Cars will always be luxury and precious items in Singapore, but not because the city-state has a high number of gearheads or car enthusiasts — in fact, several people from the world’s best underground car culture scenes believe modifying cars in Singapore ranks as one of the world’s hardest due to strict laws.
Vehicles are regarded highly in the small Southeast Asian country because of their price as Singapore is notoriously at the top of the world in terms of new car costs due to the government’s goal of encouraging the use of public transport. It’s been well documented that an entry-level car like the Suzuki Jimny can cost around US$21,000 in the Philippines, US$23,000 in Thailand, and US$105,000 in Singapore.
So if a buyer does try to purchase a car in Singapore, it seems to be a no-brainer decision to get car insurance, too, because why not protect something important and pricey, and disabuse your mind from concerns about not being compensated during accidents?
What Is a Car Insurance? Is it Mandatory in Singapore?
It is compulsory for everyone who owns a car in Singapore to have their car insurance coverage before they can actually get to drive and use — or even register the car within the government’s books.
An insurance provides a certain amount of financial compensation for damages that may have resulted from a car accident. By paying a specific amount, either separate or conjoined with car purchase, motorists have a backup plan in case things go awry after an incident on the road.
OneMotoring’s website, which is owned by the Singaporean government, says it is illegal to drive a vehicle that is not covered by car insurance, and violators may be fined up to S$1,000.
Drivers who insist on driving vehicles without car insurance Singapore can also face prison time of up to three months, and a disqualification from holding a driving license for 12 months. Similarly, those who refuse to do car insurance renewal would be penalized.
What Is the Average Price of a Car Insurance?
In 2019, a story published at the Singapore Business Review said that car insurance premiums in the city-state, despite having one of the world’s highest-priced vehicles, are still lower than that of New York.
It appears that the average cost of car insurance during that time was at S$862 — way lower than New York’s S$4,097 during that time, as mentioned by the article.
Of course, that cost does not take into account other car expenses in Singapore like additional tax payments like the Certificate of Entitlement which car owners have to deal with so that their vehicles would be road-legal.
Then there’s the additional payment that motorists have to shell out if their cars are already above 10 years old, as the Singaporean government encourages replacement of vehicles to keep harmful emissions at a minimum.
Types of Car Insurances
The definition of a car insurance may be simple, there are varying forms of car insurance that are allowed in Singapore — not to mention the complicated means of calculating and assessing offerings to ensure that you get the best car insurance available.
These are the three kinds of car insurances that are allowed in Singapore:
Third Party Only Car Insurance
- Third Party Only car insurance policies, as the name suggests, cover only injury or death to the third party or people who are not the drivers or passengers during accidents. This means pedestrians and other people on the roads who may be involved in mishaps and who may need assistance.
- This car insurance also includes possible damage to property from people who are within the third party — not drivers, passengers, or relatives of the motorists
- In short, the car owner gets nothing from this car insurance to support any possible assistance he or she may need regarding possible hospitalization or repair and restoration of his or her car. Passengers, to a certain degree, may get compensation if some standards are met.
- This is the bare minimum requirement for cars being registered in Singapore and is often times the cheapest in the market.
Third-Party Fire and Theft Car Insurance
- Basically same as the third party only car insurance, but includes compensation for the car owner in case of fire and theft, and other damages when a car catches fire.
- This car insurance now considers a motorist’s car as a property, which means that damage brought by fire and theft can be covered. This means that if a car’s door is damaged due to theft, the insurance company would cover the costs for its replacement.
- Seen as an upgrade from a third party only car insurance, but does not cover a wide extent of possible accidents as car owners would only be compensated for fire and theft. Replacement cars and other costs would only be provided, under this type of car insurance, if the incident is a fire and theft.
Comprehensive Car Insurance Plans
- Combines third-party only car insurance, 3rd party fire & theft car, along with other perks like compensation for personal accidents, personal hospitalization or for death, other damages to the driver and the vehicle, and other customizable options
- Some comprehensive insurances include options for motorists, like a 24/7 roadside assistance, windshield replacement for damages, and other perks that may be offered an additional driver provision which still allows insurance coverage if the designated ‘other’ person operates the vehicle during the accident; daily transport allowance if a replacement car is not provided, and warranties on repairs
- Obviously the most expensive due to the wide coverage of the car insurance, but comprehensive car insurances are usually preferred to by banks who grant auto loans.
Which Type of Car Insurance Is the Cheapest?
