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Are you covered for the 3 common car accidents in Singapore?

It is fairly safe to drive in Singapore, with law-abiding citizens and a high standard of safety contributing to the decreasing probability of accidents. The total number of accidents has decreased by 4.4% since 2010.

However, in spite of the safety standards, car accidents are still happening daily, with dashcams capturing scary moments you would not want happen to you.

Along with the physical damage, car accidents also come with financial pains. There are instances where the car insurer may refuse the claim. Therefore, it is necessary to know which types of car accidents are covered under your insurance.

The 3 most common causes of car accidents in Singapore are:

#1 Reckless Driving

The most common cause of car accidents in Singapore is reckless driving. It accounts for about 86% of the total car accidents in Singapore in 2017. This includes texting while driving, turning without signalling, and running red lights.

If the driver was committing a legal offence like texting while driving, which led to an accident, the car insurance be voided, and the driver could face fines and a jail term.

If the driver was driving recklessly, he will have to pay the excess on the claims. Additionally, he will suffer a loss in the No Claim Discount (NCD). The insurance premiums will go up in the future.

#2 Drunk Driving​

Drunk driving accidents constituted for 2% of the total car accidents in Singapore in 2017. While these accidents are reducing in number, they cause huge damages. Drunk driving is illegal and such accidents are not covered by the car insurance providers.

There will be no payment made for loss, damage, or injuries. This is because the driver was at fault.

As a result, the driver ends up paying thousands of dollars in legal fine and medical expenses. Additionally, he will also have to pay for the car damages. None of which will not be covered by his insurance provider.

#3 Speed-Related Accidents​

Speed related accidents have declined in the past years, yet they accounted for 10% of the car accidents in Singapore in 2017. It is highly advisable that car drivers remain within defined speed limit laws. In the event of an accident due to speeding, the driver will have to pay the excess on his claim as he will be filing a claim against his own policy.

This can easily cost around S$400-S$800. Along with paying the excess amount, the NCD is reduced and the insurance premium goes up by 30% – 50%.

Any accidents where the driver is at fault, be it drunk driving, speeding or reckless driving, insurance providers will not cover the claims for the accident.

However, if the driver was not at fault, the first step is to file a claim with the insurance company. Once it is established that you are not at fault, the insurance company will collect the claim from the offender’s insurer.

Some insurance companies may also waive the excess amount and pay in full. If it is not the driver’s fault, the NCD will remain unaffected.

What’s the bottom line?

An accident caused by the driver is not covered by the insurer. However, accidents caused by the driver may be covered if it is established that the fault was not of the driver but someone else.

*The advice offered in this column is intended for informational purposes only and not intended to replace or substitute for any professional, financial, legal, or other professional advice. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require professional help, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified adviser.

Sim Kwang Meng

Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Sim has more than 40 years’ of experience in General Insurance. He joined Pana Harrison since 2003, and specialised in Property and Casualty. Prior joining Pana Harrison, he was AGM for Commercial Union Assurance Pte Ltd.