Car Insurance FAQ

Singapore Car Insurance FAQ

  • Why I should not just renew my motor insurance with my current insurer?

    Due to the increasing claims,  the Insurance premiums have increased substantially and varies between insurers who will compete for different profiles of drivers in order to balance their risk portfolio. Therefore, your current insurer might not be able to give you the best premium. AutoMoneyBack helps you to save money on your motor insurance through comparing quotes instantly, and giving you rewards in the process.

  • What’s the difference between authorized scheme or any workshop scheme?

    In Singapore, there are two types of motor insurance scheme. Authorized Workshop or Any Workshop. It is easy to understand that authorized workshop scheme has lower premium because the insurer has control of the repair cost. Most of the motor cars are covered under authorized scheme in Singapore.
    People usually opt for any workshop scheme because they have super model cars which can only be fixed in designated workshops, but savings can be had for careful drivers, and studying the list of designated workshops to ensure that there is a workshop that you would go to.

  • How long in advance should I be searching for my motor insurance renewal?

    1 to 1.5 months in advance will be good, so that you have ample time to renew your Road Tax and get your car inspected and passed, if you need to.

  • What type of motor insurance coverage should I buy for my car?

    Insurers offer three main types of motor insurance policies. Optional benefits are available to meet your individual needs.
    There are 3 types of motor insurance

  • Comprehensive Cover
    Covers repair or replacement of your vehicle if it is damaged or lost as a result of theft, accident, vandalism or weather-related damage. It also covers accidental loss or damage to your car, its spare parts and accessories and liability of claims from third parties for damage to property and people.Third Party, Fire and Theft Cover
    Besides covering injury and damage caused by your vehicle to another party’s vehicle or property, it also covers your vehicle if it is stolen or damaged by fire.Third Party Cover
    Covers liability claims from third parties for injury and damage to their vehicle or property caused by your vehicle. It is advisable to cover under Comprehensive due to the fact that it covers not only Third Party coverage but your own damage when you are at fault due to an accident.
  • Who do I pay my car insurance premium to?

    You will be paying directly to the insurance companies that you decide to take up after giving you the comparison.

  • How will my road tax be renewed?

    You can choose to renew it through Online Banking, Automobile Association, AXS machine, or Singapore Post Office.

  • What is excess?

    Excess, also called deductible, is to the first amount of the claim which the insured has bear. If the insured has an excess of $750 and the total repair costs $3,000, then the insured has to pay $500 while the insurer pays the remaining $2,250.

  • How will it affect my premiums?

    By having a lower excess, the insurance premium payable will be naturally higher. However, certain insurance companies will waive off your excess if you enjoy 40%-50% NCD. Therefore, it depends on the offering of the insurance companies, therefore, should seek for insurer who offer low excess but yet competitive premium.

  • Why should there be an excess?

    The insurer normally imposes some excess as this would serve as a form of co-insurance. With an excess, the insured would tend to be more careful because if a claims occur, the insured also has to be out of pocket and contribute towards the claim. In general, the higher the excess, the more careful would be the insured and hence the lower risk of having a claim, to reduce frivolous (unnecessary and avoidable) claims.

  • Very often, I see terms such as Excess: $500 (Section 1 only). What does the “Section 1 only” mean?

    Your insurance policy is divided into many sections. Section 1 normally covers own damage claim. When you buy a Comprehensive motor insurance policy, you are covered for own damage – if your own vehicle is damaged, you can get the insurer to pay for the damage, whether or not you are at fault.

    Thus, Excess: $500 (Section 1 only) means the excess applies to an own damage claim only. Take this scenario: If the insured hits another vehicle, and his own vehicle’s damage is $5,000 and the third party’s damage is $10,000, then the excess of $500 shall only apply to his own damage, ie he pays $500 and the insurer pays $4,500 for his own damage of $5,000. For the third party claim, the insurer would pay the full amount of $10,000.

  • In some cases, I see terms such as Excess: $500 (Section 1 & Section 2 separately). What does this mean?

    Section 2 in the policy, on the other hand, deals with third party claims. So if there is an excess on Section 2 as well, it means if there is any third party claim payable this excess shall apply.
    Using the same example above, the insured pays $500 and the insurer pays $4,500 for his own damage of $5,000. For the third party claim, the insured has to fork out also $500 while insurer would pay $9,500 for a claim of $10,000.

