM (General Insurance Association of Malaysia) and not by the insurance companies, therefore the rates are the same across all insurance and Takaful providers:
|Claim-free Insurance Period||NCD Entitlement|
|After 1st Year||25%|
|After 2nd Year||30%|
|After 3rd Year||38.33%|
|After 4th Year||45%|
|After 5th Year||55%|
|6th Years Onwards||55%|
If the policyholder or anyone else involved in an incident leading to a claim against the policy, the NCD entitlement accumulated over the years will drop to zero at the next renewal – that is, no discount at all when it’s time to renew your premium once again.
The No Claim Discount is exclusive to the holder of the motor policy and not the vehicle. What this means is that if the NCD currently stands at 45%, and the holder decides to sell the vehicle, the holder will retain the NCD and has the option of transferring it to the new car.
The new car will then be able to enjoy the NCD rate of 45% and enjoy the savings on premium paid.
If the policyholder decides to sell the vehicle without buying a new one, the accumulated NCD will be maintained in the first year. However, the NCD percentage will drop in proportionately in the second year and the reduction will continue until it reaches 0%. Therefore it is highly advisable to transfer the NCD rate to another vehicle registered under your own name to ensure that the benefit remains. The NCD percentage can only be applied to one vehicle only.
Betterment will come into consideration for vehicles that are aged five years and above. It is taken into account when in the course of repairing an accident-damaged vehicle, an old part is replaced with a new franchise part.
The policyholder will be required to contribute to the betterment as the repaired vehicle will now be in a better condition than it was before the accident based on the following schedule
|Age of Vehicle (Years)||Rate of Betterment|
|Up to 5||0%|
|19 and above||40%|
Also known as a ‘deductible’, this is the first amount that the driver is required to bear for him or herself for each and every claim approved by the insurer, including instances where the fault does not lie with the driver.
Please take note that the excess is not applicable to loss or damage caused by fire, lightning, burglary, housebreaking, theft, explosion, third-party property damage or bodily injury claims.
There are two types of Excess:
1. Compulsory Excess
As outlined by PIAM Motor Tariff where the driver is required to bear an additional excess of RM400 if the person driving the car:
- Possesses an L (Learner) or P (Probationary) driver’s license
- Is below 21 years of age
- Is not listed as a named Driver in the policy
- Named in schedule and/or all the above pointers named in the schedule who is less than 21 years of age and/or the holder of a L (Learner) or P (Probationary) driver’s license
2. Other Excess
Optional deductibles also exist for most policies. The higher the deductible you choose, the less you’ll have to pay for your premiums, and vice versa.
Loading is an additional surcharge imposed on the basic premium rate to cover a driver’s potential high-risk exposure. Examples of risk factors that would be taken into account for loading are:
- Named driver’s ages
- Age of vehicle
- Claim history
Why buy car insurance online?
Let’s go through some of the reasons why buying or renewing car insurance online is ultimately the better way to do it:
1. It’s cheaper
Buying car insurance online is often more cost-friendly than if you were to buy from an insurance agent, for example.
When you buy online, you can avoid paying commissions and even redeem a 10% discount.
In addition, because buying online makes it easier for you to research your plan options; you can effortlessly compare between providers – and potentially save more.
By going online, you’ll have the freedom to conveniently source for the cheapest plan based on your requirements.
2. Shop without pressure
Often times, when buying insurance (motor or otherwise), you may be prompted out of obligation to purchase insurance based on recommendations of your agent.
It also does not help that these agents are often friends or even family, making it even more difficult for you to shop for a policy without pressure. Moreover, it’s common to eventually ‘cave in’ and buy a policy that you aren’t quite satisfied with – just because of loyalty to your agent.
However, when shopping for car insurance policies online, you don’t have to worry about ‘offending’ your insurance agent.
Instead, you’ll be in the driver’s seat to choose the plan you want without any pressure to make the purchase until you are completely satisfied with your policy.
3. More coverage options
Not all car insurance plans are created equal – and you should have access to choose the best coverage options. When buying online, you will.
If you are a first-time car insurance buyer, you may assume that having too many options is daunting – but if you are buying from a site like GoBear, you can easily apply filters to find a policy that suits your needs.
And even if you have bought insurance before and are planning to renew your policy; it’s still a good idea to consider doing it online, to see what else is out there.
Going online makes it easier for you to explore other, potentially better options with more affordable rates, from other providers.
4. Hassle-free and convenient
Buying car insurance online has made the process easier than ever before; it can all be done right from the comfort of your own home, at any time.
This means that you won’t need to spend much time at all to get your car insurance settled and you can do it at your own convenience.
