Having your car covered by motor insurance is an important part of car ownership.
Mr Peh Chee Keong, vice president and head of motor insurance at NTUC Income (Income), said:
“Motor insurance provides coverage for personal injury to third parties, damage to someone else’s property, personal loss, and other damages which may amount to hefty costs.”
Here are three things to know when shopping for a motor insurance policy.
1. TYPE OF MOTOR INSURANCE
There are three main types of motor insurance – third party, third party that includes fire and theft, and comprehensive.
Third party covers the death and injury to other parties, as well as damage to their property. A third party that includes fire and theft coverage would, as its name suggests, cater for fire damage or loss as a result of vehicle theft.
Mr Peh said: “Comprehensive plans provide optional benefits such as medical expense coverage, or damage arising from disasters. This is subject to the payment of additional premiums.”
2. BASIC COVERAGE
Mr Peh highlighted that the minimum requirement of your motor insurance policy should cover personal injury to other parties.
He said: “Most drivers go for a comprehensive coverage for assurance. Some premium plans cater for vehicle repairs, vehicle loss or damage due to accidents, fire or theft. They also encompass towing services, medical expense coverage, and more.”
Some of the optional benefits to have are damage from riots, strikes, natural disasters, as well as liability of passengers for acts of negligence.
Mr Peh said: “Look out for features like no-claim discount (NCD) protection, which entitles you to enjoy a reduction to your premiums in the following year if no claim has been made under your policy for a year or more. This is the insurer's way of recognizing you for being a careful driver.
“Other benefits may consist of a daily transport allowance that lasts up to seven days if your vehicle requires repairs, or an excess waiver cover that helps you to waive the basic excess when you make a claim under your motor insurance policy.”
An excess is the cost a driver is required to bear in the event a claim is made against his or her policy.
“Generally, the more risk the insurer carries the higher the excess,” Mr Peh said.
Value-added services may also be offered.
Mr Peh said: “Some insurers may provide a one-stop service centre that handles damage assessment, liaising with third parties, workshops and other insurers, to ensuring the quality of repairs. For motorcycle insurance policyholders, we provide a free defensive riding course to equip them with the knowledge and skills to handle hazardous situations on the road.”