  • What if I see: $500 (All claims). What does this mean?

    It means the total excess applicable for every accident. Using the same example above, the insured pays an excess $500 while the insurer pays $14,500 (the sum total of $5,000 and $10,000, less the excess of $500).

  • Is it common to have excess for “Section 1 & Section 2 separately” or on a “All claims” basis?

    No. Such excess is not common. The insurer would normally impose such excess for special cases, for instance when the vehicle is a high performance or luxury vehicle or when the insured’s profile is not common. (e.g. Stuntman)

  • What is NCD (NCB)? How will it affect my premiums?

    If you have not made any claims for a year or more, you are entitled to a No-Claim Discount (NCD) or No-Claim Bonus (NCB). The NCD reduces the policy premium for the following year.
    This is your insurer’s way to recognize you for being a careful driver. The following table shows how the NCD is set by all insurers across the industry.

    Private car policies Commercial vehicle and motorcycle policies
    Period of insurance with no claim
    1 year
    2 years
    3 years
    4 years
    5 years or longer
    Discount on renewal
    10%
    20%
    30%
    40%
    50%
    Period of insurance with no claim
    1 year
    2 years
    3 years or longer
    Discount on renewal
    10%
    15%
    20%
  • If I make a claim, will I automatically lose my NCD?

    Not necessarily.
    All insurers in Singapore use a guide called the Barometer of Liability Agreement (BOLA) to determine how much each party is liable in an accident. The BOLA is designed to speed up claims processing. It does not diminish your right to contest liability under the law. Under the BOLA, your NCD will not be affected if your liability is 20% or less in an accident involving an identified vehicle. In all other cases, your NCD may be affected.

  • Does my NCD apply to me, or to my vehicle?

    In principle, your NCD applies to you and not to your vehicle. For example, if you sell your vehicle and buy another one, you will retain your  NCD. However, if you own more than one vehicle, you might have a different NCD for each vehicle. You should check the details with your insurer, but generally:

  • Your NCD can:
    Be transferred to another vehicle owned by you, but it can’t be applied to more than one vehicle at any point in time. For example, if you have accumulated a 30% NCD while using one vehicle, it does not follow that the same NCD applies to any other vehicle that you own or decide to buy. In other words, you will have to earn the NCD for each vehicle separately.Your NCD cannot be transferred to another person.
  • Can I insure against the loss of my NCD?

    If you have accumulated a 50% NCD (five years without a claim), some insurers may allow you to buy protection against the loss of the discount.
    By paying a small amount of extra premium, you can make one claim during the year, and still have the discount fully protected. The 50% NCD is protected as follows:

    Claims during the period of insurance NCD on renewal
    1
    2
    3 or more
    50%
    20%
    Nil

    Please check with your insurer whether NCD cover is available.

    Before making any claims:
    If the total repair costs incurred is likely to be lower than the current discounts/rebates on your premium (also known as No Claim Discount), it is advisable not to claim the repair cost from your insurance. You are better off paying for the repairs yourself in the long run.

    Refer to the following table to know how much discount on the premium you get to enjoy after you have made any claims.

    Current No Claim Discount
    50%
    10%
    30% -10%
    1 Claim Made > 2 Claims Made
    Reduced No Claim Discount
    20%
    10%
    0%
    0%
    0%
    0%
  • Will I lose my NCD if there is a break in ownership of my vehicle?

    Most insurers in Singapore will allow you to keep your NCD should there be a break in ownership for up to 24 months. Some insurers set the timeframe at 12 months. You should contact your insurer for details.

  • What to do after a motor accident under MCF?

    With the introduction of new Motor Claims Framework (MCF), it is very important for you to know what to do after a motor accident. below are abstracted from
    General Insurance Association (GIA)’s MCF presentation.
    If anyone has been hurt in the accident, call the police immediately.

    Otherwise, a police report should be made within 24 hours of any accident that involves
    1. Damage to a government vehicle or property.
    2. A foreign-registered vehicle
    3. A hit-an-run incident

    The parties involved should exchange particulars, including their names, identity card numbers, telephone numbers, addresses, insurer and vehicle number. If there are witness, note their contact details

    If you have a digital camera or camera phone, take photographs of the accident, the vehicles and the scene.

