How You Can Save Money on Car Insurance

By Contributing Author, 07 November 2017 853

Owning a car in Singapore can be liberating. You can avoid the ridiculously crowded MRT stations, bus rides that are about as gentle as a roller coaster and long queues at taxi stands. Of course, that liberation comes at a uniquely Singaporean price. 

Thanks to a tax structure aimed at minimizing the strain on Singapore’s road infrastructure, you’re paying the highest car ownership price in the world at $100,000+ SGD for a modest vehicle. And that’s without including additional expenses such as maintenance, ERP gantry fees, petrol and parking!

However, there is one expense you have some measure of control over — your car insurance.  

 
What Factors Impact Your Car Insurance Premium? 

 
When it comes to factoring how much your car insurance premiums will be, insurers typically base their calculations on several key factors: 
 
  • The make and model of your vehicle (e.g. Volkswagen Jetta) 
  • Your age and gender (e.g. 24-year old Male) 
  • Your driving experience (e.g. 5 years driving experience) 
  • What you use your vehicle for and how often you use it (e.g. daily work commute 5 days a week) 
  • Number of claims made within a certain time period (e.g. 1 to 5 years) 

While the above are major factors insurers use to calculate your premium, another important factor is the driving experience of any drivers added to the policy.


What Are Some Ways You Can Save Money on Car Insurance?

 

Every insurer calculates premiums differently. However, there are several universal ways you can reduce the cost of your car insurance premiums:   


Drive safe to earn your no-claim discount (NCD)

The no-claim discount is without a doubt the most effective way to lower your car insurance premium. The NCD is an industry standard practice provides a 10% discount for every year that you drive without an own damage claim, also known as an “OD” claim — up to a maximum of up to 50% off. 

Here’s how much you can save on your premium with the NCD discount: 

      No-claim Discount
 1 year   10% Discount
 2 Years   20% Discount
 3 Years  30% Discount
 4 Years  40% Discount
 5 Years  50% Discount
 
Unfortunately, if you get into an own damage accident, you can end up having your NCD reduced (e.g. 50% to 20% if you make an OD claim). However, many insurers offer an NCD protector that will safeguard your NCD in the event you make a claim. 

Important: Income Car Insurance policy holders can apply for the NCD protector if they have an NCD of at least 30%, and those with NCDs of 50% for at least 2 years can receive free NCD protection upon policy renewal.  


Raise your policy excess (but take caution*)

Another way to save money on car insurance is to raise your policy premium excess, which is the amount you must pay the insurer before you can make your claim. 

For example, let’s say you currently have a low policy excess of $250 SGD.  One day another vehicle hits your parked car and causes $3,000 SGD in damage. To have your car repaired, you’ll only need to pay $250 SGD while your insurer pays the other $2,750 SGD. 

Raising the excess on your policy will reduce your premium — but do so with caution as having high excess also means you’ll pay more out of pocket in the event of an accident. 


Take advantage of loyalty discounts and perks

Some insurers may have loyalty discounts that you can receive whenever you renew your policy, which can save you even more on top of any NCD discount you may be receiving. 

Some insurers may also include an exclusive perks such as discounts on entertainment, food and shopping. However, keep in mind that loyalty discounts require you to maintain your policy for a few years to earn it. 

*Note: keep in mind that raising your policy excess is currently unavailable on Income’s eCommerce platform, but is available on policies purchased from Telesales, Advisors or Income branch offices. 

Important: Income car insurance policy holders can receive a 5% loyalty discount if they have kept their policy for at least 3 years in addition to Link Points and other exclusive Income treats. 


Buy an off-peak Vehicle or drive less

Registering a vehicle under LTA’s Revised Off-peak Car (ROPC), Off-peak Car (OCP) and Weekend Car (WC) schemes can lead to enormous Certificate of Entitlement (COE) rebates (up to SGD $17,000) and road tax discounts (up to SGD $500 annually). However, it comes with a 7am to 7pm driving restriction from Monday to Friday — and a big SGD $5,000 fine if you’re caught doing so. 

If you own one or more white-plate cars and don’t drive at least one of them as frequently, you can also save a lot more on your car insurance premiums, with schemes like Income’s FlexiMileage providing additional savings of up to 35% for driving under 9,000 kilometers annually. 


Look at telematics-based car insurance schemes 

Telematics-based car insurance is similar to having a “black box” in your vehicle to track your driving behaviour in real-time — including your speed, drive time and mileage. 

If you’re a safe and vigilant driver with a good driving record, this can be a very a smart way to save some extra money on car insurance. Income provides telematics-based for both Drive Master and FlexiMileage, which can save you up to 35% on car insurance. 
 


Income's telematic Car Insurance schemes


Drive Master
 
Driving Score (upon 100)   Driver Master Discount3
 Above 95 20%
91-95 15%
81-90 10%
70-80 5%

Your driving score will be determined by the following factors 
  • Speeding
  • Manoeuvres
  • Mileage
  • Drive Time
 

 
 
FlexiMileage 


FlexiMileageHowitworks.jpg
 
How much can you potentially save? 
That depends on many things, but let’s go for the most optimistic savings possible. Here’s an example of how much a FlexiMileage policy can save Sam, who wants to save on insuring his off-peak vehicle. A whopping 69% off his car insurance premium! 

NCD-(1).png 

 
Start Saving on Car Insurance Today

 

It’s never too late to start re-evaluating your current policy to see how you can gain additional savings.  To start looking car insurance policies today, visit our online car insurance quote platform. Alternatively, you can speak to an advisor who can help you find the right car insurance policy for your needs, visit Advisor Connect.
 
If you’re not currently an Income car insurance policy holder and you want to know more about our Drive Master policy can save you money, download the Drive Master App to try for free before you buy.

App IOS App Android
 
 
    

Important Notes:
This article is meant purely for informational purposes and should not be relied upon as financial advice. The precise terms, conditions and exclusions of any Income products mentioned are specified in their respective policy contracts. For customised advice to suit your specific needs, consult an Income insurance advisor.

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