As mentioned earlier, Third Party Only car insurances are often times the cheapest — often times because the way car insurances are computed in Singapore are somewhat complicated.
A quick visit to car insurance providers would reveal that companies ask for a lot of details from prospective customers — from basic personal details like name, e-mail addresses, age and gender, marital status, and occupation, to the more complex information like the type of car that a person drives, when it was purchased and registered, a person’s driving experience, and past claims if any.
Such is the case because insurers want to know how much of a risk a person is in terms of accidents. Car insurances range from S$700 to S$1,000, but a person getting a Third Party Only insurance can be charged more if companies deem an applicant to have a greater risk of having a car accident, or if he or she already had past claims and would not be eligible for a no claim discount (NCD).
8 Best Car Insurance Plans in Singapore
Insurers getting a boatload of details from prospective customers is indicative that prices would not be the same for everybody: some people may need to shell out more money because the vehicles they own are less safer than others.
There is also the factor of age and driving experience, as generally speaking, more experienced drivers are able to avoid accidents. More so with people who have not made any car insurance claims — it only means that they never needed to ask for claims and assistance due to accidents.
That being said, here are some of the best car insurance options for a person aged above 30 and with at least five years of driving experience:
|Plans offered/ Perks
Allianz’ Motor Protect Insurance promises a wide coverage as they ‘expect even the unexpected’ to give customers a peace of mind
Starts at around S$850
MSIG offers two main products, the MotorMax and the MotorMax Plus at a low price despite having a wide range of car insurance solutions
Starts at around S$820
Starts at around S$1,020
FWD says that its offerings stand out from the rest of the competition because they have certain features like 24-hour roadside assistance for both accidental and non-accidental breakdown, and a 50 percent no claim discount lifetime guarantee
Starts at around S$920
Starts at around S$1,160
|Singlife With Aviva
Starts at around S$1,060
|Income Drivo Car Insurance
Starts at around S$1,000
|HL Assurance Car Protect 360
HL Assurance or HLAS like other top car insurance companies also offer a daily transport allowance, a 24/7 roadside assistance in case of breakdowns, and a high medical coverage for drivers and passengers.
Starts at around S$1,330
With one of the lower priced car insurance in Singapore, getting a policy with Allianz is surely great value for money, especially if you are looking to trim down expenses.
Allianz offers several perks that can be found on more expensive offerings, like a complimentary 24/7 roadside assistance during a car breakdown, a lifetime warranty on car repairs, a complimentary courtesy car while your vehicle is being fixed, and a possibility of replacing your new, less than two-year-old car for older one if the insured vehicle was declared damaged beyond repair.
While they offer third party only car insurance, getting the comprehensive option is a good bed due to the wide coverage Allianz offers.
MSIG is a common choice among those looking for peace of mind, as the company has been around for quite some time now, holding an A+/Stable financial rating from credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s.
It also offers the cheapest car insurance policy among this batch of car insurance plans, despite having a great coverage and a credible network of car repair workshops.
The two offerings, MotorMax and MotorMax Plus differs mostly on the amount given in case of accidents, with the MotorMax Plus customers getting more assistance.
Also, MSIG allows policy holders to have their car repaired at any workshop for MotorMax Plus customers, while those with MotorMax are restricted to MSIG-accredited shops.
AIG offers a flexible car insurance policy, with discounts for more experienced drivers and those aged above 30 years old, and those who can limit their annual expected mileage usage to 10,000 kilometers.
What’s more, it also offers a collision-only coverage, which compensates drivers only when accidents are borne of collision with another vehicle.
But for more concerned customers, AIG also offers their Complete Plan, which covers everything under a collision-only coverage but also includes damage or loss of vehicle due to theft, acts of God like flood, riots, and civil commotions. An additional provision for windshield and window repair is also included in the Complete Plan.
FWD probably has the widest coverage in terms of car insurance policy depending on where accidents may happen, as parts of West Malaysia and some areas in Thailand were included. It also boasts of its high rate of approved applications, at 98.7 percent of all requests for policies.
Key benefits are available — from a complimentary courtesy car when vehicles are being repaired, a 24-hour roadside assistance in case of breakdown, a lifetime 50 percent no claims discount NCD protection, and a daily transport allowance.
Even better, FWD provides legal assistance if car insurance policy holders accidentally hurt someone or damage their property.
Etiqa prides itself in having flexible offerings — from its third party only, third party fire & theft, and comprehensive coverage plans that you can pair with additional and customizable items.
