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Singapore motor insurance and car theft: How does it work?

According to the Singapore Police’s Annual Crime Brief 2017, available under this link, the number of motor vehicle and related thefts fell by 9.8% to 998 cases in 2017, from 1,107 cases in 2016. After all, Singapore is one of the safest cities in the world! Even though the motor vehicle theft rates are going down, about 1k cars are being reported stolen, and you, as a car owner in Singapore, are at risk.

Hence in today’s article, Kwiksure Singapore will discuss car owners’ insurance options. What kind of Singapore motor insurance will cover car theft? What does the claims process look like? Are you protected if your car gets stolen, for example in Malaysia, where media report car theft is getting more technologically advanced? Stay with us to find out!

What type of motor insurance covers a stolen car in Singapore?

There are three main types of motor insurance: Third party car insurance, third party, fire, and theft insurance, and comprehensive car insurance.

The first mentioned type of motor insurance, third party car insurance, offers only the minimum coverage required by Singapore law. It doesn’t cover any damage that might occur to either your vehicle or yourself. Instead, it protects you from the costs of claims by a third party against you in the event you are responsible for injuries or damages to them.

Third party, fire, and theft auto insurance

This type of motor insurance offers a limited level of coverage for a stolen car. As the name suggests, this policy extends its protection to your vehicle in case it is:

  • Stolen – Usually, the insurer will pay out the market value of your car at the time of the theft;
  • Damaged during an attempted theft;
  • Damaged by fire

Since this type of motor insurance is wider than the minimal third party only insurance, it will cost you more in premiums, but will also offer peace of mind if you’re worried your car might be stolen.

Comprehensive car insurance

Besides the benefits provided by the insurance types already mentioned, comprehensive car insurance offers additional levels of protection to you and your vehicle. The extended coverage includes damages and losses to your own vehicle, other than those resulting from fire or theft, and many other optional items such as:

  • No Claims Discount (NCD) protection
  • Personal accident and medical expenses cover
  • Vehicle towing
  • Windscreen damage
  • And more

Premiums for this type of motor insurance are the highest at first, but with NCD protection in place, and with a good driving record, they will decrease over time, though the extensive coverage will remain.

Stolen Singaporean car in Malaysia

Whether you drive to Malaysia regularly or just on occasion, you should consider extending your Singapore motor insurance to Malaysia, too. Many Singapore insurers offer that option, so for the ultimate peace of mind, check with your agent or broker if Malaysia can be included in your policy, too.

The stolen car insurance claims process

The first thing you must do when you notice that your car has been stolen is to call the police and report the theft. You must obtain a police report if you want to start the claim process. After that, assuming you have either third party, fire, and theft insurance or comprehensive cover, call your agent, broker, or insurance company directly, and inform them of the situation. Make sure to prepare all the documents needed to smoothly file the claim.

How long does it take for insurance to pay out on a stolen vehicle?

Before paying out on a claim, insurers will have to assess your case. This may take 30 days or longer, but when they confirm that your car has been stolen, the insurer will reimburse you for the market value of your vehicle under your third party, fire, and theft or comprehensive policy.

What happens if your car is found after you’ve received compensation for it?

If your stolen vehicle is found after you have already received compensation for it, you are no longer eligible to take it back, because the insurer has already provided compensation for your loss. It will become the insurer’s property and they can dispose of it as they wish.

Should I cancel my insurance policy when my car is stolen?

You shouldn’t cancel your motor insurance after your car has been stolen. Police may find your car and return it to you, where you can claim for theft-related damage on your TPFT or comprehensive policy, and ultimately there will be no need for you to start a new policy to drive it.  

How to avoid car theft

The best way to avoid the long and stressful car insurance claims process is to put an extra layer of protection on your car. Some of the things you can do to decrease the chances of your car getting stolen include:

  • Parking in a guarded parking lot or garage, or in a public spot with installed CCTV
  • Installing a car camera in your vehicle
  • Turning the anti-theft auto system on
  • Always locking doors and keeping windows up
  • Not keeping valuable items in sight in the car
  • Not leaving the car on and unattended
  • Not leaving the car keys in the ignition, or in a place where a thief could find them
  • Getting an aftermarket anti-theft device (Though you should always check with your insurer prior to installing aftermarket parts to ensure this will not conflict with your insurance policy.)

A final piece of advice

Knowing what exactly your motor insurance covers before making any claim can save you lots of time, and unnecessary stress. When choosing car insurance in Singapore, take your time to compare plans and insurance quotes with experts, such as the helpful brokers at Kwiksure Singapore. After all, the best motor insurance advice you can get will be personalized advice. Find out the most cost-effective way to insure your vehicle in Singapore, and contact our insurance advisors at Kwiksure Singapore directly to get all your questions answered!