    Call our hotline (66388476) for a tow truck or for further advice on how to handle the accident. Avoid all unauthorized tow-truck operators or repair workshops.

    Report the accident and take your accident vehicle, whether damaged or not, to the approved reporting centre (provided by your insurer) within 24 hours or by the next working day.

    Take with you the completed Singapore Accident Statement, which contains two forms, if you have it. You can also ask your approved reporting centre or authorized workshop to help you fill up the forms

    Avoid discussing which party is at fault. Refer all communication from the other drivers or their lawyers to your insurer. Do not authorize any repair work without the consent of your insurer.

  • What is the premium difference without COE?

    When the sum insured does not include the COE, the general practice is for insurers to offer a 5% discount off the basic premium computed from the market value of the vehicles.

    This is because the sum insured does not impact the premium pricing as much as the public might think. Most insurance claims are for repairs rather than total loss. Therefore,
    the weightage given to premium pricing for the COE component is correspondingly lower since the bulk for the premiums charged goes towards paying partial loss.

  • What are the factors affecting your premium?

    An insurance company considers many things when calculating an insurance premium. Most premiums are based on basic third party cover with the cost of extras added on. The main thing that will determine the cost of your insurance is what you actually want to be covered for. The following are always taken into account:

    License
    Whether you are driving on a full or provisional license makes a huge difference to the cost of your motor insurance premium. You can expect to pay hundreds more in extra, if you only have a provisional license.

    Size and age of car
    The engine capacity and age of the car play a large part in determining the cost of your premium. The older the car, the more difficult it can be to insure. Many insurance companies believe that the older a car is, the more accident-prone it becomes. A new car is more expensive to replace than an old car and will cost more to insure. Likewise, the more powerful the car you drive, the more it will cost to insure.

    Age of the driver
    The young and the old represent high-risk categories and pay more for insurance.

    Value of the car
    The value of a car is taken into account for third party, fire and theft and for comprehensive insurance. What you have the car insured for, however, is not always what the insurance company will pay out in the event of a claim. In the event of the car being a write-off, the insurance company will only pay out what it feels the car is worth, which, more often than not, is less than the car is actually insured for. There is very little to gain by over-insuring a car and, equally, you should not under-insure it either.

    Experience
    All insurance companies will ask if you have ever had insurance in your own name before. If not, they will ask if you have ever driven under someone else’s insurance without incident. This will be taken into account when calculating a premium. Insurance becomes less expensive with experience and a clean driving record.

    Profession and use
    Some professions are considered to be more at risk than others and will have a loading put onto their premium. What the car will actually be used for is also taken into account. A standard policy covers the vehicle for social, domestic and pleasure purposes, but not for the carriage of goods. If the car is being used for business, then a loading will apply. If the car is being used commercially, then an even higher loading will be imposed

    Excess and extras
    Most insurance policies contain some type of an excess clause. This means that the policyholder is liable for an agreed amount towards the cost (e.g., the first $550). The premium will cost more if this clause is taken out. It pays to shop around, because what might be considered an extra in one company (windscreen breakage, car hire in the event of the car being off the road, loss of personal effects, etc.) could be standard in another.

    No claims bonuses
    A no claims bonus is built up over the years and gives the policyholder a substantial reduction in the cost of his or her premiums. The ceiling for a no claims bonus is usually 50%, leaving someone who has never had a claim without it affecting your no claims bonus.

  • Why am I paying a higher premium when the market value of my vehicle is depreciating?

    The premium for your motor insurance policy is calculated using certain risk factors such as vehicle model, capacity, driver’s age among other factors.

    Market value of the vehicle is not a direct risk factor as it does not influence the claims received from third parties for property damage and injuries.

    Further, the repair costs for motor vehicles has increased over the years. Hence, there is a need to increase the premium to ensure a sustainable business.

  • Why is that my renewal premium is higher even though I did not make any claim?

    Insurance is based on the concept of pooling of risks. If the overall claims experience is bad, premiums will be increased across the board for all motorists irrespective of whether a claim is made or not. However, the premium increase borne by those with a clean driving record will be lower than those with accident
    claims because the latter will have an additional loading on the claim and thereby pay more.