There is a wide choice of road accident insurances in Singapore. So much that a rookie can have a hard time grasping what he or she is actually insured for or, more importantly, what not. Of course, you can ask your agent or broker to help you choose but to make sure you are getting the policy that best fits your needs it’s good to have a basic grasp yourself of what is generally covered in a car policy.
What is actually covered by Road Accident Insurances?
For starters, it is good to know that a road accident insurance is mandatory if you own a vehicle. Having an insurance policy does not mean that you are covered for everything and anything under the sun. There are lots of exclusions and restrictions and they can differ per insurer. This means that you should know what your remaining liabilities are for things that are not covered under your policy and consider whether you want to take those risks or shop around for another policy.
How do car insurers operate in Singapore?
An insurer authorised to operate in Singapore in the business of selling Motor or Car Insurance must issue the policy you buy. This is the route that the majority of people will take when buying road accident insurance. There is, however, an alternative to this that is not widely known. The Motor Vehicles Act (Third Party Compensation) states that a person can alternatively deposit S$125,000.00 with the Accountant General. We don’t know of anyone who has done so, but if you do, we would be curious to find out how that exactly works in practice
What is the legal breakdown?
As far as the substance of the law goes the most important thing to note is that the policy of insurance must insure the owner and/ or servant, agent and/ or authorised driver of the vehicle in respect of any liability which he may incur whilst driving on the road, against death or personal injury caused to any person.
It is important to understand that your policy wording may not be the same and that certain of these authorised drivers are not covered by your policy. In practice, this means that although the insurance company will have to pay for your liabilities, they will come to you to reimburse them.
What to do in case of an accident?
If you have an accident where there is personal injury suffered the law requires you to file a police report within 24 hours. Section 84 of the Road Traffic Act says you do not need to file any police report if the damages are purely materialistic (i.e. a dent in your car). However, it is important to note that your insurance company will require you to report every incident regardless of the nature of the damage to one of the Incident Reporting Centres. If you do not do this, the insurance company can penalise you reducing some of the No Claims Discount (NCD) you have built up.
If you find yourself the victim of a hit and run, you must make a statement to the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB). The MIB is responsible for compulsory insured risks in the event of a hit-and-run accident.
Also read: When Car Insurers Don’t Pay
Also read: Car Claims Do’s And Don’ts
Practical tips when you end up in a Road Accident
Being involved in an accident is unpleasant enough as it is. That is why we have bundled some basic tips to make sure you can settle the issues as quickly as possible and get on with your life.
- Best is really to always file a police report on the same day that the accident happened as this will serve as a formal registration and can be used if required in later legal proceedings
- Make sure you get contact particulars of any potential witnesses, these will be extremely helpful in possible legal proceedings at a later stage
- Always make clear photos of the scene of the accident making sure the photo shows skid marks on the road and make a situational drawing of the scene, which preferably is dated and countersigned by someone else
We are here to guide you in the claims procedure and the possible legal proceedings resulting from a traffic accident.