In fact, you can typically buy/renew car insurance as well as road tax within the same day – and depending on the provider, within hours.
If you are someone who tends to leave things to the last minute, then buying online is definitely for you.
Still, it’s recommended that you don’t wait till your insurance expires, do it early to avoid problems. You can start to renew your plan as early as two months before it expires.
Moreover, most (if not all) online car insurance providers allow you to make payments online via credit card, online banking, etc., to make the process even simpler.
Once payment has been made, your policy will be sent to you via email and your road tax delivered by post. And that’s how easy it is!
Tips to save more when buying motor insurance online
1. Find the right site
Ensure that the site you choose to buy from is trusted, secure, and has the right tools to make the process a hassle-free one.
For instance, with GoBear – all you have to do is answer a few quick questions to receive instant (or near instant) quotes from top insurance companies like Allianz, AXA, and Zurich Insurance.
2. Have essential information handy
When buying online, you’ll need to enter details such as your car’s make and model, previous insurance information (policy number and provider), etc.; so do prepare these in advance.
You’ll also need to consider which add-ons (if any) you would like with your policy.
As mentioned above, add-ons (e.g. windscreen or accessories coverage) represent additional coverage that is not provided under your basic policy.
3. Ask questions
One potential worry when buying online is the possibility that you may not have the support you need.
But this isn’t necessarily true because even when buying online, supportive customer service channels exist for you to ask questions and gain clarity on your policy.
Thus, it’s highly important to reach out when you do not understand the terms, or if you have other concerns.
In fact, you should not buy any policy until you are clear on what your insurance plan will cover and what it will not.
You should also feel free to ask about other niggling concerns related to your plan and only proceed to make payment if you are completely satisfied.
How to make a claim after a car accident or theft
1. Contact the insurance company as soon as possible
In the event of an accident or theft, notify your insurer immediately. They will inform you what you are required to do and even suggest which panel workshop to send your car to, in case it needs repair.
2. Make a police report
Insurance companies will need a police report and an original copy of the investigation results by the police, so it’s best to make a police report as soon as you can. By right, you are required to lodge a police report within 24 hours of the accident or theft if you want to avoid paying a RM300 fine for filing a late police report.
3. Document the accident or theft
At the scene of the accident, take photos of the damaged vehicles including licenses of affected parties and the vehicles with their respective car number plates. It’s all about keeping track of the entire incident.
4. Gather relevant documents for the car insurance claim
The panel workshop will require the following papers:
- Original copy of police report
- Original copy of investigation result by police
- Motor accident report form
- Claim form from insurance company
- NRIC of the driver
- NRIC of the policy holder
- Bill of the repair work
5. Submit the relevant documents to your insurer or panel workshop
Once you have gathered all the necessary documents, submit them to your insurance company. An appointed insurance adjuster will assess the damage and cost to fix your car or recover it in the case of theft. After the assessment, the panel workshop will start the repair on your vehicle. For theft, a police investigation will begin to recover your car once you have lodged a report to the police. Once the investigation has concluded, the amount insured will be issued if your car is not recovered.
What are the extension covers or optional benefits to a comprehensive policy I can add?
A Comprehensive motor insurance cover provides the widest coverage amongst all plans, however, a driver might require additional coverage for specific situations. Here are seven of the most common optional benefits or add-ons available in the market, subject to agreement by the insurer and payment of additional premium:
1. Windscreen coverage
For an extra premium, the car insurance policyholder may extend for a windscreen coverage to insure damages against the windscreen or windows to the car.
Windscreen coverage is a one-time purchase only plan. Once it has been claimed, the coverage will cease and the policyholder will need to purchase another cover to insure against another windscreen damage in the future.
The windscreen value to be covered encompasses the total value of all glasses on the vehicle in the event that it is chipped, shattered or even cracked, therefore covering:
- Front, rear and side window glasses
- Sunroof or moonroof glass
- Tinting and security film on glass
The car windscreen premium is calculated based on 15% of your windscreen value.
Windscreen value: RM2,000
Windscreen premium: RM2,000 x 15% = RM300
If unsure of how to determine the value of the car windscreen, please consult with the car manufacturer or any of the panel repair workshops who are able to provide true values to you.
This coverage will not affect the NCD entitlement.
2. Special Perils Coverage
An optional benefit that can be added to one’s Comprehensive motor policy to pay for damages inflicted on the vehicle due to floods, typhoons, hurricanes, earthquakes, landslips or subsidence cover(classified under Acts of God).
The additional cost for this cover is 0.5% of your sum insured for the vehicle for the year.
