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Ultimate Guide to Car Insurance in Singapore (2023)

Here's all you need to know to find the best insurance for your car: we help you understand the types of coverage, terms like NCD & excess, how they affect your premiums and more.


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Types of Car Insurance in Singapore

Third Party Only (TPO) Car Insurance

TPO offers the most basic insurance coverage and is the minimum required in Singapore. It covers only the affected third parties and/or liabilities.

Third Party, Fire and Theft (TPFT) Car Insurance

TPFT provides extra coverage on top of the basic covered in TPO. With TPFT, any loss or damage to your vehicle due to fire and theft will be covered.

Comprehensive Car Insurance

Comprehensive car insurance is an all-inclusive plan that covers you, your vehicle, your passengers and your liabilities in minor and grave accidents.

Coverage Type Liabilities Your Vehicle Your Passengers You

*only for loss or damages due to fire and theft.


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What is Excess?

When you choose your car insurance coverage, an excess is a fixed sum payable from your own pocket, for damages, before the insurer covers the rest. You can customise the excess payable.

Here's an example:

Adam is cruising along PIE on his way to work. A tree suddenly collapses in front of his path. Unavoidably he crashes into it, and the cost to fix the car is $2,000. Fortunately, his excess is $500. So he just pays $500, and the insurer forks out the remaining.

Here are the three types of excess in car insurance:
  1. Excess in 'Own Damage': This excess only applies to your vehicle. It’s not inclusive of the third party’s damages.
  2. Excess in 'Third-Party': This excess applies to damages incurred by the third party. You may need to pay this on top of the excess in your ‘Own Damage’.
  3. Excess in 'All Claims': This excess refers to the total sum payable to every accident, regardless of whose damages the excess covers.

Generally, opting for a higher excess helps lower car insurance premiums. However, with less insurance pay-out, you’re putting yourself at a higher financial risk on the roads.

No-Claims Discount (NCD)

This discount incentivises drivers to practice safe driving. You earn a 10% discount for each year you stay claim-free, up to a maximum of 50%.

Period of insurance with no claims Discount on renewal
1 Year 10%
2 Years 20%
3 Years 30%
4 Years 40%
5 Years or more 50%

Note that NCD for private-hire cars differs from this table.

NCDs aren’t necessarily compromised upon claims unless the driver’s liability is more than 20% under the Barometer Of Liability Agreement (BOLA). If so, their NCD could decrease by 10% or more.

Some drivers pay an additional fee for the NCD protector scheme. This allows them to make one claim and still retain their NCD privileges.

Your NCD is also transferable from one car to another. Even if your car is scrapped, you can retain your NCD for at least 12 months. On another note, if you own two cars, your second car might not enjoy the same NCD privileges as the first car.

Named Driver(s)

Named drivers are recognised by insurers to drive the car. They’re covered by the main owner’s insurance policy and are entitled to the same privileges/protection.

Family members are oftentimes added as named driver(s) to keep financial risks low. Should an unnamed driver get into an accident while using your car, the insurer can impose a higher excess on your claim.

11 factors that affect the cost of your car insurance in Singapore:

  1. Car make and model – European-branded cars have higher import taxes and pricer parts, raising the cost of premiums
  2. Age of car – The cost of car insurance generally decreases with the age of your car
  3. Age of insured – People below the age of 30 and over the age of 65 can expect to pay more expensive premiums
  4. Occupation – An outdoor job indicates that you will use your car more often and pose a higher risk of accident. This can translate to higher premiums
  5. Marital status – Insurers may lower your car premium if you have a family to look after
  6. Years of driving – Drivers with less than four years of experience will have to pay higher car insurance premiums
  7. Type of car usage – Private-hire insurance premiums tend to be higher than policies for private vehicles
  8. Driving accident claim history – a ‘loading fee’ applies if you have made a single claim of above $10,000 OR made two or more claims in the past three years
  9. No claims discount – If you’ve been claim-free for a certain number of years, you’ll be rewarded with a renewal discount. Find out more about NCD here.
  10. Honesty and integrity – Dishonesty about your driving history may cost you a higher premium if false information is provided
  11. Car modifications – Modifications that are not LTA-compliant will require additional cover which will increase the premium price

Car Accident Checklist

  • Step 1: Assess the situation
    • Call 995 if there are injured person(s)
    • Lodge a police report for hit and run accidents, collision with vehicles not registered in Singapore and government property
  • Step 2: Ensure Safety
    • Snap a quick picture of the scene
    • Move your vehicle to the roadside to prevent traffic obstruction
    • Place a hazard sign 50m away from the rear of your car
  • Step 3: Exchange Information
      Photos you'll need:
    • Full Name of involved parties and witnesses
    • NRICs of involved
    • Contact numbers
    • Home Addresses
    • Insurer Details
  • Step 4: Gather Evidence
      You will need photos of:
    • The car accident scene and surrounding areas. (include lane markings, debris or prominent damage to structures)
    • The licence plate numbers
    • The car accident damages
    • The time, date and location of the car accident
    • The weather and road conditions of the car accident scene
  • Step 5: Assess Damage
    • Contact your insurer for advice on how to proceed with tow and repair services

Common mistakes to avoid when making car insurance claims:

  1. Failure to submit a proper claim in 24 hours – Generally, accidents should be reported within 24-hours and the claims should be submitted as-soon-as-possible. Otherwise, your claims could be voided. You may also need to send your vehicle for inspection by a certain timeline.
  2. Not seeking advice from insurer – Your insurer is your go-to when an accident arises. They’ll redirect you to a hotline, if any, and advise you on which workshops to go to.
  3. Admitting to fault or liability – Agreeing to negotiate or making offers of private settlement means admitting liability. The involved party can use this against you to shirk responsibility from the accident.
  4. Not getting the full picture – The less details you note down, the less likely your claims will be approved quickly. Here's what you need to note down in a car accident
  5. Submitting badly documented evidence – Usually, the insurer uses car camera footage to piece the story together. If you don’t have a car camera footage to submit as evidence, you’ll need many photos of differing angles. Try to get a good mix of close up, medium-range, and wide-angle shots.
  6. Moving the vehicle unnecessarily – This affects your evidence documentation, for you may miss out crucial details and it gives the other party a chance to dispute your claims. If necessary, look for a witness.
  7. Visiting an unauthorised workshop – Opting for unauthorised workshops unnecessarily complicates the claims process. Even if the insurer sends a surveyor to assess the repairs, they may not be able to ascertain that they haven’t been overcharged.

Best car insurance policies in Singapore for 2023

More often that not, the best car insurance does not mean the cheapest car insurance. Here are some of the best car insurance for different needs and wants:

I'm a driver looking for.. Recommended provider
Budget friendly Budget Direct Comprehensive
Affordable with generous coverage FWD Classic
Great for young drivers Aviva Lite
Accident-focused coverage Income Drivo Premium
All-around coverage FWD Prestige

Check out what’s covered under these plans here!


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