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Car Insurance Glossary

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Why I should not just renew my motor insurance with my current insurer?
How long in advance should I be searching for my motor insurance renewal?

Tentatively 3 months in advance is advisable so that you have ample time to renew your Road Tax and car inspection 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 someone else'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, AXS machine and 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 $500 and the total repair costs $3,000, then the insured has to pay $500 while the insurer pays the remaining $2,500.

How will it affect my premiums?

By having a lower excess will result in paying higher for the premium. 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 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.

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, ie 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 $6,000 and the third party's damage is $8,000, then the excess of $500 shall only apply to his own damage, ie he pays $500, and the insurer pays $5,500 for his own damage of $6,000. For the third-party claim, the insurer would pay the full amount of $8,000.

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 insurer pays $500, and the insurer pays $5,500 for his own damage of $6,000. For the third-party claim, the insured has to fork out also $500 while insurer would pay $7,500 for a claim of $8,000.

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

When you see this, it means that the total deductible is applicable for all the accidents. Using the similar example in section 9, you will be expected to pay $500 whilst the insurer will have to pay $13500 for the total damages which are $14000. This covers the third party damage and your own damage.

What is NCD? How will it affect my premiums?

In cases where you haven't made a claim in a span of one year, you are allowed to a No-Claim Discount commonly known as NCD. The No-Claim Discount reduces your following year's premiums. It is an effective way used by insurers' to determine the careful drivers. Below, the table showcases how the different insurers in the industry have set the NCD.

Claims throughout the period of insurance NCD on renewal
3 or more

It is vital to check with the insurance company whether the No-Claim Discount is available.

Prior to making a claim, it is necessary to consider if the entire repair costs are lower than the existing discounts on your premium.
If the total repair cost is lower than the premium discounts, then it is safe to pay off the repairs on your own than make the claims.
The table below shows how much money off on the premium you receive after making any claims.

Private car policies Motorbike and Commercial vehicle policies
Period of insurance with no claim
1 year
2 years
3 years
4 years
5 years or longer
Discount on renewal
Period of insurance with no claim
1 year
2 years
3 years or longer
Discount on renewal
What are the factors affecting your premium?

Many insurance companies in Singapore would permit you to keep the NCD for a period of 24 months. Some of the insurers have set the period for about 12 months. It is vital to contact the insurer and ask for detailed information rather than assuming.

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

With Motor Claims Framework , it is important to know what you are supposed to do following a motor accident. Given below are instructions from the General Insurance Association MCF presentation.
First, if anyone is hurt, you should call the emergency immediately.

A police report must be made in 24 hours if the accident is a hit and run, involves a foreign registered vehicle or the damage is done to a govt property or vehicle.

The involved parties should exchange their information which includes their name, ID number, address, telephone number, vehicle number, and insurer. If witnesses are there, their contact information should be noted too.

You should take photos of the vehicle and the accident scene if you have a phone camera or a digital camera.

When sending the photographs via multimedia messages, enter 97112758, the number of the vehicle and the day of the accident. After that, you will get an acknowledgment message from the GIA (General Insurance Associaltion) record center.

You should then contact your insurer for the tow truck service or further guidance on how to control the situation. It is vital to avoid unauthorized repair workshops and tow-truck operators.

Call your insurer's hotline for a tow truck or for further advice on how to handle the accident. Avoid all unauthorised 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.

You should carry with you a complete Singapore Accident Statement which has two forms. You may also ask the authorized workshop or the approved reporting center to assist you in filling the forms.

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

You should avoid discussing who is at fault after an accident. You should refer all communications from the other party or their legal attorneys to your insurer. You should not accept any repair work without the permission of your insurance company.

A full MCF presentation slide is available on our website from the download centre.

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

Insurance is primarily based on the approach of pooling of risks. In case the overall claims are bad then the premiums shall be going up across all motorists regardless whether they have made a claim or not. However, those who have a clean driving record will have lower premiums than those who have accident claims. Such will have an extra loading on their claim and therefore have to pay a higher premium.

What's the difference between authorised scheme or any workshop scheme?

Singapore has two kinds of car insurance scheme; the authorized workshop and any workshop. The authorized scheme has lower premiums because the insurance company has control over of the repair cost. Most cars in Singapore are covered under this scheme. People who go for any workshop scheme are those that own super model cars which are only fixed in specific workshops.

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Car Insurance Glossary
Here are some Car Insurance terms for you.
The cost associated with the type of your car insurance plan – ranging from Third Party to Comprehensive – and can span from any specified period up to 1 year.
What you have to make in an incident where injury is involved or when the other party refuses a private settlement.
What you have to pay when making a claim, but only when you’re at fault. If your claim is $3,000 and your excess is $500, you’ll only fork out that $500 while your insurer pays the other $2,500.
A reward percentage off your premium if you’ve not made any claims from the year prior. With every year, NCD increases by 10% and this can accumulate up to 50%.
Workshops approved by your insurer to perform repairs, if your plan has such a restriction in the event of damage incurred. If you have a preferred workshop or just want to get your car fixed at the nearest place, seek a plan that allows it. However, these may demand higher premiums.

For more information buying insurance, types of cars and recommended repair workshops, read our blog here.
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