Sum insured of vehicle: RM70,000
Special Perils premium: RM70,000 x 0.5% = RM350
In the event that this add-on was purchased while your car insurance policy was already in force, the premium would still be RM350 as pro-rate will not be applicable.
3. Strike Riot and Civil Commotion (SRCC)
This add-on covers the policyholder against loss or damages to the vehicle due to strikes, riots, and in instances of civil commotions.
This insurance premium is set at 0.3% of the sum insured.
Sum insured of vehicle: RM70,000
Strike Riot and Civil Commotion premium: RM70,000 x 0.3% = RM210
4. Legal Liabilities for Passengers Cover (LLP)
It is not compulsory as a private car owner to cover the liability towards non-fare paying passengers under the Road Transport Act 1987. Therefore, motor insurance policies typically exclude Legal Liability to Passengers. Nonetheless, an injured passenger still reserves the right to sue the negligent driver which is where this optional add-on can come in handy.
There are two types of legal liability cover for motor insurance:
Legal Liability of Passenger (LLP-A, LLNP, LLOP)
Those outside of the vehicle suing the policyholder due to injuries caused by the vehicle’s passenger(s).
A passenger in the car throws rubbish out of the car window resulting in an accident involving another vehicle on the road.
The insurance premium is set at RM7.50 per car.
Legal Liability to Passengers (LLP, LLNP, LLTP)
Passenger(s) in the car sues the policyholder due to an injury sustained to them (except for one’s own family members) due to negligence. This add-on will provide compensation for the financial loss the holder has to shoulder arising from such occurrences.
A passenger suffers from an injury due to poor driving skills from the driver and decides to sue him or her for compensation.
This insurance premium costs 25% of Third Party premium for vehicles that seat up to five passengers. Additional RM10 per passenger otherwise.
Cost of Legal Liability to Passengers add-on for vehicles in West Malaysia
|Vehicle cubic capacity not exceeding (cc)||Third Party premium pricing||Legal Liability to Passengers (25% of Third Party premium)|
Cost of Legal Liability to Passengers add-on for vehicles in East Malaysia
|Vehicle cubic capacity not exceeding (cc)||Third Party premium pricing||Legal Liability to Passengers (25% of Third Party premium)|
Those who regularly drive across the causeway to Singapore should note that LLP cover is compulsory in Singapore in accordance to their law. It is an offence under the laws of the Republic of Singapore to enter the country without extending passenger liability cover to one’s motor insurance.
5. Additional Named Drivers
Each private car insurance policy in Malaysia allows up to two drivers to be included for free. The Additional Named Driver add-on allows the inclusion of up to four more drivers for RM10 per person.
In effect, a maximum of RM40 will allow six different drivers to be named and covered for the 12-month duration of the insurance policy.
|Number of Drivers||Cost|
6. Car Accessories Cover
By subscribing to this add-on, the policyholder will be compensated for damages or losses to their car accessories during an attempted burglary or accident. Car stereo systems, GPS navigation units, high-end tyre rims, are typically considered as car accessories.
Personal items such as cameras, wallets, or handbags will not be covered even though they were left inside the vehicle during an unfortunate incident. Stolen tyres are also excluded from this coverage. Therefore it is crucial to determine which vehicle accessories are included when providing a final sum to be insured.
The insurance premium costs approximately 15% of the value of car accessories.
Value of car accessories: RM800 (car stereo) + RM300 (GPS system) = RM1,100
Car accessories premium: RM1,100 x 15% = RM165
7. Compensation for Assessed Repair Time (CART)
CART is an optional add-on made available by insurers as compensation for the loss of use of a vehicle. In the event of an accident, the policyholder might not have access to the vehicle for a number of days and therefore this restitution will go towards addressing this inconvenience.
The number of days in which CART can be applied will depend on the insurance loss adjuster’s assessment. They will take into account the amount of working days required to repair the vehicle rather than the number of days it stays in the workshop.
Certain car insurance providers also provide the option to cover for the cost incurred in the rental of a replacement vehicle of a similar type and capacity. By providing an official receipt or documentation of proof, this cost can be reimbursed based on the actual recommended number of days of actual repair time carried out.
A standard guideline issued by PIAM is as follows:
|Vehicle Type||CART per Day|
|Up to 1,500 cc||RM30|
|Between 1,501cc and 2,000cc||RM40|
|2,001cc and above||RM50|
I’m ready to buy or renew my motor insurance online now. What’s next?
Car insurance can be renewed up to 60 days in advance, providing the policyholder with plenty of time to compare and find the right insurance provider that would suit the insured’s needs.