For example, if you prefer to have your car’s sun roof covered by the car insurance plan so you can have it repaired in case of accidents.
You can also pick a workshop of your choice, opt for coverage of your car’s solar film, or choose their Etiqa Plan which offers towing after loss or damage, medical and dental expenses, enhanced personal benefits, and a 24-hour road and medical assistance.
What’s more, Etiqa also caters to young and inexperienced driver, and they can get an additional discount on their car insurance policies if they do not have any demerit for the past three years.
While not the cheapest car insurance plan out there in Singapore, Singlife with Aviva’s products actually stand at par with the top of the competition, as they give good offers.
Aside from the 24/7 roadside assistance and supposedly having the lowest NCD penalty, the company also promises to keep a customers’ NCD intact if the he or she was not the cause of the accident.
The three car insurance plan being sold by Singlife with Aviva — Lite, Standard, and Prestige — have good coverages.
Lite would already be ahead of other brands’ entry-level offerings due to its perks like a brand new car replacement policy, medical coverage, a high limit for damage to third party property, and additional excess of S$2,500 for young and inexperienced driver.
But if you want peace of mind, you can easily settle for the Standard and Prestige from this car insurance company, which have better conditions and coverage than the Lite car insurance plan.
If other motor insurance companies offer their NCD protector as a separate upgrade, Income’s Drivo Car Insurance makes this perk free, along with an emergency assistance team that is on standby for accidents.
It also provides motorists with simple options for choosing which plan best suits them. Is your preferred repair shop accredited by Income? Then pick the Drivo Classic, as the company maintains links with over 30 repair shops across Singapore.
But if your preferred repair shop is not included in Income’s list, then go for the Drivo Premium which allows policy holders to have their vehicles repaired by their own workshop.
HL Assurance’s Car Protect360 car insurance may easily have the most expensive car insurance premiums in this batch, but it is also has the widest coverage among those listed here. None of those listed would cover damages due to act of God, floods, strike, riots, civil disorder coupled with an unlimited amount of coverage for death or injury to a third party on their basic offering.
Simply put, if you have the money to spend and are looking for assurance that you would receive assistance in case of accidents, then Car Project 360 would be best for your vehicle.
Tips on How To Compare Car Insurance Plans
1. Check Your Budget
You may be attracted to a particular car insurance, but it would be best to check your budget first before diving into a affordable car insurance insurance. You have to consider other factors too in the future: would you be able to pay your obligations despite the possibility of higher headline inflation rates in the near future?
Would opting for a more comprehensive form of car insurance plan that is more expensive dry up your savings? Or would you fare better with cheaper car insurance premiums?
Read also: Cheapest Car in Singapore
These are important factors to think about when picking the best car insurance plan for you.
2. Match with Plans That Give You Discount
It would also be of a big help if you could check what plans offer more discounts for you. Also, compare car insurance plans’ perks. If in case you are aged 30 and above, you might want to compare car insurance plan that offer discounts for older and more experienced drivers.
If it is the other way around, look for products that go along with your age.
There are also some car insurance plan that provide certain freebies with the policy — if these are attuned to your needs, then maybe it would also be the right plan for you.
3. Assess Your Driving Skill and Environment
You live in Singapore, a geographically small country with not too much roads for cars to stretch their legs and overspeed.
Unlike other Southeast Asian countries with long and winding roads that attract a lot of accidents, Singapore actually has well-designed streets and has one of the world’s best traffic management systems according to several studies.
So with this in mind, you can assess if you really need a comprehensive insurance that tends to be more expensive.
Another factor is driving skill: are you confident enough to take on the roads with an insurance policy that is not as well-covered?
Can you do basic troubleshooting of your car on your own without needing to go to a repair shop? If your answer to all of these is yes, then you might want to stop and rethink your option to buy a more expensive offering. Maybe a third party only or a fire & theft with some additional customizable items would be the best car insurance for you.
As said earlier, many car insurance plans are not a one-size fits all product, as a myriad of considerations are made by the motor insurance company before they sell you the product – which would result in different prices of car insurance premiums
- An expensive car insurance price does not always mean more coverage for your own car
- Medical expense coverage across similar type of plans are not similar
- There is a need to compare car insurance plans to know what works better for you, like in the case of young and inexperienced drivers
- If you have an existing car insurance policy, it might be better to stick with the said company for possible claims discount and other benefits
- Selecting an insurance based on whether you prefer a certain workshop or if you are okay with the insurer’s accredited repair shop if your car breaks down is also important
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