The ever-inflating costs of Certificates of Entitlement (COE) and mind-numbing depreciation are not the only financial burdens drivers in Singapore have to shoulder. Just like death and taxes, accidents on the roads are hardly avoidable and could happen to the safest of drivers too. You could be thrown into yet another money-sucking wormhole if you do not have the right car insurance in place.
By understanding the common mistakes people tend to make when renewing car insurance and getting a new car insurance quote, you can save yourself a migraine should you be one day caught in a precarious position involving a car incident.
1. Not Considering Customer Service
Maybe you know a guy who knows a mechanic who owns a questionable workshop with an even more questionable repairs service. After a careless accident in which you wrecked your father’s precious Toyota, you desperately take it to the dubious mechanic for a quick fix. Then, you end up with an inflated bill and a half-baked job.
Instead of digging a deeper grave for yourself, immediately ring the insurer’s customer service so they can smoothen the process for you. By doing that, you can also cut through the mumbo jumbo; all you have to do is fill out some papers and verify the claims amount, while they babysit you the rest of the way. There is a good chance their affiliated workshops will churn the car back out in such spiffy condition, your dad won’t even smell anything fishy. This is why good customer service is important when choosing an insurer for your car insurance.
2. Not Getting Enough Coverage
Ironically, pinching on car insurance premiums could cost you dearly. The real cost of driving in Singapore is astronomicaland understandably, you want to minimise your expenses as far as possible. However, be careful not to make a myopic decision by choosing the most budget-friendly car insurance plan. If you have a tendency to drive like a speed-addicted maniac and you know it, then it would only make cents to take out a bit more moolah to boost your coverage. In the long run, you would thank your earlier and wiser self when your daredevil spirit finally catches up with you, or when a road menace totaling your beloved car into an unrecognisable heap. A wholesome coverage could help get your car replaced while keeping out-of-pocket expenses down to a minimum.
3. Auto Renewal
Have you ever used Spotify premium past its free trial, then your heart sank when the auto-renewal function had you unwittingly pay for a non-refundable subscription? It is the same with car insurance here, except that the damage to your wallet would make you want to hurl yourself in front of a car. If you have changed cars, or desire to change your insurer, make sure you opt out of the current policy’s auto-renewal. Set a reminder if you have to. Conversely, some insurers require you to opt in on your own initiative, and surely it would be a tragedy to learn about its expiry through an accident.
4. Not Reviewing Your Policy
It is exactly because of this nonchalance that would lead you to commit the previous two mistakes. But on top of that, diligently reviewing your policy gives insight into what needs plugging. Are you the overly cautious type who drives like you are still having the ‘L’ plate on your car? Talk to your insurer to increase the excess so you can depress the premium payment.
Have you clocked five years or more of accident-free record? Consider attaching a No-Claim Discount Protector to continue enjoying 50% discount on your premium, in case you break your clean streak.
Is your teenage kid or younger sibling increasingly “stealing” your car after having just gotten his license? At the expense of higher premiums, nominate his/her name to the policy. Just make sure they stomach the extras, considering that insuring fresh-faced drivers do not come cheap.
5. Not Understanding Your Policy
Not sure if personal accident cover is integrated into the policy? Is the policy coverage liability-based or comprehensive? Can’t differentiate your excess from deductible? All right, that was a trick question. They are the same. But you get the drift. Insurance jargons can get rather confusing and you can easily get misled into signing up for something you would later regret. Assuming you are a first-time buyer, asking the customer service officer to give you a crash course on the glossary of terms and conditions might feel silly. But at the very least, you would be smart enough to make an educated decision on the type of car insurance that you truly need, without shelling out more than you should.
This article first appeared on GoBear.com.