Provide the following information and calculate how much insurance premium you’ll need to pay when you take up a motor insurance policy. This will depend on the details of your plan such as the following:
- Type of vehicle
- Type of coverage (comprehensive
- Location (West Malaysia, East Malaysia)
- Sum Insured (market value)
- Engine capacity (ranges of cubic capacity beginning from 0-1,400cc to 4,000cc and above)
- Loading (if unsure, to be left blank)
- No Claim Discount (NCD)
- Optional covers (for comprehensive cover only)
Here’s an estimate for a seven-seater private car in Peninsular Malaysia with a cubic capacity of 2,100cc at a sum insured of RM100,000.
|Type of vehicle: Personal
Type of coverage: Comprehensive
Location: West Malaysia
Sum insured: RM100,000
Cubic capacity: 1,651-2,200cc
No Claims Discount: 45%
|Basic premium subtotal||RM1,602.21|
|Optional additional coverage|
|Windscreen cover: RM2,000
Car accessories: RM1,500
Legal Liability of Passenger (LLOP)
Legal Liability of Passenger (LLTP)
Strike Riot and Civil Commotion
Special Perils coverage
Additional Named Drivers: 2
|Optional additional coverage subtotal||RM1,410.30|
|Insurance premium gross total||RM3,012.51|
|Total annual premium||RM3,203.26|
There are many portals and methods to purchase car insurance. Purchasing car insurance online is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to compare and select the right insurance product for your own specific needs.
The best way to decide on which insurance company to choose is to first research the variety of car insurance policies provided by each company. Don’t worry if it becomes a bit overwhelming, as GoBear is always here to make your life easier. You can go to our car insurance comparison website that will be launched in July to compare and decide on the most suitable car insurance for yourself.
You can also go to insurance info’s website to get a rough calculation of your car premium by providing some details about your car like the type of car, its engine capacity and other basic information.
What about road tax renewal?
After buying your car insurance, you can finally proceed with the other compulsory step of renewing your road tax.
The price of renewing your road tax depends on the following:
- Your vehicle’s engine capacity
- Your vehicle type - For example, a hatchback or sedan costs less than an MPV or SUV
- The region you live in
Check out the tables below to get a sense of how much you’ll need to pay annually for your vehicle.
What if I want to cancel my policy?
A policyholder has the right to cancel the policy at any time by providing written notice to the insurance company or by returning the Certificate of Insurance. Upon cancellation, the policyholder will be entitled to a refund of the premium based on short-period rates in the schedule stated below. This is only applicable is no claims were incurred prior to cancellation.
|Period of Insurance||Refund of Premium (% of Total Premium)|
|Not exceeding 1 week||87.5%|
|Not exceeding 1 month||75%|
|Not exceeding 2 months||62.5%|
|Not exceeding 3 months||50%|
|Not exceeding 4 months||37.5%|
|Not exceeding 6 months||25%|
|Not exceeding 8 months||12.5%|
|Exceeding 8 months||No refund|
Tips to get sufficient coverage
Consider the following questions when sourcing for the best car insurance plan for yourself.
1. Should my decision on which insurance premium be based on price?
You should not be focused on looking at prices only when purchasing your motor insurance plan. Pay attention to what the policy covers, exclusions as well as customer service standards among other factors.
2. Whom should I approach for all the information I require?
It would be useful to browse for all the options available, including visiting comparison sites and insurance sites, contacting agents, insurers, takaful operators via online channels and call centers to answer sought-after queries. Ultimately the insurance protection plan needs to accommodate the needs of the insured and come at a price that is acceptable.
3. When should I start shopping for my car insurance protection policy?
The motor insurance policy can be renewed up to 60 days before expiry. This provides ample time for the policyholder to compare and shop in advance for a tailored solution well before it is time to renew.
Terms you should know about
|Claim:||The formal application made to an insurance provider in the event of an accident|
|Compulsory excess:||An amount of money policyholders must pay in order to make a claim|
|Deductible:||The amount that must be paid out of pocket by the policyholder for covered losses before the insurance company pays a claim.|
|Exclusions:||Items that are specifically not included under the terms of agreement policy|
|Extended coverage:||An endorsement added to an insurance policy|
|No Claim Discount (NCD):||A discount applied to a premium when no claims have been made|
|Policy:||A standard from contract between the policyholder and the insurer|
|Policy period:||Period during which an insurance policy is in force|
|Premium:||The amount of money the insured will pay for their insurance policy|
|Settlement:||The amount of money an insurance provider is willing to pay out if a claim is successful|
|Third Party Premium:||The amount of money paid to the insured for protection against the claims of another (third party)|