Not sure how to choose the best car insurance policy?
We don't blame you.
Picking the right car insurance policy can be challenging. With all the advertising out there from different insurance providers but a lack of readily available information on different policies, it can be a pretty murky market to navigate and understand.
So how do we go about choosing a policy that really fits all your specific needs?
Factors to consider when choosing a car insurance policy
Perhaps the most important factor to take into consideration when choosing a car insurance policy is the amount of coverage it offers. Your first priority should be to pick a policy which offers the best protection in terms of each category of protection.
The types of protection to look out for includes coverage for the following:
- Medical coverage for the other party should you get into a car accident
- Medical coverage for yourself as a result of the accident
- Damage to the other party's vehicle as a result of the accident
- Damage to your vehicle as a result of the accident
- Car theft
- Theft of belongings in your vehicle
A standard comprehensive car insurance policy, which we highly recommend, should offer all of the above as opposed to a basic or third-party car insurance plan.
An excess, otherwise known as a deductible, is a fixed amount you will need to contribute for any medical coverage or car repairs in the event of the accident. This means that should there be an accident, you will need to pay a certain amount upfront to the hospital or to the mechanic before the insurer reimburses your expenses.
For example, if car repairs at your mechanic come up to S$15,000, and your car excess on your policy is S$5000, you will have to pay your mechanic S$5000 and your insurer will cover the remaining amount.
In most cases, the higher the excess or deductible on your car insurance policy, the lower the premiums you'll need to pay monthly. The point of an excess is to ensure that drivers are not careless on the road and to prevent unnecessary claims.
When deciding on an excess amount, factor in whether the total cost of repairs would be a heavier burden as opposed to a higher premium. While it's always ideal to pay a lower premium, think about whether it's worth the risk of a higher excess amount should you actually get into a car accident.
With car insurance policies, it's best to have a policy which you can customise to fit your particular situation. A policy which offers specific add-ons which you can pack on to your policy will give you added security for particular situations.
For example, some car insurance policies have add-ons for natural disasters such as floods or earthquakes, others have add-ons for strikes, riots or civil commotions.
Here are the types of car insurance add-ons you might want to consider:
- Smart key fob replacement
- Windscreen damage
- Additional drivers
- Natural disaster coverage
- Strikes, riots or civil commotions
While extra coverage is always encouraged, it's important to also be realistic about which add-ons you truly need. For instance, in Singapore, where natural disasters and strikes aren't that common, you might want to think twice about purchasing them.
Instead, purchasing an add-on for windscreen damage might be something which you consider more necessary as damage to a windscreen is something you consider more likely to happen given your geographic location and situation.
No Claim Discount
A no claim discount (NCD) is a discount offered on premiums to drivers who do not make any claims from their insurance for a particular number of years. Different car insurance policies will set different time frames and different discount amounts for the NCDs they offer.
The percentage of your NCD will increase with subsequent years of not making a claim for your car insurance.
NCD no claim rates in Singapore for private vehicles
|Period of insurance with no claim
||Discount on renewal
In an instance where you are involved in an accident in which you are not at fault, you may still make a claim from your insurer without your NCD being affected.
This is determined by the Barometer of Liability Agreement (BOLA) which is used in Singapore to determine your level of liability in an accident. If your liability falls under 20%, your NCD will not be affected should you make a claim from your insurer.
How does the NCD affect you when choosing a car insurance policy?
When your NCD status is above 50%, you will be entitled to purchase an NCD Protector as an extension for your policy. Some policies offer NCD Protectors even if your NCD status is 40%.
NCD entitlement rates on renewal in Singapore
|No. of claims
||NCD entitlement on renewal
Be sure to check if you qualify for an NCD Protector with a car insurance policy you're considering.
Of course, cost is another major factor when choosing any insurance policy. While it's easy to get eager with loading on the add-ons and choosing the policy with the highest coverage, it's important to understand the implications of purchasing a policy you cannot afford in the long run.
Choose a car insurance policy which offers affordable premiums which you can afford for the long term to avoid lapsing on a policy and losing your insured sum.
Coverage for Malaysia and Thailand
If you're planning on taking a road trip to Malaysia or Thailand, be sure to check that your car insurance covers any accidents in these two countries. It's crucial you don't get saddled with huge repair costs while overseas only to discover your policy won't cover the costs!
With evolving technology, insurers are offering new ways to price premiums and reward safe drivers. If you pride yourself on being a safe and cautious driver, you'll want to look into car insurance policies which offer cheaper premiums for drivers who install an AI telematics device in their vehicle which tracks their driving behaviour. Safer drivers are then priced lower premiums.
The only way to really know you're choosing the right car insurance policy is by surveying what insurance policies are out there in the market. Compare, contrast and give yourself a better idea of which policy is right for your situation.