It’s OK to be skeptical everytime a salesperson tries to offer you extras, add-ons or supplements – especially if it sounds like one of those terrible “Sim Lim” type deals (you know, the ones where you pay for two years of “insurance” at S$2,000+).
However, saying no to every “extra” offered by your auto insurer just to save money may end up costing you more than you realise. There are better ways to save money on your auto insurance premiums that don’t involve cutting out these three important policy add-ons:
#1 No claims discount (NCD) protector
The no claims discount (NCD) is an annual insurance policy discount insurers offer for every year you remain claim-free. Typically, insurers will reward you with a 10% discount on your policy premium upon renewal for every claim-free year – up to a maximum NCD of 50%*
It takes six years of safe driving to earn the maximum NCD of 50%, but it only takes one claim for insurers to drop it down to 20% or 30%. And that’s where the NCD protector comes into play.
Let’s say you purchased the NCD protector after earning a 50% NCD from your auto insurer.
A year later, you accidentally hit the car in front of yours while driving downtown because you were distracted for a moment by a text.
Normally, most insurers would drop your NCD to 20% or 30% after one claim and 0% after two claims. But with an NCD protector, you’d still maintain your 50% NCD!
And if you were unfortunate enough to suffer another accident during the same year, your NCD would drop to 20% or 30% instead of 0%.
*Most insurers specify that only own damage (OD) and third-party claims will have an effect on your NCD.
#2 Windscreen damage
Windscreen damage isn’t as uncommon as you think in Singapore. The reality is that Singapore’s weather and driving environments are both equally capable of putting your windscreen at risk – regardless of whether your vehicle is on the road or not.
And having to replace a windscreen is not cheap – depending on your vehicle model, it can easily cost you S$500 or more.
In Singapore, these are the prime causes of windscreen damage:
- Weather damage: Impact caused by hail or debris thrown around by stormy weather can easily cause damage to your windscreen.
- Road debris: Stones, gravel or other debris falling from lorries is the biggest cause of windscreen damage while driving in Singapore.
- Structural weakness: Like any other manufactured product, windscreens are susceptible to structural defects that can cause cracking along the edges from normal day-to-day driving.
Many auto insurers offer windscreen damage coverage as part of their comprehensive auto insurance policy coverage, usually with a S$100 deductible. So it’s a good idea to double-check your policy coverage to see if windscreen damage is covered. If not, it’s definitely an item worth adding to your policy.
Keep in mind that making a windscreen damage claim will not affect your NCD.
#3 Flood damage
Flooding has always been a common occurrence in Singapore. And although the government has invested S$750 million dollars to deal with the problem over the next 20 years – and it’s a problem that’s not going away anytime soon.
Everyone can still remember how bad the Orchard Road floods of 2010/2011 were and the flooding in western Singapore in the late 2013. But what a lot of people don’t realise is that flooding can easily render a vehicle a total loss. And unless you have flood insurance – it’s a loss you’ll have to pay for, not the insurer.
Many insurers offer coverage for flood damage as part of their comprehensive auto insurance policy. But if you’re unsure as to whether or not you’re covered, double-check your auto insurance policy to see if you have it.
If not, this is definitely an add-on you don’t want to be without – unless you happen to drive a duck boat to work everyday.
Worth the added expense
Depending on your insurer, the auto insurance add-ons above may increase your policy premium by 8% to 15%. But before you scoff at the added expense, remember that Singapore’s driving environment is unpredictable.
The reality is that you’ll never know when a flood, debris or a reckless driver will ruin your day – and your car. Of course, not every auto insurance policy is the same. Some policies might cover some (or all) of the items above for a premium that’s cheaper than what you’re paying now
Thankfully, there’s an easy way to compare car insurance policies for free without dealing with the hassle of calling multiple insurers. Just visit our car insurance comparison page get the policy with the best price and coverage.
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